NEWSConfessions of an Applied Computer Scientist

DateJanuary 10, 2019

 LocationTSRB 1st Floor Ballroom, Atlanta, GA

LinkGVU Brown Bag - Replay


GVU Center Brown Bag: Gregory D. Abowd - "Confessions of an Applied Computer Scientist"


In my nearly quarter century of work at Georgia Tech, I have been involved in many different projects with many different collaborators. While I refer to myself as a researcher in Ubicomp and HCI, I am even more comfortable these days with the label of “applied computer scientist.” In this talk, I want to explain what I mean by an applied computer scientist and what it means to apply computing to some other non-computing problem domains. These application domains can vary widely, from health to education to materials science. The domain collaborators can also vary in terms of whether they are practitioners or researchers in their own domain. Regardless of this variability, I have developed a way of thinking about the collaborative relationship between a computing researcher and these domain specialists. A lot of it is just common sense, but it is valuable to make that common sense explicit when we think about how to develop a lasting relationship with another domain. Using my own successes and failures as a backdrop, I will provide a simple framework to understand how to distinguish different kinds of contributions of applied computing. This talk is meant to provide advice on when and how to develop a long-term cross-domain collaboration. Though I won’t speak explicitly about this, the lessons from my talk can also be applied to collaboration across different subdisciplines of computing, so I think the talk is valuable for a very broad computing research community.