UCLIC Research Seminar Series
Inclusive community engagement is paramount for fair and impartial civic decision-making. However, traditional methods rarely provide opportunities for inclusive public participation. While advances in digital civics have broadened public participation, these technologies still face several challenges in promoting inclusive participation and integrating data analysis into civic decision-making processes. In this talk, we present examples of our recent work on building and studying community-centered tools for fostering equity and inclusion in civic decision-making by (1) lowering barriers for public participation, (2) enriching data collection, and (3) facilitating more inclusive public input analysis. We describe our vision for expanding our research on democratizing civic decision-making processes and outcomes by building, deploying, and studying socially impactful technologies that integrate data visualization, social computing, and artificial intelligence.
*This seminar is an online event via Zoom (https://ucl.zoom.us/j/96765862668)
Narges Mahyar is an Assistant Professor in the Manning College of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Narges's research falls at the intersection of visualization, social computing, and design. She designs, develops, and evaluates novel social computing and visualization techniques that help people make better decisions. More recently, she has focused on exploring new strategies for scaling and diversifying public engagement in massive decision-making processes related to civic issues. She holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Victoria, an MS in Information Technology from the University of Malaya, and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Tehran Azad University. She was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Computer Science at the University of British Columbia from 2014 to 2016 and in the Design Lab at the University of California San Diego from 2016 to 2018. Her recognition in the field has been repeatedly confirmed through many accolades for her research, including four Best/Outstanding Paper Awards from Eurovis 2022, CSCW 2020, VAST 2014; and the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture 2017, and two Best Paper Honorable Mention Awards from DIS 2021 and ISS 2016.
Ali Sarvghad is a Research Assistant Professor at the Manning College of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst. He is the Co-Director of the HCI-VIS research group and a member of the Center for Data Science at UMass. He earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Victoria in Canada, Master of Software Engineering from the University of Malaya, Malaysia, and Bachelor's Degree (Honors) in Computer Science from the University of Science Malaysia. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the department of computer science at the University of California San Diego from 2016 to 2018. Ali works at the intersection of HCI and Visualization, conducting theoretical and problem-driven research. His research interests include Visual Analytics, Information Visualization, Interaction Design, Collaborative Technology, Healthcare Informatics, Human-Computer Interaction, and User Experience. His research papers have received awards and recognition from the premier venues in Visualization, Social computing, and HCI, including the Best Paper Award at EuroVis 2022, the Best Paper Award at CSCW 2020, the Best Paper Honorable Mention Award at CHI 2022, and the Best Paper Honorable Mention Award at DIS 2021.