I am a Visiting Assistant Professor and the director of the MPS program in the Department of Information Science at Cornell University. My research and teaching interests are in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), in which I use quantitative and qualitative studies and technology design to examine how individuals and groups accomplish tasks and socialize and the roles information technology plays in these interactions. I received my PhD in Information Science in 2009 from Cornell. My Bachelor's and Master's degrees are from the Technion - Israel Institution of Technology in Industrial Engineering and Information Management Engineering, respectively. I also worked several years in the industry as an HCI expert for commercial flight-deck avionics system and command and control systems for military purposes.
Advanced Human-Computer Interaction
COMM/INFO 4400, Spring 2013, Cornell University
Upper-level & Masters class
Human-Computer Interaction - Values in Design
INFO 4940, Spring 2013, Cornell University
Upper-level & Masters class
Advanced Human-Computer Interaction
COMM/INFO 6400, Spring 2011, Cornell University
COMM/INFO 4450/6450, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Cornell University
Graduate and upper-level class
Technology in Collaboration
COMM/INFO 3650, Spring 2012, Cornell University Upper-level class
COMM/INFO 3460, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Cornell University Upper-level class
Busyness and IT (2009-present): This project examines busyness and overwork as cultural values in American society. A growing sense among Americans of being rushed, stressed, and overloaded, both at work and at home may be exacerbated by IT solutions. Initially designed for efficiency and productivity, technologies raise the standards for how much individuals should accomplish, helping us save time – so we can do more. A key question is whether technologies can be designed to help individuals reflect on their busyness and consciously decide if they want to get less done, addressing overwork without encouraging one to be ever more efficient. In this project, we carry out field studies to examine how people use organization tools such as planners, to-do lists, and calendars, to organize their everyday busyness. I also led the development of GoSlow, an iPhone application that introduces moments of pause, reflection, serendipity, and downtime, and of cal.m, a web-based calendar that visualizes and helps individuals reflect on their level of busyness.
With: Maria Hakansson, Phoebe Sengers.
Collaborative analysis (2010-present): Distributed collaboration is crucial for analyzing large-scale problems such as conducting criminal investigations and understanding business risks. Collaborators need to share information they have and generate through the analysis process in order to solve the problem, but they often fail to do cross geographic and organizational boundaries. A key question here is how to support cross-organization collaborative investigative analysis in attending to and following up on pieces of information from different sources. To this end, we are designing and evaluating new interfaces for supporting information sharing across organizations, and conducting controlled laboratory studies to examine how interventions may be used to increase information use across organizational boundaries.
With: Sue Fussell, Sara Kiesler, Claire Cardie, Nitesh Goyal.
Civic Engagement in Public Policymaking (2012-present): Technology-enabled civic engagement ought to increase the efficacy and democratic authenticity of public policymaking. In practice, however, efforts to use social media for citizen policy consultations often fall far short of their knowledge-generating and democracy-reinforcing goals. In this project, we explore ways in which online spaces can be designed to support not simply more participation but rather better participation that will benefit both the policymakers seeking input and the citizens who participant in the discussion. This includes supporting deliberative discussion in which individuals learn about the policy issues, engage with each other, voice questions and recount experiences, and collaborative content-creation, summarization of the knowledge that has emerged in discussion and the development of consensus around key points. This work is carried out in the context of regulationroom.org.
With: Sue Fussell, Cynthia Farina, Claire Cardie, Dmitry Epstein.
Identity and relationship management in virtual worlds (2007-2008): Millions of people around the world regularly participate in online 3D virtual worlds and games, including, for example, Second Life, The Sims, and World of Warcraft. As a result, new experiences are emerging for constructing one's self identity while meeting and getting to know other people, becoming closer to each other, and sometimes breaking apart. How do people interpret and manage their identity when interacting with others in virtual and material worlds? We interviewed thirty Second Life residents about their perceptions and experiences of the boundary between their virtual world and material world. A range of stances interviewees expressed toward the boundary – from completely open to completely closed – was linked to practices individuals use in sharing or concealing identity information across that boundary as well as experiences of social relationships in and across virtual and material worlds.
With: Poppy McLeod.
Teamwork reflection and behaviors (2006-2009): Although interpersonal social behaviors are important for teams’ well-being, too often technologies designed for teams focus on simply helping them complete tasks effectively. Interpersonal social skills include knowing when a critical comment would be constructive, whether a joke would be a welcome tension reliever, when keeping silent is more of a contribution than talking, etc. With the help of many programmers, I designed GroupMeter, a web-based chat augmented with dynamic visualizations of aspects of language used in the team conversation, e.g., how often members refer to themselves (counting words such as ‘I’ and ‘me’) and agree with others (‘ok’, ‘sure’). Through a series of controlled experiments I examined how teams communicating through GroupMeter reflect on and change their linguistic and interpersonal behaviors in response to the visualizations. I uncovered linguistic features corresponding to peer-rated interpersonal behaviors and design elements important for stimulating reflection and behavior change.
With: Geri Gay, Jeff Hancock, Poppy McLeod, Jeremy Birnholtz, Dan Cosley.
In-car GPS use and environmental interaction (2007): Although in-car GPS navigation technology is proliferating, it is not well understood how its use alters the ways people interpret their environment and navigate through it. In this ethnographically-informed study, we examined how GPS-based car navigation might disengage people from their surrounding environment, but also opens up novel ways to engage with it. We proposed design principles for GPS systems that support richer experiences of driving, while arguing that for a fuller understanding of issues of disengagement and engagement with the environment we need to move to a broader perspective beyond a focus on the (re)design of GPS devices.
With: Theresa Velden, Oya Rieger, Blazej Kot, and Phoebe Sengers.
Collaborative end-user scripting (2007): Modern enterprises are replete with numerous online processes. Many must be performed frequently and are tedious, while others are done less frequently yet are complex or hard to remember. I conducted interviews with knowledge workers that reveal a need for mechanisms to automate the execution of and to share knowledge about these processes. CoScripter, a collaborative scripting environment for recording, automating, and sharing web-based processes was developed and deployed within IBM as a response to this need. We used usage log analysis and interviews with users, to show how CoScripter addresses many automation and sharing needs and was incorporated it into employees’ work practice. With: Eben Haber, Tessa Lau, Tara Matthews, Alan Cypher, Clemens Drews, Eser Kandogan, James Lin, and Eric Wilcox.
Emotion recognition in blogs (2005): One of the goals of affective computing is to recognize human emotions. We developed a machine learning system that recognizes emotions based on textual resources and test it on a large number of blog entries tagged with moods by their authors. This system helped us gain insight into the ways bloggers convey and interpret their own emotions through their writing, rather than code text entries into an external, predefined set of emotions. Our dataset is available for download, and we still get request to use it.
With: Jofish Kaye.
Anonymity in online communities (2004-2005): In this study I examined a closed intra-corporate message-board community, which upon establishment allowed anonymous participation, but at a certain point, following a managerial decision, enforced identity exposure. I analyzed this policy change enforced through technology implementation through an examination of participation and discussion style in the message board, workers and management attitudes, and employee-employer relationships. The case illuminated issues of online privacy in the face of both the authorities and individuals’ fellows, revealing the power of anonymity policy to facilitate or inhibit open discussion in an online community.
Peripheral displays (2004): A gap exists between the growing prevalence of peripheral displays and appropriate methods for their evaluation. Traditional evaluation techniques bring these displays to the fore rather than keeping them at the periphery of the user’s attention. Instead, we developed the Context of Use Evaluation of Peripheral Displays (CUEPD) technique, which evaluates peripheral displays in-situ and keeps the displays in the background during the evaluation phase. The technique relies on active user participation and emphasizes the experience of using peripheral displays, capturing context of use through individualized scenario building, enactment and reflection.
With: Sadat Shami, David Klein.
Leshed, G. (2009). Automated language-based feedback for teamwork behaviors (6.1 MB). Ph.D. Dissertation, Information Science, Cornell University.
Refereed Conference Proceedings
Goyal, N., Leshed, G., & Fussell, S. (2013). Effects of visualization and note-taking on sensemaking and analysis. Proceedings of CHI 2013, Paris, France, May 2013. [20% acceptance rate]
Leshed, G., & McLoed, P.L. (2012). Metaphors for social relationships in 3D virtual worlds. Proceedings of CSCW 2012, Seattle, WA, 593-602.
Smith, M.E., Nguyen, D., Lai, C., Leshed, G., & Baumer, E. (2012). Going to college and staying connected: communication between college freshmen and their parents. Proceedings of CSCW 2012, Seattle, WA, 789-798.
Leshed, G., & Sengers, P. (2011). “I lie to myself that I have freedom in my own schedule”: Productivity tools and busyness experiences. Proceedings of CHI 2011, Vancouver, Canada, 905-914. [26% acceptance rate]
Leshed, G., Perez, D., Hancock, J.H., Cosley, D., Birnholtz, J., Lee, S., McLeod, P.L., & Gay, G. (2009). Visualizing real-time language-based feedback on teamwork behavior in computer-mediated groups. Proceedings of CHI 2009, Boston, MA, 537-546. [25% acceptance rate]
Nomura, S., Birnholtz, J., Rieger, O., Leshed, G., Gay, G., & Trumbull, D. (2008). Cutting into collaboration: understanding coordination in distributed and interdisciplinary medical research. Proceedings of CSCW 2008, San Diego, CA, 427-436. [23% acceptance rate]
Leshed, G., Haber, E. M., Matthews, T., & Lau, T. (2008). CoScripter: Automating & sharing how-to knowledge in the enterprise. Best Paper Nominee. Proceedings of CHI 2008, Florence, Italy, 1719-1728. [22% acceptance rate]
Leshed, G., Velden, T., Rieger, O., Kot, B., & Sengers, P. (2008). In-car GPS navigation: engagement with and disengagement from the environment. Best Paper Award. Proceedings of CHI 2008, Florence, Italy, 1675-1684. [22% acceptance rate]
Leshed, G., Hancock, J., Cosley, D., McLeod, P., & Gay, G. (2007). Feedback for guiding reflection on teamwork practices. Proceedings of GROUP 2007, Sanibel Island, Florida, 217-220. [29% acceptance rate]
Shami, N.S., Leshed, G., & Klein D. (2005). Context of use evaluation of peripheral displays (CUEPD). Proceedings of Interact 2005, Rome, Italy, 579-587. [26% acceptance rate]
Other Refereed Publications
Kaplan, M., Leshed, G., Kutnick, T. (2013). Public Spheres: Ideas taking shape. CSCW 2013 Extended Abstracts (Work in Progress), San Antonio, TX.
Cheng, J., Bapat, A., Thomas, G., Tse, K., Nawathe, N., Crockett, J. & Leshed, G. (2011). GoSlow: designing for slowness, reflection and solitude. CHI 2011 Extended Abstracts (alt.chi), Vancouver, Canada, 429-438.
Leshed, G., Cosley, D., Hancock, J. T., & Gay, G. (2010). Visualizing language use in team conversations: designing through theory, experiments, and iterations. CHI 2010 Extended Abstracts (Case Study), Atlanta, GA, 4567-4582. [24% acceptance rate]
Diamant, E.I., Echenique, A., Lim, B., Leshed, G., & Fussell, S.R. (2009). Supporting intercultural collaboration with dynamic feedback systems: preliminary evidence from a creative design task. CHI 2009 Extended Abstracts (Work in Progress), Boston, MA, 3997-4002.
Leshed, G., & Kaye, J. (2006). Understanding how bloggers feel: recognizing affect in blog posts. CHI 2006 Extended Abstracts (Work-in-Progress), Montréal, Québec, Canada, 1019-1024. [23% acceptance rate]
McLeod, P.L., & Leshed, G. (2011) As long as they don’t know where I live: information disclosure strategies for managing identity in Second Life. In A. Peachy & M. Childs (Eds.). Reinventing Ourselves: Contemporary Concepts of Identity in Virtual Worlds. New York, NY: Springer.
Cypher, A., Drews, C., Haber, E., Kandogan, E., Lin, J., Lau, T., Leshed, G., Matthews, T., & Wilcox, E. (2010). Collaborative Scripting for the Web. In A. Cypher, J. M. Dontcheva, T. Lau, & J. Nichols, (Eds.) No Code required: giving users tools to transform the web (pp. 85-104). Burlington, MA: Morgan Kaufmann.
Leshed, G. (2009). Silencing the clatter: removing anonymity from a corporate online community. In T. Davies & S. P. Gangadharan (Eds.) Online Deliberation: Design, Research, and Practice (pp. 243-251). Stanford University: CSLI.
Leshed. G. (2012). Slowing down with personal productivity tools. interactions magazine, Volume 19 Issue 1, January-February 2012.
I live in beautiful Ithaca, NY since 2004, where I raise my two children with my husband, Ofer. We came here from Israel, where we lived in the mountains of the Galilee. We are avid outdoor people, skiing in the winter and hiking, swimming, biking, and running in the summer.