Mozilla announces first round of funded research projects for 2018

Mozilla is primarily recognised for developing the renowned web browser Firefox, but it also does a lot of other stuff too, such as handing out Mozilla Research Grants for various proposals designed to make the internet safer, more empowering, and more accessible. The firm has just announced eight proposals that it will fund which it whittled down from more than 115 proposals.

Below is a list of the winners (principal investigator, institution, and project title):

  • Jeff Huang (Texas A&M University): Predictively Detecting and Debugging Multi-threaded Use-After-Free Vulnerabilities in Firefox.
  • Eduardo Vicente Gonçalves (Open Knowledge Foundation, Brazil): A Brazilian bot to read government gazettes and bills: Using Natural Language Processing to empower citizens and civic movements.
  • Leah Findlater (University of Washington): Task-Appropriate Synthesized Speech.
  • Laura James (University of Cambridge): Trust and Technology: building shared understanding around trust and distrust.
  • Libby Hemphill (University of Michigan): Learning and Automating De-escalation Strategies in Online Discussions.
  • Pamela Wisniewski (University of Central Florida): A Community-based Approach to Co-Managing Privacy and Security for Mozilla’s Web of Things.
  • Munmun De Choudhury (Georgia Institute of Technology): Combating Professional Harassment Online via Participatory Algorithmic and Data-Driven Research.
  • David Joyner (Georgia Institute of Technology): Virtual Reality for Classroom-at-a-Distance in Online Education.

Now that these projects are all funded up by Mozilla, we will have to see what they bring Judging by the titles of many of these projects, they’ll likely involve developing technology that operate in the background to enable us to have a better internet rather than them developing user-facing technologies.

If this has piqued your interest and you want some of Mozilla’s money to work on a project of your own, the year’s second and last funding round will open up in the Autumn. You can find more details on the Research Grant webpage to see if any ideas you’ve had qualify and you can sign up to be notified when applications open - but keep in mind that it will be quite tough to get selected.

Image via Mozilla

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