John J Robinson

HCI Researcher

About Me

I'm currently a PhD student at the University of Washington working on HCI and social media research. I am advised by Kate Starbird.

My interests broadly include collaborative systems and sense-making. Using mixed-methods approaches, I explore, design, and build systems to improve decision-making both individually and collaboratively. I am especially interested in the process of sense-making under uncertainty, especially in the crisis context. I currently work with Kate Starbird to understand social media usage during crisis events, which often have elements of uncertainty as an event unfolds. Our goals are to better understand the phenomena of collaborative sense-making at large scales, and to use machine learning to detect signals of misinformation.

In the past, I've also worked as a software developer at companies from early startup to large corporation. These projects have included the earliest internet streaming audio/video devices at Philips and visual developer tools at Altova. I have also worked on games, mobile apps, and websites at Microsoft.

I've also spent years volunteering with several organizations including Aids Hilfe Vienna, Life-long Aids Alliance, and Lambert House.


  • Upvote My News: The Practices of Peer Information Aggregation for Breaking News on
    Leavitt, A., & Robinson, J. J. (2018). CSCW 2018. ACM. 10.1145/3134700
  • Closer Look at the Self-Correcting Crowd: Examining Corrections in Online Rumors.
    Arif, A., Robinson, J. J., Stanek, S. A., Fichet, E., Townsend, P., Worku, Z., & Starbird, K. A. (2016). CSCW 2016.
  • The Role of Information Visibility in Network Gatekeeping: Information Aggregation on Reddit during Crisis Events.
Leavitt, A., Robinson, J. J. (2016). CSCW 2016.
  • Sharing Food, Gathering Information: The Context and Visibility of Community Information Work in a Crisis Event
    Dailey, D., Robinson, J., Starbird, K. (2016) iConference Proceedings.
  • Examining the Role of Human and Technical Infrastructure during Emergency Response
    Robinson, J. J., Maddock, J., Starbird, K. (2015) Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management.
  • Expressed Uncertainty and Denials as Signals of Online Rumoring
    Starbird, Kate, Emma Spiro, Ahmer Arif, Fang-Ju Chou, Sindhuja Narisimhan, Jim Maddock, Kelley Shanahan and John Robinson (2015). Presented at Collective Intelligence 2015 , Santa Clara, California.
  • Collaborative Visual Analysis of Sentiment in Twitter Events.
    Michael Brooks, John J. Robinson, Megan K. Torkildson, Sungsoo (Ray) Hong, Cecilia R. Aragon. International Conference on Cooperative Design, Visualization, & Engineering (CDVE) 2014.
  • Game design for bioinformatics & cyberinfrastructure learning: A parallel computing case study.
    Perry, D., Robinson, J., Cruz, S. J., Aragon C., Chowning, J. T., and Peters, M. (2014). Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience. 26, 13. 2303-2315. doi: 10.1002/cpe.3261
  • Diverse player experiences in the design of science games for bioinformatics.
    Perry, D., Lynch, A., Joshi, A., Hellman, K., Robinson, J.J., Oyadomari, A., Richtarik, M. and Aragon, C.R. (2013). 1st Chilean Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (ChileCHI ’13). Temuco, Chile.
  • Statistical Affect Detection in Collaborative Chat.
    Michael Brooks, Katie Kuksenok, Megan Torkildson, Daniel Perry, John Robinson, Paul Harris, Ona Anicello, Taylor Scott, Ariana Zukowski, Cecilia Aragon. CSCW 2013. San Antonio, TX.