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Erhardt Graeff, Ph.D.

A smiling Erhardt Graeff

Assistant Professor of Social and Computer Science

MH 363


Ph.D., Media Arts and Sciences, MIT
S.M., Media Arts and Sciences, MIT
M.Phil., Modern Society and Global Transformations, University of Cambridge
B.S., International Studies, Rochester Institute of Technology
B.S., Information Technology, Rochester Institute of Technology

Select Courses Taught

Modeling and Simulation

Areas Of Interest

Civic Technology
Civic Education
Computational Social Science
Ethics in Engineering and Design


Erhardt Graeff is a social scientist and civic technologist. He studies the design and use of technology for civic and political engagement. His current research examines how we measure the impact of technologies in terms of empowerment and civic learning and the ethical responsibility of technologists as stewards of democracy. Erhardt's recent writing has addressed youth digital activism, monitorial citizenship, civic education, designing apps for civic engagement, and political memes. He regularly consults with foundations, companies, and nonprofits on civic engagement research and leads workshops on civic media and participatory design for students, educators, and social entrepreneurs. Erhardt is Assistant Professor of Social and Computer Science at Olin College of Engineering and a faculty associate at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. He holds a PhD from the MIT Media Lab, where he was a member of the Center for Civic Media. And he is a founding trustee of The Awesome Foundation, which gives small grants to innovative and promising projects.

Select Publications

2016. Graeff, E. ‘Youth Digital Activism.’ World Youth Report 2015–Youth Civic Engagement. United Nations: New York, NY.
2016. Graeff, E. ‘Strike Debt and the Rolling Jubilee: Building a Debt Resistance Movement.’ In Gordon, E & Mihailidis, P, eds., Civic Media Reader. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
2014. Graeff, E. ‘Crowdsourcing as Reflective Political Practice: Building a Location-based Tool for Civic Learning and Engagement.’ Presented at Internet, Politics, and Policy 2014: Crowdsourcing for Politics and Policy, Oxford Internet Institute, Oxford, UK, Sep 26.
2014. Graeff, E, Stempeck, M, & Zuckerman, E. ‘The Battle for “Trayvon Martin”: Mapping a Media Controversy Online and Off-line.’ First Monday, 19, no. 2.
Personal Website