How open-source collaboration methods may point to ways of solving global problems that need global innovation

2011-06-28 by

UAA’s College of Business and Public Policy hosted a talk by Charles M. Schweik of UMass-Amherst, describing a new book he’s co-authoring, called “Understanding Collaboration in the Internet Era: A Study of Open Source Software Commons,” to be published by MIT Press in Spring 2012.

His fundamental question was about how we teach each other and learn from each other, and whether the way that open-source software development collaborators work out problems might transport over to solving big, global issues.

His finding: successful software projects launch with one or two developers, maybe add one more developer along the way (so big teams are not important). Significantly, however, often one partner in the project is from another continent.

Schweik supposes that Internet tools like IM and Skype, etc., allow like-minded individuals to find each other (where ever they are on the globe) and collaborate effectively. He believes this has strong implications for solving global problems. Find useful links to the project below the podcast.

This talk was recorded June 27, 2011.

Download MP3 (87:57min, 81MB)

For More Information:

Success and Abandonment in Open Source Commons
A paper describing his work
Charles Schweik
Bio page at University of Massachusetts-Amherst
UAA's Jim Murphy
Colleague who hosted Schweik; links to Murphy's work
CBPP's Economics Department
Department details
Economics Dept Facebook page
Follow the Arctic Resilience research project here

UAA linguistic anthropologist Prof. Roy Mitchell describes Fall 2011 survey class on Inuit-Unangan languages

2011-06-28 by

For the first time ever, a survey class of Eskimo-Aleut languages of Alaska, Canada, Siberia and Greenland will be offered, with details on dialects, comparative phonology and grammar, reconstructing proto-Eskimo, literacy traditions and prospects for language survival.

In this short podcast, Roy Mitchell explains how the class came to be offered “planet-wide” through his Facebook outreach. It will include speakers and experts from across the polar regions. Check the Facebook link for class details, including a book and readings list.

This interview was recorded June 20, 2011.

Download MP3 (16:45min, 15MB)

For More Information:

Roy Mitchell Facebook page
Link to preliminary syllabus for Anth A490 course
Roy Mitchell Facebook page
Link to ongoing discussion about Anth A490 course
Anth A490 CRN 76704
Link to UAOnline course listing
Eyak Language Circle
Facebook event page for Eyak Language Circle; updates by Roy Mitchell
UAA Anthropology Dept.
Faculty link, look for Roy Mitchell under adjunct faculty