Brian McInnis


Brian McInnis is a Social Informatics professor at the University of Texas at Austin in the School of Information. Brian investigates the capability of computing systems to coordinate groups of people to problem-solve civic issues through informed discussion. This work involves a broad range of research methods, from system design and evaluation to expert interviews, data science, design speed-dating, as well as public policy analysis. Brian really enjoys asking students, “what civic issues matter to you?” and then working with them to explore socio-technical systems questions, like: (1) Where do people go to share experiences of this issue? (2) How have technologies helped to advance conversation about the issue? (3) What human labor and other resources are necessary to facilitate these conversations?

Prior to joining UT Austin, Brian was a postdoctoral scholar in the Research Center for Optimal Digital Ethics (ReCODE) as well as the Design Lab at UC San Diego. Brian earned his PhD in Information Science from Cornell University, a Masters of Public Policy from Vanderbilt University, and studied Economics and History at UC Davis. Brian has also worked at the RAND Corporation where he studied the design of youth summer learning programs, strategies for supporting families through active military deployment, and potential unintended consequences associated with the use of predictive policing systems.

Areas Of Specialization

Socio-technical systems
Online discussion
Content moderation
Research ethics
Public policy analysis

Recent Courses

YearSemesterCourse NumberCourseSyllabusNotes
2024FallI 305Research Methods for Informatics