CMNS 321/HSRV 321 (Rev. C6): Computing in Everyday Life Report a Broken Link

Communication Studies 321: Computers and Human Experience is a three-credit course that surveys the psychological and sociological impacts of the ongoing advances in computer technology.

Unit 1: Overview


Required Readings
In this article, which has been updated a number of times since its initial publication in 1992, the authors review the field of human–computer interaction (HCI). They talk about how the field emerged and how it is likely to develop. They also summarize the various content areas of HCI.
Supplementary Readings
Myers briefly delineates the major advances in human-computer interaction technologies.

Home page: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/
Some video programs available online elaborate on where computing is going. These are from the Library of Congress Series on the Digital Future (http://www.c-span.org/congress/digitalfuture.asp):

Note: You must install a video player such as RealPlayer on your computer before you can watch these programs.

Gershenfeld, director of the Center for Bits and Atoms at MIT, introduces his concept, Internet Zero, which proposes to “allocate an IP address to all electronic devices—from light bulbs to Internet addresses and URLs.”

This presenter discusses quantum computing and its potential effects on information collection, storage, and distribution.

Unit 2: Artificial Intelligence


Required Readings
This article, written for the layperson, answers basic questions about what AI is, and discusses branches and applications of AI.

Home page: http://www-formal.stanford.edu/
Supplementary Readings
This site offers a brief overview of the major AI topics at a level for students and researchers alike.

Home page: http://www.aaai.org/home.html
This is one of many offerings from the Microsoft Research Channel online about computers and the internet. Each presentation is a video with audio of a lecture and is accompanied in sync by PowerPoint slides. This one is a great introduction to knowledge about human information processing systems, and a basic primer on computer visual recognition systems.

Home page: http://www.researchchannel.org/prog/index.aspx

Unit 3: Virtual Reality and Robotics


Required Readings

(The article is no longer available in Wired). The link above is Search of terms "Virtual+Reality+Robotics+robots" on the Wired site.

You may wish to follow developments in robotics topic by reading one or more of the articles in Wired.

Supplementary Readings
Brooks, one of the pioneers of virtual reality, discusses its challenges and successes.

Home page: http://www.cs.unc.edu/
This website shows the astonishing array of robots that are either in production or in development.

Home page: http://www.ri.cmu.edu/home.html

This article explores the interface between robots and humans in fairly technical terms.

Home page: http://www.mit.edu/

These authors propose a theory of presence.

Unit 4: The Internet


Required Readings

A copy of this title is also available in the AU Library.

 

A copy of this title is also available in the AU Library.

These authors consider the role of personality and demographics in considering the self online. They also speak about how we may experience multiple selves online and they explain the disinhibition effect.
Supplementary Readings
These authors discuss the background and challenges of communication with no central infrastructure.

Home page: http://www.ericsson.com/

Unit 5: Cell Phones


Required Readings
The author writes, “Today’s mobile phone is a pervasive tool. It has become such an important aspect of a user’s daily life that it has moved from being a mere ’technological object’ to a key ’social object’. This paper explores the societal and human implications of advances in mobile technology, and notably the increasingly personalized nature of the mobile device. It argues that human and identity and social interaction have not been untouched by the mobile phenomenon” (Srivastava, 2005). While a bit dated in terms of claims that the heavy use of texting has not come to North America, this essay offers a look at directions that cell phone use might take.
Supplementary Readings
Geser explores the effects of mobile technology on the human social sphere.

Home page: http://socio.ch/

Health Canada summarizes research into the effects of cell phone use on human health.

Home page: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/index_e.html

Unit 6: Augmented Reality: Portability, Accessibility, and Wearability


Required Readings
The authors point out that “wearable computing moves computation from the desktop to the user.” They go on to explain that “a long term goal of this project is to model the user’s actions, anticipate his or her needs, and perform a seamless interaction between the virtual and physical environments” (Starner et al., 1997).

Home page: http://www.cc.gatech.edu/
Augmented reality is compared to virtual reality in this article, and then the various potential and real applications of augmented reality are reviewed.
Supplementary Readings
This author evaluates the power relationships between music “pirates” and corporate owners.
These researchers studied the value of wireless email for children in a hospital setting.

Home page: http://www.wch.org.au/
These authors propose wearable technologies that learn about and adapt to the user’s social context.

Home page: http://www.media.mit.edu/

Unit 7: Video Games


Required Readings
Supplementary Readings
This is a classic review of the literature examining how media, including video game play, may contribute to subsequent aggression in viewers/players.
This article briefly highlights the work of James Paul Gee on how video game play is a great learning device and, in fact, how it teaches us about learning.
Home page:

http://www.gamezone.com/

Unit 8: Health Information and Disabilities: Computer Applications


Required Readings
The authors talk about how the visual stigmas associated with disabilities are largely gone with online interactions and, thus, allow the disabled person a chance at normal social interactions. However, the authors also point out the risks of this for the disabled user.
This well-respected Internet research organization always has interesting reports on health and internet use.

Note: Type “health and disabilities” in the search box to find the latest results of their research in this area.
Supplementary Readings

These researchers are working toward a system for the assessment of the integrity of online health information.