Inside INdiana Business

IU professor named 2020 MacArthur Fellow

Mary Gray (photo courtesy of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – An Indiana University professor has been named a 2020 MacArthur Fellow. IU says Mary Gray, an associate professor of informatics at the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering, will receive the $625,000 award based on “exceptional creativity, promise for future advances and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work.”

The university says Gray is the seventh recipient of the award from IU. Gray was one of 21 recipients of the 2020 MacArthur Fellowships.

“Everyone who is working from home now could learn from people who have been doing it for years,” Gray said. “I want to take what we know about the social and technical possibilities of managing and supporting others and apply it to areas such as contact tracing and beyond.”

IU says Gray focuses on how everyday technologies transform people’s lives in two primary research areas: the worlds of contract labor and LGBTQ youth. She focuses on the difference technologies make, particularly in terms of how people are seen and are able to have agency.

Gray was recognized by the MacArthur Foundation for “investigating the ways in which labor, identity and human rights are transformed by the digital economy.”

According to the university, Gray plans to use the funds to apply what she’s learned about contract labor and apply it to the COVID-19 work-world, with a focus on the digital economy.

“Mary’s stellar multidisciplinary work on the invisible and vulnerable human workers at the heart of the biggest tech-driven companies is as humane as it is brilliant,” said IU Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel. “It was wildly prescient even before the pandemic made all of society utterly dependent on big tech. It is even more insistently compelling now. As a scholar, Mary is creating new fields. Indiana University is proud she is on our faculty.”