Diasporas Lab

The Diasporas Lab is a research program led by Dana Diminescu which aims to renew and/or adapt existing research methodologies and to promote the development and diffusion of new ones within the field of human migration studies.

The Diasporas Lab focus is on modeling cultural interaction by data, providing knowledge about migrant sentiment analysis and finding tools for mapping migrant flows and dispersion. At the crossroads of migratory studies, digital humanities and computational social sciences, the lab also seeks to explore new research fields within immersive sociology by using digital as an instrument of analysis (capture, processing, data visualization, etc.), but also to apprehend this tool as an object of study, by focusing on analyzing a “natively” empirical material. As this new generation sociology emerges, the lab provides answers to the following questions: How can methods imported from the quantitative sciences such as statistical processing, graph theory, or mathematical modeling be used to find common ground with those employed within the qualitative social sciences with which they sometimes conflict? What epistemological concepts can we introduce to accompany the development of digitalization? Can we speak of a digital theory of migration?

Diasporas Lab is open to PhD candidate students who are exploring the field of ICT and migration and are involved in reflection on the dissemination of knowledge through webinars, conferences, etc. In that way, it corresponds to a place inspired by hackerspaces, which is oriented towards social innovation in the broad sense, designed for migrant populations. Diasporas Lab seeks to identify and support projects whose innovative dimension is focused on social issues specific to migration; this means promoting a dynamic that can include actors from civil society, entrepreneurs, media representatives and the political sphere.

The 2012 Digital Humanities Awards-winning e-Diasporas atlas, born into the ICT-Migrations program led by Dana Diminescu TIC, has been the historic cradle of Gephi (a software of exploration of graphs) which has been selected for the Google Summer of Code in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. It has also won the 2010 Oracle Duke’s Choice Award (category Innovative Technical Data Visualization).

Diasporas Lab, throughout Dana Diminescu, visiting fellow at UCLA, is included in a research program (Culture Analytics) from the Institute for Pure & Applied Mathematics at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).