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Derek Hansen, PhD

Associate Professor, Brigham Young University
Provo, Utah, United States

Research field: Computer and Information Science - Human-Computer Interaction
Social computing, mass collaboration, social network analysis, consumer health informatics, games for change, mobile technologies


Awards and Grants

  •  Oct 2013 
    Grant: Full-Scale Implementation Collaborative Research: Advancing Informal STEM Learning through Al
  •  Sep 2013 
    Award: Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award, Ira A Fulton College of Engineering and Technology, BYU
  •  Sep 2013 
    Award: Outstanding Young Scholar, Ira A. Fulton, College of Engineering and Technology, BYU
  •  Sep 2010 
    Grant: Assessing the Impact of Community Information Platforms: Organization, Engagement, and Partic
  •  Aug 2010 
    Grant: BioTracker: Melding Human and Machine Intelligence to Create Large-scale Collaborative System View website
  •  Sep 2009 
    Grant: Alternate Reality Games (ARGs) in the Service of Education and Design (PI, NSF EAGER Grant) View website
  •  Feb 2009 
    Grant: NodeXL Evaluation (PI, Microsoft Inc., unrestricted gift) View website
  •  Feb 2009 
    Grant: Using Social Networking to Promote HPV Awareness and Prevention (PI of subcontract from Partn View website
  •  Jan 2009 
    Award: ALISE/Dialog Methodology Paper Competition Winner View website
  •  Jun 2008 
    Grant: Clinical Trials & Online Patient Communities: Opportunities and Challenges (PI, University of
  •  Sep 2002 
    Fellowship: STIET Fellowship (NSF interdisciplinary IGERT Fellowship) View website

Biographical Information

Derek L. Hansen is an Associate Professor at Brigham Young University's Information Technology program in the School of Technology ( He is also the Graduate Coordinator for the School of Technology. Dr. Hansen was formerly at the University of Maryland’s iSchool where he Directed the Center for the Advanced Study of Communities and Information ( and was a member of the Human Computer Interaction Lab (

Dr. Hansen completed his PhD from the University of Michigan’s School of Information where he was an NSF-funded interdisciplinary STIET Fellow ( focused on understanding and designing effective online socio-technical systems.

His research falls in the area of user experience design, with an emphasis on social media analytics, mass collaboration, games for change, alternate reality games, citizen science, and consumer health informatics. One line of research is focused on helping analysts make sense of the mass of social data available through social media sites. He is currently working with the Social Media Research Foundation to further develop NodeXL, a network analysis and visualization tool that runs in Microsoft Excel, along with training materials for social media analysts. Another line of research applies those methods to understand best practices for supporting mass collaboration in medical, scientific, and entertainment domains. Finally, Dr. Hansen is involved with designing novel tools and activities that take advantage of the unique properties of information technologies. These include alternate reality games that promote STEM learning, "collection recommender systems," a novel "veiled viral marketing" technique that uses social networking applications (i.e., Facebook) to anonymously disseminate information about stigmatized illnesses through friendship networks, games like "Odd Leaf Out" and "Floracaching" that encourage citizen scientists to help make sense of images of plant species, and methods to predict the political tendencies of Twitter account Followers.


Professional Experience

2011 - Present
Associate Professor at Brigham Young University
Provo, Utah, United States
Classes taught:
Web and Social Media Analytics
Advanced Human Computer Interaction
Advanced Web Technologies
Fundamentals of Web-Based Information Technology (IT 210A&B)
Aug 2008 - Jul 2011
Director at Center for the Advanced Study of Communities and Information
College Park, Maryland, United States
Aug 2007 - Jul 2011
Assistant Professor at iSchool/University of Maryland
College Park, Maryland, United States
Classes taught:
Information Access (LBSC 650)
Users and Use Context (INFM 605)
Communities of Practice (INFM718J/LBSC708P)
Information Management Team Experience (INFM 736)
Solving Problems in Information Management (INFM 737)
Introduction to Research (LBSC801)

Aug 2001 - Aug 2007
School of Information, University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
Sep 1993 - Aug 1998
Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, United States
Honors in Economics
Consulting Services

Social Media Research Foundation, Board of Directors
Nexercise, Advisor

Contact Information

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Provo, Utah, United States
Main City

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