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STEPHEN C. REA

Ethnographer

 

Experienced in rigorous qualitative research design for carrying out participant observation, interviews, surveys, evaluations, and field studies, and synthesizing research results for dissemination. Competent in basic quantitative analysis utilizing digital tools. Collaborative member of technical research teams dedicated to producing actionable insights. 

 

Areas of Expertise and Research Interests include:

  • Experience Research

  • Stakeholder Communications

  • Interpretive Analysis

  • Project Management 

  • Staff Training & Leadership 

  • Research Planning & Execution

  • Future of Work

  • Consumer Financial Services

  • Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency in AI/ML

Selected Projects

IMPROVING FAIRNESS, ETHICS, EFFICIENCY, AND TRUSTWORTHINESS IN CROWDSOURCING PLATFORMS

Research Assistant Professor · Colorado School of Mines · Golden, CO · 2019 - present

Assessing challenges that crowdworkers face on a number of different crowdsourcing platforms through ethnographic research. Collaborating colleagues in Computer Science, Economics, and Philosophy on a NSF-funded research project.

FAIR AND RESPONSIBLE AI IN CONSUMER FINANCIAL SERVICES

Consultant · Capital One/IMTFI · Remote · 2019

Preparing a white paper that outlines key developments and concerns in artificial intelligence and machine learning applications in consumer financial services. Assisted with organizing a closed door symposium for 50+ participants.

CORE PROCESSORS AND DATA INTEGRATION IN THE CREDIT UNION SYSTEM

 

Consultant · Filene Research Institute · Remote · 2018 - 2019

Authored a research paper on challenges and opportunities for data integration and analysis in cooperative financial services based on interviews with C-level executives at core processors and credit unions. Report was disseminated to Filene's member institutions.

 

CONFRONTING DIGITAL EXTREMISM 

 

Postdoctoral Scholar · Technology, Law, and Society Institute · Irvine, CA/Remote · 2018 – present

Creating four open-access teaching modules for use in undergraduate and graduate curricula exploring the tools used for coordinated disinformation campaigns, methods for cultivating critical digital media literacies, and cultures of trolling and extremism online. Modules are titled: Case Studies in Digital Extremism; Trolls & Extremists; Algorithmic Exploitation; and Toward a New Digital Civics.

 

YOUTH OCCUPATIONAL IDENTITY DEVELOPMENT AND THE FUTURE OF WORK

 

Consultant · Digital Media Learning Hub · Irvine, CA/Remote · 2018 - 2019

Co-authored a synthetic report for the Connected Learning Alliance that reviewed literature on education and workforce development, with a focus on experiences of nondominant youth, and identified successful interventions.

 

2018 TECHNOLOGY, LAW, AND SOCIETY SUMMER INSTITUTE

 

Postdoctoral Scholar · Technology, Law, and Society Institute · Irvine, CA · 2018

Helped coordinate a three-day convening of leading scholars in Law and Society for workshops and presentations exploring the legal implications of automated decision-making, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and auditing algorithms, among other topics. Managed a team of five doctoral students preparing a synthetic paper on “the law in computation.” Facilitating collaboration among Summer Institute attendees in preparing a technology, law, and society research “manifesto.”

 

THE CREDIT UNION OF THE 21ST CENTURY

 

Consultant · Filene Research Institute · Remote · 2017 - 2019

Executed a collaborative research project examining consumer-facing financial technologies and regulation in the credit union industry. Used Qualtrics to prepare and distribute a survey to over 13,000 contacts. Interviewed 22 credit union leaders and regulators. Co-authored a 90-page report synthesizing insights and making business and policy recommendations for the credit union industry that was disseminated among Filene’s member institutions. Presented at the 2019 NASCUS Summit based on this research.

 

REDUCING COUNTERFEITING USING THE BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES

 

Consultant · National Academy of Sciences · Irvine, CA/Remote · 2017 – 2018

Executed a nationwide comparative study of cash handling policies at 47 large retailers via emails, phone calls, and site visits. Delivered a report synthesizing insights and presented findings in front of the National Academy of Sciences’ standing committee on Combating Counterfeiting using the Behavioral Sciences.

 

MOBILE MONEY: THE FIRST DECADE

 

Consultant · Institute for Money, Technology, and Financial Inclusion (IMTFI) · Irvine, CA/Remote · 2017

Co-authored a synthetic report focused on over 9 years of research funded by the Institute identifying key developments in digital financial services for development. Made recommendations for future research and service design to move from “financial inclusion” toward “financial justice.” 

 

ACCELERATION AND INFORMATION: MANAGING SOUTH KOREAN ONLINE GAMING CULTURE

 

Doctoral Student · University of California, Irvine · Irvine, CA/Seoul, South Korea · 2008 - 2015

Led project to independently develop and implement comprehensive interpretive qualitative research project on game user experience in Seoul, South Korea. Managed, planned, and tracked 30 participants utilizing direct and participant observation with user interviews in English and Korean, archival research, and videography. Awarded field research grants by the National Science Foundation and the Korea Foundation. Successfully defended a dissertation based on this research. Published three articles in top-ranked disciplinary journals, and one chapter in an edited volume.

 

Positions

Research Assistant Professor | COLORADO SCHOOL OF MINES | 2019 – present

Postdoctoral Scholar | UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA – IRVINE | 2018 – 2019

Lecturer | UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA – SAN DIEGO | 2017

Visiting Assistant Professor | BUCKNELL UNIVERSITY | 2015 – 2017

Graduate Student Researcher/Assistant Researcher | IMTFI | 2010 – 2015

Social Computing Graduate Researcher | INTEL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY CENTER | 2014 – 2015

Doctoral Student & Ph.D. Candidate| UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA – IRVINE | 2008 - 2015

 

Education & Training

Doctor of Philosophy in Anthropology | UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA – IRVINE | 2015

Master of Arts in Social Sciences | UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO | 2005

Bachelor of Arts in Cross-Cultural Relations | SIMON’S ROCK COLLEGE OF BARD | 2003