DUB Seminar will be conducted using Zoom, via an invitation distributed to the DUB mailing list. Participants who are logged into Zoom using a UW account will be directly admitted, and participants who are not logged in to a UW account will be admitted using a Zoom waiting room.
This DUB seminar will not be recorded.
The present health emergency, economic downturn, and technological disruption are sufficiently transformative that they demand we reflect on our research through a new lens. In this informal talk, I will cover three areas of my work that are top of mind because their importance may increase in the years that follow this tumultuous period. I will first discuss research from my lab at Northwestern that, over the long-term, seeks to create a computing technology paradigm that provides many more economic benefits to a much wider group of people. Next, I will summarize in-progress work at Microsoft that involves thinking about the changing nature of computing research and the implications of these changes for actors across the computing research ecosystem. Finally, I will briefly review an ongoing project that examines the critical role of computing research in economic downturns.
This will be a talk with a small number of slides and a large amount of audience participation. There will be ample time to discuss what recent events mean to us as researchers in human-centered computing, and I will try to provide whatever reflections I can from my academic and industrial experience. I am looking forward to connecting with the DUB community during this difficult period.
Dr. Brent Hecht is an Associate Professor at Northwestern University and Director of Applied Science in Microsoft’s Experiences and Devices division. At Northwestern, Dr. Hecht leads the People, Space, and Algorithms (PSA) Research Group, whose mission is to “identify and address societal problems that are created or exacerbated by advances in computer science.” At Microsoft, Dr. Hecht is working to increase the pace, impact, and responsibility of research in Microsoft product groups.
Dr. Hecht received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Northwestern University, a Master’s degree in Geography from UC Santa Barbara, and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Geography from Macalester College. He is the recipient of a CAREER award from the U.S. National Science Foundation and has received awards for his research at top-tier publication venues in several areas of computing (e.g. ACM SIGCHI, ACM CSCW, ACM Mobile HCI, AAAI ICWSM, COSIT). Dr. Hecht also serves on the Executive Committee of ACM FAccT (formerly FAT*), the premier publication venue for research on understanding and mitigating societal biases in artificial intelligence systems. Dr. Hecht has collaborated with Google Research, Xerox PARC, and 3M, and his work has been featured by The New York Times, the Washington Post, and other outlets.