Contributor biography

Michael Fischer is the Professor of Anthropological Sciences (Kent, UK), Director of the Centre for Social Anthropology and Computing and Vice President of the Human Relations Area Files (Yale), and Director of HRAF Advanced Research Centres (Kent and Yale). Fischer was a pioneer in the 1970s microcomputer revolution, agent based modelling in the 1980s, WWW technology in the 1990s, and complexity and big data in the 2000s. Recent work includes ‘The Cultural Grounding of Kinship: A Paradigm Shift’, L’Homme n. 210 (2014, with D. Read and F.K. Lehman), and ‘Applied Agency: Resolving Multiplexed Communication in (and between) Automobiles’, IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, (2015 with S. Applin), and author of Applications in Computing for Social Anthropologists, Routledge (1994).

Stephen Lyon is Senior Lecturer at Durham University, UK. His primary research is on cultural models, kinship systems and politics in Pakistan. He has worked with development organisations and Pakistan government departments on agricultural resource management to develop robust predictive models of farmer behaviours using computational tools. He was an early adopter of the internet in the field and may have produced the world’s first anthropology field blog (called Weekly and Monthly Updates from the Field). He has authored and edited numerous publications in which he outlines how he has used computers and software in the field and for data analysis.

David Zeitlyn has been doing research in Cameroon for more than 30 years on many topics including divination, sociolinguistics, endangered languages and history. In this work he has explored many ways in which computer assisted research can be undertaken, most recently using computer games and agent based models as elicitation tools. Among other topics he has published on photography and on archives (Annual Reviews 2012) and recently (Oct. 2015) edited a special issue of History and Anthropology. David Zeitlyn has been a research Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford since 2010. Previously he taught at the University of Kent for many years.