Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Designing the Digital Future – A Symposium Summary


To many, informatics means big data. But as the 2014 Obermann Working Symposium, “Designing the Digital Future: A Human-Centered Approach to Informatics,” November 7-8, 2014, demonstrated, informatics technology intersects with narrative, the arts, collaborative learning, dance, diversity, narrative, social justice movements, values sensitive design, visual thinking, and more.

Organized by University of Iowa Computer Science Professor Juan Pablo Hourcade and Obermann Center for Advanced Studies Director Teresa Mangum in co-sponsorship with the Iowa Informatics Initiative, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and departments across University, the second Obermann Working Symposium focused on the diverse forms informatics takes across arts, humanities, social sciences, and technological disciplines. 

Topics of Exploration

During two days and with participants from across the University of Iowa and surrounding community, keynote speakers, local panelists, and the symposium organizers explored how -

·      to encourage more departments to participate in the informatics initiative

·      to assess campus resources for joint programming, courses, and research groups that engage not only science and technology, but also the arts, humanities, and social sciences

·      to clarify the opportunities, challenges, and obstacles faced by researchers in HCI and informatics, including funding; tenure and promotion; research and publication; curriculum, disciplinary differences, and institutional barriers

Symposium Artifacts

For those who missed the symposium or would like to revisit any of our speakers’ presentations, please explore the following digital presentations.

  • During Saturday's "agenda lunch," participants were asked to respond to three questions:  1) Where do people’s interests at your table connect with informatics or HCI? 2) Where do work/teaching interests intersect at your table, and is there room for collaboration? And 3) What would you like to see happen at UI in informatics and/or HCI in the next 5-10 years? Responses to these questions were gathered by tables and are compiled here.
  • Several of our keynote speakers generously shared their presentation slides:

o   Ron Wakkary (Simon Fraser University), “A Sustainable Design Fiction: Green Practices”

o   Tamara Clegg (University of Maryland, “ScienceKIT for Science Everywhere”

o   Lisa Anthony (University of Florida), “Gesture Interaction with Children for Education, Fitness, Games”

o   Celine Latulipe (University of North Carolina, Charlotte), “HCI, Art & Creativity”