Society’s most daunting challenges call for new strategies that engage many diverse stakeholders to solve bigger and messier problems. While technology has made it easy to connect people, we need to advance fundamental research on "collective innovation," where groups collectively explore and refine solutions for complex, multifaceted problems in business and civics. To explore this, our research group contributes novel interactive systems to better understand 1) how to productively select and build on the most promising and creative ideas, 2) how to effectively engage in large-scale participatory design by gathering feedback from communities of stakeholders, and 3) how to engage citizens in decision-making processes related to civic issues. To guide and motivate the design of these systems, this research builds on theories of design thinking and collective intelligence.
Steven Dow is an Assistant Professor of Cognitive Science at UC San Diego where he researches human-computer interaction, social computing, and creativity. Steven received the National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2015 for research on "advancing collective innovation." He was co-PI on three other National Science Foundation grants, a Google Faculty Grant, Stanford's Postdoctoral Research Award, and the Hasso Plattner Design Thinking Research Grant. Steven was on the faculty in the HCI Institute at CMU from 2011-2015, and earned an MS and PhD in Human-Centered Computing from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a BS in Industrial Engineering from University of Iowa.
Narges Mahyar is a postdoctoral fellow in the Design Lab at UC San Diego working with Steven Dow. Her research falls at the intersection of social computing and design with the goal of augmenting groups’ ability to solve complex problems. Narges designs, develops and evaluate innovative visualization and interaction techniques that help people solve complex problems and make better decisions through collaborative visual exploration and analysis of data. Previously she was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Computer Science at UBC where she collaborated closely with Kellogg Booth in Computer Science, Ron Kellett and Cynthia Girling in Landscape Architecture to investigate use of collaboration technology and visualization techniques for increasing public engagement in Urban Design. This work won the honorable mention award from Interactive Surfaces and spaces conference in 2016.
Join us for networking between 5-5:30pm, with the presentation from 5:30-7pm.