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From computer scientists to English professors, social media connects the U of M

January 26, 2011

As social media tools like Twitter and Facebook have come to play a key role in our daily work and social lives, they have also made their way into academia. Now, a group of researchers from across the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus have recognized the need for more exchange and collaboration on all things social media.

This Thursday, Jan. 27, they’ll hold the first monthly gathering of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Group in Social Computing. Organizers have put the call out to researchers across the university who are exploring social media and its impact on society.

“This is our first rattling of the bushes to see who shows up and it should be pretty interesting,” says Nora Paul, director of the U of M School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s Minnesota Journalism Center.

So far, potential participants include students, staff and faculty from the English, computer science, journalism, writing studies, public health, mathematics, environmental studies, youth development and Spanish and Portuguese fields.

The group is particularly aimed at graduate students, but Paul says they want to have the events open to the community as well, with a goal of spurring collaboration not just across departments but also with people outside the university.

The meet-and-greet kick-off event is 4-6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 27, in the Digital Technology Center Auditorium, room 402, Walter Library, 117 Pleasant St. S.E., Minneapolis.

For more information, visit or follow the group on Twitter ( and Facebook (

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The U of M's Interdisciplinary Graduate Group in Social Computing will meet for the first time this month.

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