Information Access Seminar

A Practice-based Approach to Human-Centered Computing

Friday, February 2, 2007
3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Volker Wulf, Univ. of Siegen, Germany

Computer applications are getting increasingly interwoven in everyday life. To build these applications, we need to take the distinct practices of their (potential) users into account. I will frame the talk by developing a practise-based perspective on social systems. Based on this perspective, I will suggest a research framework for human centred computing. To clarify this framework, I will present research being conducted currently at the University of Siegen and Fraunhofer FIT. We are developing innovative applications for distinct domains such as: knowledge work in a German industrial association, a fire-brigade in the city of Paris, and an ethnically mixed neighbourhood in the city of Bonn. Research in these particular domains is linked by overarching method development such as appropriation infrastructures, end user development, and 3D simulation environments of wearable computer. Finally, I will discuss further research challenges when taking a practise-based view on human centered computing.

Volker Wulf is a professor in Information Systems and the director of the Media Research Institute at the University of Siegen. At Fraunhofer FIT, he heads a research group in the field of User-centred Software Engineering (USE). He is also a founding member of the International Institute for Socio-Informatics (IISI), Bonn.

After studying computer science and business administration at the RWTH Aachen and the University of Paris VI., he got a Ph.D. at the University of Dortmund and a habilitation degree at the University of Hamburg, Germany. In 2001, he worked as a research fellow at the MIT. He is currently on sabbatical as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Michigan and at Stanford.

His research interests lie primarily in the area of Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Knowledge Management, Computer Supported Cooperative Learning, Entertainment Computing, Human Computer Interaction, Participatory Design, and Organizational Computing. He has published more than 170 papers. He has edited 10 books, among which Expertise Sharing: Beyond Knowledge Management and Social Capital and Information Technology (both with MIT Press) as well as End User Development (Springer Dordrecht) are probably best known. As a conference co-chair he hosted the Seventh European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (ECSCW 2001) in Bonn and Communities & Technologies (C&T 2003) in Amsterdam.

Last updated:

March 26, 2015