Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard

Harvard Kennedy School of Government | Harvard University
Madisson Whitman

Madisson Whitman

mwhitma (at)

Madisson (Madi) Whitman is a Visiting Research Fellow with the Program on Science, Technology and Society and currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Purdue University, where she received her MS. Madi’s work investigates the processes through which people are rendered into data. Through exploring the social production of big data and predictive analytics in higher education, she maps out intersections of technology and social complexity. While at Harvard, Madi will study the co-production of data-making processes at an institutional scale and a broader landscape of predictive analytics and big data.

Her doctoral research focuses on the development of an app that uses student data and machine learning techniques to predict student success. This research draws from ethnographic work among data scientists, app developers, administrators, and undergraduate students to 1) understand how these actors make sense of social complexity through the production of data and to 2) examine the making of infrastructure, subjectivity, and marginalization.

Madi has previously researched issues of big data and algorithm ethics, justice, and design through a Purdue Mellon Global Grand Challenges Grant.She also holds a BA in Anthropology from the University of North Dakota.

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