Winter '22

Preparation for Research through Immersion, Skills, and Mentorship

In this program, you will learn about and practice research skills, interact with grad student mentors, and be immersed in parts of the research process. We will begin on January 20, 2022.

Contact us at: prism-2022 AT cs DOT toronto DOT edu

When to meet


Class will be held synchronously online roughly every other week.

Classes will include lectures on research skills, talks by researchers, and interactive activities to practice the research skills.


# Dates Topic
1 1/20

Overview of Computer Science Research

2 2/3

Learning about Prior Work

3 2/17

Writing Papers

4 3/3

Giving Talks and Presenting Posters

5 3/17

Embarking on a Research Career (Preparing for Grad School)

6 4/7

Presentation Day!

Note: The above is a tentative schedule, and may change as the term goes on.

Research Talks

Dipanjan Chakraborty

Bio: Dipanjan is currently an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science and Information Systems Department at the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani, Hyderabad Campus, India. He leads the Responsible Technologies Research Group in the campus and teaches and conducts research in HCI (Human Computer Interaction), ICTD (Information and Communication Technologies and Development) and Computer Systems (Computer Networks, Operating Systems, etc.). He was previously a Post Doctoral Researcher at Gram Vaani, a social enterprise providing phone-based voice solutions to thousands of non-text and non-Internet users. At Gram Vaani he worked on Social and Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) and grassroots community empowerment through women users. Prior to that Dipanjan obtained a PhD from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi. His PhD was on building information systems to improve transparency and accountability in public welfare programmes and grievance redressal. He also holds a Bachelor of Technology degree in Information Technology.

Abstract: I will talk about my journey from being an engineering undergrad to teaching undergrads on how to build responsible technologies: a journey from being a tech-optimist, to a tech-pessimist, to a tech-realist. I will talk about the importance of different stimuli in shaping one's research career, and if that is the best decision to take from the perspective of an early-career student. I will also talk about my current research interests and how I arrived at them.

Dr. Naeemul Hassan

Bio:Dr. Naeemul Hassan is an assistant professor at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism and the College of Information Studies and an affiliate assistant professor in the computer science department of the University of Maryland, College Park. He has interests in research areas related to Big Data and Data Science, including Database, Data Mining, and Natural Language Processing. His current research focus is on Computational Journalism and Social Sensing. His recent research projects involve automated fact-checking, credible health information, and misinformation detection. He has built computational technologies (e.g., ClaimViz, BaitBuster, ClaimBuster) that have been used by professional journalists to automate fact-checking and identify potential misinformation. His research has been sponsored by National Science Foundation (NSF). Before joining UMD, he was an assistant professor in the Computer and Information Science department at the University of Mississippi. He earned a doctoral degree in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2016.

Abstract: Computational journalism is a relatively nascent research domain where journalistic problems are addressed using computation techniques and at the same time computation techniques are audited using journalism values. In this talk, Dr. Naeemul Hassan will present the research projects done at the University of Maryland Computational Journalism Lab. The talk will cover computational methods to facilitate fact-checking and misinformation detection.

Dr. Marisol Wong-Villacres

Bio: Marisol is an Associate Professor at Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral in Ecuador. She explores how cultural and learning science theories can inform an assets-based participatory design of technologies that support historically marginalized groups, such as immigrant parents from developing regions, in pursuing sustainable, emancipatory transformations. (More info here)

Talk Title: From Needs to Strengths: Reflecting on an Assets-Based Design Journey with Latin* Immigrant Parents in the United States

Abstract:The field of HCI has long recognized a socio-technical gap complicating the design of technologies that can sustainably meet social needs. In response, a growing body of research advocates for assets-based design, an approach that seeks to build upon what the individuals and community already have. The emphasis on positioning assets rather than needs at the center of the process can complicate designers' decisions on what activities to foster, how to conduct them, and what outcomes to expect. In this talk, I reflect on my assets-based design journey working with diverse Latin* communities in the city of Atlanta, in the U.S., designing parent-education ICTs that recognize Latin* immigrant parents' practices and knowledge as critical strengths or assets and support them. In particular, I explore what assets-based design entails for participants and designers, including the methodological commitments and changes of perspective around work, technology's role, and transformation that it requires.

Dr. Zhicong Lu

Bio: Dr. Zhicong Lu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the City University of Hong Kong. His research interest lies in the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction, social computing, and Computer-Mediated Communication. By using qualitative, quantitative, or mixed-method research methods, various design methods, and interactive system prototyping, implementation, and deployment, he focuses on understanding and supporting users’ needs in various non-gaming live streaming contexts, including knowledge sharing, intangible cultural heritage preservation, outdoor live streaming, virtual streamers, and rural live streamers, etc. He has published in top HCI and social computing venues, such as ACM CHI, CSCW, and IEEE VIS. He received a Best Paper Award at CHI 2019 for his work on live streaming and intangible cultural heritage and an Honourable Mention Award at CHI 2021 for the work on paid gaming teammates in China. To have broader impact of his research, he also serves as a Chief Scientist in a start-up which aims at creating better platform for knowledge sharing through live streaming and community engagement. He received an M.A. degree in information design and a B.Eng. in Electronic Engineering from Tsinghua University. He has also interned at Adobe Research, Cornell Tech, and University of Tasmania.

Abstract: Live streaming is one of the fastest growing forms of media around the globe. Despite gaining traction in North America and Europe, it has not reached the popularity it has in China, where live streaming is prevalent and has a profound impact on users' life. This talk summarizes results from my previous studies on live streaming in China that highlight how live streamers in China are providing content not only for entertainment, but also for knowledge sharing and cultural heritage preservation. I highlight streamer and viewer motivations, streaming practices, and the challenges currently facing streamers. I also design, develop, and deploy interactive tools and systems for streaming users in non-gaming contexts, e.g., StreamWiki helps users collaboratively create archival documentations of live streams to facilitate in-stream and post hoc learning. I believe that lessons learned from live streaming in China for knowledge sharing, cultural heritage preservation, and social good can provide a blueprint for the future of live streaming services in other countries and next generations of video-based social media.