Christoph Becker is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto, where he leads the Digital Curation Institute; and a Senior Scientist at the Vienna University of Technology in Austria. After completing his Doctorate in Computer Science in Vienna in 2010 with a thesis on decision making in digital preservation, he led a research program on scalable decision support for digital preservation as part of the large-scale EU-funded project SCAPE: Scalable Preservation Environments, which he co-developed with an international consortium of universities, memory organizations, industrial research and commercial partners. He is Principal Investigator of the project BenchmarkDP and has published widely in the fields of digital libraries, digital curation, and software systems. As co-founder of www.sustainabilitydesign.org, he is advocating a new perspective on software systems design.
His research is funded by the Vienna Science and Technology Fund (WWTF), the National Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science, and the Connaught Fund.
The transition to a digital society has brought substantial changes to the information professions and new challenges to software and information systems. These systems are now at the backbone of our society, where they are used to safeguard cultural heritage, visualize time series on climate data, create born-digital art, and manage personal health records. They have substantial, far-reaching impact on how we create, disseminate and use information, and they have an increasingly central role in the social, environmental and economic sustainability of the societies on our planet.
My research focuses on the long-term concerns of sustainability – the capacity to endure – that arise in the design of software-intensive information systems. I study the process of designing socio-technical systems involving software to identify how systems designers can consider all dimensions of sustainability in their design decisions. In the field of digital preservation, I study the capacity of digital, software-dependent information objects to endure and develop models and systems to contribute to the digital sustainability of our cultural memory and scientific record.