CPSC 601.25: Collaborative Computing and Personal Informatics

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  1.   1.  Background
  2.   2.  Pre-requisite
  3.   3.  Course Structure
  4.   4.  Assessment
    1.   4.1  In-Class Participation
    2.   4.2  Topic Presentation
    3.   4.3  Class/Online Participation
    4.   4.4  Assignments
    5.   4.5  Project Details
  5.   5.  Meeting Times
  6.   6.  Outline Details
  7.   7.  Piazza Forum

1.  Background

Collaborative computing is the use of computation to support awareness, communication, and coordination. The Internet has brought these ideas to the forefront of public and everyday concern (email, social media, forums, online games, etc.). This course takes a step back, examining these systems from a human-centred perspective: studying the aspects of these tools that make them useful for collaborative activity, and understanding how these principles apply to new tools to support work and play in everyday life.

A recent phenomenon is the emergence and intersection of collaborative computing and personal informatics -- the tracking/collection/exploration of everyday human activity. Sharing information from mobile devices such as Nike+, weight trackers, and GPS trackers are becoming commonplace. A key component of the syllabus will be to explore the implications of this intersection.

2.  Pre-requisite

  • CS 481 or equivalent is recommended.
  • Can be waived with approval from instructor.

3.  Course Structure

This is a seminar-style course with three major components: 3-4 weekly readings, two assignments, and a significant project component. Students are expected to contribute to a class blog about the readings, participate in weekly activities/discussions, and deliver presentations in class.

4.  Assessment

  • Topic presentation - 10%
  • In-class participation - 10%
  • Online participation - 10%
  • Assignments - 10%
  • Project - 60%

4.1  In-Class Participation

Students will be expected to participate in lively discussion about issues raised by the readings.

4.2  Topic Presentation

Classes will primarily consist of a 15-20 minute presentation by one or more students of a topic area. The presenting students will be expected to cover the required readings in that week, and to lead a discussion about the topic area (primarily by posing points of discussion).

4.3  Class/Online Participation

Each week, students are expected to produce a blog entry about one of the readings, posting thoughts about: (1) the problem being addressed by the reading; (2) the motivation for the work; (3) the approach/solution; (4) the evaluation; (5) the contribution, and (6) questions/issues raised that the student would ask of the researchers/work.

4.4  Assignments

Students will be assigned two assignments/activities related to collaborative computing and personal informatics.

4.5  Project Details

The project will be an important and significant item in the class. In consultation with the professor, students are expect to devise and complete a project either on their own, or as paired with another student. There are several types of projects which will be acceptable (each idea will need to be discussed and approved by the instructor). My suggestion is to engage in projects integrate aspects of your ongoing research in a new direction.

The main deliverables for the project will be:

  • proposal document that outlines a topic, research question of interest, a plan for conducting that work, along with relevant related work;
  • a final presentation/demo of the project, and
  • a final paper written in CSCW format.

5.  Meeting Times

  • Mondays, 2pm-4:45pm @ MS 680B
  • Office hours: By appointment

6.  Outline Details

Topics: workplace studies of collaboration, awareness and distributed collaboration, quantified self, personal health records, persuasive computing hospital collaboration, domestic collaboration, large display collaboration, tabletop collaboration, mobility, pervasive games, domestic computing, social networks and social media, play, and children

7.  Piazza Forum