Human-Computer Interaction Salon and Mixer | 2018

Human-Computer Interaction Salon and Mixer
MIT Computational Cultures Salon Series
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Time: 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Location: R&D Bar @ Stata Center MIT (4th Floor)

Sponsored by MIT Anthropology, MIT History, and the MIT program in Science, Technology, and Society


This convivial event seeks to foster formal and informal connections between computer scientists, humanists, and social scientists with shared interests in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). How might computer scientists draw on humanistic and social scientific perspectives as they design interfaces? How might humanists and social scientists draw on the expertise of computer scientists in studying the cultural impact of computational technologies?

This interdisciplinary salon is an outgrowth of MIT’s new Computational Cultures Initiative, sponsored by MIT’s School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS). Its co-conveners, Professors Fox Harrell (CMS/CSAIL) and Graham M. Jones (Anthropology), will begin with introductory remarks, followed by lightning talks showcasing the cutting-edge research of scholars from departments and programs across the Institute, including: Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence (CSAIL); Anthropology; Comparative Media Studies (CMS); Music and Theater Arts; Science, Technology and Society (STS); Architecture; and more.

Buffet-style snacks and bar service will be provided. This event is free, but advanced registration is required. Please click this link to register:

Opening Remarks

Introducing the MIT Center for Advanced Virtuality

Dr. Fox Harrell (Professor, CMS and CSAIL)

Extended Reality technologies, or XR (which encompasses Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality, and beyond) have the potential to impact how we perceive the world. Professor Fox Harrell will introduce the newly formed MIT Center for Advanced Virtuality, which supports innovating and researching technologies and experiences of virtuality. The founding of the center is motivated by social need and interests across disciplinary boundaries here at MIT. Nearly everyone uses virtual identities these days whether social media profiles, e-commerce accounts, or avatars in videogames. As such, most computer users engage in virtual experiences take forms ranging from taking on identities in immersive 3D virtual environments to social encounters online. Given the widespread and growing use of such technologies, it is imperative to better understand their impacts and to establish innovative and best practices for learning. In light of these aims, Professor Harrell will conclude by discussing research on how our social identities are complicated by their intersection with computing and learning technologies including educational games and virtual reality (VR) systems.

Introducing the MIT Computational Cultures Initiative

Dr. Graham M. Jones (Associate Professor, Anthropology)

How are increases in computational power refashioning community, identity, democracy, and knowledge itself? Professor Graham Jones will introduce MIT’s new Computational Cultures Initiative, which leverages expertise in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS) to address these questions. The Initiative seeks to incubate vital exchanges between cutting-edge technologists and distinguished historians, philosophers, anthropologists, political scientists, and others who study the human impacts of technological change. Through workshops, lectures, classes, and social events focused on sustained humanistic and interdisciplinary research, it will offer spaces to make sense of the algorithms that sort the news and sentence prisoners, the social media platforms that shape political debate, and the mathematical models that forecast financial futures or draw electoral maps. In a time of increasing global uncertainty, we seek to build more responsible technologies, cultivate social consciousness among scientists and engineers, foster broader public understanding of computational cultures, and develop prescient policy recommendations.