Dawn Nafus

Research Scientist,  Intel Labs

Research Areas

  • Algorithms

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)

  • Data Analytics & Modeling

  • Multi-Modal Sensemaking

  • Social Science

  • User Experience & Design



Dawn Nafus is an expert on health and environmental sensing, how data and measurement has changed societies, and digital research methods. She is the editor of Quantified: Biosensing Technologies in Everyday Life (MIT Press, 2016), co-author of Self-Tracking (MIT Press 2016) and co-editor of Ethnography for a Data-Saturated World (Manchester University Press, 2018). The New York Review of Books has called Self-Tracking “easily the best book I’ve come across on the subject” while Science Magazine notes it “develop[s] a nuanced position that acknowledges both the opportunities and the challenges raised by self-tracking.” She speaks on these topics at a wide variety of technology, policy, and academic venues, including SXSW, the OECD, and the National Academy of Sciences. She served as Program Co-Chair for the Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference (EPIC) 2018 and holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge.

Blogs & Publications

Exploration or Algorithm?: The Undone Science Before the Algorithms
Current Anthropology, 4/30/2018

Ethnography for a Data Saturated World
Manchester University Press, 4/1/2018

Algorithm as fetish: Faith and possibility in algorithmic work
Big Data & Society, 1/9/2018