Course Schedule


Weeks 1-5: Introduction and Social Informatics (Lynette Kvasny)
  • 8/26:  Course Introduction (Kvasny, Lee & Poole)
    • What will I learn in this course?
    • How to be successful in IST 501: attendance, deadlines, writing, asking for help, preparing for class, speaking in class, doing PhD level work
    • About the college of IST: You mean I'm not in a CS department? What's an information school, anyway?
  • 9/2: NO CLASS (Labor Day)
  • 9/4: Preliminary Considerations
    • Readings:
      • Reviewing Literature (Creswell, pp. 25-48)
      • The Use of Theory (Creswell, pp. 52-75)
      • Gregor, S. (2006). The Nature of Theory in IS ResearchMIS Quarterly. Vol. 30, No. 3, pp. 611- 642.
    • homework due 9/9:
      • Writing Exercise 1 (Creswell, p. 49).
        • The literature map must focus on a topic in Health Informatics, and include 10 references that are relevant to the chosen topic. Keep this literature map handy because you will reuse it for next week's homework.
        • Keep copies of these 10 references for the remaining Writing Exercises
      • Writing Exercise 1 (Creswell, p. 75)
        The theoretical perspective should coincide with the topic and literature map produced for the previous Writing Exercise
    • References
  • 9/18: SI studio
    • The purpose of this studio is to gain experience using a quantitative or qualitative social science research method. 
    • You will work in teams of 3 students.
    • In Class Work:
      • Begin by selecting a method that you would like to further investigate.  Learn all you can about the method today in class.  Organize your learning by preparing an annotated bibliographic entry (i.e. citation, abstract, how the method is used) for every relevant manuscript you find. 
      • Using one manuscript from your annotated bibliography as a basis, design a small scale study that replicates the method. This might be reusing or extending an existing survey, conducting interviews, unobtrusively observing how people use technology in public spaces, conducting a content analysis of websites or photographs, conducting a textual analysis of a web forum or blog.
      • Before you leave class, check in with the instructor to discuss the study! It's important that you are on the right track, appropriate scope for the project.
    • Homework due 9/20:
      • Produce an abstract for your study. The abstract must include the citation to the paper that formed the basis of your project. See Creswell, pp. 108-110 for guidance on writing your abstract.
      • Submit your annotated bibliography.
      • Begin implementing your study over the weekend.
    • Resources:
  • 9/23: SI studio
    • In Class Work:
      • Continue implementing your study. I will be in the classroom to provide assistance. Also, we can pull together and help one another. That means that you can ask others in class to complete your surveys, participate in interviews, etc. You can also use this time to analyze your data.  
    • homework due 9/27:
      • Write a 3 page report on the studio project that you conducted. This should include a brief synopsis of the paper that formed the basis of your project, a description of the method that you used, how you collected and analyzed the data, what you learned from conducting this study, and what you see as the ways to effectively utilize this method in IST research.
  • 9/25: Mixed Methods and SI Wrap Up
    • 10 minute discussion on research results
    • Reading:
      • Mixed Method Procedures (Creswell, p.215-239)
    • Reference:
    • What you should have accomplished in this module:
      • currently using a citation management tool
      • familiarity with resources available at the PSU library and writing center
      • practice providing and receiving peer feedback
      • experience working on a research team to conceptualize, design, and implement a small study using social science methods
        • selecting a topic
        • determining your worldview
        • writing an abstract
        • writing an introduction and purpose statement
        • organizing a lit review map
        • finding appropriate theory(ies) and instrumentation (e.g. surveys, interview protocols)
        • developing RQs and hypotheses
        • determining an appropriate qualitative and/or qualitative method(s) given the worldview and RQ
        • designing a small study (use the checklists in Creswell)
        • collecting data
        • analyzing data using quantitative or qualitative analysis tools and/or techniques
        • writing up the research results
Week 6: Philosophy of Science (Fred Fonseca)
  • 9/30: Classic Philosophy of Science
    • Reading: The structure of scientific revolutions - Author: Kuhn, Thomas - ISBN: 0226458083 - Publisher: University of Chicago Press.
    • Read chapters 1-9 pp. 1-110.

    • give short answers for the following questions
      • Chapters I  through V, pp. 1-51.

        1.            Is Science for Kuhn a cumulative enterprise?

        2.            What does Kuhn mean by the term "incommensurability?"

        3.            What is "normal science" for Kuhn?

        4.            Are fact and theory separable for Kuhn?

        5.            Are "discovery" and "justification" separable for Kuhn? 

        6.            What is a "paradigm" and what are its characteristics?

        7.            Is Kuhn a foundationalist: that is, does he believe that knowledge can be reduced to a set of fundamental and neutral atoms?

        8.            When scientist move from working in one paradigm to another is the process of transfer a "rational" one?  In what sense?

        9.            Is science a "fact-gathering" activity?

        10.          Does science aim to achieve novelty?

        11.          What are the function of scientific "rules" for Kuhn?  Does science need them?

        Chapters VI through IX,  pp. 52-110.

        1.            Is "normal science" cumulative for Kuhn?

        2.            When and for what reasons do scientists change paradigms?

        3.            Does science for Kuhn have any place for a process like "falsification" the way that Popper describes it?  Why?  Is Kuhn's version of falsification an accurate depiction of the process as described by Popper?

        4.            When a scientist rejects a paradigm and does not adopt another who's fault is it -- the scientist's or the paradigm's?  For Kuhn, is the scientist still a scientist?  How about for Popper?

        5.            Is "puzzle solving" for Kuhn somehow similar to the process of "falsification" for Popper?

        6.            What  does Kuhn mean by a "gestalt switch?"  Give an example?

        7.            What does Kuhn see as the symptoms of a scientific crisis?

        8.            For Kuhn, can paradigm choice be settled by logic and experiment?  Why or why not?

        9.            Distinguish between Kuhn's use of the terms "incompatibility" and "incommensurability?"

        10.          For Kuhn, do scientific standards and methods develop by a cumulative process?

  • 10/2: Classic Philosophy of Science
    • Reading: The structure of scientific revolutions - Author: Kuhn, Thomas - ISBN: 0226458083 - Publisher: University of Chicago Press.
    •  Read chapters 10 - 13 pp. 111-173.

    • give short answers for the following questions
      • Chapters X through XII,  pp. 111-159.
      • 1.            What does Kuhn mean when he says that a paradigm is necessary for perception itself to take place?  Is sensory experience for Kuhn fixed and neutral?

        2.            What does Kuhn mean when he refers to the "traditional epistemological paradigm?"

        3.            What does Kuhn mean when he says that "paradigms are not corrigible by normal science at all?"

        4.            What does Kuhn mean when he says that after a paradigm change a scientist works in a different world?

        5.            Is the development of science linear and cumulative?  Do scientists see it that way?  Why?

        6.            What parts of Popper's program of falsificationism does Kuhn accept and why?

        7.            Why for Kuhn can't disputes between different paradigmatic positions be solved by logic and neutral experience? 

        8.            What does Kuhn mean by "persuasion?"

         Chapt. XIII through postscript,  pp. 160-210.

        1.            How does Kuhn measure scientific progress?  How and in what sense?

        2.            What does Kuhn mean by the question as to "whether truth in the sciences can be one?"  What is his position on this question?  Does his position hold water?

        3.            For Kuhn what is the "goal" of science?

        4.            Distinguish between the two different senses in which Kuhn uses the word "paradigm?"

        5.            What does Kuhn mean by the term "revolution" with respect to a change in paradigm?

        6.            What does Kuhn mean by a "disciplinary matrix?"  What does a Kuhnian disciplinary matrix consist of?

        7.            Can neural mechanism explain the rules, laws, criteria of identification, values, etc. involved in a Kuhnian disciplinary matrix?  Or is it the other way around; that is, might not the program involved in and implied by neural mechanism be a particular psychological disciplinary matrix?  Or as Bishop Berkeley put it: "No sir, the brain is an idea of the mind."  Where does Kuhn stand on this issue?

        8.            What role do "values" play in Kuhn's position?  Do they help to solve the problem of incommensurability?  Are they part of what he means by "persuasion?"

        9.            Does Kuhn consider his position to be a prescription or a description?

Weeks 7-10: Human-Centered Design (Erika Poole)

  • 10/7: Research Ethics
    • Reading: The Belmont Report is one of the foundational documents outlining how to do ethically sound research. The remainder of papers in this set are case studies we'll use to ground our discussion of research ethics. When you read the papers, write down a list of the ethical challenges of conducting the research described, and what guidance the belmont report might provide to a new researcher grappling with research ethics (such as yourself!)
      • The Belmont Report:
      • De Choudhury, M., Counts, S., & Horvitz, E. (2013, April). Predicting postpartum changes in emotion and behavior via social media. In Proceedings of the 2013 ACM annual conference on Human factors in computing systems (pp. 3267-3276). ACM.
      • Taylor, N., Cheverst, K., Wright, P., & Olivier, P. (2013, April). Leaving the wild: lessons from community technology handovers. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1549-1558). ACM
      • Thieme, A., Comber, R., Miebach, J., Weeden, J., Krämer, N., Lawson, S., & Olivier, P. (2012, May). We've bin watching you: designing for reflection and social persuasion to promote sustainable lifestyles. In Proceedings of the 2012 ACM annual conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 2337-2346). ACM.
      • Tikkanen, R., & Ross, M. W. (2003). Technological tearoom trade: Characteristics of Swedish men visiting gay Internet chat rooms. AIDS Education and Prevention, 15(2), 122-132.
      • Zimmer, M. (2010) "But the data is already public": on the ethics of research in Facebook. Ethics and Information Technology, 12, 4, 313--325.
    • Homework (start after class): 
      • Ethics in Practice: IRB application practice
  • 10/9: Experimental Methods & Classic Usability Studies in Human-Centered Design
    • Reading: Today's readings will take you through a whirlwind tour of the last 30+ years of human-computer interaction research. Note how the field has shifted over time! In class, we'll discuss some of the classic concepts for designing usable technologies.
      • Lewis, J. R. (1994). Sample sizes for usability studies: Additional considerations. Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 36(2), 368-378.
      • Hartzler, A., Skeels, M. M., Mukai, M., Powell, C., Klasnja, P., & Pratt, W. (2011). Sharing is caring, but not error free: Transparency of granular controls for sharing personal health information in social networks. In AMIA Annual Symposium Proceedings (Vol. 2011, p. 559). American Medical Informatics Association.
      • Cook, J. L., & Jones, R. M. (2011). Texting and accessing the web while driving: traffic citations and crashes among young adult drivers. Traffic injury prevention, 12(6), 545-549.
      • Southern, C., Clawson, J., Frey, B., Abowd, G., & Romero, M. (2012, September). An evaluation of BrailleTouch: mobile touchscreen text entry for the visually impaired. In Proceedings of the 14th international conference on Human-computer interaction with mobile devices and services (pp. 317-326). ACM.
    • Homework (start after class, due at beginning of next class)
      • observing everyday technology interactions
  • 10/14: The Usability Lab and Beyond
    • In class today, we'll continue our discussion of experimental methods & ethics, circling back to the texting/driving papers from the 10/9 reading list. We'll also compare the benefits of experimental vs. non-experimental research. Finally, you'll have the opportunity to try out one of the early staples of human-centered design: predictive models. 
    • Watch: The Context-Aware Pill Bottle and Medication Monitor 
    • Readings:
      • Bell, G., Blythe, M., & Sengers, P. (2005). Making by making strange: Defamiliarization and the design of domestic technologies. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI), 12(2), 149-173.
      • Palen, L., & Aaløkke, S. (2006, November). Of pill boxes and piano benches: home-made methods for managing medication. In Proceedings of the 2006 20th anniversary conference on Computer supported cooperative work (pp. 79-88). ACM.
    • In class mini-lab: predictive models
  • 10/16: Design as Research Method (Guest Lecture: Sandeep Purao)
    • Reading: Sometimes design itself can be used as a research method. In this class, we'll discuss what design is, and how it can be useful for IST research.
      • Brooks, F. 1996. The Computer Scientist as Toolsmith II. Communications of the ACM. 39(3): 61-68.
      • Müller-Wienbergen, Felix; Müller, Oliver; Seidel, Stefan; and Becker, Jörg. 2011. Leaving the Beaten Tracks in Creative Work – A Design Theory for Systems that Support Convergent and Divergent Thinking, Journal of the Association for Information Systems: Vol. 12: Iss. 11, Article 2
      • Hevner, A. et al. 2004. Design Science in Information Systems Research, MIS Quarterly, Vol. 28, No. 1, pp. 75-105, March 2004
      • Sein, M., Henfridsson, O., Purao, S., Rossi, M., and Lindgren, R. 2011. Action Design Research. MIS Quarterly. Vol. 35, No. 1. pp. 37-56.
    • Homework (start after class, due at the beginning of the next class)
      • Read the papers for next class thoroughly & be prepared for a short quiz at the beginning of the next class.

  • 10/21: The Past, Present, and Future of HCI
    • Read:
    • Browse: 
      • Briefly review the papers on mobile texting from 10/9.
    • Write:
      • Before class, please write a reading response essay answering the following prompts. Turn in your reading response essay on ANGEL.
      • Are the "paradigms" of HCI as described in the Harrison et al. reading the same as Kuhn's paradigms? Explain your reasoning. 
        • In 2-3 paragraphs EACH, briefly describe a research study you could do about mobile phone text entry  that could be considered:
          • a first wave HCI study
          • a second wave HCI study
          • a third wave HCI study
        • For each research study be sure to list your research questions and research methods. Provide explanation about why you selected your given method.
  • 10/23: Field Trials and Ethnography
    • Reading: In the early days of human-computer interaction, we could assume that interaction occurred by one person with a computer that stayed in one place. As computing pervades all aspects of life, researchers are adapting their methods to account for those changes. We'll look specifically at three of these techniques: field trials, ethnography, and paratypes.
      • Review papers from 10/14 on medication management.
      • Carter, S., Mankoff, J., Klemmer, S. R., & Matthews, T. (2008). Exiting the cleanroom: On ecological validity and ubiquitous computing. Human–Computer Interaction, 23(1), 47-99.
      • Consolvo, S., McDonald, D. W., Toscos, T., Chen, M. Y., Froehlich, J., Harrison, B., ... & Landay, J. A. (2008, April). Activity sensing in the wild: a field trial of ubifit garden. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1797-1806). ACM.
      • Favela, J., Tentori, M., & Gonzalez, V. M. (2010). Ecological validity and pervasiveness in the evaluation of ubiquitous computing technologies for health care. Intl. Journal of Human–Computer Interaction, 26(5), 414-444.
      • Hayes, G. R., & Truong, K. N. (2013). Paratyping: A Contextualized Method of Inquiry for Understanding Perceptions of Mobile and Ubiquitous Computing Technologies. Human–Computer Interaction, 28(3), 265-286.
  • 10/28: HCD Studio
    • design as communication [Greenberg - Sketching User Experiences; Truong et al storyboarding]
  • 10/30: HCD Studio
Weeks 11-14: Computational Informatics (Dongwon Lee)
  • Self-Study: Programming
    • Resource
    • Reading
    • Homework (DUE: 11/17 SUN 11:55pm)
      • Implement any classical sorting algorithm in any programming language, describe its complexity in Big-O notation, execute it to sort at least 1,000 randomly-generated integers of any range, and turn in a file with: (1) the code and the rough explanation of the sorting algorithm that you implemented, (2) Big-O complexity, and (3) the screenshot of the execution (showing at least top-100 sorted integers) in any platform/environment to the ANGEL "sorting" dropbox.
  • 11/25: NO CLASS (Thanksgiving Holiday)
  • 11/27: NO CLASS (Thanksgiving Holiday)
  • 12/2 and 12/4: Project Studio (DUE: 12/6 FRI 11:55pm)
    • Goal: Demonstrate your understanding of the "experimental" research method in CI.
    • Task: Repeat an experimental validation in a "computational" research article of your choosing, measure the performance metric yourself, compare your results against what's published in the original article, and report the findings.
      • How to find a paper to replicate?
        • Try relevant venues to find interesting papers with data set available: eg, JASIST, CACM, KDD, ICDM, SDM, ICWSM, WWW, WSDM. If data set is not available, contact authors for access--some may share all or subset of their data for class use.
        • Try internet repositories such as:
        • Pick a computational paper that includes something you can "replicate" within the time frame. If an article contains too comprehensive algorithm to implement, or too complicated experimental settings, you may want to avoid such.
      • You can choose any paper as long as: (1) it has computational nature, and (2) it uses experimental method as part of validation.
      • Pay attention to the specific settings of the experiment--e.g., assumptions, experimental questions to prove/disprove, data sets, evaluation measures, parameters, etc.
    • Team: You may work in a team of up to 3 members 
    • Deliverable: turn in your findings in a report (using the format similar to the capstone report) to the ANGEL dropbox "studio"

Week 15: Capstone Project
  • 12/9 & 12/11: Project Review/Presentation