rapidly iterating ideas related to
collective intelligence and crowdsourcing

A CHI 2012 Workshop: May 5 & 6, 2012 Application: January 20, 2012
Contact: Notification: February 10, 2012


Paul André (CMU)
Michael Bernstein (MIT)
Mira Dontcheva (Adobe)
Elizabeth Gerber (Northwestern)
Niki Kittur (CMU)
Rob Miller (MIT)


The field of collective intelligence—encompassing aspects of human computation, crowdsourcing, and social computing—is having tremendous impact on our lives, from building history's largest encyclopedia to interactive systems powered by crowds. We are studying and building systems to push the boundaries of what is possible in these fast-growing areas. To effectively do so, we draw from diverse disciplines including computer science, business, economics, and design. Yet few opportunities exist to form the interdisciplinary teams necessary for this work and to rapidly test new ideas.

This 2-day event is unlike traditional CHI workshops. We encourage a hands-on approach with an emphasis on idea generation and prototyping, while keeping the traditional benefits of provocative discussion and community building. We hope to bring together a diverse set of researchers, expose them to a broad range of ideas, actively engage them in starting a project, and sow the seeds for future collaboration. At the very least there'll be donuts.

Possible outputs include an experiment DESIGN, in-depth THOUGHTS on wicked problems, or paper or coded PROTOTYPES. Please apply if you: STUDY platforms and projects to understand motivation and participation, EXPERIMENT with mechanisms for increased engagement or quality, or BUILD innovative systems for crowds (friends, or communities) or powered by crowds.

Further details can be found in the workshop extended abstract document.



9:00—9:15 am Welcome. Introduction and overview by the workshop organizers.
9:15—10:30 am Rotating Introductions. Three-person chats introducing and discussing research interests, rotating every 10 minutes.
10:30—11:00 am Morning Break
11:00—11:30 am Brainstorm I. Informed by workshop applications, researchers will form groups by broad topic area and draw out themes, challenges, and potential projects.
11:30 am—12:00 pm Brainstorm II. Groups will rotate to encourage social interaction and spreading of ideas.
12:00—12:30 pm Project Listing. We will list brainstormed areas and projects and ask people to denote their interest. Final grouping or merging of projects will be dependent on number of participants and ideas.
12:30—2:00 pm Lunch Break
2:00—3:30 pm Team Work. The remainder of the day will be dedicated group time to get to know team members and flesh out project ideas, then start work on the project.
3:30—4:00 pm Afternoon Break
4:00—5:00 pm Team Work. Continue small-group work.
5:00—5:30 pm Share Thoughts. Groups have a few minutes to share work.
6:00—7:30 pm TBD: Drinks (sponsored by MobileWorks)


9:00am—3:00pm Team Work. The majority of the day will be spent engaged in discussion or building.
3:00pm—5:30pm Presentation and Discussion. Each group will present their work, with opportunity for discussion.


The application deadline has passed. Please see below for attendee list.

We are interested in ideas and the ability of participants to produce something in the two day workshop (whether that deliverable is an experiment design, in-depth thoughts on a problem, data analysis, or a coded prototype). For this reason we are not only asking you to describe your ideas but also your way of working. We know that a good team can make or break an experience. Further details can be found in the workshop extended abstract document.

We ask participants to fill in the application form, consisting of the following questions, by Jan 20, 2012:

  • Two to four ideas of future visions, project ideas (broad and specific), or dataset-specific questions
  • Skillset description (background? studier? builder?), with examples if applicable. Details on interest in working on a collaborative research team. (For example, through an example of a project on which you recently worked, and how you best function in a team.)
  • A short biography of the author wishing to attend the workshop (100-150 words). Applications should be single-authored, not from a team. We highly encourage teamwork on the day, but would like social interaction, idea iteration, and group formation at the event.

Accepted applicants will be asked to read (anonymized) ideas, and write a short blog post about themselves and highlight the ideas they found particularly interesting.


To encourage people to contribute broadly and keep ideas flowing freely, we will propose group authorship and credit where appropriate, hoping for fruitful collaborations (see Polymath, for example).


As with previous years, workshop attendees are required to register for at least one day of the full CHI conference, in addition to paying a fee for the workshop. Conference rates will soon be available on the CHI 2012 website. Only those who have had applications accepted will be able to attend the workshop. We do aim to disseminate the deliverables if possible, and write about the ideas, themes, and patterns that came out of the workshop. Accepted participants will be provided with a registration code by the workshop organizers, which will allow them to register for the workshop via the CHI 2012 site.


Aaron Shaw UC Berkeley / Harvard
Adam Marcus MIT CSAIL
Anand Kulkarni MobileWorks / UC Berkeley
Andres Monroy-Hernandez Microsoft Research
Bjoern Hartmann UC Berkeley EECS
Brad Stenger New York Times
Chang Hu University of Maryland
Edith Law Carnegie Mellon University
Haoqi Zhang Harvard University
Hohyon Ryu University of Texas at Austin
Ian Spiro New York University
James Howison University of Texas at Austin
Jeffrey Bigham University of Rochester
Jeffrey Heer Stanford University
Jeffrey Nichols IBM Research - Almaden
Jeffrey V. Nickerson Stevens Institute of Technology
Joel Brandt Adobe
John Horton oDesk
John Zimmerman Carnegie Mellon
Kathleen Tuite University of Washington
Kurt Luther Georgia Tech
Kurtis Heimerl UC Berkeley
Lionel Barrow MobileWorks
Lixiu Yu Carnegie Mellon University
Lydia Chilton University of Washington
Matt Lease University of Texas at Austin
Nicolas Kokkalis Stanford - HCI Group
Peter Kinnaird Carnegie Mellon University, HCII
Philipp Gutheim UC Berkeley
Rob Morris MIT Media Lab
Sanjay Kairam Stanford University
Scott Bateman University of Saskatchewan
Sophia B Liu U.S. Geological Survey
Steven Dow Carnegie Mellon
Steven Drucker Microsoft Research
Walter S. Lasecki University of Rochester
Wesley Willett UC Berkeley