The following panel discussions are scheduled as sessions within the main conference track:

HCI and the REF Wed 14.00-15.30
Chair: David Benyon Room: Cargill
The results of the most recent UK research assessment exercise – the “”REF 2014” – were published in December 2014. Many HCI researchers in the UK would have been submitted to “UoA 11 – Computer Science and Informatics” for the assessment. This sub-panel, in a widely circulated presentation, revealed data that amounted to the additional profiling of sub-disciplines within computing – including “Human Centred Computing / Visualization” and “Collaborative and social computing”. The ranking of these sub-disciplines has resulted, unsurprisingly, in a great deal of online discussion, analysis and debate within the community. This panel will provide the opportunity for a timely face to face discussion of these concerns and to debate the implications of the REF results for the community, as well as to air possible approaches for future assessment exercises.


  • David Benyon (panel chair) is Professor of Human-Computer Systems and Director of the Centre for Interaction Design at Edinburgh Napier University. He served as a member of sub-panel 11 in REF2014.
  • Alan Dix is a Professor in the HCI Centre at the University of Birmingham and Senior Researcher at Talis. He served as a member of sub-panel 11 in REF2014 and has recently published his own analysis of the sub-panel results and data.
  • Tom Rodden is Professor of Computing and co-director of the Mixed Reality Laboratory at the University of Nottingham. He also served as a member of sub-panel 11 in REF2014.
  • Peter Bath is Professor of Health Informatics in the Information School at the University of Sheffield. He brings a cross disciplinary perspective to the panel having been part of the Sheffield iSchool’s submission to UoA 36 – Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management.
Designing Human Data Interactions Thu 11.00-12.30
Chair: Chris Speed Room: Cargill
The complex constellations of personal and shared devices that are connected to everyday practices that involve the transmission of data constitute openings to new markets in which different kinds of value are exchanged. In many cases we are becoming attuned to understanding how value is constructed as we use software: social media users are becoming aware of the many pros and cons of exchanging social values in Facebook, while Trip Advisor users understand the implications of their liking, disliking and commenting upon the economic values of hotels. However, as websites and apps become replaced by objects that we use in everyday life, such as making tea, taking a shower or getting on the bus, it is less clear how the flow of data that is derived from our interactions, constructs value and is ‘traded’ between services. This disjuncture in the flow of value – with and without humans in the loop – presents both opportunities and threats to people and institutions. This panel will explore the implications of emerging ecosystems and an agenda for designing human data interactions, that goes beyond the organization and understanding of data, toward the development of platforms that balance the values of all stakeholders within complex digital economic systems to offer a level of commensurability with a service.


  • Chris Speed (panel chair) is Chair of Design Informatics at the University of Edinburgh where he collaborates with a wide variety of partners to explore how design provides methods to adapt, and create products and services with a networked society. He is especially favours trangressive design interventions, to help identify and promote the values we care about most, including the design for the blockchain, an internet of toilet roll holders, and an SMS patform for shoplifting.
  • Jon Oberlander has been Professor of Epistemics at the University of Edinburgh since 2005. He works on getting computers to talk (or write) like individual people, so his research involves not only studying how people express themselves – face to face or online – but also building machines that can adapt themselves to people. He collaborates with linguists, psychologists, computer scientists and social scientists, and has long standing interests in the uses of technology in cultural heritage and creative industries.
  • Ewa Luger is a postdoctoral researcher in the Human Experience and Design group at Microsoft Research Cambridge. The overarching theme driving her current research relates to what it might mean to be an autonomous and empowered data subject within a world characterised by pervasive systems. Driven by an interest in the ethical issues surrounding digital human data, Ewa’s research explores how ‘consent’ and privacy might be rethought to meet the challenges posed by an era of ubiquity.
  • Hamed Haddadi is Assistant Professor in Digital Media at EECS School in Queen Mary University of London. He was also a postdoctoral researcher at Max Planck Institute for Software Systems in Germany and a postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Pharmacology, University of Cambridge and The Royal Veterinary College, University of London. Hamed works on large scale privacy-preserving market analysis and surveys, healthcare monitoring, and Human-Data Interaction. His approach uses networked systems, machine learning, and large scale data mining.
HCI, politics and activism Thu 14.00-15.30
Chair: Mark Blythe Room: Cargill
The use of interactive technology, social media, mobile platforms and big and open data for socio-political purposes and activism is widespread, if not ubiquitous, in modern society. In the UK recent examples of this include the use of social media in anti-austerity protests, the multiplicity of digital platforms used by local activists to counter the shooting ‘Benefits Street’ through to the #milifandom movement designed to oppose the ‘othering’ of the Labour leader. Whereas disciplines from the arts and humanities have, for decades, explored and debated the role of digital technology in such practical contexts, the HCI community has often seemed reluctant to engage with the topic. Sustained interest by the HCI community in design-focussed activity, such as critical and adversarial design, is perhaps an exception to this. Motivated by the theme of British HCI 2015 this panel will present several, multi-disciplinary, perspectives on this area and provide a forum for debate at the conference on the wider opportunities and implications for HCI, politics and activism.


  • Rob Comber (panel chair) is a Lecturer in Computer Mediated Communication working to examine the methods and tools for promoting citizen participation across a range of social and civic issues, including education, health and digital civics.
  • Chris Csikszentmihalyi is the ERA Chair in Human-Computer Interaction and Design Innovation at the Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute (M-ITI). He describes himself as “an artist, designer, technologist and dude”, and is driven by using technology for social good.
  • Karen Salt is a Lecturer in the Department of English at the University of Aberdeen and has been working on issues of race and power for nearly 20 years. During that time, she has led research projects on social and health inequities, run non-profits at both regional and international level and assisted national and international agencies in crafting materials on these issues.
  • Joss Winn is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education, College of Social Science at the University of Lincoln and a founding member of the Social Science Centre, Lincoln. Previously, he worked as audiovisual archivist for Amnesty International’s Secretariat.
  • Rachel Clarke is a post-doctoral researcher at Open Lab, Newcastle University, exploring socially engaged arts approaches to experience-centred design. Her focus has been to understand the role digital technology plays in life transitions and disruptions, specifically prompted by migration and ageing.


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