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Past Seminars

The HCII Seminar Series has been a weekly tradition at CMU since 1990. Details of our seminars from 2014 to present, as well as many of their recordings, are available below. A few years ago, we held a year of special programming in celebration of the seminar's 25th anniversary.

Date Title Speaker Talk title and Abstract
HCII Seminar Series - Nazanin Andalibi Nazanin (Naz) Andalibi
Assistant Professor, University of Michigan School of Information

"Where is the Human in Emotion Recognition/AI Technologies?"

Emotions are powerful, mediate humans’ experiences with their surroundings, and impact decision-making and attention online and off. Sharing and signaling one’s emotions to other humans can be beneficial, but involves… Full Details

HCII Seminar Series - Joel Chan Joel Chan
Assistant Professor, University of Maryland, College of Information Studies (iSchool)

"Accelerating Scientific Discovery by Lowering Barriers to User-Generated Synthesis of Scientific Literature"

In today's scholarly communication infrastructure, it is practically impossible to get timely answers to basic questions like "What is the best evidence that informs how… Full Details

HCII Seminar Series - Marshini Chetty Marshini Chetty
Assistant Professor, Computer Science Department, University of Chicago

"Imagine All The People On A Trustworthy Internet"


Imagine a world where the Internet caters to all types of users and hosts trustworthy content. Right now, this world seems far off for many reasons. For instance, this world would require us to think more broadly… Full Details

HCII Seminar Series - Susan Wyche Susan Wyche
Associate Professor, Michigan State University, Department of Media and Information

"Reconsidering Human-Centered Approaches to Design in Human-Computer Interaction and Development (HCI4D): Using Design Methods to Reimagine Technology in Rural Kenya"

Enthusiasm for using human-centered design persists among HCI and HCI4D researchers and practitioners; funding… Full Details

HCII Seminar Series - Michael Wessely Michael Wessely
Postdoctoral Associate at MIT CSAIL

"Fabricating Physical User Interfaces with Smart Materials"

Physical user interfaces like mobile phones, or wearable health monitors fundamentally changed how we live and work. However, their fabrication is still exclusive to industry and manufacturing experts. I envision that… Full Details

HCII Seminar Series - Gabriela Marcu Gabriela Marcu
Assistant Professor, University of Michigan School of Information

"Designing for Coordination and Intervention in Behavioral Health"


Behavioral and mental health is an underserved area, and receives less focus in health informatics research. Technology can play a role in different types of coordination with meaningful impact on… Full Details

Seminar: Robin Brewer Robin Brewer
Assistant Professor, School of Information, University of Michigan

"Challenging, Understanding, and Innovating to Support Aging and Online Engagement"

The United States Census predicts that by 2030, one in five people will be over the age of 65, with similar trends globally. Such rapid growth of the older adult population presents… Full Details

Seminar: Luke Stark Luke Stark
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Information and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario

“Ordering Emotion: Scenes from the History of Affective Computing”

In fields ranging from health and wellness and advertising and marketing to public safety and security, and political campaigning, data analytics tools united with techniques from the… Full Details

Special Seminar: Portable Laser Cutting with Thijs Roumen Thijs Roumen
Ph.D. student at Hasso Plattner Institute, Potsdam, Germany

A portable format for laser cutting will enable millions of users to benefit from laser-cut models as opposed to the 1000s of tech enthusiasts that engage with laser cutting today. What holds widely adopted use back is the… Full Details

Seminar: Morgan Ames Morgan Ames
Assistant Adjunct Professor in the School of Information and Associate Director of the Center for Science, Technology, Medicine and Society at the University of California, Berkeley

"The Charisma Machine: The Life, Death, and Legacy of One Laptop per Child"

Drawing on her book, The Charisma Machine, Ames chronicles the life and legacy of the One Laptop per Child project and explains… Full Details

Seminar: Timnit Gebru Timnit Gebru
Co-founder, Black in AI

"The hierarchy of knowledge in machine learning and related fields and its consequences"

Feminist and race and gender scholars have… Full Details

Seminar: Oliver Haimson Oliver Haimson
Assistant Professor, University of Michigan, School of Information

"Designing Trans Technology"

Transgender and nonbinary people face substantial challenges in the world, ranging from social inequities and discrimination to lack of access to resources. Though technology cannot fully solve these problems, technological solutions may help to… Full Details

Seminar: Andrea G. Parker Andrea G. Parker
Associate Professor, School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Tech

"Community Wellness Informatics: Designing Technology for Health Equity"

In the United States, there are serious and persistent disparities in health outcomes. For example, socioeconomic status is predictive of mortality and disease, with low-SES households… Full Details

Seminar: Ayanna M Howard Ayanna M Howard
Dean, College of Engineering, The Ohio State University

"Understanding and Mitigating Bias and Human Overtrust in Robotics and AI"

People tend to overtrust sophisticated computing devices, including robotic systems. As these systems become more fully interactive with humans during the performance of day-to-day activities, the… Full Details

Seminar: Denae Ford Robinson Denae Ford Robinson
Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research and Affiliate Assistant Professor at the University of Washington

"A Tale of Two Cities: Software Developers in Practice During the COVID-19 Pandemic"

The mass shift to working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic radically changed the way many software development teams collaborate, communicate, and define productivity. Since the early… Full Details

Seminar: Tawanna Dillahunt Tawanna Dillahunt
Associate Professor, University of Michigan

"Designing and Rethinking the Role of Digital Tools in Support of Employment among Job Seekers Experiencing Marginalization"

Today’s Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are designed to address one of society’s most pressing problems---unemployment.… Full Details

Seminar: Charlton McIlwain Charlton McIlwain
Vice Provost for Faculty & Professor of Media Culture, and Communication, New York University

"Dreams of (Black) Tech Futures Past"

Abstract: This is what could have been. If the computer geeks at MIT in 1960 had just held on just a little while longer with our Mississippi freedom riders. If our uprisings in Watts, and Detroit, and Newark and Kansas… Full Details

Seminar: Yolanda Rankin Yolanda Rankin
Assistant Professor, School of Communications & Information, Florida State University

"Rethinking Intersectionality in the Field of Computing: A Black Woman's Perspective"

Intersectionality, a critical framework that examines how interconnected systems of power oppress marginalized populations, is currently receiving new garnered attention in the context of Human… Full Details

Seminar: Jessica Hullman Jessica Hullman
Associate Professor of Computer Science, Northwestern University

"Beyond Visualization: Theories of Inference to Improve Data Analysis & Communication"

Data analysis is a decidedly human task. As Tukey and Wilk once wrote, “Nothing—not the careful logic of mathematics, not statistical models and theories, not the awesome arithmetic power of modern… Full Details

Seminar: Anne Marie Piper Anne Marie Piper
Associate Professor, University of California Irvine

"Rethinking Design for Accessibility"

Approximately 61 million Americans, or one in four U.S. adults, have a disability that affects daily life. Despite the prevalence of disability across the lifespan, accessibility is typically an afterthought in technology design. Discussions of… Full Details

Seminar: Tamara Lynnette Clegg Tamara Lynnette Clegg
Associate Professor, College of Information Studies and the Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership, College of Education, University of Maryland

"Designing Socio-technical Systems for Learning in the Third Place"

Oldenberg (1989) characterizes Third Places as the gathering places outside of home, work, and school where informal public life (e.g., friendship, laughter, light-heartedness, civic participation) develop dynamically.… Full Details

Seminar: Martin Robillard Martin Robillard
Professor, McGill University

"Supporting opportunistic learning in software development with Wikipedia"

Programmers are continually in situations where they must discover what they do not know and learn new concepts. Based on my recent research in this area, this talk… Full Details

Seminar: Amy J Ko Amy J Ko
Professor, The Information School, University of Washington, Seattle

"Critical Computing Education"

Computing can be a wondrous, powerful tool, bringing us information, experiences, and connections that transform our lives for the better. However, as many of us have learned, computing has also contributed to great injustices, increasing surveillance of… Full Details

Seminar: Karthik Ramani Karthik Ramani
Donald W. Feddersen Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University

"Augmenting Humans in Design Fabrication, Robotics, and Workflows Through Spatially Aware Interfaces"

The convergence of many factors such as low-cost sensors, electronics, computing, fabrication, and more recently machine learning, aided by new designs for human interactive interfaces,… Full Details

Seminar: Niloufar Salehi Niloufar Salehi
Assistant Professor, School of Information, UC Berkeley

"From content moderation to school assignment: What do theories of justice teach us about design?"

Computational systems have a complex relationship with justice: they may be designed with the intent to promote justice, tasked to resolve injustices, or actively contribute to injustice… Full Details

Seminar: Parmit Chilana Parmit Chilana
Assistant Professor, Computing Science, Simon Fraser University, Canada

Beyond "One-Size-Fits-All": Designing for User Diversity in Software Learning and Help-Seeking

Learning to use feature-rich software, such as 3D design tools and video editors, is a challenging endeavour. Novice users often find it difficult to gain awareness of what is… Full Details

Seminar: Chris Martens Chris Martens
Assistant Professor of Computer Science, NC State

"The politics of programming: towards convivial and liberatory digital tools"

The software industry and corresponding educational pipeline maintains a number of well-documented power imbalances, including hierarchies of pay and respect afforded to “technical” and “non-technical” fields… Full Details

Seminar: Post Doctoral Fellows
4 guests: Alex Ahmed, Yongsung Kim, Sarah Preum, Angela Stewart

Alex Ahmed

Title: "Community-based design of open source software for transgender people"

Abstract: From the surveillance of undocumented people to the algorithmic management and exploitation of gig economy workers, people are increasingly alienated from how technologies… Full Details

Seminar: Molly Lewis Molly Lewis
Research Scientist, Department of Psychology and Social & Decision Sciences

What are we learning from language? Cognitive and social biases are encoded in the structure of natural language

Natural language provides speakers with information about the world through both explicit messages (e.g., "Mongolia is cold"), and through implicit messages… Full Details

Seminar: HCII Post Doctoral Fellows
4 Guest Speakers from the HCII
Post Doctoral Fellows

Cynthia Bennett

"The Care Work of Access"

ABSTRACT: Current approaches to AI and Assistive Technology (AT) often foreground task completion over other encounters such as expressions of care. Our paper challenges and complements such task-completion… Full Details