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Perspectives on Collaboration and Computing

An informal Workshop, Friday 7th August 2009, 10.00 - 17.00

Department of Computer Science, University of Warwick, Room CS101

If there is a theme to the day, I suggest we make it something more like 'the human-computer relationship' than traditional HCI. I hope we can keep both 'sides' of the relationship in mind as much as possible.

It may be helpful to have the issues and questions mentioned at the bottom of this page in view from the beginning.

10.00   Coffee and Introductions

10.30   Diane H. Sonnenwald (Goteborg, Sweden / University College, Dublin)

Exploring the potential of video technologies for collaboration in emergency medical care


11.30   Bonnie Nardi (University of California, Irvine)

Discussion of some aspects of the multi-user game World of Warcraft

Based upon preliminary reading of selected chapters from Bonnie Nardi's book (forthcoming).

Participants will receive email with these chapters attached (please remind me (address below) if you do not!).

12.30   Meurig Beynon and Steve Russ (Warwick)

Collaborating with Computers

See especially the tabs for Publications and for Software

13.00   Lunch

14.00   Willard McCarty (King's College, London)

Cybernetics and Humanities

14.30  John Pickering (Warwick, Psychology)

Recognising Languages rather than Speech: a potential Humanities/Computing Collaboration?

15.00   onwards ... further talks to be announced here soon ...

Subsequent discussion might include the following issues:

the classical 'theory of computation' (Turing machines, hierarchies of languages and machines, etc) is highly technical, rich and interesting, but a million miles from giving any account of current computing practices (e.g. those described in the opening talks of this workshop). Empirical Modelling can be seen as an initial attempt to offer a more adequate theory - partly through a re-conceptualisation of computing. Is it important that the theory of a subject should give an account of the practice of the subject? Is there a 'subject' here at all? To whom do those questions matter, and what are the implications for computing education?

the social sciences have developed numerous sophisticated ways of observing and analysing human behaviour and practices. There has been extensive study of the far-reaching interactions between social issues and technology. There is greater openness in the sciences to human-centred thinking and phenomenology as at least a complement to analytical thinking. Is there any sign that such perspectives, and kinds of discourse - which are undoubtedly driving technologies socially and economically - could also be contributing to enrich the theory of a 'science' underlying, or interwoven with, the technology? Is this desirable or feasible? How might it work?

If you find these questions interesting and you have allied, or related, questions you would like us to address, please send them to me and I shall post them here.

15.30   Tea

17.00   Ending

For directions to the Warwick Campus see . The Department of Computer Science is on the central campus map, building no.13.

Queries, suggestions, comments will be welcomed, please mail to Steve Russ (steve dot russ at warwick dot ac dot uk)

28th July 2009