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  Topic Presentation
    2.   4.2  Class/Online Participation
    3.   4.3  Assignments
    4.   4.4  Project Details
  5.   5.  Meeting Times
  6.   6.  Outline Details
  7.   7.  Response Blog

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 discussions, and deliver presentations in class.

4.  Assessment

  • 10% Topic presentation
  • 10% Class/online participation
  • 20% Assignments (x2)
  • 60% Project

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

4.2  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.

4.3  Assignments

Students will be assigned two projects related to collaborative computing and personal informatics.

4.4  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), though preference will be given to projects that either integrate aspects of the student’s ongoing research in a new direction.

The main deliverables for the project will be: a proposal document that outlines a topic, research question of interest, a plan for conducting that work, along with relevant related work (30%); a short “mad-minute” presentation given to the class that summarizes the plan for this project (10%); a final presentation/demo of the project (20%), and a final paper written in CSCW format (40%).

5.  Meeting Times

  • Tuesdays and Thursday, 9:30-10:45am @ MS 680B
  • Office hours: Wednesdays, 9:30-10:45am, or by appointment

6.  Outline Details

  • Jan 10: Workplace Studies of Collaboration
  • Jan 17: Awareness & Distributed Collaboration
  • Jan 24: Personal Informatics: Data Collection
  • Jan 31: Moving from Understanding to Design
  • Feb 2: Personal Informatics: Needs
  • Feb 7: Personal Informatics: Self Experimentation
  • Feb 28: Tabletop Collaboration
  • Mar 6: Mobility
  • Mar 8: Personal Informatics: Activity Sensing
  • Mar 13: Domestic Computing
  • Mar 15: Time-use & Everyday life
  • Mar 20: Social Networks & Wikipedia
  • Mar 27: Games
  • Mar 29: Gamification
  • Apr 3: Workplace Communication and Coordination

7.  Response Blog