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HCIL Seminar Series

The HCIL Seminar Series offers a common ground that can promote interdisciplinary discussion on a wide range of topics relating to Human-Computer Interaction. The theme of this Spring's talks is how exciting industrial research can become important products for people. Our speakers are two industry leaders in the field of HCI and they will share their insights and experiences. 

Special thanks to the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship for Sponsoring these events!


Spring 2010 Speakers

May 7, 2010

Friday,Time 2pm, Room 2119, Hornbake Bldg, South Wing

Gina Venolia
Microsoft Research

Embodied Social Proxies: Connecting Hub and Satellite Teams


Current business conditions have given rise to distributed teams that are mostly collocated except for one remote member. These "hub-and-satellite" teams face the challenge of the satellite colleague being out-of-sight and out-of-mind. We developed a telepresence device, called an Embodied Social Proxy (ESP), which represents the satellite coworker 24x7. Beyond using ESPs in our own group, we deployed an ESP in four product teams within our company for six weeks. We studied how ESP was used through ethnographic observations, surveys, and usage log data. ESP not only increased the satellite worker's ability to fully participate in meetings, it also increased the hub's attention and affinity towards the satellite. The continuous physical presence of ESP in each team improved the interpersonal social connections between hub and satellite colleagues.  


Gina Venolia is a senior researcher with Microsoft Research in the Human Interactions of Programming group. Her research focuses on understanding how knowledge flows among people and building systems to make it flow more freely. She is currently studying collocated and geographically-distributed software development teams, building tools that help developers find and communicate about the knowledge behind the code, and developing systems that exploit spatial memory to support navigation, team awareness, and communication about code.  



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