Skip to main content

University of Michigan School of Information


Michigan Interactive Social Computing Talk: Daniel Epstein

“MISC. Michigan Interactive Social Computing. Daniel Epstein. University of California Irvine. Monday, October 10. 11:45 am - 1 pm. Beyster 3725 (North Campus) and via Zoom.”

11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Beyster 3725 and online

Towards More Meaningful Personal Tracking 

Please RSVP if you will be in-person, as lunch will be provided. All are welcome.

Zoom link:
Passcode: misc22

Personal tracking through digital technologies like pedometers, mood monitoring apps and food journaling apps has great potential to help people begin to change their behaviors, understand their habits, connect with others and advocate for their health care. But in practice, they have largely failed to deliver on their promise of helping people derive value from their health and well-being data, with majorities abandoning tracking within weeks or even days. A core challenge is that people often view the act of tracking as a meaningless experience, finding that tracking technology prioritizes behavior change over opportunity to create other meaningful experiences through personal satisfaction, connection and communication. In this talk, I discuss how my research group has approached understanding how to make personal tracking more meaningful, and design strategies that we think provide for more meaningful tracking experiences. I will touch on opportunities for meaningful tracking we are examining in personal, social and clinical settings.

Speaker bio:

Daniel Epstein

Daniel Epstein is an assistant professor in the Department of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine with a courtesy appointment in the Department of Computer Science. His work examines how personal tracking technology can acknowledge and account for the realities of everyday life, designing new technology and studying people's use of current technology. Epstein's work has been published in top HCI venues including CHI, Ubicomp, CSCW and DIS, receiving multiple awards and nominations. He received his PhD in computer science and engineering from the University of Washington in 2018. His work is supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and Snap Inc.