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Join HCDE for UW’s Ride in the Rain Challenge

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 12:55
Who: you
What: bike
When: November
Where: UW campus
Weather: questionable

It’s time for UW’s annual Ride in the Rain challenge, hosted by Cascade Bicycle Club. From November 1 to 30, bike regulars and the bike curious will be challenging themselves to commute on two wheels as the UW and Seattle Children’s face off for the second year in a row!

HCDE students, faculty, and staff, please join us on the HCDE Rain Riders team! Whether you are interested in riding every day in November or just a few times a month to try it out, we want YOU. Every day you ride, sign in to the Ride in the Rain portal and log your trip for that day. It’s that easy. If the first HCDE team fills up, we will begin recruiting for a second one.

Questions? Contact the HCDE Rain Riders team captain Leah Pistorius at

2014 U Lead We Lead: Husky Leadership Initiative Kick-off Event

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 10:18

Wednesday, October 29
6–8:00 p.m.
HUB Ballroom Register HERE

The Husky Leadership Initiative is proud to present its annual kick-off event U Lead We Lead: Cultivating Leadership. On October 29, students and other members of the University community will dig into stories from local luminaries who will each share their story and perspective on leadership and call you to action.


Full speaker bios available here. SARA LOPEZ
Coach’s Coach
Inclusive Education  GINNY GILDER
Olympic Medalist
Local Hero
Startup Advocate
Science Champion

Reflection and its Relevance to Engineering Education and Human Centered Design: Talk by Jennifer Turns

Mon, 10/27/2014 - 16:01
October 29, 2014
4:30–5:20 p.m.
Mary Gates Hall (MGH), room 241

Find the event on facebook »

Reflecting, or exploring the meaning of experiences and the consequences of the meanings for future action, is a form of thinking that warrants greater attention. Reflection can be a means to improve performance, achieve goals, and even grapple with what one scholar (Robert Kegan) calls “the mental demands of modern life.” In this talk, Dr. Turns will discuss efforts to operationalize, understand, and support reflection. As part of this, she will describe the activities of the recently funded Consortium to Promote Reflection in Engineering Education (a consortium of twelve higher education institutions). She will also focus on how reflection connects to human centered design and HCI, and particularly the design opportunities that are related to reflection.

About Jennifer Turns

Jennifer Turns is a Professor in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering and Director of the Laboratory for Human Centered Engineering Education. She researches the intersection of engineering education, cognitive/learning sciences, and user-centered design. Her engineering education work has focused on engineering design learning, knowledge integration, and disciplinary understanding, and has involved the use of a wide variety of research methods including verbal protocol analysis, concept mapping, and ethnography. Turns’ ground-breaking research makes her one of the most highly– respected specialists in the engineering education field.

Navigating UW’s Innovation Landscape Roundtable

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 14:06
Navigating UW’s Innovation Landscape
UW Center for Commercialization
Friday, November 7, 4–6 p.m.
C4C New Ventures Facility, Idea Lab

If you’re curious about innovation or entrepreneurial outcomes of your research, this event is for you! Several members of the startup community will be talking about various aspects of UW’s innovation landscape in round table discussions.

Register here »

Light snacks and refreshments will be provided.

Ebola Training Hackathon by Shift Labs

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 16:25

Together we will make a first person simulation and an interactive walk-through of an Ebola Treatment Unit designed for the World Health Organization (WHO) Training Center in Liberia.

Ebola Training Hackathon
Friday-Sunday, October 24–26, 2014
Living Computer Museum, SODO Seattle

Shift Labs, a health technology startup led by HCDE Professor Beth Kolko, is hosting this hackathon to help the World Health Organization with its Ebola training efforts. The doctors behind the new curriculum asked Shift for some digital simulations of Ebola Training Units to augment the didactic classroom materials. Shift Labs is pulling this together quickly in response, and on a shoestring budget, so they’re holding a hackathon at the Living Computer Museum in SODO, starting Friday, October 24 at 5 p.m. and running through Sunday, October 26 at 3 p.m. The team has architectural plans of the US-sponsored hospitals being built in Liberia, photos and videos from on the ground, and personal protection equipment. Experienced Ebola responders will be on hand to answer questions.

The full schedule and more information is available here »

The event is drawing public health professionals, Unity game developers and artists, UX specialists, and online training specialists. If you have any of these skills — or if you just want to help make this happen — we encourage you to sign up for a ticket and join us for the weekend (all or part) to help us create some great materials that will help the caretakers take care.

For more information, contact

Community Data Science Workshops

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 21:47

The following opportunity is from the Network Collectives website.

The Community Data Science Workshops in November 2014 are a series of project-based workshops being held at the University of Washington for anyone interested in learning how to use programming and data science tools to ask and answer questions about online communities like Wikipedia, Twitter, free and open source software, and civic media.

The workshops are for people with absolutely no previous programming experience and they bring together researchers and academics with participants and leaders in online communities. The workshops are run entirely by volunteers and are entirely free of charge for participants, generously sponsored by the UW Department of Communication and the eScience Institute. Participants from outside UW are encouraged to apply.

There will be a mandatory evening setup session 6:30–9:30pm on Friday November 7 and three workshops held from 9am-4pm on three Saturdays in November (November 8, 15, and 22). Each Saturday session will involve a period for lecture and technical demonstrations in the morning. This will be followed by a lunch graciously provided by the eSciences Institute at UW. The rest of the day will be followed by group work on programming and data science projects supported by more experienced mentors.

Setup and Programming Tutorial (November 7 evening) — Because we expect to hit the ground running on our first full day, we will meet to help participants get software installed and to work through a self-guided tutorial that will help ensure that everyone has the skills and vocabulary to start programming and learning when we meet the following morning.

Introduction to Programming (and November 8) — Programming is an essential tool for data science and is useful for solving many other problems. The goal of this session will be to introduce programming in the Python programming language. Each participant will leave having solved a real problem and will have built their first real programming project.

Importing Data from Wikipedia and Twitter APIs (November 15) — An important step in doing data science is collecting data. The goal of this session will be to teach participants how to get data from the public application programming interfaces (“APIs”) common to many social media and online communities. Although we will use the APIs provided by Wikipedia and Twitter in the session, the principles and techniques are common to many other online communities.

Data Analysis and Visualization (November 22) — The goal of data science is to use data to answer questions. In our final session, we will use the Python skills we learned in the first session and the datasets we’ve created in the second to ask and answer common questions about the activity and health of online communities. We will focus on learning how to generate visualizations, create summary statistics, and test hypotheses.

Our goal is that, after the three workshops, participants will be able to use data to produce numbers, hypothesis tests, tables, and graphical visualizations to answer questions like:

  • Are new contributors in Wikipedia this year sticking around longer or contributing more than people who joined last year?
  • Who are the most active or influential users of a particular Twitter hashtag?
  • Are people who join through a Wikipedia outreach event staying involved? How do they compare to people who decide to join the project outside of the event?

An earlier version of the workshops was run between April and May 2014 and the curriculum we used in the Spring is available online.

Sign up and Participate!

Participants! If you are interested in learning data science, please fill out our registration form here. The deadline to register is Thursday October 30. We will let participants know if we have room for them by Saturday November 1. Space is limited and will depend on how many mentors we can recruit for the sessions.

Interested in being a mentor? If you already have experience with Python, please consider helping out at the sessions as a mentor. Being a mentor will involve working with participants and talking them through the challenges they encounter in programming. No special preparation is required. And we’ll feed you! Because we want to keep a very high mentor-to-student ratio, recruiting more mentors means we can accept more participants. If you’re interested, email Also, thank you, thank you, thank you!

The workshops are being supported by the UW Department of Communication and the eSciences Institute.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Benjamin Mako Hill at

Kirkland Startup Weekend: Maker’s Edition

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 18:18
Kirkland Startup Weekend: Maker’s Edition
November 14–16, 2014
Register here »

The Kirkland Startup Weekend focuses on Makers. Participants will be challenged to make a usable product over the course of three days. All ideas are welcome, but toolkits are provided for ideas revolving around robotics; sensors and wearable tech; techno or functional art; practical non-electronics; and aeronautics. HCDE Professor Beth Kolko will join the roster of impressive judges for the weekend event.

Find the event on facebook »

Learn more and register for Kirkland Startup Weekend here »

Usability Intern: Dine Safe King County

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 09:23

The following job description was recently posted in the HCDE Internship Database.

Want to hone your usability, design, and project management skills while contributing to a high-profile project? King County, Washington, will implement restaurant inspection score signs in 2015. This transparency and public health project will be a first in our region, but in other municipal areas, like Toronto, inspection score signs at restaurants have been around for over a decade. The signs seem to bring down overall cases of food poisoning, by as much as 30%.

Research on what makes inspection score signs effective is inconclusive. We know that their implementation lowers food poisoning and hospitalization rates, but researchers debate if they cause safer restaurant practices or because consumers choose better scoring restaurants. King County will implement scores by mid 2015, but with little public input on the design of these posted scores and new scoring system. Most input is coming from restaurants, which may impact the usability of these scores and signs for the general public.

This project will bring together inquisitive, driven, and ambitious students to engage King County residents in commenting and testing proposed restaurant scoring signs and score formats. The team will work loosely with Sarah Schacht, an open government expert who has been successful in pushing King County to adopt a new posted restaurant score system. This project is not affiliated with King County Public Health. It is an independent project coordinated by community members and public health advocates. The aim of this project is to involve members of the community in the design process of this tool for public health.

This user-testing and citizen feedback process will be designed by the students participating, to meet project goals. Goals include:

  • Executing a user testing process that reaches a representative sample of King County residents. From this process, produce useful data for members of King County Board of Health.
  • Provide opportunities for King County residents to offer feedback and suggestions on restaurant inspection score signs. Present feedback in formats that are intuitive and a quick read for Board of Health members and members of King County Council.
  • Complete online and in-person feedback and user-testing of restaurant inspection scores, signs, and restaurant risk categories.
  • Presentation to decision-makers, including public health employees, King County Board of Health members, and King County Council members.
  • Complete a short report on the testing and community feedback process, highlighting score types and sign design that are most intuitive and useful for consumers.
  • Provide participating volunteers (like you) a professional development experience, developing usability testing, public engagement, and project management skills.

We are looking for two interns, an undergraduate and graduate student from HCDE. The position would be around 10 hours per week, with some weeks closer to 5 hours. The project would last until January of 2015. The team would meet together once to twice a week around the UW/University District. Preferably, interns would have a flexible schedule that would include working on weekdays and weekends, as well as longer days that might involve public events or usability testing. Interns should be comfortable working independently and interacting with members of the public to conduct testing. Interns should be able to speak with small groups of people and clearly communicate directions or concepts.

Please contact Project Coordinator Ethan Fletcher if you are interested, or have any questions.

Special Notes/Application Procedures:
If you are interested, please submit a link to your LinkedIn profile, as well as a single page or shorter piece on why you would be interested in working on this project, and how you see it being beneficial to your academic studies or career.

Application Deadline:         ASAP! Job will be listed until Nov 19, 2014

Paid?  No

Contact: Ethan Fletcher,, 2069797232

Posted to the HCDE internship database on October 20, 2014

Frontend Web Dev: MoorageMarket

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 09:18

The following job description was recently posted in the HCDE Internship Database.

Want to work in an exciting new startup and help define product direction? Are you motivated, independent, and self-driven? Now is your chance to build customer facing products from end-to-end. Are you looking to work on new technologies? Do you want to be part of the cloud and marketplace sharing revolutions? MoorageMarket is for you.

MoorageMarket connects boaters with dock owners through our community marketplace. From extensive customer interviews, we offer marinas the turnkey solutions they want with our cloud based marina management platform. We are applying proven techniques from the hotel and home rental industry to this underserved market. We make life easier for boaters, and we help marinas maximize their utilization.

We are looking for a highly motivated, frontend web developer to implement new features and refine existing core functions. This is an immediate, long-term opportunity. It will be part-time while we get to know you and could become full-time.

This is a great chance to work at a Seattle startup and to get valuable startup experience as we grow. We are post-revenue and are currently in a local accelerator program.

We are looking for someone who wants to be challenged with creating innovative solutions to problems we face as we extend our presence through the use of mobile platforms and third party APIs. We work closely with our customers to develop the features they want, and the process of developing, testing, and refining is constant.

Required Skills:

  • *HTML5, JavaScript, CSS, Ajax, jQuery
  • *PHP, Ruby
  • *MySQL or Oracle
  • *Programming ability in Perl or Python
  • *Passion for building new products
  • *Proven ability to take projects from idea to deployed
  • *Strong sense of ownership and drive
  • *Best coding practices including design reviews, code reviews, and testing
  • *Experience with agile development

Desired Skills: 

  • *Strong skills in one of Java, Scala or C++
  • *Strong skills in Perl or Python
  • *Experience in startup environment
  • *Familiar with cloud services like AWS or Azure
  • *Familiar with distributed systems
  • *Familiar with GitHub

Application Deadline:    ASAP! Job will be listed until Nov 16, 2014

Duration of Position:           6 months

Pay Range: $25,000/year

Contact: John Martin,, 206.317.4633

Company URL:

Posted to the HCDE internship database on October 17, 2014

Student Web Developer Position

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 14:35

The Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability office ( is looking for a web developer to help create new interactive online interfaces for Green Certification programs and Sustainability Snapshots, updating and building new features for the sustainability map, create features to better browse and find content on the site, integrate a new blog with the existing website, as well as general development and maintenance work on the ESS website as needed. The developer will also have opportunities to propose features to create and add to the site to improve navigation, usability or discoverability of content.

Candidates should have experience with Drupal (Drupal module development preferred); Web development experience including strong knowledge of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, JQuery, PHP, and/or other development languages, computer programs and design software; strong organizational skills and ability to manage competing deadlines and prioritize time accordingly.

To apply, go to HuskyJobs ( and search for job #83766.

Employer-Led Workshops

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 14:33

Join the UW Career Center for a new event series: to hear straight from top employers how to be successful in your job or internship search, as well as strategies for developing your personal and professional life both during and after college.

Employer-Led Workshop: Interview Tips (presented by Google)
Wednesday, October 22
12:30 — 1:20 p.m. at the Career Center (134 Mary Gates Hall)

 The most exciting part of looking for a job? Searching, finding and applying. The most nerve-racking part? Interviewing. But it doesn’t have to be this way. This course guides students through exercises to help them prepare for an interview – both in-person and virtually. It also outlines tips and tricks that the Google University Programs team has developed over the years.

No pre-registration or RSVP is required for these workshops, and space will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Questions? Email .



Employer-Led Workshop: Transitioning to Life After College (presented by Northwestern Mutual)
Wednesday, November 5
12:30 — 1:20 p.m. at the Career Center (134 Mary Gates Hall)

Employer-Led Workshop: Internships: What They Are and How to Find One (presented by Liberty Mutual)
Wednesday, November 19
12:30 — 1:20 p.m. at the Career Center (134 Mary Gates Hall)

New Post in the HCDE Internship Database

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 10:02

New post in the HCDE Internship Database:

UX Developer
Stabilitas Ventures

Job Description:
Are you an up-and-coming UX developer with a keen eye toward usability and clean implementation? Then Stabilitas wants to talk to you!

Our product (in development) delivers real-time, location-specific security services for travelers by integrating cloud-based data and “wisdom of crowds” inputs on mobile phones. We call it geo-intelligence for safe travel.

We are looking for someone to help us develop a clean, easy to use web application that uses our back-end API to display user locations and global intelligence information. Basically we’re mashing up Google Maps and social+health+travel information.

We want someone to join us who is interested in the follow things:

  • Modern web application design–can you make it look cool?
  • Responsive web application design–can you make it work well on a variety of browsers?
  • HTML+CSS coding–can you implement a web app cleanly?
  • JavaScript coding–can you build much of the application’s logic on the front end?
  • Authentication–can you make sure the web app is secure?

Required Skills:

  • Basic design skills
  • JavaScript
  • jQuery
  • Ability to call external APIs (eg. ours, Google’s, WHO, etc.)

Desired Skills:

  • Entrepreneurial spirit!
  • Worked on one or two web sites (we’d like to see them!)
  • Used Google Maps API v3
  • Back-end server implementation is a bonus
  • You have a preference for working in a team
  • Terms you should know and be able to explain: API, AES, HMAC, DWIM, prototypes (in the JS sense), CORS

Special Notes/Application Procedures:
Please apply via email. The interview process will involve phone call(s), face to face interviews, and a coding problem to take home. The problem will be a simple web app that gets data from an external API and renders it on-screen.

Application Deadline: ASAP! Job will be listed until Nov 14, 2014
Duration of Position: 3 months
Pay Range: $15-$25/hour, DOE
Contact: Stephen Riley,, 206–683-2560
Company URL:

Posted to the HCDE internship database on October 14, 2014

The Hearts and Minds of Data Science: Talk by Cecilia Aragon

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 09:52

Wednesday, October 15, 2014
4:30–5:20 p.m.
NOTE ROOM CHANGE: Smith Hall, room 211

Find the event on facebook »

Thanks in part to the recent popularity of the buzzword “big data,” it is now generally understood that many important scientific breakthroughs are made by interdisciplinary collaborations of scientists working in geographically distributed locations, producing and analyzing vast and complex data sets. The extraordinary advances in our ability to acquire and generate data in physical, biological, and social sciences are transforming the fundamental nature of science discovery across domains. Much of the research in this area, which has become known as data science, has focused on automated methods of analyzing data such as machine learning and new database techniques. Less attention has been directed to the human aspects of data science, including how to build interactive tools that maximize scientific creativity and human insight, and how to train, support, motivate, and retain the individuals with the necessary skills to produce the next generation of scientific discoveries.

In this talk, Aragon will argue for the importance of a human centered approach to data science as necessary for the success of 21st century scientific discovery. Further, she attests that we need to go beyond well-designed user interfaces for data science software tools to consider the entire ecosystem of software development and use: we need to study scientific collaborations interacting with technology as socio-technical systems, where both computer science and social science approaches are interwoven. Aragon will discuss promising research in this area, describe opportunities to participate in the recently announced $37.8M Moore/Sloan Data Science Environment at UW, and speculate upon future directions for data science.

About Cecilia Aragon

Cecilia Aragon is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering and a member of the eScience Institute at the University of Washington. She directs the Scientific Collaboration & Creativity Laboratory. Previously, she was a computer scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for six years, after earning her PhD in Computer Science from UC Berkeley in 2004. She earned her BS in Mathematics from the California Institute of Technology. She and her students develop collaborative visual analytics tools to facilitate data science, and study current scientific practice around large and complex data sets. Her research interests span human-computer interaction, computer supported cooperative work, visual analytics, information visualization, scientific collaborations, usability and sustainability, collaborative games, distributed creativity, distributed affect, social media, and new methods of computer-mediated communication. In 2009, she received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers for her work in collaborative data-intensive science.

 See the rest of the HCDE Speaker Series lineup here »

ROUNDUP: 5 Local Startup Events

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 17:06

The next month is packed full of Seattle-area opportunities to connect you with fellow world changers and connect your ideas to the tools to succeed. Find our roundup of lectures, meetups, tours, and workshops below.

October 13–17
UW’s Entrepreneur Week

Entrepreneur Week is hosted by UW’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship. Events include lectures from Seattle’s high-profile thinkers and doers, tours of local startups and venture capital firms, and the largest hackathon in the Pacific Northwest.
See Entrepreneur Week events here »

October 20–24
Seattle Startup Week

Seattle Startup Week is a local conference to spotlight the Seattle startup community. Over 60 meetups, activities, and events led by entrepreneurs hosted in the entrepreneurial spaces you love.
See Seattle Startup week events here »

October 22
Shobe Prize Information Session

The Shobe Prize is an annual startup competition sponsored by HCDE alumnus Matt Shobe. Open to students in UW’s dub consortium, the Shobe Prize competition encourages entrepreneurship by giving up to $10,000 to great student ideas.
Learn more at the Shobe Prize Info Session, October 22, in UW’s new Startup Hall »

November 21–23
Startup Weekend EDU Seattle

Startup Weekend EDU is your opportunity to transform education in 54 hours. Design for learning, conduct user tests, receive coaching from experienced education designers and industry professionals, and win prizes that will help take your idea to the next level.
Register for Startup Weekend EDU Seattle here »

November 14–16
Kirkland Startup Weekend: Maker’s Edition

The Kirkland Startup Weekend focuses on Makers. Participants will be challenged to make a usable product over the course of three days. All ideas are welcome, but toolkits are provided for ideas revolving around robotics; sensors and wearable tech; techno or functional art; practical non-electronics; and aeronautics.
P.S. HCDE Professor Beth Kolko is one of the judges for Kirkland Startup Weekend!
Register for Kirkland Startup Weekend here »

HCDE Student Association Fall Gathering

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 14:05

Mobile Bootcamp Saturday: Prototyping Mobile Experiences

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 13:46
Saturday, October 18, 2014
9:30 a.m. — 5 p.m. UW Tacoma Center for Data Science
1907 Jefferson St
Tacoma, WA 98402

To create a great experience for users, UX Professionals know that prototyping is essential. In this practical, hands on, day long workshop you will learn from top UX professionals about the prototyping process from Theory to Practice.

By completing the workshop, you will be able to:

  • Understand how sketching and diagramming define a product
  • Get an overview of sketching techniques
  • Practice how to create visual representations of concepts
  • Learn how prototyping illustrates interaction concepts
  • Create a mobile foam core mock-up featuring simulated screen experiences

Our Goal: An Engaging Learning Experience
The goal of this workshop is to bring together a group of experts who are passionate about the user-centered design process and want to inspire everyone to try design and prototyping. By combining theory and practice, the workshop will be packed with activities and fast paced talks for a fun, collaborative and engaging day.

This event is organized by HCDE alumna, Dr. Emma Rose.

Learn more and register here » 


Seattle Interactive Conference October 15–16

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 11:07

From the Seattle Interactive Conference website:

We are in the midst of a DIY revolution. Commerce and culture are driven by innovation like never before. With easier access to tools, ideas are transformed into action faster. Digital artisans merge creativity with experience to develop new assets and opportunities. As a result, brands and businesses must leverage change at an entirely new pace.

Seattle is in a unique position to influence this conversation. Our thriving tech industry has always been driven by digital pioneers.

SIC 2014 will examine this evolving landscape by turning to those with firsthand experience redefining the industry. They are the Makers; thought-leaders who synthesize creative inspiration with the next big idea, and companies that successfully cultivate innovation and then translate it into commerce. What can we learn from their experience integrating new ideas? Is your brand positioned to leverage change? What are the critical new tools that you need, now?

Join the conversation at the Seattle Interactive Conference, October 15–16, 2014.

Apply for Bridge: Connect with SF Startups

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 13:53

Bridge is a professional development program that connects experienced designers with top startups in San Francisco, including Dropbox, Fitbit, Khan Academy, Pinterest, Square, and more.  Bridge designers are paid and receive benefits to work full-time at their company of choice. Once a week, they participate in workshops and talks with a community of great designers to accelerate their career.

Interested HCDE alumni should apply for Bridge by October 26 »

Faculty Position in Communication Design: Ithaca College

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 13:40

The Department of Communication Management and Design at Ithaca College is hiring a tenure-track assistant professor position.

The candidate should have an appreciation for the many aspects of communication design and have expertise in areas such as: interaction design, user interface design, user experience design, web design and development, design thinking, and social media design.

Read the full position description, here »

Interested individuals should apply online at and attach the requested documents. Questions regarding the position should be directed to Scott R. Hamula, department chair, Review of applications will begin immediately. Anticipated start date of August 16, 2015.

Rumoring on Social Media after Disaster Events: A Talk by Kate Starbird

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 14:37

Please join the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering for the 2014 Current Issues in HCDE Speaker Series.

 Rumoring on Social Media after Disaster Events Kate Starbird, HCDE Assistant Professor Wednesday, October 8
4:30—5:20 p.m.
Mary Gates Hall (MGH), room 241
UW Seattle Campus
Find the event on Facebook »

Social media use is becoming an established feature of disaster response. People, including emergency responders and affected individuals, are increasingly turning to available platforms to seek and share information during major events like natural disasters, extreme weather events and political uprisings. These new information-sharing behaviors are accompanied by new opportunities for disaster response, as well as new challenges, including the rapid spread of misinformation. This talk provides some background on crisis informatics, an emerging field of research that examines information communication technology (ICT) use during disaster events, and then shifts to focus specifically on how rumors spread online after disaster events—and how the online crowd “works” to challenge and correct misinformation.



Kate Starbird is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering and Director of the Emerging Capacities of Mass Participation Laboratory. The emCOMP Lab examines the dynamics of and applications for massive interaction facilitated by social media and other online platforms. The lab also considers how connected, collective intelligence manifests and can be supported within contexts of emergency and humanitarian response, political disruption, and other events of large-scale interest. Starbird received her PhD in 2012 from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Among her accomplishments, Starbird co-created “Tweak the Tweet,” utilizing the Twitter platform as a two-way communication method to get on-the-ground help where it is most needed. This was first deployed just in time for the Haiti earthquake disaster. Starbird is the Principal Investigator (PI) for a National Science Foundation (NSF) two-year grant for the project, “Detecting Misinformation Flows in Social Media Spaces During Crisis Events.”

See the rest of the 2014 Speaker Series lineup »