Amanda Lee Hughes is an assistant professor in the Computer Science Department at Utah State University. Prof. Hughes' research interests lie in understanding the issues that arise when information communication technologies (ICTs) are introduced into social contexts (and vice versa). Her overarching goal in conducting this type of research is to implement and deploy software systems based on deep understandings of the social context in which they reside.
Prof. Hughes begins her investigations with empirical analysis of the domain of study--the social relationships, work practices, and communications found in that domain--using a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods. The domains she has conducted research in are parents' use of mobile phones, social media use by members of the public during times of crisis, and emergency management incorporation of social media into disaster response efforts. Next, she designs and prototypes solutions that address the challenges found in these domains through collaboration with potential users. By involving users in the design process, the resulting products are more likely to address user needs and consequently, design solutions are more likely to be adopted. Finally, she implements, deploys, and evaluates the digital solutions she designs. Her investigations span several areas of Computer Science, including Human-Computer Interaction, Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, Ubiquitous Computing, Social Computing, and Software Engineering.