Amy Zhang – Systems to Improve Online Discussion

Tuesday February 11, 2020

IBM Cambridge, One Rogers St, Cambridge MA 02142

Please register.


The internet was supposed to democratize discussion, allowing people from all walks of life to communicate with each other at scale. However, this vision has not been fully realized—instead online discourse seems to be getting worse, as people are increasingly drowning in discussion, with much of it unwanted, unpleasant, or downright harmful. In this talk, I present new systems that empower discussion participants to work collectively to bring order to discussions through a range of collaborative curation tools. These systems enable the following new capabilities:

  1. Recursive summarization of threaded forums using Wikum,
  2. Teamsourced tagging and summarization of group chat using Tilda,
  3. Fine-grained customization of email delivery within mailing lists using Murmur
  4. Friendsourced moderation of messages against online harassment using Squadbox.

In a world of abundant discussion and mass capabilities for amplification, the curation of a social space becomes as equally essential as content creation in defining the nature of that space. By putting more powerful techniques for curation in the hands of everyday people, I envision a future where end users are empowered to actively co-curate every aspect of their online discussion environments, bringing in their nuanced and contextual insights to solve social issues.  


Amy X. Zhang is a fall 2020 incoming assistant professor at University of Washington’s Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering. She is currently doing a 1-year postdoc in the Computer Science Department of Stanford University after just finishing her Ph.D. at MIT CSAIL. She is also a current affiliate and 2018-19 Fellow at the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University. She is a founding member of the Credibility Coalition, a group dedicated to research and standards for information credibility online. She has interned at Microsoft Research and Google Research. Her work has received a best paper award at ACM CSCW, a best paper honorable mention award at ACM CHI, and has been profiled on BBC’s Click television program, CBC radio, and featured in articles by ABC News, The Verge, New Scientist, and Poynter. She received an M.Phil. in Computer Science at the University of Cambridge on a Gates Fellowship and a B.S. in Computer Science at Rutgers University, where she was captain of the Division I Women’s tennis team. Her Ph.D. research was supported by a Google PhD Fellowship and an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.  


  • 6:30 – 7:00 Networking over food and beverages
  • 7:00 – 8:30 Meeting
  • 8:30 – 9:00 CHI Dessert and more networking!  


Thank you to our generous sponsors!

Jared Spool 2020: The Four horsemen of the Quantitative UX Metrics

Thu, Jan 16, 2020 6:30PM – 9PM

Microsoft 5 Wayside Road  Burlington, MA 01803

This is a joint event of GBC/ACM, IEEE/CS and BostonCHI

Note that you will be required to show a US goverment ID to gain entrance to Microsoft

Registration is required to attend this event.

Quantitative metrics are an under-used tool in most user experience efforts. In this presentation, you’ll learn how to turn metrics into an essential storytelling tool that demonstrates the wide-scale effect that better designs can have on your organization.

You’ll explore 4 different categories of UX metrics: UX Success metrics, Problem-Value metrics, Progress Reporting metrics, and Value Discovery metrics. These four types of metrics help you understand when your projects have met their intention, help you communicate your value to the organization, help you show how far along you are for complex projects, and help you identify innovative new opportunities for your designs.

You’ll learn how to avoid common mistakes teams make when choosing metrics and get tips on how to get a starter set of metrics. Jared will show you new ways UX design leaders are using metrics to drive a better understanding of how UX design delivers lasting value.

Jared M. Spool is a Maker of Awesomeness at Center Centre – UIE. Center Centre is the school he started with Leslie Jensen-Inman to create industry-ready User Experience Designers. UIE is Center Centre’s professional development arm, dedicated to understanding what it takes for organizations to produce competitively great products and services.

In the 43 years he’s been in the tech field, he’s worked with hundreds of organizations, written two books, published hundreds of articles and podcasts, and tours the world speaking to audiences everywhere. When he can, he does his laundry in Andover, Massachusetts.


6:30 - 7: Networking & pizza
7 - 8:30: Jared speaks
8:30 - 9: Networking

About Microsoft Burlington

The signs by the driveways indicate that the parking and entrance for 5 Wayside Road is on the side of the building away from the road.

Show your government-issued photo ID to the receptionist. After you have passed the reception desk, go to the right. Walk across the open area, and you will find us on the other side in Adams, Washington, and Jefferson.

Computational Craft – Bridging HCI, Textile Arts, and Game Design

Gillian Smith

Computational Craft – Bridging HCI, Textile Arts, and Game Design

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Constant Contact, 1601 Trapelo Rd, Waltham, MA 02451

Please Register

Event Details

Traditional textile crafts, as both a design domain and artistic practice, provide a rich set of opportunities for games and HCI research–exploring generative computational models for textiles, as well as new forms of interactions and experiences that reach new audiences. This talk presents two projects that integrate computer science with textiles. The first is Threadsteading, a two-player strategy game designed and played on computerized consumer quilting and embroidery machines, which examines the interaction opportunities and design constraints that arise from treating textiles manufacturing as a form of HCI. The second is Hoopla, a generative design tool for hand-stitched cross-stitch samplers, which applies techniques from game-based procedural content generation in the domain of textiles. The two projects share common threads such as bridging digital and physical spaces, and disrupting gendered assumptions associated with both computation and craft. These themes that are now informing her emerging research in using computational craft for broadening public engagement in computing.


Gillian Smith is an Assistant Professor in Computer Science and Interactive Media & Game Development at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Her research interests are in computational creativity, game design, computer science education, and the intersection of traditional crafts and computation. Her interdisciplinary work merges technical research in AI and HCI with creative practice in textiles and games, with a view towards addressing social issues and broadening participation and perspectives on computing.



  • 6:30 – 7:00  Networking over pizza and beverages
  • 7:00 – 8:30  Meeting
  • 8:30 – 9:00  CHI Dessert and more networking

The Human Side of Tech