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When the Unimaginable Becomes the Routine

Date: 03/08/2011

Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Location: 100 Murphy Hall

Cost: Free


Tuesday, March 8, 2011, 11 am, 100 Murphy Hall
When the Unimaginable Becomes the Routine: How ICT's Enable Resilience in Environmental Crises
Gloria Mark, Department of Informatics, University of California, Irvine

Environmental crises such as natural disasters or wars can have highly disruptive long-term effects on people’s lives. People may not be able to engage in their normal activities such as work, social life or travel. In this talk, Mark will discuss ongoing empirical studies of citizens living in conflict zones (Israel and Iraq) and will describe how information and communication technologies (ICTs) played a major role in enabling people to be resilient. Based on qualitative and quantitative analyses of interviews, blogs and Internet archival data, Mark will discuss properties of resilience that ICTs enable such as reconfiguring social networks and repairing trust in information. She will explain how the blogosphere is changing how people experience living in a conflict zone. Lastly, Mark will show how topic modeling as a methodology can uncover blog topics that relate to war events over time. In most cases, the use of ICTs led to more of a reliance on virtual work and interaction and in some cases to deeper structural changes. Mark will also describe broader implications for how ICTs can support people in being resilient when their society experiences disruption.

Gloria Mark is a Professor in the Department of Informatics, University of California, Irvine. Her principle research areas are in human-computer interaction and computer-supported cooperative work. Her research focuses on the design and evaluation of collaborative systems. Her current projects include studying multi-tasking of information workers, IT use for resilience and adaptation in disrupted environments, and mobile platforms for telemedicine. She received her PhD in Psychology from Columbia University. Prior to joining UCI in 2000, she worked at the GMD in Bonn, Germany (now Fraunhofer Institute). In 2006 she received a Fulbright scholarship where she worked at the Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany. She has been the technical program chair for ACM CSCW '06 and ACM GROUP ’05 conferences, is the technical program chair for ACM CSCW ’12, and is on the editorial board of Computer Supported Cooperative Work: The Journal of Collaborative Computing, ACM TOCHI, and e-Service Qu@rterly. Her work has appeared in the popular press such as The New York Times, Time, and The Wall Street Journal.

 For information on additional Catalyst lectures, go to https://events.umn.edu/010363.


  • Name: Laura Walton
  • E-mail: lwalton@umn.edu
  • Sponsored by: School of Architecture, College of Design

Disability Options:

To request disability accommodations, please contact Laura Walton at 612-626-6385 or lwalton@umn.edu.

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Catalyst Lecture Series 2011