Advanced Seminar 1, Fall 2014

Course Coordinates:
Tuesdays, 9:00 – 11:40 AM
IT 395

Dr. Amy Voida
IT 591
Office Hours: 5PM – 6PM Tuesdays and By Appointment


This syllabus will function as a collaboratively constructed contract among all of the stakeholders in this course. It is a living document that will evolve through in-class discussion as the dynamic needs of the students and their research emerge. Students are responsible for being in class, taking ownership of this course and their learning, and noting all changes to the syllabus as it evolves. The instructor is responsible for being attuned and responsive to the needs of the students and to the dynamic and often unpredictable nature of the research process. This draft syllabus is a starting point for ongoing dialogue…


Course Description

Introduces students to major historical, contemporary and emerging theories, methods, techniques, technologies and applications in the field of Human-Computer Interaction. Students will explore relevant and influential research, results and applications. Students will develop an understanding of leading research approaches and paradigms, and will design an independent research program in relation to their individual research fields and personal interests.

Note: This course is designed for research-active graduate students. If you are not currently conducting research, please meet with the instructor to help ascertain whether this course is appropriate for you.


Draft Schedule

Week Of
Bibliography Entries
Daily Words (Total)
Readings Presentations Mock Program Committee
26 Aug N/A N/A  N/A  N/A  N/A
2 Sep     Getting What You Came For Ch 1-5 (p. 1-47) Task/Time Management System Tutorials  
9 Sep     Getting What You Came For Ch 11-13 (p. 118-151) Bibliographic System Tutorials  
16 Sep  3 (3)   How to Write a Lot Ch 1-4 (p. 3-57) Initial Research Presentations  
23 Sep  3 (6)  1000 (1000) How to Write a Lot Ch 5,6 & 8 (p. 59-107, 127-132)   [Overview of Reviewing and the Conference Review Process]
30 Sep  3 (9)   1000 (2000)

Yang, T., Gadde, P., Morse, R. & Bolchini, D. (2013). Bypassing lists: accelerating screen-reader fact-finding with guided tours. In Proc. ASSETS ’13 ACM, New York: ACM Press.

Faiola, A. &  Srinivas, P. (2014). Extreme mediation: observing mental and physical health in everyday life. In Proc. Ubicomp. New York: ACM Press, 47-50.
Faculty Research Presentations:
* Davide Bolchini
* Tony Faiola
Reviewer Assignments Released (End of Week)
7 Oct  3 (12)  1000 (3000)

Mark, G., Voida, S., & Cardello, A.V. (2012). “A pace not dictated by electrons”: An empirical study of work without email. In Proc. CHI 2012. New York: ACM Press, pp. 555–564

Niu, X. & Hemminger, B. (2014). Analyzing the interaction patterns in a faceted search interface. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology.

Faculty Research Presentations:
* Steve Voida
* Xi Niu
14 Oct  4 (16)   1000 (4000)

Voida, A., Harmon, E. & Al-Ani, B. (2011). Homebrew databases: Complexities of everyday information management in nonprofit organizations. In Proc. CHI 2011. New York: ACM Press, pp. 915–924.

MacDorman, K. F., & Entezari, S. (2015). Individual differences predict sensitivity to the uncanny valley. Interaction Studies, IS-D-13-00026R2.

Faculty Research Presentations:
* Amy Voida
* Karl MacDorman

Reviewer Assignments Due
21 Oct  Fall Break — No Class
28 Oct 4 (20)   1000 (5000) Getting What You Came For Ch 14-17 (p. 152-207) Student Panel  
4 Nov  5 (25)   1000 (6000) Getting What You Came For Ch 18-20 (p. 208-265)

Rieh SY, Xie H. (2006). Analysis of multiple query reformulations on the web: The interactive information retrieval context. Information Processing and Management 42, 751-68.

Idols & Inspirations Presentation: Xing  
11 Nov  5 (30)   1000 (7000) Getting What You Came For Ch 21-23 (p. 266-318)

Tang, P. C., Ash, J. S., Bates, D. W., Overhage, J. M., & Sands, D. Z. (2006). Personal health records: definitions, benefits, and strategies for overcoming barriers to adoption. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA, 13(2), 121–126.

Idols & Inspirations Presentation: Victor  
18 Nov  5 (35)   1000 (8000) Getting What You Came For Ch 24 (p. 319-358)

Watson, H. J., and Wixom, B. H. 2007. The Current State of Business Intelligence, IEEE Computer 40(9), 96-99.

Idols & Inspirations Presentation: Nitya  Reviews Due
25 Nov  5 (40)   1000 (9000)  Thanksgiving (TBD)    
2 Dec  5 (45)   1000 (10,000) Workshop on Meta-Reviewing   Meta-Reviews Due
9 Dec  5 (50)   1000 (11,000)     Mock Program Committee Meeting



Students will need to purchase the following books for the course:

  • Peters, R. (1997). Getting What You Came For: The Smart Student’s Guide to Earning an M.A. or a Ph.D. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
  • Silvia, P.J.(2007). How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing.

Additional texts for this course will consist primarily of conference and journal publications that are all available online via university site licenses. You will need to be logged in to the university network or connected via VPN to access these articles for free.

Assessment & Evaluation

Bibliography Entries 25%
Daily Words (Writing Log)   20%
 • Task/Time Management Tutorial 3%
 • Bibliographic Software Tutorial 3%
 • Initial Research Presentation 4%
 • Idols and Inspirations Presentations 10%
Mock Program Committee  
 • Reviews 5%
 • Meta-Reviews 5%
Class Participation 25%


Class participation will be evaluated on the basis of student self-assessment according to the following rubric:

0 points Not physically present OR Behaved in ways that were a distraction to the learning environment
1 point Not mentally present OR Was engaged in other activities not related to the discussion
2 points Was consistently engaged, listening to the discussion
3 points Contributed productively to the discussion once or twice
4 points Contributed productively to the discussion three or more times


Numerical grades will be converted to letter grades based on the following scale:

A+       97 – 100 B+       87 – 89.99 C+       77 – 79.99 D+       67 – 69.99 F          0 – 59.99
A         93 – 96.99 B         83 – 86.99 C         73 – 76.99 D         63 – 66.99  
A-        90 – 92.99 B-        80 – 82.99 C-        70 – 72.99 D-        60 – 62.99  



All assignments are due by the date and time posted. There is no “late policy” in this class; there are deadlines. If you want to earn credit for your work, you should plan on meeting these deadlines. You may earn partial credit on assignments by submitting whatever you have finished at the time of the deadline.

Bibliography Entries
Research is a distributed dialogue among researchers. In order to contribute to that dialogue, you must read what other researchers have written. Reading should become a habit. Good researchers don’t wait for a convenient block of time to read; they make time to read. Schedule yourself time to read and always take notes about what you’ve read. This will save you a massive amount of time down the road when you are writing (see next assignment). Each set of notes about a given paper will become an entry into your personal annotated bibliography. Each entry should include the following information:

  • A full reference to the text (in whatever format is most relevant to you, e.g. APA)
  • A link to the text online (wherever possible; this is particularly valuable for supporting collaborations around research)
  • A  summary of the main points of the text in your own words. (Not a restatement of the abstract!)
    • What was the problem the researchers were trying to solve? Why was this problem important? (Articulating the problem from their perspective can help you to understand where they are coming from, as well as possible biases or blind spots.)
    • How did the researchers go about trying to solve the problem? (Articulating this is useful for understanding what parts of the problem they think are most important to solving (first), which usually implies that there were other parts of the problem they haven’t yet addressed.)
    • What did the researchers learn? What were their results?
    • What are the implications of these results? (May be for other researchers, for designers, etc…)
  • A brief discussion of some of the ways this text connects to your own research, life experiences or other things you have read. (This is where you really start thinking like a researcher. If you don’t take time to make connections now, while your head is really in the minutia of the paper, you’ve wasted a big opportunity and likely created more work for yourself down the road. Note: Every time you read a paper, you are likely to make different connections. This is okay… great, actually… it shows that you are growing and evolving as a researcher.)
  • A list of references (writ broadly… could be texts, ideas, people, projects, etc…) that you might want to explore further. (In rare instances, you will just not have anything to list here. Not every paper is inspirational. But if you find yourself skipping this section too many times, you need to rethink how creatively you are engaging with what you are reading.)

You will start out reading 3 papers per week and writing bibliography entries for these papers. Over the course of the semester, you will work up to reading and summarizing one paper every day (5 per week).  The compilation of these reading summaries will become your own personal annotated bibliography.

You will choose the specific papers (50 over the course of the semester) based on your own interests. This is an opportunity to explore the huge diversity of domains and disciplinary inspiration that are part of the domain of human-computer interaction. Following are some sources/strategies for identifying papers to read:

  • Revisit the references that you listed in bibliography entries for papers you’ve already read.
  • Search by keyword in the ACM Digital Library for topics that interest you. This is where many (but certainly not all) of the highest quality papers are published in HCI.
  • Skim Georgia Tech’s published reading lists for its qualifier exams; these are a treasure trove of ideas.
  • Identify papers related to presentations given by faculty, your peers, colloquia speakers.
  • Search the webistes of other researchers you’ve come to appreciate (many researchers in HCI post pdfs of their papers on their websites).
  • Ask your advisor for recommendations.
  • Ask other students in the program for recommendations.
  • Ask me for recommendations.

You should not have to pay to access any conference or journal publications for this course. Most everything you find should be available for free online via university site licenses. You will need to be logged in to the university network or connected via VPN to access these articles for free.

Based on the bibliographic software tutorials (see description of presentations), you should identify some system for managing your bibliography moving forward. This will help you immensely over the course of your Ph.D. For the logistics of this course, however, you will need to copy and paste your bibliography entries into a file bearing your name in the “Bibliography Entries” folder in Google Drive.

Daily Words (Writing Log)
Researchers write. Period. As a Ph.D. student, your success will be determined by your ability to write publication-quality papers. Research that hasn’t been written up might as well have never happened. Writing doesn’t happen magically. Good writing doesn’t happen in binges the week before the deadline. In this class, you will write every day. A little at a time; 200 words per day. Schedule it so that it happens.

All writing should be research related. But the genre of the writing is up to you. Since you have to write papers, anyway, my first recommendation is almost always to identify part of a paper that you can write and write it. Some ideas include the following:

  • Write up a methods section for a study you have done (or even better, for a study you want to do)
  • Write segments of a literature review (synthesize a set of readings about a related topic and reflect on what they tell you, as a whole; what do these papers, together, suggest is an important next step for future research?)
  • Write the motivation for a paper (what research topic do you think is interesting and why should a reader care?

In this class, you will post your ongoing writing log in a file bearing your name  in the “Daily Words” folder in Google Drive. Note: I highly recommend writing in a local  application first and copying the text over so that you have a backup. There are advantages to keeping all of your text in one searchable file or archive. I know many academics who do this successfully via a local or private WordPress blog. This way, each entry is dated and potentially tagged. Resources can be linked. But the entire blog is searchable. There are many options; just find a method that works for you.

Daily writing is all about process, not product. In this class, your daily words will *never* be evaluated on their ‘quality,’ only that you did it. 200 words a day. No judgement. No excuses. Just write.

As researchers, we also have to become adept at talking about the work that we do. In this course, you will give four different presentations—three mini presentations at the beginning of the semester (about task/time management systems, bibliographic systems, and your research) and one more substantial presentation of your research interests (idols and inspirations presentation) at the end of the semester. This final presentation will require that you synthesize content from your bibliography entries, your daily words, and the feedback you received from your earlier presentations.

Mock CHI Program Committee
Over the course of the semester, we will conduct (and host for any other interested students) a mock conference program committee.  During your Ph.D., most of you will publish papers at conferences with varying review processes. This mock PC is an opportunity for you to learn about the processes and politics of publishing in your new discipline. For the mock PC, you will be responsible for writing both reviews and meta-reviews of papers, taking on the roles of both reviewers and associate chairs.

Class Participation
Your participation in class is the primary way in which you will demonstrate your engagement with the shared readings and presentations that form the dialogic content of this course.

Additional Policies

A complete list of campus policies governing IUPUI courses may be found online at: Selected policies are highlighted below.

Academic Integrity
Each student in this course is expected to adhere to the IU Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct ( Academic dishonesty is completely unacceptable and any persons involved in such conduct will be disciplined in accordance with university regulations and procedures.

Educational Accommodations
I strive to design my courses in ways that accommodate students with a diversity of learning needs and styles. If you have needs that I haven’t anticipated, please register with Adaptive Educational Services ( and notify me during the first week of classes about any approved accommodations.

If you require accommodation for religious observances, please notify me by the end of the second week of the semester using the Request for Course Accommodation Due to Religious Observance Form (


Creative Commons License
This Advanced Seminar syllabus by Dr. Amy Voida is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

If you re-use and/or adapt this syllabus for use at your institution, in addition to providing attribution please consider dropping me an email and letting me know. This information is extraordinarily useful for tracking the broader impact of my curriculum development. Thanks!