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[Talk] Brian McDonald: The Transition to e-Braille in the Digital World: The Pros and Cons of Technology and the Development of a Tablet for the Blind

Submitted by admin on Sat, 2015-03-14 16:23
Date: 
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Location: The Ehrlicher Room, 3100 North Quad, 105 S. State St. Ann Arbor, MI
RSVP and add to calendar. Light lunch will be provided. Please help forward this announcement to anyone who might be interested!

Abstract:
The rapid advances in technology have created the next industrial revolution that is providing many benefits to society. Newspapers and magazines have been struggling for years to find a business model that can sustain them when access to information is readily available in the palm of your hand, with free resources.

For a braille publisher like National Braille Press (NBP), technology has been just as much of a double edged sword as it has partly contributed to a decline in braille literacy and even questioned the need to learn braille at all. In this talk, Brian MacDonald, President of NBP will discuss the realities facing braille and will also outline the work they are doing with NBP’s Center for Braille Innovation.

[Talk] Pernille Bjørn: Sociomaterial-Design: Bounding Technologies in Practice

Submitted by admin on Sat, 2015-03-14 15:53
Date: 
Friday, March 20, 2015 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm

Location: 1255 North Quad, 105 S. State St. Ann Arbor, MI
RSVP and add to calendar. Light refreshments and snacks will be provided. Please help forward this announcement to anyone who might be interested!

[Talk] Andrea Barbarin and Jeff Bardzell

Submitted by admin on Sun, 2015-03-01 14:58
Date: 
Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - 11:30am to 1:00pm

Location: 1255 North Quad, 105 S. State St. Ann Arbor, MI
RSVP and add to calendar. Light lunch will be provided. Please help forward this announcement to anyone who might be interested!

Andrea Barbarin
Taking our Time: Chronic Illness and Time-Based Objects in Families

[Talk] Kentaro Toyama: Needs versus Aspirations, or Why Mobile Phone Apps to Save the World Rarely Work

Submitted by admin on Wed, 2015-02-11 20:58
Date: 
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Location: 1255 North Quad, 105 S. State St. Ann Arbor, MI

Abstract:
The funding for a community-radio program intended to address agricultural needs is cut off when the community decides it most wants to air local music. A computer-based program intended to improve language skills ends up enabling a career upgrade. A mobile operator in India says that while people claim to need health and education, what they pay for are the “ABCs”: astrology, Bollywood, and cricket.

These examples could be interpreted as a clash between the two sides of “needs and aspirations,” a phrase that is commonly invoked to indicate the areas that social policies and interventions should address. In this talk, I present some preliminary thoughts on the difference between needs and aspirations, and I suggest that while needs are well-understood and operationalized, they are not as powerful a motive force as aspirations, which are under-theorized and often overlooked in practice.

[Talk] Lightning Talks and First Meeting

Submitted by admin on Tue, 2015-01-27 01:21
Date: 
Tuesday, January 27, 2015 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Location: 1255 North Quad, 105 S. State St. Ann Arbor, MI

This Tuesday (01/27@noon, NQ 1255), MISC will host another lightning talk session featured 3 doctoral students and post-doctoral researchers. We will also provide a recap of last semester and discuss the events we have planned for this semester (e.g., presentations, brown bags and the retreat). We welcome any suggestions for other events.

Here are our speakers:
Sangseok You, Doctoral Candidate
Theresa Velden, Research Fellow
Christopher Brooks, Research Fellow

Bring your lunches and join us!

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[Talk] CHI Student Design Competition Presentation

Submitted by admin on Sat, 2014-11-29 17:10
Date: 
Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Location: 1255 North Quad, 105 S. State St. Ann Arbor, MI

Abstract:
In the last few years, smart devices have become more or less standardized in their physical and graphical forms. While new groups of users are constantly emerging, quite a few people still stay away from the benefits of technology. The theme of this year's Student Design Competition is "Appropriating Technologies for New Cultures." The competition invites entries under this broad theme. More details can be found here.

The Student Organization for Computer-Human Interaction (SOCHI) has organized milestones for the students to keep them motivated throughout the competition. The students have been working on these projects for the past four months. This event will involve students presenting their work and invite an open discussion on their designs and evaluation strategies/methods. Your comments and feedback will be greatly appreciated.

[Talk] Stefanie Wuschitz: Feminist Hackerspaces: A Study of Feminist Space Collectives in Open Culture

Submitted by admin on Thu, 2014-11-06 12:36
Date: 
Friday, November 21, 2014 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm

Location: 2435 North Quad, 105 S. State St. Ann Arbor, MI

Abstract:
To take part in the new high-tech world of technology, not only as a passive user, but as an agent, critical developer and situated citizen, access is crucial. Yet participation is unevenly distributed worldwide, with gender, age and ethnicity acting as axes of negative differentiation. Feminist hackerspaces are space collectives that form an internationally coordinated network dedicated to sharing knowledge, tools and skills while demystifying phallocentric technology. Yet, intersectional forms of oppression limit feminist hackerspaces' agency and failed micro-politics within groups undermine their agenda of knowledge circulation. This talk addresses several actions taken to face these challenges. It asks for new forms of hackerspaces that can foster a stable counter culture, nurture creativity and encourage agency within a collective. The Indonesian model of a space-based community informs Stefanie Wuschitz' concept of a space-based hacker community. One that allows to disrupt oppressive norms, commits to structures of care, celebrates a new set of hacker ethics and keeps confronting itself with differences among members. Through examples of collectives that position themselves on the intersection of art, technology and feminism, this talk will present examples of space-based communities and the technologies they have initiated.

[Talk] Carrie Demmans Epp: Supporting Language Learning and Learner Reflection through Technology-Enhanced Learning

Submitted by admin on Fri, 2014-10-24 19:14
Date: 
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Location: 1255 North Quad, 105 S. State St. Ann Arbor, MI

Dr. Carrie Demmans Epp's presentation was recorded and you can view it here

[Talk] Jamie Macbeth: Crowdsourcing Deep Thoughts: Meeting the Challenges of In-depth Language Understanding Systems for Smarter Social Media

Submitted by admin on Fri, 2014-10-24 19:04
Date: 
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Location: 1255 North Quad, 105 S. State St. Ann Arbor, MI

Abstract:
Intelligent systems driven by natural language input are well positioned to meet the challenges of intervening against abuses of social media (such as cyberbullying), and providing resources for victims. However, the language processing problems posed in these situations appear to be "google proof": algorithms that scrape Wikipedia or other large text corpora for surface-level language properties (e.g. frequencies or co-occurrences of words) do not perform well. This talk will discuss work to build systems that understand natural language in-depth in support of these applications. Our approach is based on a traditional symbolic method that represents deep semantics as complex combinations of simple, primitive acts, but it uses crowdsourcing to collect these commonsense knowledge structures of human experience in a scalable and inexpensive way.

[Talk] David Flatla: Colour Identification through Sensory and Sub-Sensory Substitution

Submitted by admin on Fri, 2014-10-24 18:47
Date: 
Tuesday, November 4, 2014 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Location: 1255 North Quad, 105 S. State St. Ann Arbor, MI

Dr. David Flatla's presentation was recorded and you can view it here

Abstract:
Colour vision is one of those fundamental elements of day-to-day life; it helps us coordinate our clothing, prepare food, read charts, decorate our homes, keep safe, and enjoy nature and the arts. However, people with impaired colour vision (ICV) often cannot discriminate between colours that everyone else can, making these day-to-day activities difficult. In an attempt to help people with ICV, recolouring (or Daltonization) tools have been developed that remap problem colours to more distinguishable ones for people with ICV, thereby enhancing colour differentiability.

However, in spite of almost 20 years of recolouring research, empirical results showing that recolouring actually helps people with ICV are very rare. One potential reason for this is that recolouring often destroys the subtle colour cues that people with ICV rely on. A second (and indirect) reason is that recolouring is a captivating challenge for computing - the problem (dimensionality reduction) is accessible, solutions are easy to build but optimality is elusive, and the algorithms have a number of challenging user-satisfaction constraints (e.g., speed, temporal invariance).

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