Benjamin Mako Hill an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Washington. His research works to understand why some attempts at peer production — like Wikipedia and Linux — build large volunteer communities while the vast majority never attract even a second contributor. He is particularly interested in how the design of communication and information technologies shape fundamental social outcomes with broad theoretical and practical implications — like the decision to join a community or contribute to a public good. His research is deeply interdisciplinary, consists primarily of “big data” quantitative analyses, and lies at the intersection of communication, human-computer interaction, and sociology.
Hill is also a faculty affiliate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society and an affiliate at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science — both at Harvard University. He has also been a leader, developer, and contributor to the free and open source software community for more than a decade as part of the Debian and Ubuntu projects. He is the author of several best-selling technical books, a member of the Free Software Foundation board of directors and an advisor to the Wikimedia Foundation. Hill has a Masters degree from the MIT Media Lab and a PhD from MIT in an interdepartmental program between the Sloan School of Management and the Media Lab.