Northwestern University Knight Lab is a team of technologists, journalists, designers and educators working to advance news media innovation through exploration and experimentation. Straddling the sciences and the humanities, we agree that there has never been a more exciting time to be working at the intersection of media and technology. Every bit of what it means to be a journalist is being reassessed, redefined. While traditional news outlets are cutting back, many leading companies, digital-first organizations and startups are inventing the future of journalism. As an industry, we are witnessing a rebirth. As the Knight Lab, we are participating in a revolution.
The Lab develops prototypes, projects and services that help make information meaningful, promoting quality journalism, storytelling and content on the internet. Lab projects arise in response to ideas from news consumers, students, and faculty as well as in collaboration with news publishers of all sizes. As our technology becomes more realized, we work with publishers to install prototypes, gather feedback and iterate on the ideas that have momentum. We strive to make a difference no matter the project’s scale.
Located just outside Chicago, Northwestern University Knight Lab is a joint initiative of Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications. The Lab was launched and is sustained by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, with additional support from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation and the National Science Foundation.
Associate Professor, McCormick School of Engineering
AI & journalism; 130+ papers, 15 patents; co-founder & PI, Knight Lab; co-founder & Chief Scientific Advisor, Narrative Science; BS, PhD Yale.
Professor and Director of Digital Innovation, Medill School
Journalism/tech intersection, my passion for 25 years: data journalism, Miami Herald web director, now hacker journalism. #iloveinnovation
Professor, McCormick School of Engineering
Research focuses on intelligent information systems; author of more than 100 papers. Ph.D. from Yale and previously on faculty at University of Chicago.
Knight Professor of Digital Media Strategy, Medill School
As a Chicago Tribune editor and executive, Owen Youngman focused on new products and innovation — launching Web businesses, RedEye, and more.
Assistant Professor for Media Product Design, Medill School
A Medill, Northwestern faculty member who teaches, studies and practices human-centered design, usability and interactive storytelling.
Associate Professor, Medill School
Emmy Award winning interactive producer & Associate Professor @NorthwesternU. Former senior multimedia producer at The New York Times. I do film, photo stuff.
Ph.D. student, Technology and Social Behavior, McCormick School of Engineering and Northwestern’s School of Communication
Boon’s research interests lie at the intersection of computing, journalism, science, and democracy. Former journalist and editor.
Ph.D. student, Computer Science, McCormick School of Engineering
McNally’s work focuses on machine generated or machine directed experiences that emerge from filtering raw information.
Ph.D. student, Computer Science, McCormick School of Engineering
Shawn is a Computer Science Ph.D. student at NU, where his research in AI encompasses information retrieval, NLP, and machine learning.
Undergraduate and graduate students fellows
Designer, Journalism and Religious Studies (2013)
Adler has designed a variety of projects for the Lab and was instrumental in developing the Lab’s new branding identity. Interned at WIRED and Sports Illustrated.
Social Media and Writer, Journalism (2015)
Autar Tweets from @knightlab and writes for the blog. He’s an editor at NU Intel and works with preschool and high school students around Chicago.
Reporter, Journalism and Religious Studies (2014)
Ferber covers news and tech innovation at the Lab. Previous stints include ELLE and Medill Watchdog. She’ll join New York Mag for summer 2013.
Designer/Developer, Journalism (2014)
Creator and developer of SoundCite, joining Gannett Content for summer 2013. Formerly of Chicago Tribune News Apps.
Designer, Journalism and Economics (2013)
A journalism student interested in visual storytelling and interaction design, Hilary is currently with the Washington Post graphics team.
Developer, Journalism (2013)
Journalism and computer science student. Organizer for the Online News Association at NU. Likes investigative reporting and bluegrass jams.
KK Rebecca Lai
Designer, Journalism (2015)
A Hong Kong-er experiencing American culture through college. Interested in design and how stories are told through different mediums.
Developer, Computer Science (2013)
Aspiring activist, educator, journalist, and academic. Studies AI and NLP. Wants to build technology for social and political empowerment.
Reporter, Journalism (2013)
Covers technologists, journalists and news innovation for the Knight Lab. Previously at We The People Media, SAIL magazine and Red Frog Events.
Designer/Researcher, Journalism (2013)
Soberman develops news media products and tools for journalists. She is currently a graduate student at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
Designer/Developer, Computer Science and Journalism (2013)
Zhu helps the Lab make internets. AP-Google scholar who loves computers, coffee and Beyoncé. Past: GOOD. Present: NPR. Future: New York Times, Twitter.
Lab professional staff
Journalist, designer, strategist, speaker and, in general, an Internaut! Previously the design director for digital at The Boston Globe where she led the responsive web design approach for BostonGlobe.com.
Joe runs Knight Lab’s software development. Before joining us, Joe was on the Chicago Tribune News Apps team, co-founded OpenGovChicago, hosts a weekly radio show on WNUR-FM – Conference of the Birds.
With engineering and computer science degrees from Purdue and DePaul, Scott focuses on AI, NLP & web solutions for science and media.
Wilson is a developer with experience at several software startups in the fields of image processing, handheld application development, and web-based mobile application development.
News nerd ecstatic for the future of news. Formerly a Colorado-based reporter and magazine writer. Presently the Lab’s website editor, and handles marketing and outreach.
Jordan helps the cogs turn at Knight Lab, as well as all project management. On the side, she co-founded and is Publisher of Boxx Magazine, and is known for random enthusiastic outbursts.
Aaron U. Salmon
A jovial lad, interaction designer and former UI/UX Engineer with Obama for America. Aaron strives to architect, design and maximize the impact of web products & initiatives.