Keynote Speakers

Karrie Karahalios
Understanding and encouraging communication with visualization
Face-to-face communication requires a complex orchestration of various communicative channels that include gaze, gesture, expression, and vocalization. Visualization can highlight this invisible dance; it can also encourage and discourage specific communicative behaviors. In this talk, I will present a trajectory of visualization work starting with the visualization of vocalization and moving towards the visualization of coordinated communicative behavior. In doing so, I will discuss the challenges faced when aggregating disparate streams of data, discuss when visualization is helpful, and pose the question: how does visualization translate to cognition?

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Karrie Karahalios is an Associate Professor in Computer Science and Co-director of the Center for People and Infrastructures at the University of Illinois where she heads the Social Spaces Group. Her work focuses on the interaction between people and the social cues they emit and perceive in face-to-face and mediated electronic spaces. Her work is informed by communication studies and visualizations of social communities. Of particular interest are interfaces for public online and physical gathering spaces such as Twitter, chatrooms, cafes, parks, etc. Research projects range from studying tie strength between people to encouraging vocalization through visualization. A major theme in the work is the creation of interfaces that enable users to perceive conversational patterns that are present, but not obvious, in traditional communication interfaces. She received the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, the Faculty Early-Career Development Award from the US National Science Foundation (NSF CAREER), and Microsoft’s Richard Newman Breakthrough Research Award in the area of social computing to better understand and visualize conversation dynamics.  She completed a S.B. in electrical engineering, an M.Eng. in electrical engineering and computer science, and an S.M. and Ph.D in Media Arts and Science at MIT.

Yvonne Rogers
Suspense Matters
Piaget is often cited for writing that when you teach children something you take away forever their chance of discovering it for themselves. This observation is profound in view of the modern academe’s push towards ever more personalized learning, where the focus of much technology development is on measuring, rectifying and rewarding activity completion. How can we bring back the 'not knowing' in learning where suspense is what matters? In my talk, I will consider how new technologies and interfaces can be designed to enable children to discover for themselves, through mindful engagement, awareness, conversation and reflection.

Yvonne Rogers is the director of the Interaction Centre at UCL (UCLIC), deputy head of department for Computer Science and a professor of Interaction Design. She is the Principal Investigator for the Intel-funded Cities collaborative research Institute ( at UCL. She is also an honorary professor at University Cape Town and has spent sabbaticals at Stanford, Apple, Queensland University, Melbourne University, University Cape Town and UCSD. Her research is in the areas of ubiquitous computing, interaction design and human-computer interaction. This involves informing, building and evaluating novel user experiences through creating and assembling a diversity of pervasive technologies. She has been instrumental in promulgating new theories (e.g., external cognition), alternative methodologies (e.g., in the wild studies) and far-reaching research agendas (e.g., “Being Human: HCI in 2020” manifesto), and has pioneered an approach to innovation and ubiquitous learning. She is a co-author of the definitive textbook on Interaction Design and HCI now published in its 4th edition that has sold over 150,000 copies worldwide and has been translated into 6 languages. She is a fellow of the BCS and the ACM CHI Academy. She was also awarded a prestigious EPSRC dream fellowship concerned with rethinking the relationship between ageing, computing and creativity.

Steve Woolgar
Mundane Governance – Government by Stealth?
Popular conceptions of “government” tend to rely on a notion of politics which involves how people and institutions behave towards each other. Yet another, quite different, and much more pervasive form of government is often overlooked. This has to do with the way in which our lives are increasingly regulated in relation to very ordinary objects and everyday technologies. These aspects of daily life are mundane in the sense that they are ordinary, routine, unremarkable, run-of-the-mill, even boring. More interestingly, they are also mundane in the etymological sense of the term (latin: mundus: the world): these ordinary things seem to be just what they are: they are “of the world”. Our research focused on three main areas of contention about ordinary objects and technology: the organisation and categorisation of different varieties of waste and recycling; the ways in which vehicles are subject to speed monitoring and parking regimes; and the management of passenger flow through airports. In short, we studied trash, traffic and transit.

We found a growing disquiet, often marked exasperation, about the increasing complexities of ordinary stuff. Now more than ever we seem to be governed through the small everyday routines, actions and objects by which we are surrounded. The problem gains particular significance when we notice that the same ordinary things are treated quite differently in different places, councils, regions and countries. This then is the government you don’t realise is all around you. Increasingly, it seems, ordinary, unremarkable stuff carries with it requirements for correct action and behaviour. Can we call this “government by stealth"? This description rather too easily implies a form of conspiracy theory; it suggests concerted and coherent strategies on the part of faceless bureaucrats eager to control the unknowing populous. Instead, our observations of mundane governance in practice reveal a striking degree of mess and muddle. So instead of a coherent system of government conspiracy, we find a chaotic amalgam of shifting uncertainties and complexity. Regulation in relation to ordinary things is, at best, a mess. To understand this we need a different approach to politics. Politics can no longer be thought of as simply antecedent to objects which are fixed and known; instead, we need a conception of politics which recognises the crucial importance of understanding how ordinary objects and things come to seem what they are.

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Professor Steve Woolgar researches in Science and Technology Studies at Linköping University and Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. His recent research includes an extended investigation of the ways in which ordinary objects and everyday technologies are increasingly regulating our lives (with Daniel Neyland, Mundane Governance: ontology and accountability, OUP 2013); an examination of the myriad social and organizational practices involved in scientific representation (with Mike Lynch, Catelijne Coopmans and Janet Vertesi, Representation in Scientific Practice Revisited, MIT, 2014); a collection on practices of visualization in the digital age (with Annamaria Carusi, Aud Hoel and Tim Webmoor, Visualisation in the Age of Computerisation, Routledge, 2014); and a close look at a large variety of the ordinary objects and practices that make up ‘globalization’ (with Nigel Thrift and Adam Tickell, Globalization in Practice, OUP, 2014). He is currently working on the impact of the neurosciences on social sciences and the humanities, looking in particular at the rise of ‘neuromarketing’; and preparing a book length exploration of the nature and limits of provocation. He maintains an interest in current theoretical themes in Science and Technology Studies, notably agency, ontology, materiality and causality, especially as these are worked out in relation to topics such as evaluation, impact, algorithms, revelation, irony, provocation and intervention. Steve is the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship and a Fulbright Senior Scholar award. He was awarded the JD Bernal Prize for Research Distinction in 2008, and was elected to the Academy of Social Sciences in 2010.