Thursday, May 31st, 2018

Talk: Novel Interface Modalities

Dr. Mei Kei LAI from the Macao Polytechnic Institute will visit the United Nations University Institute on Computing and Society (UNU-CS) to talk about multisensory experience research, particularly from the olfactory and gustatory experiences, and will also discuss sensory interfaces from an aesthetic perspective. An abstract of her talk along with the speaker’s bio is available below. ABSTRACT We experience the world with all our senses. Diana Ackerman once said, “when we breathe we pass the world through our bodies.” Sensory modality is the interface between the self and the world. We interact with people and the surroundings through our senses in the real world. When coming to the digital world, our interactions mainly rely on sight, hearing and touch. However, the sense of smell and taste give us vivid memory and emotion in daily life that other sensory modality hardly provide. Recently in HCI community, there has been growing interest in exploring olfactory and gustatory experiences as novel interface modalities. What are the possibilities behind when we design interaction beyond the screen through modalities? In this talk, I will introduce the recent trend of multisensory experience research, especially in the area of olfactory and gustatory experiences. I will also share how artists and designers approach sensory interface from an aesthetic perspective. SHORT BIO Mei Kei LAI is an interactive media researcher and artist. She is currently a Lecturer and Assistant Programme Coordinator of the Design Programme in the School of Arts at Macao Polytechnic Institute. She received her doctoral degree in Media Design from Keio University in Japan, and a postgraduate degree in Design for Interactive Media at Middlesex University in the United Kingdom. With a background in technology and design, she mainly focuses on exploring the possibilities of non-conventional interface design, especially olfactory interaction. Her research interest is about using smell as a medium to design playful user experience. The experiments include taking smell into the area of gameplay, exhibition and family bonding. Her works have been presented in the exhibitions and conferences in Europe and Asia, such as HCI, SIGDOC, ISEA, Digital Olfaction Society World Congress and Microwave International New Media Arts Festival.
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time:

2:30PM - 3:30PM

location:
UNU-CSMacau SAR China

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

Cracking the Code: Empowering Rural Girls and Women Through Digital Skills

The EQUALS Partnership is co-hosting a side-event at the sixty-second session of the Commission on the Status of Women. The event is entitled “Cracking the Code: Empowering Rural Girls and Women Through Digital Skills” and will highlight actions that can be taken to ensure that the potential of the digital revolution is realized by women and girls in all corners of the world, including in rural settings. Key experts from government, the private sector, and civil society will share examples of good practice, and participants will be invited to help craft recommendations to empower women and girls in rural areas to become users, creators, and innovators in the digital world. Registration is available at http://sgiz.mobi/s3/CSWSideEvent and live webcast will be available via UN Web TV for those who register.
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time:

10AM - 11:15AM

location:
UN HeadquartersNew YorkUnited States

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

Seminar: The Flip from Fraught to Assumed Use

As part of the Communication Seminar Series organized by the Centre for Chinese Media and Comparative Communication Research of the School of Journalism and Communication at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Dr. Juhee Kang will deliver a seminar entitled “The Flip from Fraught to Assumed Use: Mobile Communications of North Korean Women During Their Journey to South Korea”. ABSTRACT Every year hundreds of North Koreans cross the Tumen River running through the Sino-Korean border in the search for a better life elsewhere. This study examines the migratory experiences of North Korean women who flipped their home between two Koreas. In particular, it analyzes the role of mobile communications in their journey as they transposed from the world’s most digitally-disconnected society to one of the most digitally-oriented societies. Based on qualitative interviews with North Korean women settled in South Korea, the study finds their mobile use during the journey was clandestine and fraught with danger but also a critically instrumental for the escape. By contrast, in their flipped home in South Korea where not having a mobile phone is a problem, their use of mobile is structured in everyday life while it is somewhat hindered by discrimination and re-designed for their need of anonymous bridging.
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time:

11AM - 12:30PM

location:
CUHKHong Kong SAR China

Monday, December 4th, 2017

Talk: Toward Open Knowledge Environments

Paul Uhlir, a consultant in information policy and management, will visit the United Nations University Institute on Computing and Society (UNU-CS) to deliver a talk on the communication processes in the context of open knowledge environments. ABSTRACT Technological progress always outstrips the ability of social systems to adapt and manage it effectively. That is certainly true of digital networks, which were developed globally in the early 1990s. Many of the legacy institutions and practices were transferred from the print medium to the network and new approaches have not yet been fully formed. What is needed is to step back to deconstruct the print paradigm and reconstruct it in a way that is optimal in the digitally networked environment. This presentation focuses on scholarly communication processes in that context. It presents the case for a default rule of openness; discusses the principles and benefits of open communication; explores the limits of such openness, both legitimate and spurious; identifies the models that have arisen; and argues in favor of an integrated, academic approach that I refer to as an open knowledge environment. SHORT BIO PAUL F. UHLIR, J.D., is a consultant in information policy and management. He was Scholar at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in Washington, DC in 2015-2016, and Director of the Board on Research Data and Information at the NAS, 2008-2015. Paul was employed at the NAS from 1985-2016, first as a senior staff officer for the Space Studies Board, where he worked on solar system exploration and environmental remote sensing studies for NASA, and then as associate executive director of the Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications. He directed the Office of International S&T Information for eight years after that, where he organized projects and meetings on scientific data throughout the world, and from 1992 to 2015 he also was director of the US CODATA at the NAS. Before joining the NAS, he worked in the general counsel’s office at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce in Washington, DC, working on Earth observation programs and related policies. Paul has written or edited 27 books and over 70 articles, mostly in scientific data law, policy, and management. He speaks worldwide on these topics and consults to governments, professional organizations, and universities. In 1997 he won the National Research Council’s Special Achievement Award and in 2010 the CODATA International Prize, both in the field of data policy. He was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2011. Paul has a B.A. degree in world history from the University of Oregon (1977), and a Master’s degree in foreign relations and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Diego (1983, 1984).
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time:

2:30PM - 4PM

location:
UNU-CSMacau SAR China

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

How Formalizing Access to Public Services Shapes Political Accountability and Citizen Well-Being: A Field Experiment in Mumbai

Anjali Thomas Bohlken, Assistant Professor at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at Georgia Tech, will visit the United Nations University Institute on Computing and Society (UNU-CS) to present her research on the collective understanding of the key drivers of formalization as well as of the knock-on effects of formalization on citizens’ welfare and political accountability. ABSTRACT Across the developing world, many citizens must rely on informal providers rather than the government to gain access to basic amenities such as electricity, housing, and water. In turn, getting citizens on the state’s grid when it comes to these services has the potential of not only boosting government revenue but also of increasing citizens’ welfare and of strengthening the social contract between citizens and the state. Yet, the question of how such formalization can be achieved has been underexplored and the effects of such formalization have not been rigorously examined. Our study seeks to address these gaps through the use of a field experiment in Mumbai, India. Specifically, our study will assess the effects of complementary interventions that target two types of costs associated with the formalization of water access amongst slum residents: bureaucratic engagement costs and political mobilization costs. These interventions will be implemented by local NGOs and will be randomized across 140 slum colonies across Mumbai. Through this study, we seek to advance our collective understanding of the key drivers of formalization as well as of the knock-on effects of formalization on citizens’ welfare and political accountability. SHORT BIO Anjali Thomas Bohlken is an Assistant Professor at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at Georgia Tech. Prior to this, she was Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. She obtained her Ph.D. from New York University in 2010. She is the author of the book “Democratization from Above: The Logic of Local Democracy in the Developing World” published by Cambridge University Press (2016) which focuses on the establishment of village level democratic institutions in India. She is also the author of several articles and book chapters focusing on questions surrounding democratic accountability, dynastic politics and the link between economic conditions and ethnic violence. Currently, she is working on a series of projects focused on the politics surrounding the implementation of public programs for infrastructure provision in India. She is also working on a project on water access in Mumbai’s slums funded by UK’s Department for International Development. Her work has been cited in several news outlets including “The Guardian”, “The New York Times”, “Vox”, “The Hindu: Business Line”, “Live Mint” and the “Wall Street Journal blog”.
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time:

11AM - 12PM

location:
UNU-CSMacau SAR China
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