Informatics Guest Speaker Series
Fall Quarter 2019
Friday, November 1, 2019
“Inclusive and Engaged Research”
Gillian Hayes, Ph.D.
Vice Provost of Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate Division
Science and design should be relevant and accessible to everyone. HCI has a long history of service, engagement, and connection with people with higher risk for educational, physical, and social challenges. Increasingly, the greater HCI community is connected to our worlds outside of research and scholarship. However, we see that connection is not enough. We must seek instead for true engagement. What does it mean to be a true partner, to take small steps to increase engagement in projects, in designs, and in scholarly work? Building on an existing ethos of service, three years ago, the HCI’s major conference, CHI, undertook an effort to positively impact the cities we visit: Day of Service. This step is just one in a long line of efforts on the part of a responsible, committed group of scholars to leaving this world better than we found it. However, these efforts also represent some of the challenges of our own privilege. How can we go beyond service to true collaboration? How can we bring to bear our vast resources while listening to the community and valuing their expertise and lived experiences? Finally, the HCI community has always been a place of greater diversity than some similar and surrounding academic communities. Recent efforts have focused on expanding that diversity further still: diversity of thought, diversity of experience and physical bodies, and diversity of racial, ethnic, and gender boundaries. What happens once we have recruited this diverse community? How do we ensure long-term inclusion in all activities and in the highest levels of leadership? This talk, first given in honor of winning The CHI Social Impact Award, enabled me to reflect alongside the community on our progress in inclusion and participation. I will describe research focused on empowering people who are not typically represented in the design process as well as the requisite inclusive and democratic approaches to design. In particular, I will focus on the ways in which thought and action are deeply intertwined  and the generation of knowledge through participatory cycles of action and reflection . I will also go beyond these specific research projects and practices to discuss the progress of the HCI community as a whole and our work to create an environment that is engaged, collaborative, and inclusive.
Gillian Hayes is the Vice Provost for Graduate Education, Dean of the Graduate Division, and the Robert A. and Barbara L. Kleist Professor of Informatics in the School of Information and Computer Sciences and in the School of Education and School of Medicine at UC Irvine. Her research interests are in human-computer interaction, ubiquitous computing, assistive and educational technologies, and health informatics. She is most excited about how we can bring everyone to the table in research, design, and education.