intro: allan ko

Hi everyone,

I’m Allan, and I’m a first-semester junior studying Comparative Media Studies (CMS) and Aero/Astro (Course 16). I’ve just returned from a semester on leave working for Amazon’s Prime Air project, helping develop drones to deliver packages. I have broad interests but most recently I’ve been thinking about:

  • visualizing and representing data as art, in the process of “data play” (instead of “data science”)
  • rejecting the idea of data as “objective”, and methods for better representing subjective data
  • applying ethnographic practices to the study of online/mediated communities
  • power tensions between media “producers” (film companies, authors, Facebook) and media “consumers” (fans, Facebook users), and what more equitable or democratically-governed media platforms might look like

Not to say I necessarily have anything knowledgeable to say about these topics, but these are some things that have been on my mind and which I want to learn more about. On the side, I blog for the MIT Admissions website, where you can find an account of my past work for Credit for Reddit (CMS.400) exploring the relationship between majors and identities within MIT undergraduates. I also sing a capella with the MIT/Wellesley Toons and play a role on the MIT Design/Build/Fly remote-control aircraft team, so if you ever need anyone to help you build an airplane, I’m your guy.

I’m excited to see where our work together this semester goes; I expect to be learning a lot from all of your different backgrounds and perspectives!