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HCDE Seminar Series: Dr. Sean Munson
HCDE Seminar Series: Dr. Sean Munson
WhenWednesday, Oct 26, 2016, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Campus locationMiller Hall (MLR)
Campus room301
Event typesLectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsDepartment of Human Centered Design & Engineering

Please join the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering for the 2016 HCDE Seminar Series. Full series at

From Personal Data to Action: Making Personal Informatics Work

Fitness tracking devices, smartphone applications, and other tools that help people automatically track data about every facet of their lives are becoming increasingly prevalent. There are now more than 5,000 health tracking applications in the iOS app store, and many others for tracking data such as location, mood, productivity, and finances. Despite considerable interest in improving the collection aspect of self-tracking, there has been little research on how technology can improve the reflection aspect of self-tracking. Consequently, people are often overwhelmed by the data they collect, do not know what conclusions to draw, and become frustrated or discontinue use.

In this talk, Dr. Munson will discuss different ways that people use self-track technologies, with a particular focus on how people share their data to receive support, collaboratively interpret it, and act. By sharing with friends and peers, people can gain emotional and instrumental support, get advice, and find sources of accountability, but only if they share in ways that effectively engage their support networks. For harder to diagnosis or manage challenges, such as several chronic illnesses, people need to engage their health providers or other experts in their data. Current tools, however, do not adequately support this collaboration; Dr. Munson will discuss some promising directions for new tools.

About Sean A. Munson
Dr. Sean A. Munson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE). Munson received his PhD in 2012 at the University of Michigan's School of Information, where he studied the use of software to support positive behavior changes. Munson's work primarily focuses on the domains of political news and opinion access, and health and wellness. He was an Intel PhD fellow. Munson completed his BS in Engineering with a concentration in Systems Design at Olin College in 2006. At Olin, he was one of 30 students who spent a year developing the new college’s curriculum and student life programs before becoming part of the first-ever class. He has been a political blogger and, while working at Boeing, designed concepts for future passenger airplane interiors.…
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