09/19/14 Talk by Robert Kraut: Online social support: Advances in measuring support and understanding its effects


Friday (September 19) the Michigan Interactive and Social Computing group MISC will host Robert Kraut to give a talk entitled “Online social support: Advances in measuring support and understanding its effects.”


Friday, September 19, 2014 at 12:00 pm in 1255 North Quad


Talk by Robert Kraut: Online social support: Advances in measuring support and understanding its effects


This coming Friday (09/19 @Noon, 1255NQ), MISC will host Robert Kraut to give a talk entitled “Online social support: Advances in measuring support and understanding its effects.” Professor Kraut is the Herbert A. Simon Professor of Human-Computer Interaction in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute, School of Computer Science at CMU. He is interested in studying the difficulties people encounter on social tasks at individual, group, to organizational level. In year 2012, he has collaborated with several prominent researchers in the field (e.g., our SI Prof. Resnick and Prof. Chen) to publish the book “Building successful online communities: Evidence-based social design” that explains the science and theory behind how online communities behave and thrive.

Please join us in this special event on Friday. Light lunch will be provided.

Let us know if you will be there!: RSVP

Please help forward this announcement to anyone who might be interested!


Robert Kraut

Robert Kraut

Herbert A. Simon Professor of Human-Computer Interaction, Human-Computer Interaction Institute, School of Computer Science, Tepper School of Business, Center for the Future of Work, Heinz School, Carnegie Mellon University

09/09/14 Cracking the CHI Code!


Tuesday (September 9) the Michigan Interactive and Social Computing group is hosting a workshop to look at what makes a good CHI paper in a brown bag session.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 12:00 pm in 1255 North Quad


Cracking the CHI Code!


This coming Tuesday (09/09 @Noon, 1255NQ) in MISC meeting, we will take a look at some successful CHI (The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems) authors and try "cracking” the code at what makes a good paper in a brown bag session. Special guests Katharina and Cliff will provide their perspectives. Bring your lunch and come learn and share the CHI secret!!!

Special Guests:

Katharina Reinecke Cliff Lampe

Katharina Reinecke

Cliff Lampe

Assistant Professor of Information, School of Information and Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, College of Engineering

Associate Professor of Information, School of Information

Let us know if you will be there!:

09/02/14 MISC Researcher Lightning Talks


Tuesday (September 2) the Michigan Interactive and Social Computing group is hosting a lightning talks series by faculty and postdoctoral scholars.


Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 at 12:00 pm in 1255 North Quad


MISC Researcher Lightning Talks


Join researchers from the Michigan Interactive and Social Computing (MISC) interdisciplinary group for a lunch and round of short research-focused lightning talks. These talks are specifically aimed at showcasing to the Michigan community the range of work being done by MISC faculty and postdoctoral scholars and are limited to 5 minutes in length. A short socialization and discussion period will follow.

Speaker Line Up:

Desmond Patton Nicole Ellison Tawanna Dillahunt
Desmond Patton Nicole Ellison Tawanna Dillahunt

Eytan Adar Christopher Brooks
Vinod Vydiswaran Eytan Adar Christopher Brooks

Guest Speaker: Jill Dimond from Georgia Tech


Friday (April 4) the Michigan Interactive and Social Computing group is hosting Jill Dimond from Georgia Tech.


Friday, April 4th, 2014 at 10:30am in 2255 North Quad


Technology for Social Justice


Sexism, racism, wealth disparities, and other oppressions are deeply entrenched systems of social inequality in the United States, as elsewhere in the world. Technology has frequently been heralded as an equalizer capable of solving or leveling these different oppressions. However, technology is neither a panacea nor plague; it is a tool with embedded values. As technologists and researchers, we are in privileged, unique positions that enable us to approach research and design of technologies with the explicit values of social change and social justice. In this talk, I will present different projects that illustrate a social justice approach towards designing and building technology. In particular, I will discuss my work with Hollaback, an international activist group working to stop street harassment. I will also explore different approaches toward work in this space including action research and worker-owned cooperatives.


Dr. Jill Dimond is a worker-owner of Sassafras Tech Collective, a worker-owned cooperative focused on building technologies for social change. Her research and design interests lie at the intersection of social computing, social justice, and human-computer interaction. She holds a Ph.D. in Human Centered Computing from Georgia Institute of Technology and a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the University of Michigan. She has worked for Google and as an interaction designer. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, NPR, BBC, and the Washington Post among others.

Guest Speaker: Daniel M. Romero from UMSI


Tuesday (April 8) the Michigan Interactive and Social Computing group is hosting Daniel M. Romero from UMSI


Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 at Noon in 1255 North Quad


On-line Information Diffusion: From General Principles to Sources of Variation


On-line information diffusion, or the tendency for people to engage in a behavior after some of their on-line connections have done so, plays an important role in many domains such as the adoption of technologies, political opinions, and consumer behaviors. This topic has received growing attention by the research community. Much of the work so far has focused on discovering and understanding the properties of the mechanisms of information diffusion that generalize across different settings. In this talk, I will discuss how some key properties of information diffusion vary depending on the information’s topic, the structure of the network, and the type of network.

First, we find significant variation in the way that widely used hashtags of different topics spread on Twitter. Our results show that this variation is not attributable simply to differences in “stickiness,” the probability of adoption based on one or more exposures, but also to a quantity that could be viewed as a kind of “persistence” -- the relative extent to which repeated exposures to a hashtag continue to have significant marginal effects.

Second, we explore the problem of predicting user activities from the signal provided by connections in different online networks. Given a collection of networks, our goal is to determine the importance of each network for predicting user actions. We propose a framework that allows us to quantify and compare the relative predictive value of each network. Experimentally, we focus our study on the prediction of ad clicks and compare the predictive value of social and topical networks. We find that both networks are useful for prediction and each one carries a unique signal.


Daniel M. Romero is a Presidential Post-Doctoral Fellow at University of Michigan's School of Information. He received his Ph.D at Cornell University's Center for Applied Mathematics. Before coming to UMSI, he was a post-doc at Northwestern University Institute on Complex Systems (NICO). His main research interest is the empirical and theoretical analysis of Social and Information Networks. He is particularly interested in understanding the mechanisms involved in network evolution, information diffusion, and people’s interactions on the Web.

Guest Speaker: Sile O'Modhrain from UM School of Music, Theatre & Dance


Tuesday (February 18) the Michigan Interactive and Social Computing group is hosting Sile O'Modhrain from UM School of Music, Theatre & Dance.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at Noon in 1255 North Quad


Rekindling the Search for the Holy Braille


In 1987 Alan Kay pointed out that the development of interfaces to computers is going backwards. Whereas children begin building their understanding of the world through embodied exploration, then “advance” to learning through images and finally reach the ‘sophisticated’ state of symbolic understanding, our interaction with computers began by being symbolic, progressed through the GUI and only now is reaching the point where we can explore computational environments through movement and touch.

While this has certainly been true for mainstream computing, interaction for people with visual impairments got stuck at the symbolic phase. We still use commandlines and keyboard shortcuts to navigate through our interfaces and they still communicate with us through words (either spoken or, very occasionally, through the symbolic code of Braille. In many ways, therefore, blind computer users have not been able to take advantage of the revolution in information presentation facilitated by computation that has changed the lives of their sighted peers. And this is not for lack of trying to find alternative ways for blind individuals to access non-textual information. There is a long history of attempts to build refreshable tactile displays and, more recently, of using haptic feedback to present graphs, maps and 3D models to blind computer users. But in most cases the main stumbling block has been the cost and availability of suitable hardware for this purpose. The search is on, therefore, for a lo-cost full-page refreshable tactile display that can convey both text and graphics. Such a display would allow for the presentation of spatial information such as curves and lines in graphs, shapes of objects in pictures and maps and the display of spatially-dependent braille codes for mathematics and music.

A second part of the process of designing effective tactile and/or haptic information displays is in understanding how to convey spatial and relational information through touch. Here too, there is a substantial body of work on haptic spatial perception, haptic exploration, and on the perception of tactile diagrams and images upon which we as designers can draw.

In this talk, I will introduce our own bid to find the Holy Braille. I will first review relevant work in both hardware design and haptic perception. I will then discuss our design process for an interactive product that takes full account of the many perceptual and cognitive layers inherent in presenting information in tangible form to users who have little or no vision. In particular I will discuss the knotty issue of understanding the differences between sensory substitution, symbolic translation, and semantic interpretation, and the potential pitfalls of misunderstanding the relationship between these three categories of information presentation.


Professor O'Modhrain has worked as a researcher and faculty member, both here and abroad, at the prestigious MIT Media Lab, Media Lab Europe, and at the Sonic Arts Research Center at Queen's University of Belfast. She has also worked for BBC Radio as an audio engineer and program producer. Her research focus is on haptics-touch and gesture-and its relationship to music performance and on the development of new interfaces for technology-enhanced instruments that extend the boundaries of musical expression. Also impressive is her combination of experience in many areas related to audio, psychoacoustics, computer music, cognition, and gestural control of music. She is internationally known and respected in her field, as evidenced by her record of scholarly accomplishment in well-regarded journals and as a frequent speaker at international conferences.

Guest Speaker: Will Barley from Northwestern University


*Event rescheduled due to extreme weather*

Tuesday (February 11) the Michigan Interactive and Social Computing group is hosting Will Barley from Northwestern University.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at Noon in 1255 North Quad


Staging Data Representations: Upstream Consequences for Collaborative Work


Data representations, such as graphs, images, and charts, can facilitate collaboration across knowledge boundaries. Many studies have examined representations’ effects during and after (downstream from) interaction, characterizing them as tools that help communicate local knowledge with cross-disciplinary collaborators.

In this talk, I explore representations’ upstream consequences by asking if the need to eventually share knowledge across boundaries meaningfully shapes a community’s work prior to collaborative interaction. I will present data from a study of weather researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) as they built computer- based simulation models specifically to inform collaborators’ policy decisions, such as where to put wind turbines or what to do in the event of chemical warfare. Researchers’ need to represent forecast model outputs to their collaborators led them to adapt the scientific practices that produced those models in the first place. The findings paint representations not as passive communicators of established knowledge, but as catalysts for changes to routine work. To close, I will discuss how these findings challenge our current thinking about collaboration, technology, and organizing.


Will Barley is a PhD candidate in the Media, Technology, and Society Program in the Department of Communication Studies at Northwestern University. His research explores how individuals design and use technologies to collaborate across knowledge boundaries. In his work, Will has explored collaborative relationships in diverse organizational contexts: applied atmospheric science, automobile engineering, children’s hospitals, car enthusiast communities, and professional service firms. Before coming to Northwestern, Will worked as a researcher at General Motors, performing field studies of car culture to inform vehicle design.

Guest Speaker: Dr. Matthew Easterday from Northwestern University


Tuesday (January 14) the Michigan Interactive and Social Computing group is hosting Dr. Matthew Easterday from Northwestern University.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at Noon in 1255 North Quad


Educational technology for civic innovation


To solve society's greatest challenges, such as global warming, income inequality, or money in politics, we need civic innovators who can understand policy problems, communicate these problems to other citizens, and use design and technology to create solutions. How might we better educate civic innovators?

In this talk, I argue that we can better prepare citizens for civic innovation by: (a) conceiving of civics as 3 interrelated design disciplines of policy analysis, civic journalism and civic action; (b) providing automated scaffolding and feedback on basic skills through cognitive games that embed intelligent tutors in game environments; and (c) providing semi-automated scaffolding and feedback on messy, real-world problem solving through Digital Lofts that use crowd-critique, data-mining and social media. Educational technology for civic innovation thus provides another avenue through which HCI and Information research can make positive societal impact.


Dr. Matthew Easterday is an assistant professor in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. He received my PhD in 2010 from the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, where he was a fellow in the Institute for Educational Science’s Program for Interdisciplinary Educational Research and a Siebel Scholar. Dr. Matthew Easterday's research focuses on technology for the new civics – producing scientifically supported educational technology to create informed and engaged citizens who can solve the serious policy problems facing our society such as poverty, global warming and militarism. Training such citizens requires us to understand how competent citizens analyze policy, communicate issues, and organize to make change. It also requires us to design more effective educational technology that can teach the knowledge, skills and dispositions citizens need.

Guest Speaker: Dr. Robert Goodspeed from Taubman College, University of Michigan


Tuesday (December 3) the Michigan Interactive and Social Computing group is hosting Dr. Robert Goodspeed from Taubman College.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at Noon in 1255 North Quad


Embodied Computation for Social Learning: Findings from Field Research on Planning Support Systems


After many years of discussion and research, professional urban planners are adopting a new class of digital planning support systems (PSS). Based on geographic information systems (GIS) software, these PSS allow stakeholders to create and compare development scenarios in real time at public workshops.

Through a mixed-methods research design, this study investigates the role of these new technologies in planning workshops in Boston, Kansas City, and Austin. The findings indicate high levels of social learning, broadly confirming the collaborative planning theory literature. Participants at planning workshops that incorporated embodied computing interaction designs reported higher levels of two forms of learning drawn from Argyris and Schön?s theory of organizational learning: single and double loop learning. Both were measured through a participant survey. Single loop learning is measured as reported learning. Double loop learning, characterized by deliberation about goals and values, is measured with a novel summative scale. These workshops utilized PSS to contribute indicators to the discussion through the use of paper maps for input and human operators for output. A regression analysis reveals that the PSS contributed to learning by encouraging imagination, engagement, and alignment. Participants' perceived identities as planners, personality characteristics, and frequency of meeting attendance were also related to the learning outcomes. However, less learning was observed at workshops with many detailed maps and limited time for discussion, and exercises lacking PSS feedback.

The development of PSS infrastructure and trends in the field will be briefly discussed.


Robert Goodspeed is an Assistant Professor of Urban Planning in the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan. He teaches in the areas of geographic information systems and spatial planning. His research investigates how new information technologies such as planning support systems can be used to improve the planning process and planning outcomes. He earned a Ph.D. in urban and regional planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M.C.P. from the University of Maryland, and a B.A. in history from the University of Michigan. His undergraduate thesis, a case study of Detroit's Gratiot Area Redevelopment Project from the early 1950s, sparked his interest in cities and urban planning.

Guest Speaker: Zach Wick from All Hands Active


Tuesday (November 26) the Michigan Interactive and Social Computing group is hosting Zach Wick from All Hands Active.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at Noon in 1255 North Quad


AHA - The Continent's Friendliest Hackerspace


A hackerspace (also referred to as a hacklab, makerspace, or hackspace) is a community-operated workspace where people with common interests, often in computers, technology, science, digital art or electronic art, can meet, socialize and/or collaborate." This sounds all well and good, but how does it help the average community member? All Hands Active! (AHA!) is an Ann Arbor hackerspace that is trying to answer this question from within downtown Ann Arbor. This talk will show what AHA! does, who AHA! is, and how you can come do cool stuff with AHA!.


Zach is a backpacker, hack and modder, free software ideologue, and practitioner of general tomfoolery. Zach has been employed as a web developer, a mobile app developer, and an embedded developer (but really likes just building cool stuff). Zach served on the Board of Directors at All Hands Active from April 2013 - October 2013, and has been a member there for ~2.5 years.

Guest Speaker: Dr. Christopher Brooks from the School of Information, University of MIchigan


Dr. Christopher Brooks' presentation was recorded and you can view it here

Tuesday (November 19) the Michigan Interactive and Social Computing group is hosting Dr. Christopher Brooks from the School of Information.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at Noon in 1255 North Quad


Sensemaking of Educational Data through Visualization and Machine Learning


As instruction has moved online the amount of data we are able to collect about student interactions with learning resources has grown enormously. Every web page read, link followed, video streamed, and discussion message posted can be captured, aggregated, and analysed. In this talk I will share how information visualization and machine learning techniques can help us capitalize on this information. In particular, I will describe methods I have used to enable instructors to see the effects of their pedagogy, help students navigate through content faster and with more accuracy, connect predictive models to instructional design, and support educational researchers who are tying evidence to theory.


Christopher Brooks received his PhD in Computer Science at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada in 2012. He holds a postdoctoral Research Fellowship and NSERC award at the USE Lab in the School of Information, University of Michigan, where he is applying computational techniques to better understand the hundreds of thousands of learners who have participated in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Previous to coming to Michigan, Dr. Brooks was a software lead and one of the founding Board of Directors on the Mellon and Hewlett funded Opencast Matterhorn open source lecture capture project.

McCullough's 'Ambient Commons' reviewed in The New Yorker


Ambient Commons, a book written by Professor of Architecture, Malcolm McCullough, was reviewed in the October 28 issue of The New Yorker as one of three books featured in an essay on information environmentalism (see pages 33-37). Subsequently, McCullough was interviewed by Salon.com in an article titled, "Smartphones are killing us — and destroying public life."

Ambient Commons is about attention to surroundings as the built world gets augmented with ever more pervasive information media. The book has also been featured in the ten leader stories of Utne Reader (August) and reviewed in London Times Higher Education (May).

Visit the ambientcommons.org website for more information about the book.

Guest Speaker: Dr. Brian Bailey from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Dr. Brian Bailey's presentation was recorded and you can view it here

Tuesday (November 12) the Michigan Interactive and Social Computing group is hosting Dr. Brian Bailey from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at Noon in 1255 North Quad


Design Thinking Tools for the Individual, Group and Community


Software tools serve a critical role in modern design thinking, from collecting inspirational materials on the Web to implementing the selected prototype. Despite many advances in recent years, existing tools still struggle to address the needs of users engaged in design thinking. For example, a tenet of design thinking is to generate multiple alternatives, yet the interface representations used in existing design tools do not effectively support this behavior.

In this talk, I will describe the inspiration for and the design and evaluation of several recent research projects that address problems and opportunities relevant to design thinking for the individual, group and community. The contributions of these projects include (i) the use of interactive spatial maps to organize design alternatives, enabling users to project meaning onto their exploration; (ii) an interactive visualization of design process that enables the user to capture and extract lessons and patterns from prior design activity; (iii) an on-demand method for generating structured feedback on visual designs using a crowd of non-experts; and (iv) an interface to aid design thinking in distributed user interface design discussions. The talk will include critical reflections on these projects and conclude with pathways for future work.


Brian Bailey is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois, where he has been on the faculty since 2002. He conducts research and teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on user interface design and human-computer interaction. Dr. Bailey was a visiting researcher at Microsoft Research in 2008-2009. He earned a B.S. in Computer Science from Purdue University in 1993 and an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1997 and 2002, respectively. His research interests include creativity support tools, design studies, crowdsourcing, and attention management. He holds affiliate academic appointments in Human Factors, the Beckman Institute, and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Dr. Bailey received the NSF CAREER award in 2007. His research has been supported by the NSF, Microsoft, Google, and Ricoh Innovations.

Guest Speaker: Dr. Kurt Luther from Carnegie Mellon University


Tuesday (November 5) the Michigan Interactive and Social Computing group is hosting Dr. Kurt Luther from Carnegie Mellon University.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at Noon in 1255 North Quad


Supporting Creativity with Social Computing


Social computing systems can catalyze and amplify creativity by connecting people from around the world and providing them with the tools to share ideas, coordinate efforts, and disseminate their creative products. Yet, we have only begun to tap into the creative potential of social computing, to understand its strengths and limitations, and to design technologies to promote its success. In this talk, I describe two significant challenges to creative social computing -- coordination and expertise -- and present one project/technology addressing each challenge.

In the first half, I will discuss the challenges of coordinating creative projects online, focusing on the example of collaborative animation projects called "collabs" on websites like Newgrounds.com. I will present Pipeline, a software tool I developed based on theories of distributed cognition and shared leadership, and report on an evaluation of Pipeline's effectiveness with a case study of a 30-member artistic collaboration called Holiday Flood.

In the second half, I will discuss the expertise challenges of using novice crowd workers to augment creativity in domains that require specialized knowledge, such as visual design. I will present CrowdCrit, a system I developed which uses a learning technique called scaffolding to help novice crowds on Amazon Mechanical Turk generate high-quality design critiques. I will share findings from a poster design contest co-hosted with a Pittsburgh music festival in which 14 participants received crowd critiques between iterations.


Kurt Luther is a postdoctoral fellow in the HCI Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, where he works with Profs. Niki Kittur and Steven Dow. His research focuses on how social computing can support creativity. He received a Best Paper Award at CSCW 2013 and was named a 2011-12 Foley Scholar by the GVU Center at Georgia Tech. Kurt received his Ph.D. in Human-Centered Computing from Georgia Tech, where he was advised by Prof. Amy Bruckman. He has also worked in YouTube's User Experience group and the Social Computing groups at Microsoft Research and IBM Research.

Guest Speaker: Dr. Jeff Hancock from Cornell University


Dr. Jeff Hancock's presentation was recorded and you can view it here

Tuesday (October 29) the Michigan Interactive and Social Computing group is hosting Dr. Jeff Hancock from Cornell University.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at Noon in 1255 North Quad


Psychological Effects and Social Media Affordances: From Emotional Contagion at Scale to Virtual Hugs in Surgery


How can social media play a role in our psychological health? Much has been written about how various Internet activities are associated with depression, narcissism, or even addiction. Given the startling ubiquity of social media in many aspects of everyday life in our society, we take a closer look at how some affordances of social media can influence our emotional and mental state in a series of experiments. I’ll talk about several new studies, including how Facebook can be self-affirming, how emotions can spread in a large-scale network experiment and how texting can alter our perceptions of pain, including reducing the amount of narcotics required during surgery. In contrast to studies that conclude that social media depresses us or makes us more narcissistic, I’ll draw conclusions about some of the psychological mechanisms that can allow social media to activate psycho- social resources in our day-to-day lives.


Jeff Hancock is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Communication and Information Science at Cornell University, where he is also co-Chair of Information Science and co-Director of Cognitive Science. He is associate editor for the journal Discourse Processes. His work is concerned with how social and connective media affect psychological and linguistic dynamics, with a particular emphasis on deception and trust, interpersonal communication, and the psychological effects of online interaction. His research has been published in over 70 journal articles and conference proceedings and has been supported by funding from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense. His work on lying online and on social media has been frequently featured in the popular media, including the New York Times, CNN, NPR, CBS and the BBC. Dr. Hancock earned his PhD in Psychology at Dalhousie University, Canada, and joined Cornell in 2002.

Guest Speaker: Dr. Sile O'Modhrain from School of Music, Theatre, and Dance in University of Michigan


Tuesday (October 22) the Michigan Interactive and Social Computing group is hosting Dr. Sile O'Modhrain from the University of Michigan.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at Noon in 1255 North Quad


The Other Side of Haptics: Movement as an Interaction Design Element


Haptics as a research field concerns both the study of the touch senses and the development of technologies to display information to those senses. With respect to the development of hardware, the haptics community has hitherto focused on questions such as how to render the shape and texture of virtual objects and how to quantify the amount of information that can be transmitted to the human haptic senses. But such an approach is only one side of the haptic story because while it speaks to what we feel, it pays little attention to how we touch.

Our ability to pick up information through our haptic senses is closely related to how we move – we reach out to stroke the fur of a cat or we plunge our hand into water to see if it is warm or cold. In other words, the movements we perform are important because they determine what we can discover.

In this talk I will argue that such hand movements, and indeed the movement of the whole body connected to the hand, are the key to designing effective haptic interactions, whether in terms of developing new hardware or designing applications that use the touch senses. Drawing upon my prior work, I will demonstrate how movement can become a modality for interaction in its own right and will introduce the practical tools and the theoretical framework I have developed to enable the use of movement as an interaction design element.


Professor O'Modhrain has worked as a researcher and faculty member, both here and abroad, at the prestigious MIT Media Lab, Media Lab Europe, and at the Sonic Arts Research Center at Queen's University of Belfast. She has also worked for BBC Radio as an audio engineer and program producer. Her research focus is on haptics-touch and gesture-and its relationship to music performance and on the development of new interfaces for technology-enhanced instruments that extend the boundaries of musical expression. Also impressive is her combination of experience in many areas related to audio, psychoacoustics, computer music, cognition, and gestural control of music. She is internationally known and respected in her field, as evidenced by her record of scholarly accomplishment in well-regarded journals and as a frequent speaker at international conferences.

Guest Speaker: Xuan Zhao from School of Information in University of Michigan


Tuesday (October 15) the Michigan Interactive and Social Computing group is hosting Xuan Zhao from the University of Michigan.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at Noon in 1255 North Quad


Managing What’s on My Profile: Understanding Boundary Control on Facebook Through Temporal and Relational Lens


With the prevalence of social media, hundreds of millions of users are generating digital traces of their day-to-day life on the web. Boundary control is challenging in this online environment because the need for identity expression might change over time, and the management of co-owned digital traces often involves decision-making with other people. In this talk I will present two recent CHI papers that explore how people interact with social media affordances to negotiate personal and relational boundaries, the difficulties they encounter, and what this implies for supporting better interaction between the space for the self, for relationships, and for public in social media.


Xuan Zhao is currently a PhD student at University of Michigan School of Information. Her current research focuses on understanding the nature of digital traces on social media in relation to other digital processions, with an emphasis on exploring the relationship between social media data and people's identity and relationships. Xuan holds a M.S in Human-Computer Interaction from Cornell University and a B.A from Shandong University. She has previously worked as a research intern at Intelligent Collaboration group at IBM Research, Facebook UEX Research, and the Socio-Digital group at Microsoft Research Cambridge.

Guest Speaker: Dr. Susan Wyche from Michigan State University


Tuesday (October 8) the Michigan Interactive and Social Computing group is hosting Susan Wyche from the Michigan State University.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at Noon in 1255 North Quad


“Facebook is a Luxury”: No Electricity, High Costs and other Barriers to Social Media Adoption in Rural Kenya


The New York Times, BBC and other media channels are abuzz with reports about Mark Zuckerberg’s efforts to connect everyone on the planet via Facebook. Missing from these reports are the realities rural African users encounter when trying to access the social media site. In this talk, I present findings from my fieldwork in rural Kenya studying mobile phone owners and social media users to describe how persistent poverty, limited access to technology and unreliable electricity hinder online participation. I draw on these results to discuss new design opportunities, to raise questions about broadening online participation and to highlight the importance of engaging with diverse users on their own terms.


Susan Wyche is an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media at Michigan State University. She is also affiliated with MSU's Global Center for Food Systems Innovation funded by USAID in their Higher Education Solutions Network. Her current research interests include mobile phone and social media use in rural and urban Kenya. Grants from the CRA/NSF Computing Innovation Fellows Project, Google, Facebook and Nokia support this research. Wyche received a B.F.A. in Industrial Design from Carnegie Mellon University and an M.S. from Cornell University. She earned her Ph.D. in Human-Centered Computing from Georgia Tech in 2010.

Guest Speaker: Daniel Russell from Google


Dr. Daniel Russell's talk was recorded and you can view it here

Friday (October 4) the Michigan Interactive and Social Computing group is hosting Daniel Russell from Google.


Friday, October 4, 2013 at 10am in the Michigan League-Koessler (3rd Floor)


Mindtools: What does it Mean to be Literate in the Age of Google?


What does it mean to be literate at a time when you can search billions of texts in less than 300 milliseconds? Although you might think that "literacy" is one of the great constants that transcends the ages, the skills of a literate person have changed substantially over time as texts and technology allow for new kinds of reading and understanding. Knowing how to read is just the beginning of it -- knowing how to frame a question, pose a query, how to interpret the texts you find, how to organize and use the information you discover, how to understand your metacognition -- these are all critical parts of being literate as well.

In this talk Russell will review what literacy is today, in the age of Google, and show how some very surprising and unexpected skills will turn out to be critical in the years ahead. We have created powerful new tools for the mind. Thing is, those tools are constantly evolving and changing even as the things they operate on change as well. This puts us in the position of having to learn how to find tools, and understanding the substrate on which they work. Literacy in these days is not just reading and writing, but also understanding what knowledge tools are available, and how they can be used in interesting new ways.

Guest Speaker: Sherae L. Daniel from the University of Pittsburgh


Tuesday (October 1st) the Michigan Interactive and Social Computing group is hosting Sherae Daniel from the University of Pittsburgh.


Tues. October 1, 2013 at 1:30pm in the Ehrlicher room (Room 3100 NQ)


Interactive Effects of Reach and Receptivity in the Open Collaboration Context: Predicting Open Source Software Project Success


Projects vary in their ability to access and leverage the knowledge available across their networks. This paper develops and tests seven hypotheses related to the impact of network reach (distance and diversity of a project’s network alters) and receptivity (ability of the project to leverage network resources) on the success of open source software projects. Results from a study of 170 open source projects support the hypothesis that increases in reach imply increases in access to knowledge and thus have a direct positive effect on technical success. We explore three factors that represent a project’s receptivity to knowledge integration, which represents a critical means of leveraging network resources. These are implementation complexity, discussion interactivity and documentation comprehensiveness. Analysis reveals direct positive effects of discussion interactivity and documentation comprehensiveness on technical success. There are also interactions between reach and implementation complexity and between reach and documentation comprehensiveness. Findings extend the literature on open source software success and have implications for the wider literature on open collaborations. Implementation complexity, discussion interactivity, and documentation comprehensiveness are within the control of project participants, yielding practical implications.


Sherae L. Daniel completed her PhD in Information Systems with a minor in Econometrics from the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business. Her dissertation, titled "The Effect of Absorptive Capacity on Open Source Software Development," examines how characteristics of the developer and user communities contribute to the success of open source software projects. Daniel has published her related research in premiere journals and conferences including Information Systems Research, Journal of the Association of Information Systems and the International Conference on Information Systems.

Guest Speaker: Dr. Jean Wineman from Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning, University of Michigan


Tuesday (September 24) the Michigan Interactive and Social Computing group is hosting Jean Wineman from the University of Michigan.


Tues. September 24, 2013 at Noon in 1255 North Quad


Human and Social Interface for Sustainable Living


The performance of energy efficient buildings and building systems relies not only on intelligent design and use of appropriate building technologies, but is also largely dependent on the ways in which these advances in ‘smart’ green building systems integrate with occupant use patterns to enhance overall life quality and support long-term behavioral transformation toward energy conservation practices.

Research has shown that while approximately half of the energy used in the home depends on the physical characteristics of a house and its equipment while residents and their behavior influence the balance.1Differences in individual behavior have been shown to produce large variations – in some cases as much as 300% - in energy consumption, even when controlling for differences such as housing, appliances, HVAC systems, and family size.2

This presentation reviews our understanding of existing energy use patterns and adoption/utilization of energy conservation practices in residential and workplace settings. Our intent is to explore the critical human and social dimensions of sustainable building/community design, and to understand those characteristics that enhance inhabitant life quality and support long-term energy conservation practices.


Dr. Jean Wineman is Professor of Architecture and Associate Dean, Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning, University of Michigan. Her research interests focus on the links between characteristics of architectural design and behavioral, educational, and performance outcomes. She has over twenty-five years of experience in facility design and planning to support occupant performance. Recent projects include a study of high performance workspace for the U.S. General Services Administration, a study of spatial layout, social networks and innovation for the U.S. National Science Foundation, a study of healthy environments for the National Institutes of Health, and a University sponsored project, Integrated Responsive Building Envelopes. Publications include: Wineman, Kabo, and Davis, Spatial and social networks in organizational innovation, Environment & Behavior Journal (2009); Peponis and Wineman, The spatial structure of environment and behavior: Space syntax in Handbook of Environmental Psychology (Wiley, 2002).

1. K.B. Janda, Buildings don’t use energy: people do,” in Architecture, Energy and the Occupant’s Perspective, Proceedings of the 26 conference on Passive and Low Energy in Architecture (PLEA), eds. C. Demers and A. Potvin, Quebec, Canada: Les Presses de l’Universite Laval, 2009, 22-27.
2. M. Keesee, Setting a new standard – the zero energy home experience in California. Sacramento, CA: Sacramento Municipal Utility District, 2005; L. Schipper et al., Linking life –styles and energy use: a matter of time? Annual Review of Energy, 14, 1989, 273-320.

Schoenebeck to work with parents and children on managing social media use

Full story on UMSI website
Sarita Schoenebeck

As digital devices and internet connected services make their way into increasingly younger hands, parents have new anxieties to deal with. What are children doing with social media? How can parents cultivate constructive behaviors and healthy habits with new technologies?

The National Science Foundation has awarded UMSI assistant professor Sarita Yardi Schoenebeck a three year, $469,519 grant to conduct a wide-ranging study to assess parenting methods for increasing awareness, intentionality, and competency in youths’ social media usage. Schoenebeck notes that shifts in the technological landscape have generated a complex, sometimes fraught, series of parental perceptions relating to technology’s role in their children’s lives: parents hold simultaneously positive and negative views and have difficulty reconciling them.

The study will seek methods for reducing the challenges Schoenebeck identifies through a multi-step approach:

  1. A series of preliminary studies to identify how parents and children perceive social media use and where perceptions are mismatched
  2. A trial of mobile phone tools to encourage children to reflect on the content and context of their mobile social network use, along with text alerts to parents encouraging them to establish dialog with their children about social media
  3. A similar trial which leverages web browser usage among children with laptops and provides them with regular alerts

These studies will be used to generate themes and theories about how children use social media and how parents can be provided with tools to decrease their own anxiety about social media use while increasing the self-awareness and reflective capacity of children who engage with social media. The mobile phone and web-based tools will be made available to the public for adaptation, use, and review. 

Welcome to MISC


Michigan Interactive and Social Computing (MISC) connects researchers studying human-computer interaction, social computing, and computer-supported cooperative work across the University of Michigan.

This is an inherently interdisciplinary research area that includes participants across a variety of schools and departments. Our group meets weekly and hosts speaker events with the intention of fostering collaboration and supporting UM research in the topic areas as well as attracting attention to the presence and caliber of interactive and social computing research at UM.

More details about our regular meeting and invited talks during Fall 2013 will be coming soon!

MISC Mini-Retreat


The 2013 MISC mini-retreat, which will take place Wednesday, May 15 from 12-5 in North Quad 3100 (aka the Ehrlicher Room). This event is open to everyone who has an interest related to the broad areas of "Interactive and Social Computing," so please come.

12:00-1:00 Lunch, Opening Remarks, & Keynote
State of MISC: Mark Newman
Keynote Speaker: Malcolm McCullough

1:00-1:40 Poster/Demo/Expo session
Posters and other forms of exposition on current MISC activities, aimed to ground the afternoon's conversations.

1:40-2:00 Unconference Planning: Joint Project Brainstorming
From 2:00-4:00, we will have an unconference-style set of break-out discussion sessions to explore interdisciplinary joint projects that MISC ought to pursue in the coming years. We will follow a modified version of the Open Space Technology format, which starts with a brief participatory planning session.

2:00-2:40 Unconference Session #1

2:40-3:00 Report-out from Session #1
Also, coffee and snacks will arrive around this time, to be consumed in parallel.

3:00-3:40 Unconference Session #2

3:40-4:00 Report-out from Session #2

4:00-5:00 Panel discussion
Grand Challenges in Interactive and Social Computing
Moderator: Mark Newman
Panelists: Nicole Ellison, Pedja Klasnja, Heidi Kumao, Chris Quintana

MISC at CHI 2013

MISC members contributed to ten CHI papers and notes this year, and will also be participating in several workshops, and the poster session in Paris, France. We also have a team in the Student Design Competition; come cheer them on!

Papers & Notes

Monday, April 29

Favors from Facebook Friends: Unpacking Dimensions of Social Capital
Y. Jung, R. Gray, Cliff Lampe, Nicole B Ellison

Tuesday, April 30

Eytan Adar, D. Tan, J. Teevan
Deep Conversation in Urban India and its Implications for the Design of Conservation Technologies
Y. Shrinivasan, M. Jain, D. Seetharam, A. Chourdhary, E. Huang, T. Dillahunt, J. Mankoff

Wednesday, May 1

G. Laput, M. Dontcheva, G. Wilensky, W. Change, A. Agarwala, J. Linder, E. Adar
Infrastructure and Vocation: Field, Calling, and Computation in Ecology (Honorable mention)
S. Jackson, S. Barbrow

Thursday, May 2

I Feel For My Avatar: Embodied Perception in VEs
S. You, S. Sundar
Mind the Theoretical Gap: Interpreting, Using, and Developing Behavioral Theory in HCI Research
E. Hekler, P. Klasnja, J. Froehlich, M. Buman

Student Design Competition

Xpress: Crowdsourcing Native Speakers to Learn Colloquial Expressions in a Second Language
Y. Chang, S. Chou, M. Liu, S. Ruan, L. Li

Workshop papers


NewsCube Replication: Experience Report
S. Chabra, P. Resnick
Replicating Residential Sustainability Study in Urban India
Creating Resilient Communities for Post-Sustainable Times

Methods for Studying Technology in the Home

A Glimpse into How People Use Novel Technology in Homes

Patient-Clinician Communication

Enhancing Information Flows to Patients
Doc-style: Using Dynamic Platform and Interacive Design to Enhance Patient-Clinician Communication
Y. Liu, H. Huang

Many People, Many Eyes

How Prior Knowledge Affects the Processing of Information

Chinese CHI

Investigating the Information Source Selection Phenomenon in a Mobile Environment
Integrating Capture and Playback into Context-Aware Systems Development

Work in Progress Poster

Does Clustered Presentation Lead Readers to Diverse Selections?
S. Chabra, P. Resnick

Guest Speaker: Julie Kientz from the University of Washington


Tuesday (April 16) the Michigan Interactive and Social Computing group is hosting Julie Kientz from the University of Washington.

Tues. April 16, 2013 at Noon in 1255 North Quad

Understanding and Reducing the User Burdens Associated with Interactive Technologies for Health and Wellbeing

The use of interactive technologies to improve health and wellbeing has grown dramatically over the last two decades. However, there are many reasons why people still do not adopt different types of health technologies, including physical, mental, time, emotional, financial, and privacy demands. In my research, I have been seeking to understand and characterize these user burdens and design novel applications that can help to reduce them and improve access to healthcare. In this talk, I will first give an overview of studies seeking to understand the emotional, physical, and privacy burdens of interactive technologies. I will then describe the design and evaluation of three wellness applications my lab has developed in conjunction with health experts in which we have sought to reduce these burdens: 1) ShutEye, a mobile awareness display for promoting healthy sleep behaviors; 2) Lullaby, an at home capture and access system for monitoring the sleep environment; and 3) Baby Steps, an ecosystem of interactive tools for helping parents track developmental progress in young children. Finally, I will discuss future directions in helping to understand and reduce the user burden of health technologies.

Julie A. Kientz is an Assistant Professor in the department of Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington. She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in The Information School and Computer Science & Engineering and is active in the Design, Use, Build (dub) alliance. Dr. Kientz's primary research areas are in the fields of Human-Computer Interaction, Ubiquitous Computing, and Health Informatics. She directs the Computing for Healthy Living & Learning Lab, which focuses on designing, developing, and evaluating future computing applications in the domains of health and education. In particular, Dr. Kientz has worked on designing and evaluating mobile, sensor, and collaborative applications for people with sleep disorders, parents of young children, and individuals with autism. Her primary research methods involve human-centered design, technology development, and a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods. Dr. Kientz received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2008, was awarded a National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2009, and was named her department’s Junior Faculty Innovator in 2012.

Guest Speaker: Jason Hong from Carnegie Mellon University


Tuesday (April 9) the Michigan Interactive and Social Computing group is hosting Jason Hong from Carnegie Mellon University.

Tues. April 9, 2013 at Noon in 1255 North Quad

HCI and Smartphone Data at Scale

Today's smartphones have an incredible wealth of data about us: they know who we know, who we communicate with, what apps we run, where we go, and more. Altogether, these new capabilities offer us the opportunity to analyze real-world social networks and human behaviors at a fidelity and scale that previously was not possible. As such, mobile devices can be thought of as a new scientific tool for capturing and understanding real-world interactions, activities, and behaviors.

In this talk, I discuss three threads of work my colleagues and I have been investigating. The first is using smartphones to infer depression in people, by using smartphone data to infer social relationships, sleep patterns, and physical activities.

The second thread is using geotag social media data from thousands of people for urban analytics, to help people understand the character, structure, and dynamics of cities.

The third thread is understanding how to protect the privacy of individuals. I will discuss some of our work in using crowdsourcing to dissect the behaviors of apps and to build better summaries that emphasize unexpected behaviors.

Jason Hong is an associate professor in the Human Computer Interaction Institute, part of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. He works in the areas of ubiquitous computing and usable privacy and security. He is also an author of the book The Design of Sites, a popular book on web design using web design patterns. Jason is also a co-founder of Wombat Security Technologies, which focuses on the human side of computer security. Jason received his PhD from Berkeley and his undergraduate degrees from Georgia Institute of Technology. Jason has participated in DARPA's Computer Science Study panel, is an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, and a Kavli Fellow.

Guest Speaker: Elijah Mayfield from Carnegie Mellon University


Friday (April 5) the Michigan Interactive and Social Computing group is hosting Elijah Mayfield from Carnegie Mellon University.

Fri. April 5, 2013 at Noon in 2255 North Quad

Analyzing Authoritative Conversational Language with Machine Learning

We constantly interpret social cues in our daily life - from members of other cultures, in new environments, and discussing complex topics. As common as these interactions are, it is no surprise that judging the authoritativeness of others is intuitive, almost automatic, for humans. For computational modeling, however, these cues are not so easy. My research builds sociolinguistic insight into machine learning, streamlining their theories when necessary and automating them when possible, to allow for patterns of authoritative behavior to emerge from large collections of conversational data. This talk demonstrates that authoritative language in conversation can be defined in a reliable way; that those cues can be reliably recognized using machine learning, matching human accuracy in judgment of authority and annotation of social behavior; and that the output of that prediction correlates with diverse outcomes, such as interpersonal trust, task success, and cross-cultural communication effectiveness. These results range across conversational domains, from controlled lab studies to the high stakes domains of healthcare and education.

Elijah Mayfield is a Ph.D. student at the Language Technologies Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, and a recipient of the 2011 Siebel Scholarship and the 2013 IBM Ph.D. Fellowship. His research focuses on using machine learning to better understand and recognize social cues in language, with an emphasis on authoritativeness, expertise, and empowerment. In practice, he is using these insights to improve understanding of real-world problems in education and healthcare. Elijah is also the founder of LightSIDE Labs, a startup in Pittsburgh, PA building platforms for automated assessment of student-written texts using machine learning. In 2012, LightSIDE was invited to participate in the ASAP Competition, held by the Hewlett Foundation and Kaggle.com, where those vendors demonstrated that the state-of-the-art in automated assessment matches human reliability. His work with LightSIDE has been highlighted across a variety of news sources including NPR Morning Edition, Education Week, and Science.

Guest Speaker: Jodi Forlizzi from Carnegie Mellon University


Tuesday (March 26) the Michigan Interactive and Social Computing group is hosting Jodi Forlizzi from Carnegie Mellon University.

Tues. March 26, 2013 at Noon in 1255 North Quad

The Death of User-Centered Design

In this talk, I will share some nascent ideas about why and how the the field of HCI should move beyond user-centered design in framing problems and creating solutions. In the past three decades, topics of interest within HCI have migrated from usability of desktop computers for office workers to complex, societal problems including healthcare and sustainability. I believe that current HCI approaches, inspired by user-centered design, are insufficient to appropriately take on these new challenges. I propose, instead, that we take a service design approach and conceive of product service systems to look at problems holistically, and to consider the implications of what we might design.

Jodi Forlizzi is an Associate Professor of Design and Human-Computer Interaction at Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh, PA. She also leads the Human-Systems Interaction Group of the Quality of Life Technology Center, an NSF Engineering Research Center. Jodi is an interaction designer who examines theories of experience, emotion, and social product use as they relate to interaction design. Other research and practice centers on notification systems ranging from peripheral displays to embodied robots, with a special focus on the social behavior evoked by these systems. One recent system is Snackbot, a robot that delivers snacks and encourages people to make healthy choices.

Guest Speaker: Dawn Nafus from Intel Research


Friday (March 1) the Michigan Interactive and Social Computing group is hosting Dawn Nafus from Intel Research.

Fri. March 1, 2013 at 11:00 AM (Space 2435 North Quad)

The Ethnomathematics of Algorithms: Sensors and the Problem of Little Big Data

Big data is a discourse that enables people imagine new ways that digital information can travel, connect people, and make meanings. The discourse brings together notions of the found object with a notion of the infinitely recombinable, as if all data were related to all other data if thrown into a cloud-like space and stirred around. In this discourse, data is assumed to lack boundaries, and meaning is assumed to be ready-to-hand, just round the corner with enough stirring. Yet it seems that just before the technology industry gets to that corner,it invariably calls for more context, as if adding “more context” were as simple as adding more data. Using an ethnography of home energy monitoring and health monitoring enthusiasts, I show how the cultural imagination of data's infinite recombinability encounters people’s practical experiences with sensor data. The anthropology of number shows that human sensemaking has much to do with sensor data’s linguistic properties. In Peircian terms, it is designed to generate “indexical” forms of meaning. For home energy and health monitoring, data’s indexicality both betrays too much and yet is never sufficient. Sensor data is both very big and very little at the same time. This expansive and yet myopic quality is the source of much consternation, as it forces users to encounter just how complex their own constructs of what constitutes a “healthy body” or an “energy efficient home” really are.

Dawn Nafus is an anthropologist Intel, where she conducts social science research to inform new products and strategies. She holds a PhD in Anthropology from Cambridge University, and was previously a research fellow at University of Essex. She has research interests in temporality and technology, innovation policy as belief system, and global processes of consumerization. Her areas of regional expertise are Russia and the UK.

Guest Speaker: Rebecca Rhodes from University of Michigan


Tuesday (Feb 19) the Michigan Interactive and Social Computing group is hosting Rebecca Rhodes, a doctoral candidate in the cognition and cognitive neuroscience area of the department of psychology.

Tues. February 19, 2013 at Noon in 1255 North Quad

The role of prior beliefs and alluring information in everyday scientific reasoning

In this age of information, new research is reported to the general public on a daily basis. Whether it is an article about drinking red wine to lose weight or a friend telling us who we should vote for, we constantly encounter new claims that aim to influence our behavior. Research has suggested that vivid, anecdotal information may make claims more persuasive and may have an influence on our decisions. This body of research has yielded mixed results, however, and the conditions under which anecdotes exert an influence are unclear. My work examines whether anecdotes affect our ability to think critically about a claim and whether the influence of anecdotes depends on certain dispositional factors such as our prior beliefs.

Rebecca Rhodes is a doctoral candidate in the cognition and cognitive neuroscience area of the department of psychology as well as a Master's student in statistics. She received her bachelor's degree from Texas A&M university in 2010.

Guest Speaker: Jeff Bigham from University of Rochester


Tuesday (Dec 4) the Michigan Interactive and Social Computing group is hosting Jeff Bigham from University of Rochester.

Tues. Dec 4, 2012 at Noon in 1255 North Quad

Crowd Agents: Interactive Crowd-Powered Systems in the Real World

Over the past few years, I have been developing and deploying interactive crowd-powered systems. For instance, VizWiz has the crowd answer visual questions for blind people in less than a minute, Legion allows outsourcing of desktop tasks to the crowd, and Scribe allows the crowd to caption audio in real-time. Overall, thousands of people have engaged with these systems, providing an interesting look at how end users interact with crowd work in their everyday lives. Collectively, these systems illustrate a new approach to human computation in which the diverse and changing crowd is provided the computational support necessary to act as a single, high-quality actor. The classic advantage of the crowd has been its wisdom, but our systems are beginning to show how crowd agents can surpass even expert individuals on difficult real-time motor and cognitive performance tasks.

Jeffrey P. Bigham is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Rochester where he heads the ROC HCI Group. His work is at the intersection of human-computer interaction, human computation, and artificial intelligence, with a focus on developing innovative technology that serves people with disabilities in their everyday lives. Jeffrey received his B.S.E degree in Computer Science from Princeton University in 2003. He received his M.Sc. degree in 2005 and his Ph.D. in 2009, both in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Washington working with Richard E. Ladner. Dr. Bigham has won a number of awards, including the Microsoft Imagine Cup Accessible Technology Award, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Award for Technology Collaboration, the MIT Technology Review Top 35 Innovators Under 35 Award, and Best Paper Awards at UIST, WSDM, and ASSETS. In 2012, he received the National Science Foundation CAREER Award.

Guest Speaker: Jaime Teevan from Microsoft


Tuesday (Nov 6) the Michigan Interactive and Social Computing group is hosting Jaime Teevan from Microsoft.

Tues. Nov 6, 2012 at Noon in 1255 North Quad

Using Mobile Phones to Augment Face-to-Face Social Interaction

We see technology as hindering our face-to-face social interactions. Individuals feel isolated by their devices even when surrounded by other people. This happens despite the fact that many of the devices we have in social settings, such as smartphones, are explicitly designed to support social connections. Such devices focus on remote connections at the cost of our immediate social interactions. We try to mitigate the cost of technology in social settings by not using it when with others (“No phones at the dinner table!”). However, rather than fight the creep of technology into our face-to-face interactions, there is an opportunity to build solutions that embrace it. I will present what we have learned through the deployment of several mobile phone applications intended to make you happy when the person you are with pulls out their phone, rather than annoyed. Bring your phone with you to try one of these applications out during the talk.

Jaime Teevan is a Senior Researcher in the Context, Learning, and User Experience for Search (CLUES) Group at Microsoft Research, and an Affiliate Assistant Professor in the Information School at the University of Washington. She studies how people use digital information, particularly as related to their social and temporal context, and builds tools to help better support these information interactions. Jaime was named a Technology Review (TR35) 2009 Young Innovator for her research on personalized search. She co-authored the first book on collaborative Web search, and was Chair of the Web Search and Data Mining (WSDM) 2012 conference. Jaime also edited a book on Personal Information Management (PIM), edited a special issue of Communications of the ACM on the topic, and organized workshops on PIM and query log analysis. She has published numerous technical papers, including several best papers, and received a Ph.D. and S.M. from MIT and a B.S. in Computer Science from Yale University.

Guest Speaker: Prof. James Landay from University of Washington


Next Monday (Oct 15) the Michigan Interactive and Social Computing group is hosting James Landay from University of Washington.

Mon. Oct 15, 2012 at 10 am in 3100 North Quad

Balancing Design and Technology to Tackle Global Grand Challenges

There are many urgent problems facing the planet: a degrading environment, a healthcare system in crisis, and educational systems that are failing to produce creative, innovative thinkers to solve tomorrow’s problems. A balanced approach is required to solve these problems: a balance between design and technology, a balance between government policy and individual behavior change, and a balance between Western and Eastern ways of thinking. Technology influences behavior, and I believe when balanced with revolutionary design, we can reduce a family’s energy and water use by 50%, double most people’s daily physical activity, and educate any child anywhere in the world to a level of proficiency on par with the planet’s best students. My research program tackles these grand challenges by using a new model of interdisciplinary research that takes a long view and encourages risk-taking and creativity. I will illustrate how we are addressing these grand challenges in our research by building systems that balance innovative user interfaces with novel activity inference technology. These systems have helped individuals stay fit, led families to be more sustainable in their everyday lives, and supported learners in acquiring second languages. I will also introduce the World Lab, a cross-cultural institute that embodies my balanced approach to attack the world’s biggest problems today, while preparing the technology and design leaders of tomorrow.

James Landay is the Short-Dooley Professor of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, specializing in human-computer interaction. He is the founder and co-director of the World Lab, a joint research and educational effort with Tsinghua University in Beijing. Prof. Landay is also the co-founder of the dub group at the University of Washington. From 2003 through 2006 he was also the Laboratory Director of Intel Labs Seattle, a university affiliated research lab exploring ubiquitous computing. His current research interests include Technology to Support Behavior Change, Demonstrational Interfaces, Mobile & Ubiquitous Computing, and User Interface Design Tools. He spent his 2009-2011 sabbatical at Microsoft Research Asia in Beijing, where he was also a Visiting Professor in the Computer Science Department of Tsinghua University.

Landay received his BS in EECS from UC Berkeley in 1990 and MS and PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in 1993 and 1996, respectively. His PhD dissertation was the first to demonstrate the use of sketching in user interface design tools. He was also the chief scientist and co-founder of NetRaker. In 1997 he joined the faculty in EECS at UC Berkeley, leaving as an Associate Professor in 2003. He was named to the ACM SIGCHI Academy in 2011. He currently serves on the NSF Engineering CISE Advisory Board. More information can be found at https://www.cs.washington.edu/people/faculty/landay or by following landay on Twitter.

Guest Speaker: Dan Cosley from Cornell University


Next Tuesday (Oct 9) the Michigan Interactive and Social Computing group is hosting Dan Cosley from Cornell University.

Tues. Oct 9, 2012 at 12 pm in 2255 North Quad

Big data as both a window and a mirror

People create enormous amounts of content in social media such as Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, and Blogger -- and because these media focus on awareness and current activity, most of this content disappears under the sea of the new, never to be seen again. In this talk we'll explore how systems can re-use these data to help create computational, social science, and personal knowledge. We'll use case studies around collaboration in Wikipedia, making sense of relationships in Facebook, and supporting personal reflection using social media to illuminate major themes around re-using these past data, including the value of multi-method approaches, the need to consider what is left out in online contexts, the potential of helping people use these data to better understand themselves, and the value of doing work that combines research, commercial, and personal interests.

Dan Cosley is an assistant professor in information science at Cornell University who does research around human-computer interaction and social media. His high-level research goal is to build systems that leverage people's pre-existing behavior in digital media to create new individual and social goods. These include SuggestBot, a recommender system that uses Wikipedia editing behavior and link structure to help contributors find articles they are interested in and that the community has marked as needing work, and Pensieve, a system that reminds people to reminisce and write about the past by sending them prompts based on content they have created in social media. This work is supported by a 2009 NSF CAREER grant. Along the way, he has studied a number of domains, including recommender systems, tagging, mobile interaction, museum informatics, and online communities. He values interdisciplinary research, sees research experience as a core component of undergraduate as well as graduate education, and prefers work that makes contributions both to academia and to society more broadly. He received his PhD in computer science in 2006 from the University of Minnesota under the guidance of advisors John Riedl and Loren Terveen.

Guest Speaker: Oded Nov from NYU-Poly


Next Thursday (Oct 4) the Michigan Interactive and Social Computing group is hosting Oded Nov from Polytechnic Institute of New York University.

Thurs. Oct 4, 2012 at 12 pm in 1255 North Quad

Personality-Targeted Design: Theory, Experimental Procedure, and Preliminary Results

We introduce a framework for personality-targeted design, much like a medical treatment applied to a person based on her specific genetic profile. In a series of studies we examine the effect of the interaction between personality traits and theory-driven UI features on users’ online behavior, and demonstrate the effectiveness of interactionist design.

Oded Nov is an Assistant Professor at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University. He received his PhD from Cambridge University. His research focuses on motivational, dispositional and social aspects of information systems and social media. Dr. Nov is a recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER Award.

MISC at CHI 2012

MISC members contributed to nine CHI papers and notes this year, and will also be participating in several workshops, three courses, and one SIG meeting in Austin, Texas. We also have two teams in the Student Design Contribution; come cheer them on!

Papers & Notes

Cliff Lampe, Jessica Vitak, Rebecca Gray, Nicole B Ellison
Tao Dong, Mira Dontcheva, Diana Joseph, Karrie Karahalios, Mark W Newman, Mark S Ackerman
The Way I Talk to You: Sentiment Expression in an Organizational Context
Jiang Yang, Lada A Adamic, Mark S Ackerman, Zhen Wen, Ching-Yung Lin
Successful Classroom Deployment of a Social Document Annotation System
Sacha Zyto, David R Karger, Mark S Ackerman, Sanjoy Mahajan
Of BATs and APEs: An Interactive Tabletop Game for Natural History Museums
Michael S. Horn, Zeina Atrash Leong, Florian Block, Judy Diamond, Margaret Evans, Brenda Phillips, Chia Shen
A Quantitative Explanation of Governance in an Online Peer-Production Community
Chandan Sarkar, Donghee Yvette Wohn, Cliff Lampe, Kurt DeMaagd

Student Design Competition

fridgeTop: Bringing home-like experience back to kitchen space
Shwetangi Savant, Gin L Chieng, Szu-Hsuan Lai, Yi-yu Lin, Ityam Vasal
StoryCubes: Connecting elders in independent living through storytelling
Micah Linnemeier, Yi-Ying Lin, Gierad Laput, Ramachandra Kishore Vijjapurapu

Workshop papers

Information Fragmentation and Continuity of Care in Bone Marrow Transplant
at the Bridging Clinical and Non-clinical Health Practices workshop


Human-Computer Interaction: Introduction and Overview
Keith A. Butler, Robert J.K. Jacob, David Kieras
Supporting Community with Social Media
John M. Carroll, Cliff Lampe
Evidenced-Based Social Design of Online Communities (based on the book!)
Robert Kraut, Paul Resnick

SIG Meeting

Reject Me: Peer Review and SIGCHI
Michael S Bernstein, Dan Cosley, Carl DiSalvo, Sanjay Kairam, David Karger, Travis Kriplean, Cliff Lampe, Wendy Mackay, Loren Terveen, Jacob Wobbrock, Sarita Yardi

Book signing

Robert Kraut, Paul Resnick @ 6:30-7:15, Monday, MIT Press booth at the welcome reception

MISC End of Year Barbecue


MISC members had a wonderful end of year party, before many of us were leaving town for the CHI conference in Austin, TX. Thanks to Paul Resnick for hosting, and Jessica Hullman for organizing!

MISC helps launch Coursera online courses


Two professors from MISC are among the first to offer free courses through a groundbreaking new service, U-M and Coursera announced April 18.

Clinical Associate Professor Charles (Chuck) Severance will present a class on the origins and technology of the Internet, while Associate Professor of Information Lada Adamic will present a course on social network analysis.

"A lot of the battles of our society will be played out over the Internet. It empowers people. If we have no idea what it is, how can we participate?” Severance said. “This course is hopefully going to make the average person far more curious, to want to make themselves more involved and a better network citizen. I want people to look at the Internet from the inside out."

An introduction to Severance’s course can be viewed below.

Adamic will focus on the analysis of social networks. "In this course, you will learn about the structure and evolution of networks, drawing on knowledge from disciplines as diverse as sociology, mathematics, computer science, economics, and physics," she wrote. "Online interactive demonstrations and hands-on analysis of real-world data sets will focus on a range of tasks: from identifying important nodes in the network, to detecting communities, to tracing information diffusion and opinion formation."

In the coming months, a total of seven University of Michigan faculty will offer courses on the site, covering topics ranging from finance to fantasy and science fiction. Coursera’s educational approach includes video lectures with interactive quizzes, mastery-building interactive assignments and collaborative online forums.

One U-M course already offered through Coursera is Model Thinking, taught by Scott Page, Professor of Political Science, Complex Systems and Economics. More than 50,000 people signed up for the class, which launched in February. So far, Page’s students have logged more than 1.2 million views of videos developed for the class. Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering J. Alex Halderman will also offer a course on Securing Digital Democracy.

"Our faculty members are eager to share their knowledge globally and our students are equally excited about experimenting with this new approach to learning,” U-M President Mary Sue Coleman said in a statement.

SI Professor Paul Resnick releases Book on Building Online Communities


School of Information Professor Paul Resnick and co-author Robert Kraut, along with contributors Sara Kiesler, Yuqing Ren, Yan Chen, Moira Burke, Niki Kittur, John Riedl, and Joseph Konstan, has published Building Successful Online Communities: Evidence-Based Social Design.

This book offers lessons from theory and empirical research in the social sciences that can help improve the design of online communities. The social sciences can tell us much about how to make online communities thrive, offering theories of individual motivation and human behavior that, properly interpreted, can inform particular design choices for online communities. The authors draw on the literature in psychology, economics, and other social sciences, as well as their own research, translating general findings into useful design claims.

The design claims follow a format familiar to former SI529 (and the prior SI684) students: Alternative X leads to Goal Y under Conditions Z or the comparative format Alternative X1 is more effective than Alternative X2 at achieving Goal Y under Conditions Z

For each design claim, the authors offer supporting evidence from theory, experiments, or observational studies.The book focuses on five high-level design challenges: starting a new community, attracting new members, encouraging commitment, encouraging contribution, and regulating misbehavior and conflict. By organizing their presentation around these fundamental design features, the authors encourage practitioners to consider alternatives rather than simply adapting a feature seen on other sites.

Jennifer Preece, Professor and Dean of the University of Maryland’s iSchool, says this is "the book we’ve all been waiting for. Students, faculty, and professional developers will learn how online communities function. There’s something for everyone--empirical findings framed in theory, and gems of advice. The authors are remarkable researchers, teachers, and leaders in the field."

View pre-print chapters on Robert Kraut's website or order the book on Amazon.

Guest Lecture by Tawanna Dillahunt: "Engaging and Connecting Stakeholders around Sensed Data to Support Environmental Sustainable Behaviors"


Tawanna Dillahunt, a soon-to-graduate PhD student from Carnegie-Mellon University will give a guest lecture on “Engaging and Connecting Stakeholders around Sensed Data to Support Environmental Sustainable Behaviors.”

Tuesday, 24 April, 12-1 pm · North Quad 2245 · Light lunch will be served.

Abstract: According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Americans consumed 100 quadrillion BTUs of energy in 2008, with personal, individual activities accounting for much of this consumption. Over the past few years, I have designed, implemented, and studied interfaces that reward conservation behavior by sensing and presenting positive feedback about green transportation choices and home energy consumption. I will give an overview of this work and discuss details of two projects: (1) Ubigreen: a mobile tool for tracking and supporting “green” transportation habits and (2) Community Monitor: a home-energy monitoring application that allows community members to engage with one another to share knowledge and information; to compare electricity consumption; and to build community. My results demonstrate the impact of engagement around social sharing, specifically around community energy monitoring in residential communities.

I have also researched barriers and opportunities for saving energy in low-income communities and explored the impact of multi-stakeholder relationships, and socioeconomic factors on conservation behavior.

Guest Lecture: "Does it matter where we test? Asynchronous remote user studies of digital libraries in natural environments"


Date and time: 02/14/2012 - 12:00pm
Location: 2245 North Quad
Speaker: Elke Greifeneder


Elke Greifeneder is a researcher at the Berlin School of Library and Information Science at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. In her research she investigates the adaption and the validity of quantitative and qualitative methods for user behavior studies in remote environments, especially in the user’s natural environment. She has a strong interest in user-centered design of digital libraries and has carried out several user studies. She is associate editor of Library Hi Tech. Elke holds a Magister degree in Library and Information Science and French studies from the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and will finish her dissertation this spring.

Abstract for talk:

Users access digital libraries from all over the world and at a time of their choosing. A methodological approach that allows researchers to create evaluations where participants can easily take part without being forced to come to a laboratory is desirable. In her talk, Elke discusses whether the data in a participant’s natural environment are similar to data from the same test in a laboratory.

Recent studies in Computer and Information Science compared data from laboratory tests with remote usability test data and discovered no significant difference between the two settings. But these studies created remote test settings that resembled virtual laboratories; they did not consider remote tests in natural environments. In a natural environment, people are accustomed to multi-tasking and, in consequence, are highly distracted. That means the assumption that laboratory data are similar to asynchronous remote test data might not be true for tests in a user’s natural environment, where researchers have no control over a participant’s other activities during the test period.

The talk discusses the validity of indicators like duration, success of task completion and ratings in a natural environment by showing the hard numbers researchers usually collect, and then illustrates these numbers with context information about what (really) happened in the test situation.

MISC meetings in Winter 2012

We plan to keep the same day and time for MISC meetings (Tuesdays at 12 pm) as well as the same room (NQ2245). Stay tuned for information about events and talks!

Guest Lecture by Amy Schwartz from IDEO


Lessons from the Field: What I've Learned from 25 Years of Usability Research.

Location: 2245 NQ

Time & Date: 12-1 PM, Nov 15th.

Amy Schwartz

A cognitive psychologist, founder of IDEO Chicago’s User Research Group, and senior thought-leader in the company’s Health & Wellness domain, Amy Schwartz has over 25 years of professional experience in research, design, and innovation – 14 of them at IDEO. Working for a diverse set of clients—from small, not-for-profit start-ups to industry leaders like Baxter, Medtronic, Abbott, and Geisinger—Amy has contributed her innovative research methodologies and human insights to award-winning projects ranging from the design of surgical instruments and consumer health products to adherence strategies for the treatment of chronic illnesses, new services for retail-based health clinics, and the design of a medical simulation center for a major medical school. She excels in helping clients frame problems in new ways to inspire innovative design solutions.

Because Amy has worked closely with everyone from consumers, patients and their families, providers and their care teams, pharmacists, pharmaceutical companies, and payers, she has an empathic, holistic understanding of the entire modern healthcare ecosystem and the needs, desires, fears, and real- life contexts of a multitude of stakeholders. Amy’s current challenge: how to bring human-centered design-thinking to big, systemic health and wellness problems in the era of healthcare reform.

An engaging speaker, Amy has presented strategies for transforming healthcare and empowering both patients and care teams to the IHI Forum, ESOMAR Global Healthcare Conference, and AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting. She has also lectured on design research, health trends, and behavior change and adherence at Northwestern University, the University of Michigan, and the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation. Amy holds a PhD degree in cognitive psychology from Yale University and a BA in psychology from Columbia University.



School of Information doctoral student Rayoung Yang will give a presentation at the 13th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility in Dundee, Scotland on Monday, October 24th. Here is the information of the paper being presented:

Title: Supporting Spatial Awareness and Independent Wayfinding for Pedestrians with Visual Impairments

Authors: Rayoung Yang, Sangmi Park, Sonali Mishra, Zhenan Hong, Clint Newsom, Erik Hofer, Hyeon Joo and Mark Newman

Abstract: Much of the information designed to help people navigate the built environment is conveyed through visual channels, which means it is not accessible to people with visual impairments. Due to this limitation, travelers with visual impairments often have difficulty navigating and discovering locations in unfamiliar environments, which reduces their sense of independence with respect to traveling by foot. In this paper, we examine how mobile location-based computing systems can be used to increase the feeling of independence in travelers with visual impairments. A set of formative interviews with people with visual impairments showed that increasing one’s general spatial awareness is the key to greater independence. This insight guided the design of Talking Points 3 (TP3), a mobile location-aware system for people with visual impairments that seeks to increase the legibility of the environment for its users in order to facilitate navigating to desired locations, exploration, serendipitous discovery, and improvisation. We conducted studies with eight legally blind participants in three campus buildings in order to explore how and to what extent TP3 helps promote spatial awareness for its users. The results shed light on how TP3 helped users find destinations in unfamiliar environments, but also allowed them to discover new points of interest, improvise solutions to problems encountered, develop personalized strategies for navigating, and, in general, enjoy a greater sense of independence.

Guest Speaker: David Millen from IBM Research


This Wednesday (10/12) the Michigan Interactive and Social Computing group is hosting David Millen from IBM Research.

Date/time/location: Wed. Oct 12, 2011 at 4 pm in 2255 North Quad

Title: Social Mechanics and the Social Business

Abstract: In recent years, we have seen a very rapid and widespread growth in the use of social software in enterprise settings. Increasingly, both large and small companies are using this social media technology to manage and influence relationships with partners, customers and employees. Social networking applications are increasingly being tailored for enterprise use: social bookmarking is combined with enterprise search to improve information seeking, social file sharing applications are improving resource sharing, and enhanced personal profiles are helping to locate experts and improve social interaction as a result of enhanced people sensemaking. In this talk, the lessons learned from several social software research projects sponsored by the IBM Center for Social Software will be discussed. In each case study, a venture research approach was employed in which an innovative new social application was designed and deployed at scale. Three main questions will be explored. How can we harness the power of “social recommenders” to simultaneously boost information visibility and allow personalized monitoring and filtering? How can we use social applications to better support a more global organization? And finally, how can we design socially synergistic systems to support innovation?

Bio: David Millen is a senior researcher at IBM Research and the Center for Social Software in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In his research he designs and builds new social software services, and explores the social, business, and technological implications of these new tools through large-scale field studies of use. Important projects include the Dogear Social Bookmarking System, the Beehive Social Networking Service, and the Cattail Social File Sharing System, which were all pioneering examples of social software designed for enterprise settings. Prior to joining IBM, David worked at AT&T Research and Bell Laboratories, where he explored how new technologies changed employee work activities, organizational roles, and patterns of communication. David has been an adjunct faculty member at Rutgers University and at Tufts University, where he recently taught a class on The Social Web. David holds a BA from Columbia University and a PhD. in Cognitive Psychology from Rutgers University.

MISC at ICWSM 2011

Lars Backstrom, Eytan Bakshy, Jon Kleinberg, Thomas M. Lento, Itamar Rosenn
Rating friends without making enemies
Culture Matters: A Survey Study of Social Q&A Behavior
Jiang Yang, Meredith Ringel Morris, Jaime Teevan, Lada A Adamic, Mark Ackerman

MISC at CHI 2011


Papers and Notes

Supporting Collaborative Help for Individualized Use
CPOE Workarounds, Boundary Objects, and Assemblages
Using Tags to Encourage Reflection and Annotation on Data During Nomadic Inquiry
Alex Kuhn, Clara Cahill, Chris Quintana, Shannon Schmoll
User Perceptions of the Role and Value of Tags
Yong-Mi Kim, Soo Young Rieh


Facebook for Health: Opportunities and Challenges for Driving Behavior Change
Margaret E Morris, Sunny Consolvo, Sean Munson, Kevin Patrick, Janice Tsai, Adam D.I. Kramer
The Future of Child-Computer Interaction
Allison Druin, Gary Knell, Elliot Soloway, Daniel Russell, Elizabeth Mynatt, Yvonne Rogers

Works in Progress

Constructing Scientific Arguments with User Collected Data in Nomadic Inquiry
Alex Kuhn, Brenna McNally, Clara Cahill, Chris Quintana, Elliot Soloway
Supporting Visually Impaired Navigation: A Needs-finding Study
Pablo-Alejandro Quinones, Tammy Greene, Rayoung Yang, Mark W Newman
CapWidgets: Tangile Widgets versus Multi-Touch Controls on Mobile Devices
Sven Kratz, Tilo Westermann, Michael Rohs, Georg Essl
Exploring Trust in Group-to-Group Video-Conferencing
Petr Slovák, Peter Novák, Pavel Troubil, Petr Holub, Erik C. Hofer


The Trouble with Social Computing Systems Research
Michael S Bernstein, Mark S Ackerman, Ed H Chi, Robert C Miller

Student Design Competition

Lingua: Cultural Exchange Through Language Partnerships
Caitlin Holman, Jane Leibrock, Jose Jimenez, Daniel Greitzer, Tom Haynes


Designing for Whole Systems and Services in Healthcare
Peter Jones, David Cronin, Dean Karavite, Ross Koppel, Prudence Dalrymple, Kai Zheng, Michelle Rogers, Bob Schumacher


Human-Computer Interaction: Introduction and Overview
Keith Butler, Robert Jacob, David Kieras

GroupLens wins ACM Software System Award


The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) has announced that School of Information Professor Paul Resnick and his collaborators have won the 2010 Software System Award for their GroupLens Collaborative Filtering Recommender Systems, which showed how a distributed set of users could receive personalized recommendations by sharing ratings, leading to both commercial products and extensive research.

The Software System Award is given annually to an institution or individuals recognized for developing software systems that have had a lasting influence, reflected in contributions to concepts and/or commercial acceptance. The award is based on work that Resnick and his group produced in the early to mid-1990s.

The GroupLens systems show how a distributed set of users could receive personalized recommendations by sharing ratings, leading to both commercial products and extensive research. Based on automated collaborative filtering, these recommender systems were introduced, refined, and commercialized by the team at GroupLens. They then brought automation to the process, enabling wide-ranging research and commercial applications. The team founded Net Perceptions, which provided recommender systems to leading retail and information companies around the world.

Recommender systems draw on machine learning, human computer interaction, ecommerce, information retrieval, databases, and other computer science fields.

Past winners of this prestigious award, which has been presented since 1983, include developers at Apache, Java, Mosaic, and Postscript. The first award was made to the developers of generic operating systems that led to the implementation of UNIX.

ACM is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, providing resources that advance computing as a science and a profession.

MISC at CSCW 2011


MISC at GROUP 2010

Shared Identity Helps Partially Distributed Teams, But Distance Still Matters
Nathan Bos, Ayse Buyuktur, Judith Olson, Gary Olson, Amy Voida
Social Regulation in an Online Game: Uncovering the Problematics of Code
Mark Ackerman, Jack Muramatsu, David McDonald
Speaking Through Text: The Influence of Real-time Text on Discourse and Usability in IM
Towards Building a Productive, Scalable and Sustainable Collaboration Model for Open Educational Resources
Airong Luo, Dick Ng'ambi, Ted Hanss
Grand Challenges and New Frontiers (Panel)
Diane Sonnenwald (Moderator), Rob Procter, Madhu Reddy, Stephanie Teasley, Christine Halverson
The Virtual Home Mode: Photography and Biography Work (Poster)

MISC students win first-ever Yahoo! Boost Award


Three School of Information students and their teammate from the School of Art & Design have won the first-ever Yahoo! Boost Award to continue the development of a custom multi-touch table and “Chance-It!” — an application that uses the table to explore aspects of the creative process.

SI master’s students Yi Wei Chia and Stan Lin, SI Ph.D. student Jessica Hullman, and their teammate Zhang Zhang were tapped to receive this unique award.

Their project was one of six GROCS (Grant Opportunities [Collaborative Spaces]) 2010 projects supported by the University’s Digital Media Commons this year. GROCS provides collaborative space, equipment, and funding for students to engage in interdisciplinary research of their own design. Approximately 50 projects are proposed to GROCS each fall, of which four to six are selected for funding. Another project selected by GROCS for development was Zydeco, which has one SI team member, Alex Pompe and one Computer Science and Engineering team member, Alex Kuhn.

The Yahoo! Boost award was created specifically to further the development of a GROCS project, according to Don McGillen, Yahoo! senior manager for campus relations. Most Yahoo! awards are for best projects; this is the only Yahoo! award to help develop a promising project.

The award will allow the team to move the project toward their goal to make both the table and the application accessible beyond the U-M community. Chia’s work this summer will include publishing construction drawings for the table and improving its software interface so that novice programmers can more easily develop custom applications for it.

“Conceivably, tables modeled after this one could become resources for schools or museums with relatively small budgets,” says Linda Knox, GROCS program manager.

Night Beacon wins CHI Student Design Competition!


Team Night Beacon (Mike Harmala, Taeho Ko, Anna Jonsson, Garima Garg, and Yi-Wei Chia) won the CHI Student Design Competition in Atlanta, Georgia.

Over 90 teams entered the competition from around the world and Michigan was the only school with two teams selected for semifinals, Night Beacon and Mibo (Malhar Gupta, Katie McCurdy, Honor Potvin, Kimberly Eunkyoung Song, and Xiaowen Zhang). These two teams have been displaying their posters at CHI, the world's most prominent human computer interaction conference, along with 10 other teams. Night Beacon was among four teams selected for the finals, consisting of a short presentation from each team today.

MISC has historically had a very good showing in the CHI student design competition.

  • 2009: SI students won first place with TreasureHunter, a project by Sang Koh, Amy Kuo, Debra Lauterbach, Noah Liebman, and Andrea McVittie. A second project, MIFresh, with members Maureen Hanratty, Geoff Ho, Jiang Yang, and Xiao Wei, took second. Three other MISC teams - WantKnot, LocalBuy, and eXtend - were semifinalists.
  • 2008: doGooder came in second, and teams Portalis and Duando were semifinalists.
  • 2007: altVerto won first place, and teams TxtBus and Carloop were also seminfinalists.
  • 2006: Fitster placed third.

Professor David Kieras Inducted into the CHI Academy


Prof. David Kieras has been recognized by the HCI community through his election into the CHI Academy by the Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (SIGCHI). SIGCHI identifies and honors leaders and shapers of the field of human-computer interaction; its CHI Academy members are an honorary group of individuals who have made extensive contributions to the study of HCI and who have led the shaping of the field. Prof. Kieras will be inducted into the CHI Academy at the CHI 2010 Conference in Atlanta, GA.

David Kieras is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and of Psychology. His primary general research field is applied and theoretical cognitive psychology, with specific interests in human-computer interaction, cognitive simulation modeling, human performance, complex human learning, and natural language processing.

Prof. Kieras' most prominent contributions to HCI have come in the form of computational models of human performance, starting with his work with Peter Polson on the Cognitive Complexity Theory, epitomized by the classic 1985 International Journal of Man-Machine Studies paper, which provided a seminal application of production systems to produce quantitative accounts of performance time and knowledge transfer from one interface task to another. Viewing production systems as an implementation of GOMS models, he developed NGOMSL as a practical predictive notation to for GOMS models. With Scott Wood, he created the GLEAN system for computational simulations of GOMS models, and with Ruven Brooks he developed an approach to task analysis and the design of functionality based on higher-level GOMS models. With David Meyer, he developed the EPIC cognitive architecture to integrate perceptual, motor, and cognitive performance, pioneering the rigorous application of cognitive architectures to the fine-grain modeling of multimodal user interaction and multitasking performance.

MISC at CHI 2010

MISC will be well-represented at CHI 2010, with 22 Michigan attendees presenting 4 full papers, 1 TOCHI paper, 2 notes, 2 student design competition entries, 2 works-in-progress, and 5 workshop papers, as well as organizing one workshop. We're looking forward to seeing many friends and alumni in Atlanta!

Full papers

W. Keith Edwards, Mark W Newman, Erika Sheehan Poole



CHI Student Design Competition

Mike Harmala, Taeho Ko, Anna Jonsson, Garima Garg, Yi-wei Chia
Malhar Gupta, Kathryn McCurdy, Honor Potvin, Eunkyoung Kimberly Song, Xiaowen Zhang

Works in Progress

Workshop organizing

Jina Huh, Six Silberman, Eli Blevis, Daniela Busse, Lisa P. Nathan, Phoebe Sengers, Bill Tomlinson

Workshop papers

Clinician Workarounds in Use of Computerized Prescriber Order Entry (Workshop on Interactive Systems in Healthcare)
Capture and Replay of Contextual Data for the Design of Context-Aware Collaborative Applications (Workshop on Context-Adaptive Interaction for Collaborative Work)
Jungwoo Kim, Mark W. Newman, Mark S. Ackerman, Atul Prakash, Tao Dong, Sarah Qidwai, Zhenan Hong, and Jacob Mandel
Integrating Wellness Interventions with Existing Social Network Sites (Wellness Informatics Workshop)
Reducing Health Disparities in End Stage Renal Disease: An Online Peer Mentoring Approach (Workshop on Interactive Systems in Healthcare)
Tiffany Veinot, Mark W. Newman, Kai Zheng, Erica Perry, Chrysta Meadowbrooke
Supporting Group Activities with Context-adaptive Privacy Policies (Workshop on Context-Adaptive Interaction for Collaborative Work)
Tao Dong, Zhe Pu, Mark W. Newman, Mark S. Ackerman, Atul Prakash