Graduate Student Symposium in Irvine

Last week I went down to Irvine, CA to give a talk on Comics and Online Communication. You can see the paper here. In any case, it was interesting to be the most qualitative person on the block for once. After the graduate student symposium, we attended the ISR Research Forum. The topics here varied. They included:

  • Trying to model work processes.
  • As usual, this is a very hard problem. John Noll sought to make systems that support work processes more flexible by programming software that had softer restrictions on users. Still, those soft restrictions were too restrictive for expert users.

  • HCI and programming.
  • Professor Van Der Hoek is quite enthusiastic. He has a variety of projects that make programming better.

  • A panel on Knowledge Management.
  • (reminded me of Jeff Kim‘s course, and of course, Jeff Kim hails from Irvine),

  • Digital Arts.
  • Sheldon Brown‘s work is exceptionally well-crafted. He made two interesting statements. I will present them as I remember them. One, that the medium of art is now subject to Moore’s Law, meaning that a digital artist’s tools change as fast as technology does. It’s an interest claim. Second was advice for these cutting-edge artists: make your art so that twenty years from now, when the underlying technology is obsolete, it still looks good (Warning, this statement has been radically reinterpreted).

Overall, it was a good trip. I think I’m learning the trick of meeting new people at conferences: (1) raise right hand. (2) extend to opposite party. (3) grasp the hand of opposite party. (4) shake with confidence. (4) unclasp hands. (*) The end.

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Filed under cscw, HCI, iSchool, The iSchool Movement

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