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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 Seminar Video Abstract
Computational Ecosystems: Tech-enabled Communities to Advance Human Values at Scale Haoqi Zhang
Allen K. and Johnnie Cordell Breed Junior Chair of Design, Assistant Professor in Computer Science, Northwestern University
Seminar Video Despite the continued development of individual technologies and processes for supporting human endeavors, major leaps in solving complex human problems will require advances in system-level thinking and orchestration. In this talk, I describe efforts to design, build, and study Computational… Full Details
How to Design with Openness: Shaping a Design Approach for Open and Growing Systems
Joep Frens
Assistant Professor, Department of Industrial Design, Eindhoven University of Technology
Seminar Video In this lecture I argue that (interaction) design is changing from a “one product – one user” perspective towards a more “multiple products – multiple users” perspective, a systems perspective. I posit that this systems perspective brings new challenges to design, like ‘growth’ and ‘openness’, and… Full Details
Special HCII Seminar: Soft Materials for Human Compatible Machines and Electronics
Carmel Majidi
Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
Professor Carmel Majidi directs the Integrated Soft Materials Lab at CMU, Mechanical Engineering department. Currently, his group is focused on filled-elastomer composites and soft microfluidic systems that exhibit unique combinations of mechanical, electrical, and thermal properties and can… Full Details
Design at the Interface
Daniel Cardoso Llach
Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, Carnegie Mellon University
Seminar Video At the dawn of the information age Herbert Simon advanced a view of design as a ‘science of the artificial’ that could be expressed by statements of declarative logic, and thus formalized as a scientific, measurable practice. While Simon’s bold claim manifested larger techno-cultural changes, it… Full Details
Prototyping a More Positive Future
Sophia Brueckner
Assistant Professor, Stamps School of Art & Design, University of Michigan
Seminar Video Sophia Brueckner is a futurist artist, designer, and engineer. Inseparable from computers since the age of two, she believes she is a cyborg. At Google, she designed and implemented products used by tens of millions. At RISD and the MIT Media Lab, she combined the understanding… Full Details
User Research: The Designer’s Ticket to Informing Strategy
Jeremy Koempel
Co-Founder and Design Lead, Bessemer Alliance
Seminar Video The rate of change in our world is breathtaking. Many organizations simply cannot evolve quick enough to capitalize on this change and prepare for the future. Left to their own devices, they will continue to address their markets and customers with the traditional processes and tactics with which… Full Details
Practical Learning Research at Scale (and Relevance to HCI Education)
Ken Koedinger
Professor, Human-Computer Interaction Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
Seminar Video Massive scale education has emerged through online tools such as Wikipedia, Khan Academy, and MOOCs. The number of students being reached is high, but what about the quality of the educational experience? As we scale learning, we need to scale research to address this question. Such learning… Full Details
HCII Seminar Series: Post-Doc Talks
Paulo Carvalho, Irene-Angelica Chounta, Patrick Carrington, Sang-Won Bae
Post-Doctoral Researchers, Human-Computer Interaction Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
Seminar Video Speaker 1: Paulo Carvalho Talk Title: Beyond reading in educational contexts: Spending more time on practice activities as a better way to learn. Abstract: Learning by doing refers to learning practices that involve completing activities as opposed to explicit learning (e.g., reading).… Full Details
Morphing Matter: Designing Bioinspired Transformative Materials and Interfaces Lining Yao
Assistant Professor, Human-Computer Interaction Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
Seminar Video Technology, one might claim, is designed to recapitulate biology: as we strive to design physical objects and architecture that are adaptive, responsive and ever evolving, we find ourselves immersed in Nature’s way. Yet, after years of practice in transforming materiality for adaptive physical… Full Details
Tracking Behavioral Symptoms of Mental Health and Delivering Personalized Interventions Using Mobile and Wearable Devices
Tanzeem Choudhury
Associate Professor, Computing and Information Systems, Cornell University
Seminar Video Mobile and ubiquitous computing research has led to new techniques for cheaply, accurately, and continuously collecting data on human behavior that include detailed measurements of physical activities, social interactions and conversations, sleep quality and duration and more. Continuous and… Full Details
All the World's a Stage: Mobile Computing Across Multiple Contexts to Support Science On-The-Go
Chris Quintana
Associate Professor in Educational Studies, School of Education, University of Michigan
Seminar Video As computing devices continue to evolve from personal computers to mobile and wearable technologies, new learning opportunities are opening up. Specifically, we have been interested in supporting science learning, and considering how a range of these technologies can be designed in a supportive… Full Details
Deception and Trust in a Post-Truth World
Jeff Hancock
Professor, Institute for Research in the Social Sciences, Stanford University
Seminar Video How is the rewiring of communication in the network age changing how we deceive and trust one another? How can we trust that news story, or a hotel’s online review, or that text message about someone being on their way? In this talk we’ll go over how principles from psychology and communication… Full Details
TALK CANCELED: How Games Move Us: Emotion by Design
Katherine Isbister
Professor, Computational Media Department, University of California Santa Cruz
Seminar Video Designers know games can evoke empathy and intense connection. But everyday non-expert conversations about games still rarely touch on this truth. In this talk, Isbister shares insights from her recent book aimed at bridging this gap, toward raising the quality of discourse about games as an… Full Details
The Challenges and Opportunities for Real-time Ridesharing Services to Address Unemployment Barriers Among Low-Resourced Populations
Tawanna Dillahunt
Assistant Professor, School of Information, University of Michigan
Improved transportation is a key predictor for upward economic mobility, and the relationship between transportation and economic mobility is stronger than that between economic mobility and factors like crime, the percentage of two-parent families, and elementary-school test scores. Real-time… Full Details
Innovators and their Others: Entrepreneurial Citizenship in Transnational India
Lilly Irani
Assistant Professor of Communication & Science Studies, University of California San Diego
This talk focuses on how valorized forms of work become models of citizenship. Today, the halls of TED and Davos reverberate with optimism that hacking, brainstorming, and crowdsourcing can transform citizenship, development, and education alike. I will examine these… Full Details
CANCELED: Tracking Behavioral Symptoms of Mental Health and Delivering Personalized Interventions Using Mobile and Wearable Devices
Tanzeem Choudhury
Associate Professor, Computing and Information Sciences, Cornell University
Seminar Video CANCELED: Mobile and ubiquitous computing research has led to new techniques for cheaply, accurately, and continuously collecting data on human behavior that include detailed measurements of physical activities, social interactions and conversations, sleep quality and duration and more. Continuous… Full Details
Predictive Interaction
Jeffrey Heer
Associate Professor, Computer Science & Engineering, University of Washington
Seminar Video How might we architect interactive systems that have better models of the tasks we're trying to perform, learn over time, help refine ambiguous user intents, and scale to large or repetitive workloads? In this talk I will present Predictive Interaction, a framework for interactive systems that… Full Details
Asking Technology: A Step Too Far or Not Far Enough?
Yvonne Rogers
Director, UCL Interaction Centre, University College London
Seminar Video Much of HCI research involves asking people questions, either through interviews, surveys, design sessions, evaluation studies, voting, polling and so on. We choose our methods depending on what we want to find out. However, there is also increasing evidence showing how the use of different media… Full Details
Achieving Real Virtuality: Closing the Gap Between the Digital and the Physical Seminar Video As digital interaction spreads to an increasing number of devices, direct physical manipulation has become the dominant metaphor in HCI. The promise made by this approach is that digital content will look, feel, and respond like content from the real world. Current commercial systems fail to keep… Full Details
In A Flash: Crowdsourcing Organizations, Collaborations, and Research Michael Bernstein
Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Stanford University
Seminar Video Crowdsourcing envisions computational systems that enable complex collective achievements. However, today's crowdsourcing techniques are limited to goals so simple and modular that their path can be entirely pre-defined. In this talk, I describe crowdsourcing techniques that enable far more complex… Full Details
Participatory Design as a Practice in the Learning Sciences
Betsy N. Disalvo
Assistant Professor, School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Tech
Seminar Video The goal of the learning sciences is to not only understand the phenomena of learning, but also to impact educational practices and enable more effective learning. To meet these goals, learning scientists use iterative and design methods as they design curriculum… Full Details
Aesthetics of Intelligence: Designing User Experience for Systems of Smart Things
Lin-Lin Chen
Professor, Industrial and Commercial Design, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology
Seminar Video The vision of a smart environment, where invisible technologies seamlessly support people’s daily activities, is closer to becoming reality. After decades of research, smart things have become commonly available and are being adopted into people’s homes. Despite of the commercial optimism, several… Full Details
Instrumented and Connected: Designing Next-Generation Learning Experiences Seminar Video The history of computing is rich with examples of how computers, among their many purposes, serve as tools which enhance our ability to learn. As these computing technologies advance, so too do the ways in which we learn.   Today, we are moving faster than ever towards Weiser’s seminal vision… Full Details
Unlocking Data, Unlocking Interaction James Fogarty
Associate Professor, Computer Science & Engineering, University of Washington
Seminar Video The applications we create are framed by the tools we use to create them. On one hand, tools codify effective practice and empower design. On the other, that same codification eventually constrains design. My research examines new approaches to interactive systems in light of this tradeoff, often… Full Details
From Typing Without Looking to Communicating With the Eyes
Khai N Truong
Associate Professor, Computer Science Department, University of Toronto
Seminar Video Text entry is an important form of input regularly performed by computer users. However, there are many situations in which users might not be able to enter text using a physical QWERTY keyboard. One aspect of my research over the past 5 years has focused specifically on how to enable users to… Full Details
Architecting Interactivity: How Experiments in Architecture, Cybernetics & AI Poured the Foundations of Interaction Design
Molly Steenson
Associate Professor, School of Design, Carnegie Mellon University
Seminar Video Inspired by cybernetics and artificial intelligence researchers who modeled intelligence in hardware and software, architects in the 1960s and 70s applied computational practices to interfaces, rooms, buildings, and cities. In so doing, they began to build feedback, cognition and intelligence into… Full Details
Making "Making" Accessible
Amy Hurst
Associate Professor, Information Systems Department, UMBC
Seminar Video Assistive Technologies empower individuals to accomplish tasks they might not be able to do otherwise. Unfortunately, a large percentage of Assistive Technologies end up unused or abandoned, leaving people with solutions that are inappropriate for their needs. My students and I are working to help… Full Details
How UX Techniques Promote Simulation Software for Everyone Imran Riaz with guest Jared Pryor
Manager of User Experience, ANSYS Inc.
Seminar Video At ANSYS, we create simulation software that is a key component of the product development process, helping to validate the effectiveness of designs before they are built. Simulation techniques impact all types of products, from automobiles, to circuits, to pipes, to airplanes. ANSYS is working to… Full Details
HCII Postdoctoral Fellow Short Talks 3
Zhen Bai, Soniya Gadgil-Sharma, Hernisa Kacorri
Post-Doctoral Fellows, HCII, Carnegie Mellon University
Seminar Video Speaker: Zhen Bai Title: Fostering Curiosity Through Peer Support in Collaborative Science Learning Abstract: Curiosity is a key motivational factor in learning. This is, however, often neglected in many classrooms, especially larger and inner-city classrooms, which have instead… Full Details
Design at Large: Real-World, Large Scale, and Sometimes Disruptive
Scott Klemmer
Associate Professor, Cognitive Science and Computer Science & Engineering, UC San Diego
Seminar Video Over the past five years, my group—and probably many of you—have experienced a dramatically-increased ability to do Design at Large: creating research that is widely used by real people and learning a ton from the experience. One shift that happens when we move from designing artifacts in the lab… Full Details