The Rural Computing Research Consortium (RCRC) is a group of faculty and students who are interested in advancing research and outreach related to computing, broadly construed, in rural communities. We take a “big tent” approach to rural computing, but some topics that our affiliates tackle in their research include:
- Systems development (e.g., Internet of Things hardware in agricultural applications)
- Software design (e.g., location-based apps for geographic information sharing)
- Big data applications (e.g., identifying rural biases in user-generated content)
- Developing new computational techniques and methods (e.g., using remote sensing to detect the impacts of climate change on farmland)
- Improving economic outcomes (e.g., high-tech entrepreneurship in rural development)
- Social and educational impacts (e.g., broadband penetration’s impact on rural educational attainment)
- Improving resource access and equity (e.g., technology use among low-income and marginalized rural communities)
- Healthcare (e.g., expanding access to telehealth in rural communities)
The Consortium seeks to unite faculty and students across the University in pursuit of four goals: (1) increase visibility of cutting-edge research in rural computing, (2) build on MSU’s strengths as a land grant institution and promote research impact and opportunity in rural communities in Michigan and around the world, (3) promote and facilitate collaboration across campus units, and (4) secure MSU’s place in the United States as one of the premiere places to do rural computing research.
In beginning to work towards our goals, the Consortium is hosting a series of events during our inaugural academic year (2021-2022). This includes: the Rural Computing Speaker Series, a series of networking and introductory events for our affiliates and others interested in the Consortium during the Fall 2021 semester, and plans for a small retreat during Spring 2022.