Brown Institute Office Hours

The Brown Institute staff hold office hours each week to help CJS students, faculty and staff. They have very different backgrounds, but they can each help you explore the ways in which technology might inform (or be the subject of!) your reporting. Michael Krisch, our Program Director, can help with mapping (a la Points Unknown) and data visualization. Schedule hours at Our other staff members have written up short statements below. Enjoy!

Katie Watson, Impact Fellow

I’m a computer scientist who loves the intersection of technology and storytelling. I previously worked as a research engineer on the NYT’s R&D team, primarily on projects for the graphics and investigative desks. I’d love to help with: designing and building data visualizations/graphics (D3/Canvas/Three/webGL), photogrammetry, web development (JS, React, Flask), web scraping, and any misc. coding questions (Python, C). I’m also happy to chat more generally about projects/ideas, my background or any new technologies you’re interested in exploring.

5-6 Mondays or by appointment

Todd Whitney, Impact Fellow

  • Good at helping journalists as they’re initially learning tech skills. I’m familiar with the hiccups and frustrations that come with practicing journalism while learning technical skills, so I can help clarify questions and issues when setting up environments and explaining the “why” behind the “how”.
  • Support in storytelling & project development, especially for stories involving difficult-to-reach populations. This includes thinking through how to build mutually beneficial relationships with community members, talking through story development, and sourcing story contacts that goes beyond digital outreach.
  • I was trained as a radio producer so I can help with all things radio/audio and long-form narratives. I’m also happy to help with the technical aspects of recording & interviewing, audio editing & engineering, and thinking through “character-focused” interviews.
  • Support in thinking through and prototyping remote sensors used for data collection and creating datasets. 
  • I’m really keen to help students think through journalism projects that have true stakes and potential to expand into new initiatives for sustained community partnerships.

Office hours:  4-6p on Mondays 

Eric Chen, Brown Institute Director, Creative Research

Are you looking for a welcoming, nonjudgmental space to:

  • Work through foundational questions about how to use quantitative data?
  • Develop your practice of working at the intersection of data and the human experience with clarity and rigor?
  • Examine the impact of technology (particularly social media) on democracy, vulnerable communities, and violent conflict?
  • Explore the social psychology of politics and morality?
  • Develop thoughtful, structured approaches to understanding difficult social problems?
  • Riff on the ins and outs of electronic music production?

If so, come to my office hours! Mondays 2 to 4 or by appointment.