In this joint colloquium, Cindy Kao will present "Designing the Hybrid Body" at 4 p.m., and David Mimno will follow with "Data Science and Data Scholarship" at 4:30 p.m.

Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao is an Assistant Professor of Design + Environmental Analysis, and a field faculty in Information Science at Cornell University, where she founded and directs the Hybrid Body Lab. Her research practice themed Hybrid Body Craft blends aesthetic and cultural perspectives into the design of on-body interfaces. She also creates novel processes for crafting technology close to the body. Her research has been presented at leading computer science conferences and journals (ACM CHI, UbiComp/ISWC, TEI, UIST, IEEE Pervasive Computing) while receiving media coverage by CNN, TIME, Forbes, Fast Company, WIRED, among others. Her work has been exhibited and shown internationally at the Pompidou Centre, the Boston Museum of Fine Art, Ars Electronica, New York Fashion Week, and more. She has worked at Microsoft Research developing cosmetics-inspired wearables and is a recipient of the Google Anita Borg Scholarship. Among her awards include several Honorable Mention/Best Paper Awards in top computer science conferences (ACM CHI, UIST and ISWC), the A'Design Award, the Fast Company Innovation by Design Award Finalist, an Ars Electronica STARTS Prize Nomination, and the SXSW Interactive Innovation Award. Dr. Kao holds a Ph.D. from the MIT Media Lab, along with a Master's degree in Computer Science; and two Bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science and in Technology Management, all from National Taiwan University.

Title: Designing the Hybrid Body

Abstract: Sensor device miniaturization and breakthroughs in novel materials are allowing for the placement of technology increasingly close to our physical bodies. However, unlike all other media, the human body is not simply another surface for enhancement - it is the substance of life, one that encompasses the complexity of individual and social identity. The human body is inseparable from the cultural, the social, and the political, yet technologies for placement on the body have often been developed separately from these considerations, with an emphasis on engineering breakthroughs. The Hybrid Body Lab investigates opportunities for cultural interventions in the development of technologies that move beyond wearable clothing and accessories, and that are purposefully designed to be placed directly on the skin surface. By hybridizing miniaturized robotics, machines, and materials with cultural body decoration practices, the Hybrid Body Lab investigates how technology can be situated as a culturally meaningful material for crafting our identities. Through these hybrid body interfaces, we investigate opportunities for designing new modes of self-expression, and also ways to interact with others and our surrounding environments.

Papers: Hsin-Liu (Cindy) Kao, Christian Holz, Asta Roseway, Andres Calvo, and Chris Schmandt. 2016. DuoSkin: rapidly prototyping on-skin user interfaces using skin-friendly materials. In Proceedings of the 2016 ACM International Symposium on Wearable Computers (ISWC '16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 16-23. DOI:

Hsin-Liu (Cindy) Kao, Miren Bamforth, David Kim, and Chris Schmandt. 2018. Skinmorph: texture-tunable on-skin interface through thin, programmable gel. In Proceedings of the 2018 ACM International Symposium on Wearable Computers (ISWC '18). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 196-203. DOI:

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David Mimno is an associate professor in the department of Information Science at Cornell University. He holds a PhD from UMass Amherst and was previously the head programmer at the Perseus Project at Tufts and a researcher at Princeton University. His work is supported by the Sloan foundation and the NSF.

Title: Data Science and Data Scholarship

Abstract: Data science has begun to have impact in a broad range of disciplines from biomedicine to the humanities. Our view of data science is often highly abstract and mathematical. This view is in contrast to the lived experience of data scientists, who spend much more time collecting and curating datasets than optimizing loss functions. In this talk I will argue that the humanities have a lot to say to data science. Using some examples from text analysis, I will show that scholarly perspectives can inform data science practices, from a focus on robustness and data context and provenance to ethics and the specificity of individual experiences.