Mobile phone data and the content generated by hundreds of millions of users on social media such as Twitter, or Facebook, present continuous data streams of human social activities, and offer an unprecedented opportunity to mine and understand the structure and dynamics of social and information behavior in various situations. In this workshop we will call attention to researching situations following large-scale emergencies, including natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and so on. These emergency events are now among the largest threats to national security. Over the last decade, natural disasters have affected more than 2.4 billions of people. There is an indisputably increasing need for new tools to strengthen disaster resilience at all levels of society. 

How can we deal with data collected from heterogeneous and potentially biased sources? How can we properly understand social dynamics during emergencies? How can we turn such understanding into tools for decision makers? To better prepare for future emergencies, it is valuable to deeply understand the context within which the research can be applied. 

We plan to bring together researchers interested in problems of information processing to meet the growing challenges in emergency situations. Our aim is to foster a research conversation among computer scientists, social scientists, communication scholars, urban planners, government officials, and other interested participants to discuss issues and challenges relating to emergency understanding, including theoretical, methodological, ethical, and political questions in regard to the study of large-scale social media data. We seek to bridge the gap between the methods of data mining, pattern discovery, and the applications and needs for inform and improve emergency responses. We will provide a platform for the exchange of ideas, identification of important and challenging problems, and discovery of possible synergies. This will spur vigorous discussions and encourage collaboration between the various disciplines potentially resulting in collaborative projects.