Visitors and Postdoctoral Associates

CMS/W takes pride in welcoming young and established scholars and helping them advance their own work by pairing them with one of our research groups. Past visitors have played key roles in our speaker series, contributed to masters student theses, and established long-term ties between MIT and other institutions.

How how to join us as a visiting scholar or postdoctoral associate.

Nancy Baym
Research Affiliate
Nancy Baym is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research New England, a couple of blocks to the east of CMS/W's haunts. Her work focuses on interpersonal relationships and new technologies. She is the author of Personal Connections in the Digital Age (Polity 2010), Internet Inquiry (co-authored with Annette Markham) (Sage 2009) and Tune In, Log On: Soaps Fandom and Online Community (Sage 1999). Her current research is about musicians' relationships with audiences and how social media affect them.
Chris Buttimer
Postdoctoral Associate
Chris Buttimer is a postdoctoral associate and educational researcher in the Teaching Systems Lab. His research focuses on supporting teachers to incorporate equity teaching, including through the use of MOOCs, blended learning spaces, and action research. Chris is also a former middle school ELA teacher in the Cambridge (MA) Public Schools, and he has extensive experience providing professional development to teachers in MA and GA around adolescent literacy, socioemotional learning, and youth participatory action research. He holds an Ed.D. and Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, an M.Ed. from UMass Boston, and a B.A. from Wake Forest University
Amelia Farid
Postdoctoral Associate
Amelia is a postdoctoral researcher at the MIT Scheller Teacher Education Program (STEP). Her research focuses on design-based research approaches to supporting and understanding processes of mathematics thinking and learning. ​In her current role, she contributes to the development and evaluation of problem-based high school geometry curricula. She holds a PhD in mathematics education and an MA in mathematics from the University of California Berkeley, as well as a BA in mathematics from Columbia University.
Joshua Glick
Fellow, Open Documentary Lab
Dr. Joshua Glick is the Isabelle Peregrin Assistant Professor of English, Film, and Media Studies at Hendrix College and a Fellow at the Open Documentary Lab at MIT. He holds a Ph.D. in Film and Media Studies and American Studies from Yale University. Dr. Glick’s research and teaching explore global documentary, critical race studies, emerging media, and Hollywood as an evolving form of industrial and artistic production. His articles have appeared in such journals as Film History, Immerse, Jump Cut, Film Quarterly, The Moving Image, and the Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television. Dr. Glick’s book, Los Angeles Documentary and the Production of Public History, 1958-1977, was recently published by the University of California Press and was selected as a finalist for the Richard Wall Memorial Award. Dr. Glick is currently writing a book that examines how the post-1989 rise of neoliberalism and seismic shifts in the media industries galvanized an interest in documentary on both the left and right of the political spectrum. As documentary proliferated across new platforms and was put to use by a range of social movements, it came to occupy an increasingly contested space in the public sphere, ultimately transforming the relationship between Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and Washington D.C. Dr. Glick is also co-editing a multi-volume series with Patricia Aufderheide for Oxford University Press that brings scholars and practitioners into dialogue about the ethics and craft of social justice filmmaking.

Dr. Glick’s filmmaking and public humanities projects involve collaborating with archives, museums, and community media organizations. He served as the film and media curator and produced the award-winning documentary, This Side of Dreamland, for the NEH-funded exhibition, Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861-2008. As a Fellow at MIT, he is working on the curriculum, “Media Literacy in the Age of Deepfakes.” Drawing on the art installation, In Event of Moon Disaster, as a central case study, the project teaches students about the threat of disinformation as well as the civic uses of synthetic media. Finally, Dr. Glick is working with the Library of Congress and WGBH to develop a digital outreach initiative to expand the American Archive of Public Broadcasting.
Eric Gordon
Visiting Professor
Eric Gordon is a professor of civic media and the director of the Engagement Lab at Emerson College in Boston. His research focuses on the transformation of public life and governance in digital culture, specifically looking at the context of equitable and generative “smart cities.” For the last ten years, Professor Gordon has explored the role of play and creativity in civic life, looking at how game systems and playful processes can augment traditional modes of civic participation. He has served as an expert advisor for local and national governments, as well as NGOs around the world, designing responsive processes that help organizations transform to meet their stated values. He has created over a dozen games for public sector use and advised organizations on how to build their own inclusive and meaningful processes. He is the author of two books about media and cities (The Urban Spectator (2010) and Net Locality (2011)) and is the editor of Civic Media: Technology, Design, Practice (MIT Press, 2016) and the forthcoming Ludics: Play as Humanistic Inquiry (Palgrave, 2020). His most recent monograph, Meaningful Inefficiencies: Civic Design in an Age of Digital Expediency (Oxford University Press, 2020) examines practices in government, journalism and NGOs that reimagine innovation beyond efficiency to focus on play and care.
Garron Hillaire
Postdoctoral Associate
Garron Hillaire completed his B.A in Mathematics (philosophy option) from the University of Washington and his Ed. M. Technology Innovation and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. After working as an Educational Software Architect at where he researched Universal Design for Learning (UDL) for four year he enrolled in the Open World Learning research program at the Open University, UK as a Ph.D. candidate in Educational Technology. His thesis focuses on emotional measurement and emotional design in online and blended learning with a focus on sentiment analysis using crowd sourcing methods.

Currently he is a postdoctoral associate at the CMS/W department at MIT where he is part of the Teaching Systems Lab as a member of the Equity Teacher Practice team which focuses on teacher education using practice spaces such as the Teacher Moments simulations. Practice spaces allow teachers to practice how to interact with colleagues and students to better understand issues of equity as it relates to topics like computer science education in K-12 settings. The Equity Teacher Practice team works with professional development organizations, teacher education programs in higher education, and school districts to support teacher professional development on equity. He is exploring how emotional measures can help teachers to reflect on their practice.
Melissa Kagen
Visiting Scholar
Melissa Kagen holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University (2016) and has spent the last several years as a lecturer in Digital Media & Gaming at Bangor University in Wales. She has published work in Game Studies, Convergence, The German Quarterly, The Opera Quarterly, and The Year’s Work in Nerds, Wonks, and Neocons, as well as a forthcoming article in Gamevironments. She is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds. Her research focuses on walking simulators, postcolonial play, gendered gaming, and intersections between participatory theater and videogames​. Wandering Games​, her current book project, considers the different ways that bodies can wander (and players can be wanderers) depending on the game world. She is excited to spend this year in collaboration with the Game Lab, working on transgressive, counter-colonialist play of board games and video games.
Jens Pohlmann
Visiting Scholar
Jens Pohlmann is a Research Associate at the Centre for Media, Communication & Information Research (ZeMKI) at the University of Bremen. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University and holds an MA from the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. His research focuses on the internet policy discourse in Germany and the United States and examines the ways in which important stakeholders on both sides of the Atlantic aim to shape and regulate the digital public sphere. He particularly studies the regulation of hate speech online based on the conversation about a German anti-hate speech law called the Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG) in different media environments (IT-blogs, newspapers, social media).

At MIT, he is extending this project to the discussion about a reform of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act in the United States before and after the storming of the Capitol in 2021. The discourse about this law and the liability protection that it provides to social media platforms addresses important questions regarding free speech and censorship, as well as about platform regulation’s impact on democracy that very much lend themselves to a comparison with the German NetzDG discussion.
Ashley Scroggins
Postdoctoral Associate
Ashley D. Scroggins is a PhD student specializing in Mathematics Curriculum and Instruction. Prior to her return to the University of Colorado Boulder, Ashley taught secondary mathematics in the heart of Denver. Her teaching expertise was established working with a diverse population of middle school students, their families, teachers, and the surrounding community. Ashley’s research interests include creativity, identity development, intersectionality, mathematics education, and teacher education. Education MA Educational Psychology Human Development, University of Colorado Denver, 2010 BA Mathematics + Secondary Mathematics Licensure, University of Colorado Boulder, 2008.
Mingjian Xiang
Visiting Scholar
Mingjian Xiang is an associate professor of linguistics in the School of Foreign Languages and Literature at Nanjing Tech University. He received his Ph.D. from Zhejiang University in March 2018. His research has been focused on the rhetorical use of interactional structures in classical Chinese philosophical texts. He has published work in Cognitive Linguistics, Pragmatics, Journal of Historical Pragmatics, and co-edited volumes by John Benjamins.

At MIT, he is extending his research in a comparative direction by looking at how Zhuangzi (c. 369-c. 286 B.C.), the greatest of the early Daoist thinkers in ancient China, and Plato (427-347 B. C.), the greatest philosopher of ancient Greece, use various rhetorical figures (e.g., rhetorical question, metaphor, irony) and the classic Aristotelian elements of persuasion (i.e., ethos, pathos, logos) in fictional dialogues to convey their philosophical ideas and induce self-knowledge in the prospective readers by mobilizing their basic human capacities.