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BBL Speaker Series: (Some) things I worry about in HCI/CSCW research

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Speaker: Dan Cosley, Program Officer, National Science Foundation Location: HBK 2105

Abstract: In this talk, rather than report out on some research that I’m involved with, I plan to do some meta-reflection on things that I worry reduce the contribution and impact of research in HCI, CSCW, and related areas. I tentatively plan to focus on four main issues, based both on work I’ve been involved with myself and on other studies I’ve seen:

  • Our Methods Make Us Dumb (Other People Know Things)
  • Whither the Artifact? (Goldilocks and the Three Stances)
  • Things Change (Tweet, Tweet… Musk!); and
  • Failure To Generalize (A Grounded Theory of X?)

I haven’t given a talk like this before, and many of the issues have already been observed in some form by people smarter than me, but I think there’s value in bringing them together and hope that talking about this will be useful for both HCI practice and HCI research. I plan to have the talk itself run a little short so we can have a more interactive discussion, so feel free to bring a few of your own worries along to share.

Bio: Dan Cosley is a permanent program officer at NSF as of September 2020, homed in the Human-Centered Computing program in CISE and associated with a number of other solicitations, with a mostly up to date list at Before that, he was an associate professor at Cornell in the Information Science department, doing both design-based and analytic research in the spaces of Human-Computer Interaction and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work. This includes work around designing user interfaces for recommender systems; modeling human information behaviors from computational traces; supporting crowdwork and online collaboration, and studying the power relationships involved; systems and models connecting social media, identity, and memory; and various other topics that he helped students work on along the way.