From the idiosyncratic movements of individuals to general patterns of collective and coordinated action, massive on-line datasets promise new insights into human behavior. However, there are immense challenges inherent in this enterprise — to name three: questions around what is and isn't measured and why; issues around data management, data grooming, and data curation; and the selection/coordination of conceptual frameworks for performing analyses and deriving meaningful understandings. In this conversation we focus on these issues, highlighting both cautionary aspects and potential paths forward in working with data from social, personal, and technological networks.
Views from the Edges of Data
For the last 18+ years, Elizabeth Churchill has been studying why and how people acquire, adopt, and adapt interactive technologies in their everyday lives (or don't!). Elizabeth currently leads HCI research at eBay Research Labs. She previously led HCI research at Yahoo labs, PARC (the Palo Alto Research Center), and Fuji Xerox's Palo Alto lab. She has a Ph.D. in cognitive science from the University of Cambridge, UK.
Elizabeth has conducted research studies of technologies in use in the UK, mainland Europe, Asia, the US and Canada. Insights gleaned from observations of real world uptake and/or abandonment have led to design modifications, as well as the creation of innovative interactive applications and services where unmet needs have been identified. She's worked on the design and development of communication tools (including virtual worlds, collaboration/chat spaces), tools to support distributed work collaborations, applications and services for mobile and personal devices, social media desktop applications, and interactive media installations in public spaces.
Jon Kleinberg is the Tisch University Professor in the departments of computer science and information science at Cornell University. His research focuses on the interface of networks and information, with an emphasis on the social and information networks that underpin the web and other online media. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has served on the Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) Advisory Committee of the National Science Foundation, and the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) of the National Research Council. He is the recipient of research fellowships from the MacArthur, Packard, Simons, and Sloan Foundations, as well as awards including the Nevanlinna Prize, the Lanchester Prize, and the ACM-Infosys Foundation Award in the Computing Sciences.