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HCIL's 30th Anniversary Distinguished Lecturer Series

Come help the HCIL celebrate its 30th Anniversary with the 30th Anniversary Distingished Lecturer Series. The Distinguished Lecturer Series offers a common ground that can promote interdisciplinary discussion on a wide range of topics relating to Human-Computer Interaction.

These lectures are free and open to the public. No reservations are needed.

For questions or comments, contact the HCIL at

2012-2013 Seminars/Speakers

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Jon Kleinberg, Cornell University presents:
Status, Power, and Incentives in Social Media

Reception: 3:15 p.m., HCIL, 2105 Hornbake Building, South Wing
Lecture: 4-5 p.m., 0109 Hornbake Building, South Wing



Many of the social phenomena that take place on-line can be usefully interpreted in terms of status, power, and the mechanisms by which people evaluate and form opinions about each other. We discuss a set of approaches for measuring status, ranging from metrics based on contributions to subtle signals in the language people use when they interact with one another. We also consider ways in which the allocation of status can provide incentives that shape the collective work of a community; surprisingly, we find that in theoretical models of effort by credit-seeking individuals, certain unfair assignments of status produce incentives that can lead to increased productivity.

The talk includes joint work with Ashton Anderson, Cristian Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil, Dan Huttenlocher, Lillian Lee, Jure Leskovec, Sigal Oren, and Bo Pang.


Jon Kleinberg is the Tisch University Professor in the Departments of Computer Science and Information Science at Cornell University. His research focuses on issues at the interface of networks and information, with an emphasis on the social and information networks that underpin the Web and other on-line media. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the recipient of MacArthur, Packard, and Sloan Foundation Fellowships, as well as awards including the Nevanlinna Prize from the International Mathematical Union and the ACM-Infosys Foundation Award in the Computing Sciences.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Ellen Miller, Executive Director of The Sunlight Foundation presents:
Open Transparent Accountable Government

Lecture: 11 a.m., 2119 Hornbake Building, South Wing


The arguments in favor of an open and accountable government are unassailable, but important to keep in mind as the movement builds towards that end. (As Yogi Berra is reported to have said: "If we don't know where we are going we might end up someplace else.") But most of the Obama Administration's promises four years ago remain unfulfilled and the challenges for all of us to make real progress are substantial. What are some of the issues at hand and how can we address them?


Ellen S. Miller is the co-founder and executive director of the Sunlight Foundation, a Washington-based, non-partisan non-profit dedicated to using the power of the Internet to catalyze greater government openness and transparency. She is the founder of two other prominent Washington-based organizations in the field of money and politics -- the Center for Responsive Politics and Public Campaign -- and a nationally recognized expert on transparency and the influence of money in politics. Her experience as a Washington advocate for more than 35 years spans the worlds of non-profit advocacy, grassroots activism and journalism. Ms. Miller also served as deputy director of Campaign for America's Future, was the publisher of and was a senior fellow at The American Prospect. She spent nearly a decade working on Capitol Hill. She blogs regularly at

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Mary Czerwinski, Microsoft presents:
Emotion Tracking for Memory, Health and Awareness

Lecture: 11 a.m., 2119 Hornbake Building, South Wing


In this talk a novel system we designed that allows users to reflect upon their moods while doing desktop computing activities and other daily events will be described. We surveyed potential users of such a system to see what they remembered about their mood swings and behavioral patterns emotionally over time, and it was clear that they felt they did not have a good handle on this after even 48 hours. We then built AffectAura to help users track their moods, and tested our system on six users over a week of time. The results were promising. Users found interesting patterns in the data and gave us great feedback on how to evolve the user interface visualization for real time feedback on emotional reactions, mood swings and activities. Now we are building systems and applications that perform mood detection in real time using mobile technology. We are exploring novel user interface ideas to help users reflect on and manage their affective experiences. Many questions remain from our work on AffectAura, in terms of how useful a system like this would be over the long term and how valuable a mobile tracking system might be in real time (especially given the likelihood of misclassifications). In addition, we also are interested in user interface “intervention” styles that can be used when negative or disruptive emotions are detected, whether in a car, at the desktop, or while mobile. Finally, we feel there is a huge opportunity in the remote familial space, or in a close social network, where knowing about the emotional health of separated loved ones or close friends comes in to play. These new research areas are tightly coupled to privacy issues. A few examples of applications in some of these new areas will be presented.


Mary Czerwinski's research focuses primarily on emotion tracking, information worker task management, multitasking, and awareness systems for individuals and groups. Her background is in visual attention and multitasking. She holds a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Indiana University in Bloomington. Mary was awarded the ACM SIGCHI Lifetime Service Award, was inducted into the CHI Academy, and became an ACM Distinguished Scientist in 2010.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mark Guzdial, GA Tech presents:
Making Online Education Work

Lecture: 1 p.m., 2119 Hornbake Building, S Wing


In my research group, we have been exploring how to make on-line education effective for over 15 years. We have learned how contextualizing collaboration can lead to longer on-topic discussions, but how student perceptions can dramatically inhibit discussion. We have shown that well-designed on-line activities can lead to better learning at reduced cost (including time costs for the student and instructor). The student audience matters, as we learned when studying how graphics designers teach themselves to program using on-line resources. We are currently developing an ebook for high school teachers, who need to learn under tight time constraints. In working on our ebook, we have shown that explicit subgoal labels in videos leads to improved retention and transfer.


Mark Guzdial is a Professor in the School of Interactive Computing in the College of Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology. His research focuses on learning sciences and technology, specifically, computing education research. He has published several books on the use of media as a context for learning computing. He was the original developer of the "Swiki" which was the first wiki designed for educational use. He was awarded a joint Ph.D. degree in Education and Computer Science from the University of Michigan in 1993. He serves on the ACM's Education Council and the Special Interest Group in CS Education (SIGCSE) Board, and is on the editorial boards of the "Journal of the Learning Sciences," "ACM Transactions on Computing Education," and "Communications of the ACM." With his wife and colleague, Barbara Ericson, he received the 2010 ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator award. He was also the recipient of the 2012 IEEE Computer Society Undergraduate Teaching Award.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Mor Naaman, Rutgers presents:
Telling The World's Stories from Social Media

Lecture: 2 p.m., 2119 Hornbake Building, S Wing


An overwhelming amount of information from real-world events is shared by individuals through social media services like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. These events range from major global events like an uprising or an earthquake, to local events and emergencies such as a fire or a parade; from international media events like the Oscar's, to events that enjoy little media coverage such as a conference or a music concert. Regardless, this shared media represents an important part of our society, culture and history. At the same time, this social media event content is currently fragmented across services, hard to find, and often difficult to consume due to its sheer scale. Our research tackles three critical challenges in making social media information about events accessible and usable: 1) the detection of events in social media content, 2) Identification and ranking of content relevant to an event across social media sites, and 3) organization and presentation of event data to allow users to effectively explore, analyze, and experience an event through its social media content. Our work results in new tools that allow multiple stakeholders, such as journalists, first responders, researchers, policy makers and the general public, to see and understand the stories of world, as told in social media.


Mor Naaman is an assistant professor at Rutgers University School of Communication and Information, where he runs the Social Media Information Lab. His research applies multidisciplinary methods to gain new insights about people and society from social media data, and to develop novel tools to make this data more accessible and usable in various settings. He is also a co-founder and CTO at Mahaya, a startup founded to extract the world's stories from social media data. Mor worked as a research scientist at Yahoo! Research Berkeley, and received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University. He is a recipient of a NSF Early Faculty CAREER Award, research awards from Google, Yahoo!, and Nokia, and three best paper awards. Find out more about Mor at

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

David A. Shamma, Yahoo! Labs presents:
We Need to Talk: People and Data in Synchronous Connected Systems

Lecture: 2 p.m., 2119 Hornbake Building, S Wing


The things we do together spawn conversations and leave traces; 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. Currently, trace data is all about sifting through cloud stores of data with little question as to why those traces exist. Analyses are based on data that are already collected; they are not about asking what should be collected to answer important social and motivational questions. I ask: What motivates people to do what they do? And how can we build predictive models of what people do based on their contextualized and emerging interests. I present investigations into uncovering and understanding these motivations through three areas of inquiry: genre classification, topic prediction, and event detection. This proposes changes in how we measure engagement, how we design system instrumentation, and how we design for data collection, aggregation and summarization. These changes have immediate implications on how we understand human behavior online and build new experiences, and they bring ramifications for the next generation of large data solutions.


David Ayman Shamma is research scientist at Yahoo! Labs where he heads the Human-Computer Interaction Research group and is the lead scientist at Flickr. He investigates how people interact, engage, and share media experiences both online and in-the-world. He is also the co-editor for Arts and Digital Culture for SIGMM. Additionally, he creates media art installations that have been exhibited and reviewed internationally. Shamma holds a B.S./M.S. from the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition at The University of West Florida and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Intelligent Information Laboratory at Northwestern University. Before Yahoo!, he was an instructor at the Medill School of Journalism; he has also taught courses in Computer Science and Studio Art departments. Prior to receiving his Ph.D., he was a visiting research scientist for the Center for Mars Exploration at NASA Ames Research Center.

An archive of past seminar series can be found online.

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