“The life of data in the city”

Wednesday, May 22, from 4:30 to 5:20 p.m. — Physics/Astronomy Auditorium, room A118

Paul Dourish, Chancellor’s Professor of Informatics and Associate Dean for Research in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Irvine, with courtesy appointments in Computer Science and in Anthropology

[Watch a recording of this seminar on YouTube.]

Abstract

How should a complex geographical, infrastructural and institutional beast like a major city organize itself so as to best to serve its citizens? Well, through data, of course. To do otherwise in 2019 would surely be foolish if not negligent, and after several decades of enthusiastic investigation and active development under the umbrella of “smart cities”, the data as a foundation for urban governance must surely be, if not a solved problem, then at least tractable and actionable?

Leah Horgan and I have been exploring these questions through an ethnographic engagement with the Mayor’s Data Team in a large metropolitan region that operates as a significant node in the national and international network of smart city efforts. Studying the lived work of data in the city draws our attention to the complexities of the city as not just an organizational but also a political form within which data emerges and is put to work, and the evolving contexts of “data” in contemporary cities.

Bio

A photo of Paul Dourish

Paul Dourish is Chancellor’s Professor of Informatics and Associate Dean for Research in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at UC Irvine, with courtesy appointments in Computer Science and Anthropology. He also holds the position of Honorary Senior Fellow in Computing and Information Systems at the University of Melbourne.

His research focuses primarily on understanding information technology as a site of social and cultural production; his work combines topics in human-computer interaction, social informatics, and science and technology studies. He is the author of several books, most recently “The Stuff of Bits: An Essay on the Materialities of Information” (MIT Press, 2017). He is a Fellow of the ACM, a Fellow of the BCS, a member of the SIGCHI Academy, and a recipient of the AMIA Diana Forsythe Award and the CSCW Lasting Impact Award.

Before coming to UCI, he was a Senior Member of Research Staff in the Computer Science Laboratory of Xerox PARC; he has also held research positions at Apple Computer and at Rank Xerox EuroPARC. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from University College, London, and a B.Sc. (Hons) in Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science from the University of Edinburgh.

This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Human-Centered Design and Engineering, and the Science, Technology and Society Studies Certificate Program, and co-organized by the Data Science Studies Special Interest Group and is open to the public.

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