Projects that lie sleeping...
Putting the Person into Personalization
eBay Research Labs, 2014
"Putting the Person into Personalization" is a research agenda devised by Elizabeth Churchill for summer 2014. With the collaborators above, I led an ethnographic field study of fashion reacquisition experiences (including: buying, selling, swapping, giving, making, donating...) in the San Francisco Bay Area. This work informed a prototype mobile app, hot or not, designed to engage customers through shared delight in beautiful-- and also horrible-- things.
A second project, led by Oliver Haimson, shed light on how online spaces facilitate the understanding and practicing of changing identities. This delightful blurring of online and offline realities focused on the trans community, but has significant implications for other identity changes as well.
Look for two papers at CHI 2015:
Bowser, A., Haimson, O., Melcer, E. & Churchill, E. F. (2015). On Vintage Values: The Experience of Secondhand Fashion Reacquisition.
Haimson, O., Bowser, A., Melcer, E. & Churchill, E. F. (2015). Online Inspiration and Exploration for Identity Reinvention.
Supporting Global HCI Education
ACM SIGCHI, 2011-2014
Building on the 1992 work of Hewitt et al., ACM SIGCHI supported a four-year research project to identify the key components, challenges, and futures of global HCI education. With Elizabeth Churchill and Jennifer Preece, I engaged in research and community building with the goal of achieving a crowdsourced living curriculum of HCI education resources. You can see the beginnings of a repository here.
A summary of early research and was published as the cover story to the April 2013 issue of Interactions Magazine. A follow-up article will be published through the same venue in 2015.
Supporting Ethical Computer Science Research
Microsoft Research, 2014
Researchers working outside of academia often lack access to ethics evaluation tools such as Institutional Review Boards (IRBs). Furthermore, many researchers argue that existing ethics evaluation systems like academic IRBs-- which were created primarily to serve the needs of medical and behavioral researchers, before the development of the world wide web-- are unable to contend with the ethical challenges posed by modern computer science research.
At MSR, I worked with Janice Tsai to develop internal ethics support resources including a digital IRB submission and evaluation system, and a case-study based ethics training for Microsoft employees.
The digital IRB submission and evaluation system is customized off Microsoft's CMT, an free conference management solution. Like CMT, our IRB submission and evaluation system will eventually be offered to any researchers working in settings (industry, non-profit, etc.) where traditional IRBs are not accessible.
The case studies that we designed and evaluated as part of research ethics education will be similarly available for others to use.
One case study, will be shared at the CSCW Workshop on Ethics for Studying Socio-technological Systems in a Big Data world:
Bowser, A. & Tsai, J. (2015). Evaluating Irrelevant Search: A case study for internet ethics evaluation. Preprint here.