J. Nathan Matias

Nathan develops technologies for media analytics, community information, and creative learning at the MIT Center for Civic Media, where he is a Research Assistant. Before MIT, Nathan worked in UK startups, developing technologies used by millions of people worldwide. He also helped start the Ministry of Stories, a creative writing center in East London. Nathan was a Davies-Jackson Scholar at the University of Cambridge from 2006-2008.

by J. Nathan Matias

For the past three years, I’ve been using methods to identify gender in large datasets to support research, design, and data journalism, supported by the Knight Foundation, with an amazing group of collaborators. In my Master’s thesis, used these techniques to support inclusion of women in citizen journalism, the news, and collective aciton online. Last […] more »

by J. Nathan Matias

How do you party with a group of people across four continents? As a trustee of Awesome Knowledge, I’m looking for great ways to celebrate our community and congratulate our grantees. Every month or two, we give $1,000 to an awesome project that spreads knowledge (learn more), and unlike most Awesome Foundations, we’re a distributed […] more »

by J. Nathan Matias

A few years ago, a close friend (not at MIT) asked for my advice. Work colleagues had been sexually harassed, and this friend didn’t know what to do: The offender was prominent, respected, and considered indispensable by his organization. This friend took the courageous move of reporting the issue, starting a process that was emotionally […] more »

by J. Nathan Matias

How can we use data to improve our lives, our communities, and the world at large? At the recent Microsoft Design Expo, students from eight universities showcased design projects along the theme of “making data useful.” To prepare for the Design Expo, students take a semester-long course, in connection with a liaison at Microsoft Research. […] more »

by J. Nathan Matias

Is there such a thing as Christian hacking? The organizers of Code for the Kingdom, a 48-hour hack day with cash prizes, certainly believe so. Last month, almost 150 people gathered in San Francisco for Code for the Kingdom, a hackathon that gave away $11,000 in prizes to teams developing Christian projects. The event also […] more »

by J. Nathan Matias

A few weeks ago, I received a fascinating package in the mail. It was a copy of the gospel of Luke interleaved with graph paper and QR codes. Uncover, designed and printed by UCCF: The Christian Unions, is a digital campaign within a well-established tradition of gospel distribution that goes back to the 19th century. […] more »

by J. Nathan Matias

A version of this post originally appeared on the MIT Center for Civic Media’s blog. How can writers nurture great commenting communities while still engaging with the tough questions? Ta-Nehisi Coates Ta-Nehisi Coates, senior editor and blogger at The Atlantic and author of the memoir “The Beautiful Struggle,” spoke recently at MIT’s Media Lab. Before […] more »

by J. Nathan Matias

Can high-resolution data and innovative technology help us create better representation of women in the news? I believe so. Over the next year, my thesis project is to design a series of articles, artistic pieces, and technologies for gender equity. I’m going beyond mudslinging and hand wringing to apply technology in constructive ways that can […] more »

by J. Nathan Matias

Citizen journalism and social media have become major sources for the news, especially after the Arab uprisings of early 2011. From Al Jazeera Stream and NPR’s Andy Carvin to the Guardian’s “Three Pigs“ advertisement, news organizations recognize that journalism is just one part of a broader ecosystem of online conversation. At the most basic level, […] more »

by J. Nathan Matias

If anything sums up this year’s MIT-Knight Civic Media Conference, it was MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito’s argument for creativity and risk, encouraging us to pursue visions that we do not yet know how to describe. The Civic Media Conference is a new breed of gathering for networked thinking and doing: action research woven […] more »