Archive for the ‘Philadelphia’ tag
I grew up in Fishtown, Philadelphia, an inner city grid of red-brick row homes, corner bars, candy shops, and barely-breathing factories. Fishtown was not known for its wildlife. There were birds. A wide variety, if two counts as a wide variety: big birds (pigeons) and small birds (sparrows). There were cats and an occasional dog that escaped out of someone’s yard.
On rare occasions, I’d see a squirrel scampering about on the telephone pole in my backyard. This was an occasion to call all the neighbor kids and we would stand there like we were at the zoo. The squirrel stared right back, Philly-style. Read the rest of this entry »
April is the month for science festivals. Join the SciStarter team at a festival near you later on this month — bring yourselves, and we’ll bring the citizen science!
Friday, April 18 – Sunday, April 27
Come check out the diverse spectrum of citizen science projects out there! On April 19th during the Science Carnival event, our friends at EyeWire, Games With Words, GoViral, NOVA Labs, Public Lab, and Project MERCCURI will be joining us and demonstrating how to participate in their projects.
Saturday, April 26 – Sunday, April 27
SciStarter will be partnering up with PaleoQuest to demonstrate their Shark Finder project. The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center will also be coming by to tell you about their new citizen science initiatives! Project MERCCURI will also be on deck. Stop by and say hello!
Friday, April 25 – Saturday, May 3, 2014
The Philly SciFest always brings a plethora of activities to choose from! SciStarter and Project MERCCURI will have a booth during the Science Carnival event on May 3rd. Come help us end this season of science festivals with a bang!
Interested in volunteering with us for any (or all) of these events? Shoot an e-mail to email@example.com!
For most people, a citizen science project provides a way to address a specific scientific challenge with the help of volunteers. For a group of researchers from MIT, UCSD, Masdar Institute, and University of Southampton, it is also an opportunity to study what motivates people to join the project.
Would you rather receive a badge, appear on the leader board, or become the top-contributor among your friends? Is a dinner with the project organizers a better motivator? Or, are payments more appropriate for different types of projects?
In addition to data collection, we emphasize two other common ways of providing a relevant contribution to crowdsourcing projects: recruitment of new participants and verification of collected data. Recruitment is crucial to the success of any crowdsourcing project. Can we help the search for volunteers by providing referral incentives to participants who already signed up? Our team is led by Manuel Cebrian and Iyad Rahwan, the winners of the DARPA Red Balloon Challenge, where payments for referrals proved to be effective.
For many projects, collecting data is only half of the story. What if some of the reports are inaccurate due to honest mistakes and misunderstandings, or worse, due to malicious participants? In most projects, the amount of data is so large that verification must be crowdsourced as well. How does one perform verification with the least overhead and the highest degree of confidence? We are looking for answers by experimenting with various ways of distributing verification tasks and incentives to complete them.
While there is not going to be a one-size-fits-all approach, we expect to identify which set of incentive and verification techniques is most likely to be effective for various classes of crowdsourcing projects. We are currently participating in the MyHeartMap challenge that was recently featured on SciStarter.
Join our team to help us learn more about incentive and verification mechanisms, while creating a life-saving Automated External Defibrillators map in Philadelphia. And, stay tuned for more developments as we explore ways to enhance the experiences of both the citizens and the scientists involved in projects featured right here on SciStarter.
This is a guest post from Victor Naroditskiy, a postdoc in the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton.