Resnik’s React Labs Partners with Washington Post for Maryland Gubernatorial Debate

Fri May 09, 2014

React Labs, a software platform developed by Philip Resnik, a professor of computer science with joint appointments in UMIACS and the Department of Linguistics, was used for the first time by the Washington Post during a Maryland Democratic gubernatorial debate held May 7 at the University of Maryland.

The React Labs software allows for real-time reactions and polling responses using popular mobile devices like the iPhone, iPad and Android, as well as laptops with Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

Resnik says that hundreds of people—including numerous students at a “live watch” party hosted by the university—took advantage of the app and were “very actively engaged,” registering instantaneous reactions to comments from three candidates competing in the 2014 Maryland Democratic gubernatorial primary.

The React Labs participants were able to select buttons on their smartphones or laptops when they either agreed or disagreed with a response from Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Attorney General Doug Gansler and Maryland State Delegate Heather Mizeur, as well as fact-check a candidate’s response.

Resnik said the data collected on May 7 is still being analyzed and will be used by the Washington Post to better inform their coverage of similar events in the future.