In the last decade sensors have become cheaper, faster, and more ubiquitous, enabling automatic collection of data at the millisecond-level time scale in a technique called Reality Mining. The Reality Mining workshop will focus on discussing what new management paradigms can be enabled with this technique, as well as how researchers can immediately use sensing tools to augment their research. To give participants a better 'feel' for the technology and its potential usefulness, we will arrange for participants to have the option of wearing Sociometric Badges: name badges with electronics that continuously measure face-to-face interaction parameters (e.g., who is talking, who is nearby).

Reality Mining research was described by the International Conference on Information Systems 2008 awards committee as "opening a new area of Management Information Systems research." This has generated a large volume of interest in Reality Mining techniques, which is only expected to build as the technology behind this methodology matures. Come and learn about this groundbreaking new research methodology.

To express your interest in participating, please e-mail the organizers at

Benjamin N. Waber, MIT Media Laboratory
Lynn Wu, MIT Sloan School of Management

Sinan Aral, NYU
Erik Brynjolfsson, MIT
Peter Gloor, MIT
David Lazer, Harvard
Alex "Sandy" Pentland, MIT

Note that this schedule is tentative! Updated July 17

Workshop Location: Sheraton Chicago, Ballroom 7 (AOM Program Listing)
Workshop Date: Saturday, August 8, 2009
Start: 8 AM, End: 10 AM

  1. Introduction (20 Minutes)
    1. Welcome and introduction of discussants
    2. Session organizers provide introduction to workshop process and Reality Mining overview
    3. Reality Mining examples presented by Peter Gloor and David Lazer
  2. Demonstration (30 Minutes)
    1. Short explanation of Sociometric Badges
    2. Badge How To
      • Setting up a study site
      • Privacy Concerns
      • Data Access
      • Feedback
      • IRB Approval
    3. Badge Q&A
  3. Break (10 Minutes)
  4. Breakouts (30 Minutes)
    1. Break into round table discussion groups, with at least one discussant in each group, although some may roam between groups. Seed Questions:
      • What new research questions can we ask with these tools?
      • What new management approaches are enabled with this technology?
      • How can we alleviate privacy concerns?
      • Are some technological extensions necessary (e.g. additional sensors)?
    2. Groups discuss promising research avenues for Reality Mining
    3. Group choose a few of their ideas to be presented to PDW at large
  5. Conclusion (30 Minutes)
    1. Brief group presentations
    2. General discussion
    3. Concluding remarks by session organizers

Sociometric Badges

Computational Social Science

For workshop information or any questions, e-mail the organizers at