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BostonCHI hosts Orit Shaer at IBM Watson Health speaking about Experiencing Personal Genomes


Tuesday, June 12, 2018 from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM (EDT)

BostonCHI hosts Orit Shaer at IBM Watson Health speakin...

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Event Details

Experiencing Personal Genomes

BostonCHI hosts Orit Shaer, PhD, Associate Professor of Computer Science and director of the Media Arts and Sciences Program at Wellesley College


Recent advances in genetic testing and Internet technologies have led to a dramatic increase in the access non-experts have to their own personal genomic data. Such data are complex and sensitive, involve multiple dimensions of uncertainty, and can have substantial implications on individuals’ behavior, choices, and well-being. Future progress in genetic research and technologies is likely to further increase the availability of interactive personal genomic information to non-experts. This trend raises technological and ethical concerns that are not only of paramount importance for health professionals and policymakers, but are also a pressing issue for human–computer interaction (HCI) research. HCI tools, methods, and practices can help make genomic information more accessible and understandable to non-experts.

In this talk, I will explore the roles HCI can play in helping non-experts contribute, understand, engage with, and share their personal genomic information. I will present tools we developed for non-experts to engage with their information and will argue that the complexity, importance, and personal relevance of this type of information makes understanding, informing, and empowering non-experts’ interaction with personal genomics a key challenge that lies ahead for the HCI community.


Orit Shaer is an Associate Professor of Computer Science and director of the Media Arts and Sciences Program at Wellesley College. She received her PhD from Tufts University. Her research focuses on the design and evaluation of novel human-computer interaction techniques for exploring large amounts of data. She is a recipient of various awards including the prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER Award, Luce Foundation Professorship, Agilent Technologies Research Award, and Google App Engine Education Award.


Evening Schedule

  • 6:30 – 7:00   Networking over pizza and beverages

  • 7:00 – 8:30   Meeting

  • 8:30 – 9:00   CHI Dessert and more networking!

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Thank you to our generous sponsors. If you're interested in sponsoring BostonCHI, please let us know.


IBM Watson Health is hosting us and providing pizza


Have questions about BostonCHI hosts Orit Shaer at IBM Watson Health speaking about Experiencing Personal Genomes? Contact BostonCHI
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When & Where

IBM Watson Health
75 Binney Street
Cambridge, MA 02142

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM (EDT)

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What We Do

BostonCHI is the Boston area chapter of ACM's Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (SIGCHI). Our members, from throughout New England, share ideas and experiences on the rapidly growing and changing area of how computers and people interact. Read the chapter Bylaws.

We have monthly gatherings in the metro Boston area, which are open to both members and non-members at no charge. In addition, members receive a monthly e-mail newsletter. If you're not yet a member, we encourage you to become one!

SIGCHI is a forum for the study of human-computer interaction (HCI) and includes research and development efforts leading to the design and evaluation of user interfaces. The focus of SIGCHI is on how people communicate and interact with computer systems. SIGCHI serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas among computer scientists, human factors scientists, psychologists, social scientists, systems designers and end users. (from ACM SIGCHI)

Who We Are

BostonCHI is an organization of professionals from the New England area in the field of Human-Computer Interaction. Our members represent the diverse interests of that field: graphic arts, documentation, usability, psychology, user interface design, human factors, industrial design, ergonomics, computer science, training, education, and many others.

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