The Sara Fine Institute for Interpersonal Behavior and Technology (SFI) was founded in 1999 to promote social research on digital technologies at the University of Pittsburgh. It is based at the School of Computing and Information.
SFI organizes lectures, hosts distinguished speakers, fosters research projects, and coordinates programming around a broad range of topics: human-machine relationships, science infrastructures, the risks and benefits of new technologies, digital culture, social justice and technology, and more.
SFI was established and named in honor of Dr. Sara Fine (1932-2012), a long-time professor in the School of Information Sciences (1975-1998) who dedicated her career to investigating the psychological and sociological effects of new technologies. Records and documentation covering the founding of SFI and its first decade of activities (2000-2010) have been deposited in the University Archives at the University of Pittsburgh’s Archives Services Center, for preservation and future study.
The SFI is directed by Eleanor Mattern, Teaching Assistant Professor at the School of Computing and Information. Past Directors of the Sara Fine Institute include the renowned sociologist Susan “Leigh” Star (1954-2010) and library and information scientist Leanne Bowler.