Jon Froehlich, University of Maryland, College Park
Thursday, November 30th, 2012

Human behaviour is complex—so much so that it is a fundamental topic of inquiry in fields as diverse as philosophy, economics, sociology, psychology and, my own discipline, human-computer interaction (to name a few). As computing shifts off the desktop and integrates itself into various forms of human life, there is an increasing role for computing to be not just a productivity tool but to fundamentally improve lives—by making us more fit, more informed, and more aware of ourselves and the world around us.

In this talk, I will discuss how sensing and feedback systems not only allow for self-discovery but can also promote and support positive behaviour change. I will focus on designing and evaluating sensing and feedback systems to promote pro-environmental behaviour, while touching on implications for related, popular research areas such as Persuasive Technology, Quantified Self, and Personal Informatics. I will also discuss an important topic I’ve been increasingly contemplating: how to create reusable design knowledge and scaffolding to structure the process of design and evaluation for “technology-mediated behaviour change” applications.

BIO: Jon Froehlich is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Maryland, College Park and a member of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory (HCIL) and the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS). His research focuses on building and studying interactive technology that addresses high value social issues such as environmental sustainability, computer accessibility, and personal health and wellness. Jon earned his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Washington (UW) in 2011 where he was a Microsoft Research Graduate Fellow and the UW College of Engineering Research Innovator of the Year. His PhD dissertation entitled Sensing and Feedback of Everyday Activities to Promote Sustainable Behaviors won the UW Graduate School Distinguished Dissertation Award, the Madrona Prize for Research Excellence and Commercial Appeal, and the UW Environmental Innovation Challenge. Jon has over 25 scientific peer-reviewed publications in many top venues including CHI, UbiComp, IJCAI, MobiSys and ICSE garnering a best paper award and two best paper nominations.

For more, see: cs.umd.edu/~jonf/. Hosted by Tom Yeh.

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