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Norman Makoto Su, PhD: Discordant Technologies: Understanding and Designing for the Heterogeneity of Values

Friday, December 2 at 10 a.m. in IT 252


The role of technology in our lives has always been controversial. Whether we are talking about televisions or smartphones, the idea that technology is detrimental to humanity is not new. Subcultures in particular have faced challenges coping with the pervasiveness of technology. In this talk, I will describe on-going investigations that examine the “discordant” nature of technological artifacts. These discordant technologies can be seen as sites for reinforcing, promulgating, and confronting values within subcultures. I will also describe opportunities to embrace and design discordant technologies — technologies that acknowledge the heterogeneity of values in cultures that many studies tend to gloss over.


Norman Makoto Su is an Assistant Professor in the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University Bloomington. His research interests lie in human–computer interaction (HCI), computer–supported cooperative work (CSCW), ubiquitous computing, science & technology studies (STS), and humanistic HCI.  He received his Ph.D. in Information and Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine.  He was a postdoctoral research fellow in the School of Information and Library Studies at University College Dublin, Ireland. He has done internships at PARC, The Aerospace Corporation and IBM. His recent work investigates the confluence of traditional/authentic practices and technology.