Hyperrhiz 7


N. Adriana Knouf
Wellesley College

Citation: Knouf, N. Adriana. “MAICgregator.” Hyperrhiz: New Media Cultures, no. 7, 2010. doi:10.20415/hyp/007.g05

Abstract: MAICgregator is a Firefox extension that aggregates information about colleges and universities embedded in the military-academic-industrial complex (MAIC). It searches government funding databases, private news sources, private press releases, and public information about trustees to try and produce a radical cartography of the modern university via the replacement or overlay of this information on academic websites. This is a necessary activity in light of the contemporary financial "crisis".

Editorial Note: MAICgregator was retired from development in late 2013. See below for visual documentation, or visit the Github Repository for the project.

MAICgregator works by searching for the relationships between a particular US academic institution (college or university) and government grants and contracts, mentions of the school in private business sources, and relationships between school trustees and business interests. This information is presented to the user in a variety of ways:

  • On school pages, MAICgregator searches for particular locations on the page that already showcase school "news" and replaces them with the aggregated data.
  • On pages where MAICgregator is not able to find these news areas it displays the result in a window on the page.
  • Additionally, MAICgregator works to aggregate images of the school trustees (as well as searches on their names), partially as a means of showing the (lack of) gender, racial and ethnic diversity in the makeup of the governing boards of US schools.

Installation Instructions:

Download the extension to your computer (click on the download link or right click on the extension's install link and select "Save Link As.."). Firefox extensions end in .XPI.

With Firefox open, hit Ctrl+ O (or Cmd+ O on a Mac) > browse to the extension > double click the extension (or select Open) > Install Now.


VIEW MAICgregator in action

Sample MAICgregator Pages

Normal, un-MAICgregated page
Injected page, with full complement of MAICgregated data
DoD funding for the school. Notice the amount for ICT research
Press release search for a mention of the school. Notice the partnership between the school and Avid Corporation
Random placement of trustee photos on the page
Trustee photos inserted into existing photos on the page

More details on the MAICgregator project, and update reports, are available at http://maicgregator.org/.