I publish under the name Howard T. Welser, but I go by both Howard Welser and Ted Welser. I am an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Ohio University in Athens Ohio.
My full professional profile lists my current research agenda (including pdfs of all my published work). Syllabi, course schedules and other resources for all of my classes are linked there as well a page that organizes resources for my advisees. I especially enjoy working with students, like those in my Social Media, Social Networks, and Social Change course.
My research investigates the connections between social circumstances, individual actors, social structure, and collective outcomes. I am interested in the social implications of technological change and in studying social dynamics using data collected from online communities of different sorts. I am especially interested in discovering evidence for ways that participation in new social media may be changing how people interact and what we are like. I also seek to cultivate contacts with researchers around the globe who share these interests.
I am interested in helping college students adapt to and succeed in the changing digital work environment. I advocate for the use of free, general purpose technologies that facilitate collaboration and communication like gmail and chat, google docs, skype, blogs, sites and wikis. I use and encourage the use of R for statistics and data analysis and the use of NodeXL for social network visualization. I also encourage students to develop projects of interest to others, share their work and to write for larger audiences.
I received a Bachelor of Philosophy from the Western College Program at Miami University. I was an aspiring ceramic artist and rock climber. I also worked for several years at the Outdoor Pursuit Center.
After working for a few years in the indoor climbing industry, and an enjoyable stint in Seattle for graduate school (University of Washington, Sociology), I have returned to Ohio. Although I grew up in Kent, Athens feels very much like home, and I enjoy the many benefits of a strong small town community. I am a big fan of the Athens Farmers Market and the hiking and recreation opportunities nearby. I recently started a blog on Bouldering in Athens County to help people locate and enjoy the climbing available in our area.
Before coming to Ohio University I worked as a post doc at Cornell University with the Institute for the Social Sciences, where I developed some of my research interests, met several good colleagues and friends, and cultivated my interest in poker.