November 16, 2018

Announcing the Winners of the Facebook Crisis Informatics Research Awards

By: Facebook Research

We are pleased to announce the winners of the Facebook Crisis Informatics Research Awards. As social media and messaging apps continue to become important communication tools in people’s everyday lives, they have also come to play important roles in how people prepare, respond to, and recover from disasters. With these research awards, Facebook is supporting new and innovative research in the area of crisis informatics to make social media tools more useful to people responding to or impacted by a disaster. This research will unlock new tools and products to improve disaster response and recovery. No Facebook data will be provided to award recipients.

The winning proposals represent a diverse range of problems, methodologies and academic disciplines. One proposal will use social media data to enhance available information on flood conditions in order to predict the impact and extent of floods. Another takes crisis informatics from a typical focus on natural-hazard induced disasters to one dealing with conflict zones, including the use of mixed methods to understand displacement and information flows among refugee populations. A third winning proposal will build statistical models that predict how populations will move in response to natural hazards, including sheltering in place, evacuations and returning to affected areas. This diverse slate of research stands to advance our understanding of and development of tools for dealing with crises, and will push the field of crisis informatics in new and exciting directions.

The three award winners and their topic areas are:

Capturing the Big Picture from Social Media for Global Flood Awareness
Carlos Castillo (Universitat Pompeu Fabra) and Milan Kalaš

Data & Design Methods for Supporting Crisis Informatics in Conflict Zones
Karen E. Fisher (University of Washington), Eaid Yafi (University Kuala Lumpur), Jevin West (University of Washington), Kate Starbird (University of Washington) and Reem Talhouk (University of Newcastle)

Real-time Prediction of Movement Patterns during Disaster Times
Cynthia Chen (University of Washington), Feilong Wang (University of Washington) and Xiangyang Guan (University of Washington)

Thank you to all the researchers that submitted proposals, and congratulations to the winners. To view our currently open research awards and to subscribe to our Research Awards email list, visit our Research Awards page.