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RI SEMINAR -- Sara Kiesler


This talk compares two approaches to understanding how a technology is working. Evaluation typically assumes a technology design has goals, which can be compared with what users (or organizations) actually achieve. I'll talk about a student group's evaluation of the interface to a lunar vehicle as an example. Underlying processes and second order effects often are noticed but not pursued in evaluations. However, evaluations often stimulate research. Research typically assumes that underlying processes and second order effects are interesting and that understanding them can lead to generalizable concepts. I'll talk about research on "human-like" and 3-D interfaces as an example.


BS Simmons College, MS Stanford University and Ph.D. from Ohio State. Dr. Kiesler has a Ph.D. is in psychology, with a concentration in experimental social psychology.

My early work was basic research on group dynamics, communication, and decision making. When Ronald Reagan was elected president, I had just come to CMU and the NSF held up my grant on standards setting groups. So just for fun looked at decision making in electronic groups. Our experiments revealed many interesting phenonmena--processes leading to flaming, electronic group dynamics, changes in decision making, employee participation, and new kinds of teamwork. In 1991, Lee Sproull and I published Connections: New Ways of Working in the Networked Organization (MIT Press), summarizing our research.

My current projects include HomeNet, a field study of families on the Internet; a longitudinal study of how students learn technical teamwork, experimental studies of human-like computers, and studies of illusions of privacy and personal disclosure on computer forms.

Christopher Lee | chrislee@ri.cmu.edu
Last modified: Mon Jan 15 17:50:02 1996