CS Seminar: Kurt Luther

Event Date: 
Mon, 2014-03-03 10:15 - 11:45

Kurt Luther

Human-Computer Interaction Institute Carnegie Mellon University

Monday, March 3, 2014 10:10AM-11:30AM 655 McBryde


Social technologies have given rise to “crowd creativity,” connecting people from around the world to share ideas, pool resources, leverage diverse skill sets, and produce compelling, sometimes world-changing creative artifacts. Crowd creativity offers the potential to make the future of work more rewarding, productive, and equitable, but tapping this potential requires us to understand its strengths and limitations, and how to design for them. In this talk, I present some of my recent efforts to push the boundaries of crowd creativity, focusing on two major challenges: helping crowds coordinate, and helping them perform tasks requiring expertise. I will describe several studies of “collabs,” a genre of collaborative animation projects with especially complex coordination issues, and Pipeline, a creative collaboration tool I designed, deployed, and evaluated with the goal of helping leaders coordinate their projects. I will also discuss the challenges of using novice crowd workers in domains requiring specialized expertise, focusing on CrowdCrit, a system I developed to provide visual designers with fast, scalable, high-quality critiques. Finally, I will present some preliminary work supporting crowd creativity for knowledge discovery. Throughout the talk, I will suggest ways to design for more complex, creative, and successful social computing experiences.

Dr. Kurt Luther is a postdoctoral fellow in the HCI Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. His research explores the intersection of crowds, computing, and creativity across a range of application areas, including computer animation, visual design, and knowledge discovery. Many of his projects, including Pipeline and ProveIt, involve building and evaluating creativity support tools released as open-source software. Kurt completed his Ph.D. in Human-Centered Computing at Georgia Tech, where he received the GVU Center’s highest honor, the Foley Scholarship. He has worked in YouTube’s User Experience group and the Social Computing groups at Microsoft Research and IBM Research. Kurt’s research has been recognized by the Best Paper Award at CSCW 2013 and featured in TIME, The Atlantic, and Harvard Business Review, among others.