About Us

The dramatic growth and integration of mobile communication into every aspect of human activity has given rise to an exciting new field of social science. In 2004, the Center for Mobile Communication Studies (CMCS) became the first academic center to focus on the social aspects of this transformation.

Initially at Rutgers University and now at Boston University College of Communication, the center has grown under the leadership of Professor James E. Katz. Today it is a focal point—at BU and around the world—for research, education, collaboration, and service in understanding the social, psychological, and organizational consequences of mobile communication.

A hub of groundbreaking research

CMCS staff conducts leading-edge investigations into mobile communication’s effects on human behavior and mobile technology’s long-term implications for organizations and policy. Our research projects are as intriguing as they are wide-ranging. How does the augmented reality experience of wearing Google Glass affect wearers and the people around them? Are young people creating a new form of mobile communication using only photos? How can mobile phones be used as a political tactic? To learn more, browse through our current and past research projects and publications.

We invite faculty from other BU departments and other colleges to engage in our studies, and we welcome connections with area scholars and organizations who share our research interests. We also partner with and provide research expertise to public and private sector organizations. The center offers a limited number of visiting researcher opportunities.

An innovative educator

One mission of CMCS is to help educate the next generation of experts in the social implications of mobile communication. To that end, we help develop innovative courses to be offered through the BU College of Communication (COM). We host visiting scholars, workshops, and conferences on compelling topics concerning mobile communication. And, when opportunities arise, we house post-doctoral students pursuing related studies. Our activities deepen COM’s focus on mediated communication.

A crossroads for international engagement

The Center provides a meeting place and platform for some of the world’s leading scholars in mobile communication. A few of our notable international events:

  • A “Mobile Communication and Social Policy” conference
  • A public workshop on privacy and networked mobile surveillance technology
  • A workshop entitled, “Living Inside Mobile Social Information”
  • A conference on “Mobile Communication and the Network Society”
  • We also organized the first pre-conference at the International Communication Association annual meeting on current research and future directions; this event began a tradition that has continued to foster development of new researchers and innovative research.

A resource for knowledge and guidance

CMCS offers public and non-profit groups a wealth of information, critical commentary, and advice. We assist private sector organizations through research, information dissemination, and expert consultation. Please contact us to learn more about the services we offer.