Neha Kumar (Georgia Tech) & Naveena Karusala (UW)

On October 29, 2020, Naveena and I (Neha) were invited by Katta Spiel to talk about citational justice at their public lecture series on critical perspectives on technology. The talk was not recorded but we share an abridged version of it here for those who may like to read and respond, and participate in the next steps we list at the end.

A fist, in green, holding up a pencil. But so much more than that.
A fist, in green, holding up a pencil. But so much more than that.
Thank you for this sketch, Katta Spiel!

We aim to engage our readers in a dialogue on the topic of citational justice in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) — to define what this means, and to create space for a critical consciousness to emerge around this topic. …

— in conversation with Shaimaa Lazem

On one of SIGCHI’s recent AMAs someone asked us anonymously: “What is SIGCHI doing to promote research in Africa?” In that same week, in a conversation with Shaimaa Lazem, the founding chair of the Cairo SIGCHI chapter, we (Shaimaa and Neha) discussed how this chapter came into being (2.5 years ago) and some of the activities that have taken place there since. Here we share some highlights of this conversation, because perhaps one thing SIGCHI might do to promote research in Africa is to recognize and visibilize the HCI activity that is farther along than many may imagine. …

“Every year, hundreds of associate chairs (ACs) on the ACM CHI program committee (PC) struggle to identify and onboard reviewers, who in turn spend days making sense of the CHI reviewing process. In our *unofficial* reviewing guide (intended to be a living, community-sourced document), we provide a comprehensive list of questions to ask ourselves (and hold others accountable with), in our roles as reviewers, authors, ACs, and subcommittee chairs (SCs) — both new and experienced. This is not official guidance from the SIGCHI Executive Committee, CHI Steering Committee, or CHI 2021 Organizing Committee, but a grassroots community effort to help guide conversations around reviewing. …

At our second AMA, Shaowen Bardzell and I/Neha Kumar took (and posed) questions about community, equity, and inclusion, and Andrew Kun moderated excellently. A recording of our session is available on this YouTube link*. Some threads continued from the past AMA while other new ones were introduced. Shaowen and I summarize these below. And if you’d like to read more about why the SIGCHI Executive Committee is doing these AMAs, here’s a link to our introductory post.

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We began with introductions: we have both been SIGCHI VPs at Large since July 2019. In this role, Neha has been overseeing various community support mechanisms at the global level, such as our travel awards, the SIGCHI development fund, the Voices of SIGCHI section on this Medium publication, etc., and Shaowen has been spearheading various initiatives related to equity and diversity in our community, including working with a group of experienced and well-respected volunteers to establish SIGCHI CARES. …

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#becurious — ask us anything! (

Earlier this summer, we shared the SIGCHI Executive Committee’s commitment to listen, reflect, act, and represent. As a next step, we are working to create channels that might better enable us to listen (and respond) to concerns and questions from SIGCHI members. There are several avenues that already afford us listening room — social media, email, word of mouth, among others — but each of these can be inclusive for many while excluding many others. We are thus creating additional ways for us to learn what our members are thinking (also anonymously, if preferred).

Members of the EC are organizing Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions in coming weeks and months for inviting questions, inputs, and feedback on the matters they oversee, as well as other matters that they may have some answers to as well. Each AMA will be attended by (at least) two EC members. …

Building Bridges by Connecting Virtually

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COVID times are special times, calling for new ways of connecting to those we work with, and our larger community/ies. On the one hand, travel has been restricted, and we cannot make it to the conferences, workshops, etc. that we had otherwise planned. On the other hand, virtual networking tools such as Zoom, BlueJeans, etc. have generated many more opportunities to connect virtually. …

(a work in progress)

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Remote/online teaching is challenging in general, non-trivial to transition to, unloved by most, pedagogically unreliable, and currently unavoidable. Below is a high-level summary of teaching resources and pointers that I could find online to help you wrap your heads around this and get started. What you find useful below may depend on the kind of instruction you practice, and the lesson plans you are used to. Some inputs from instructors focused on the range of education technologies available, while other advice focused on providing more support to the students in this time of crisis. This post goes over both below, though it is far more emphatic on the latter. Let me know if you’d like me to make any additions.

Fr. Richard Hendrick, OFM
March 13, 2020

Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.


They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have. …



A photo of Susan T. Dumais.
A photo of Susan T. Dumais.

Susan T. Dumais is a Technical Fellow and Director of the Microsoft Research Labs in New England, New York City and Montréal, and an adjunct professor at the University of Washington. Prior to joining Microsoft, she was a Member of Technical Staff at Bell Labs and Bellcore. Her research is at the intersection of human-computer interaction, information retrieval, and web and data science. A common theme that runs through her work is the importance of understanding and improving information systems from an interdisciplinary and user-centered perspective. She is a co-inventor of Latent Semantic Analysis, a well-known word embedding technique, which was designed to mitigate the disagreement between the words that authors use writing and those that searchers use to find information. Her research spans a wide range of topics in information systems, including email spam filtering, user modeling and personalization, context-aware information systems, temporal dynamics of information, and large-scale behavioral interactions. …

A recent post laid out the details of the SIGCHI Development Fund, explaining the types of projects it is meant for, and listing some examples of what has been funded in the past. As we make efforts to expand these initiatives and their coverage, we are putting together a committee that is responsible for evaluating proposals made to this fund, as well as for following up to see how these activities have progressed, the impact they have had, and recommendations for future activities. …


Neha Kumar

Assistant Prof at Georgia Tech; Chair of ACM Future of Computing Academy; SIGCHI Vice President at-Large

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