HCI Seminar Series

For more information:
MIT CSAIL HCI Seminar Series
David Ayman Shamma- Staying together: Understanding People and Media in Synchronous Connected Systems
The things we do together spawn conversations; gathering with our friends and families to watch programs, concerts, and events, we share the experience through backchannel conversations, social asides and mutual displays of agreement and disagreement. How do these sharing of experiences in turn shape how we understand the actual event? This talk presents real-world applications designed to facilitate synchronous conversations while sharing media. First, I will examine how people use status updates, such as on Twitter, while they watch live events on TV. By accounting for temporal and conversational features, one can use tweets to segment a long political debate into logical questions. I will also describe new methods for retrieving conversationally salient, not document salient, terms.

Nick Bilton- Research, Design, Visualization at the New York Times
Nick Bilton will speak about his work in the R&D Labs, the new style of reporting he’s exploring at the NYT, incorporating video, code, data vis, writing, photos etc., and he’ll also outline some of the issues in his new book, I Live in the Future: & Here’s How it Works.

Niki Kittur- Combining Minds: Coordination and Social Sensemaking
The amount of information available to individuals today is enormous and rapidly increasing. Continued progress in science, education, and technology is fundamentally dependent on making sense of and finding insights in overwhelming amounts of data. However, human cognition, while unparalleled at discovering patterns and linking seemingly-disparate concepts, is also limited in the amount of information it can process at once. One promising solution to this problem is through social collaboration, in which groups of individuals work together to produce knowledge and solve problems that exceed any individual's cognitive capacity.

Karrie Karahalios- From Turn-taking to Social Ties
Online communities have been studied from various perspectives since the 1980's. Much of this work has taken existing sociology techniques and molded them to fit a specific electronic environment such as IRC, Usenet, Facebook, LastFM, etc. The existence of digital traces of online interaction has made this research possible at a large scale. In this talk, I begin by discussing a brief history of the study of online interaction and the cues used by researchers to formulate their research. I continue describing how the study of online social spaces has changed through the lens of the work done in our Social Spaces Group. I argue that digital traces can be misleading and new techniques and interfaces are necessary to improve and study social online interaction.

Ed Chi- Augmented Social Cognition: Using Web2.0 technology to enhance the ability of groups to remember, think, and reason
We are experiencing the new Social Web, where people share, communicate, commiserate, and conflict with each other. As evidenced by Wikipedia and del.icio.us, Web 2.0 environments are turning people into social information foragers and sharers. Users interact to resolve conflicts and jointly make sense of topic areas from "Obama vs. Clinton" to "Islam." PARC's Augmented Social Cognition researchers -- who come from cognitive psychology, computer science, HCI, sociology, and other disciplines -- focus on understanding how to "enhance a group of people's ability to remember, think, and reason".

Tessa Lau- Collaborative Scripting for the Web
As more areas of our lives move to the web, we are seeing an increasing need for sharing knowledge about how to do tasks on the web. For example, people want to show their parents how to upload photos, biologists want to show colleagues how to analyze data, employees need to know how to order business cards. Our CoScripter system employs techniques from programming by demonstration to make it easy for end users to capture, share, and automate scripts forcompleting web-based tasks. One differentiating feature is that scripts areautomatically saved to a shared wiki repository, where others in the community can find, tag, rate, and comment on scripts. CoScripter has been deployed within a large organization for over a year, and on the public Internet for several months.

Jeffrey Heer- Voyagers and Voyeurs: Supporting Asynchronous Collaborative Information Visualization
In this talk, I will describe our work recasting interactive information visualizations as not just analytic tools, but social spaces supporting collective data analysis. I'll discuss the design and implementation of sense.us, a web site supporting asynchronous collaboration across a variety of visualization types. The site supports view sharing, discussion, graphical annotation, and social navigation and includes novel interaction elements. I will also report the results of user studies of the system, observing emergent patterns of social data analysis, cycles of observation and hypothesis, and the complementary roles of social navigation and data-driven exploration.

Elizabeth Churchill- Beyond the hype of FlickTwitFaceSpace: The social Internet in everyday life
The Internet World Usage Statistics for August 2009 suggest that in the last 9 years, the number of people on the Internet has grown by 362%. Of the 6,767,805,208 people in the world, 1,668,870,408 are on the Internet; that is, 25% of the world's population is now online. For some, the world without the Internet is a fading reollection; for others, the world without the Internet is simply inconceivable. Between the wealth of use statistics and our own personal experiences, there is much we do not understand about how the Internet fits into everyday lives. In this talk, I will discuss several projects that combine analysis of usage statistics, analysis of popular and niche Internet sites and services, and qualitative investigations into how people weave online and offline experiences.

danah boyd- Youth-Generated Culture: Growing Up in an Era of Social Media
Many of today's youth are embracing a wide array of social media as part of their everyday lives. From social network sites to texting to blogs, many youth are leveraging the power of social media to create, communicate, share, and learn. In this talk, I will examine the various emergent practices, focusing primarily on how American teenagers are navigating the world of social media as a part of everyday life. I will examine inflections in privacy, sociality, and learning. While this talk will focus on those engaged with social media, I will also discuss the costs and challenges of unequal access and the complications that occur when social stratification is reproduced in digital environments.

Jonathan Grudin- Enterprise Uses of Social Media
For several years I have studied enterprise attitudes toward and uses of technologies that are primarily used by students and consumers, such as instant messaging, weblogs, wikis, and social networking sites. It took decades for email to move from research and student use to full acceptance by enterprises. Today, communication and collaboration tools can make that transition far more quickly—but not instantaneously and not without encountering a few of the same hurdles. In this talk I describe some patterns that emerge and fit them into some literature on the social psychology of groups and organizational behavior.