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CITP Seminar – Designing Social Computing Tools for Creation, Collaboration, and Connection

Date and Time
Tuesday, December 5, 2023 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm
Sherrerd Hall 306
Amna Liaqat, from Princeton University

Amna Liaqat
In her research, Liaqat asks how we can reimagine the role of technology in fostering social knowledge-sharing experiences. To this end, she designs social computing technologies to help people create, collaborate, and connect. This talk will provide an overview of these three dimensions of Liaqat’s work. She will discuss these dimensions in the context of two of her projects, which includes Capybara, a decentralized, mobile augmented reality app to support young people in creating with augmented reality and StoryTapestry, a web-based visual storytelling app to support culture and language sharing between immigrant grandparents and grandchildren.

The talk will discuss what it means to create, how users have diverse goals when creating (e.g. learning,  having fun, social connection etc.), and how we can design to support these goals. Liaqat will talk about how collaboration can trigger complex social dynamics, mediated by users’ various backgrounds, relationships to each other, and their goals. Specifically, she will share the unique ways in which she has observed users collaborate to create joint meaning in their digital artifacts.

Finally, the talk will cover what it means to have a meaningful social connection, and the role of technology in mediating these connections. Liaqat will conclude by touching on the mixed mixed-methods methodological approaches she has employed in her studies, how she has adapted them for each population she works with, and what these approaches can teach researchers about engaging with users in richer and more nuanced ways.

Bio: Amna Liaqat was a postdoctoral research fellow with CITP for the 2022-23 academic year, and she is spending the next two years at CITP as the recipient of Princeton University’s Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow Award.

Liaqat’s research lies at the intersection of human computer interaction (HCI) and education. She designs tools for lifelong learning, with a focus on supporting collaborative processes, knowledge-sharing, and learning tacit skills. Liaqat holds a Ph.D. and a Master’s degree in computer science from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor’s degree in business and computer science from Simon Fraser University. In her graduate research, she developed tools to support culture and language learning for immigrants in Canada.

The common theme across Liaqat’s research is the idea that technology-mediated support can enrich the knowledge sharing and production process. She also develops novel frameworks, human-centered design approaches, and mixed-methods that challenge historical techno-determinist approaches to designing for marginalized populations. In her projects, Liaqat draws on her interdisciplinary training to engage end-to-end in the technology creation process, from requirements gathering, development, deployment, and evaluation. This approach reveals hidden dynamics and results in nuanced technology design requirements for the multifaceted sociotechnical ecosystems she designs for.

In person attendance is open to Princeton University faculty, staff and students. Those with a Princeton University email address can join the livestream.

This talk will not be recorded.

If you need an accommodation for a disability please contact Jean Butcher at butcher@princeton.edu at least one week before the event.

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