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University of Michigan School of Information


Research seminar in information

Winter 2024 Offerings:

SI 710.001: Understanding Social Media: Key Concepts, Theories, and Challenges - N. Ellison

This course will introduce doctoral students to relevant theories and scholarship examining the social, psychological, and interpersonal aspects of social media use, covering relevant theories in fields such as communication, social psychology, and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). We will be engaging with relevant topics in contemporary social media scholarship, spanning a range of topics including online self-presentation, identity, and impression formation; privacy, audience and context collapse; methodological considerations and challenges of ‘big data’ and social media scholarship; cultural understandings of algorithms and AI; well-being implications of social media use; and online relationships/online dating, drawing from both newer and classic papers and books. The course will be structured as a discussion-focused learning experience with an emphasis on helping students develop papers for future publication, drawing from my experience as Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication and decades of research in this area.

SI 710.003: Introduction to HCI Research - E. Adar

This course will provide an introduction to major sub-areas of HCI research including everything from design to fabrication to visualization to HCI-AI systems to social computing. Each week will focus on a different topic and include paired readings of historical/foundational and modern papers. The objective will be for you to understand different types of contributions, how problems are selected in sub-ares, research is executed, evaluations are implemented, and ultimately, how results are reported. While elements of traditional UX/HCI practice will make their way into the class, we will not focus on these. Weekly sessions will include critical discussion on readings and small group activities. In these activities, we will task groups with thinking through a specific problem of the sub-area (e.g., designing a study, constructing a novel interaction technique, etc.) before reading published work on that problem in a subsequent week. In addition to reading responses and presentations, assessments will include an open-ended HCI research project and a take-home exam at the end of the semester. Aside from an interest in HCI research, there are no specific prerequisites.