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Scholar of Human-Computer Interaction to Join SC&I as a Visiting Professor

Impacts of Technology Adoption on Various Users in a Digital Era

Rutgers, School of Information and Communication

Louise Barkhuus, professor of Computer Science at the IT University of Copenhagen in Denmark, will teach and conduct research at SC&I this year.

Louise Barkhuus, a scholar of human-computer interaction, will join SC&I as a visiting professor of Library and Information Science for the 2023-2024 academic year.

"Dr. Barkhuus arrives at our iSchool at an exciting time of growth as we are doing significant curricular development in HCI, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels,” Chair of Library and Information Science and Associate Professor Rebecca Reynolds said. “As a consummate HCI research scholar as well as practitioner, her innovative consultation and leadership will contribute deeply to our teaching excellence in this area. Further, her collaboration on research with our HCI-focused research faculty members is also providing an integral visionary role at a pivotal time for us. We are thrilled to welcome her and look forward to a highly fruitful year ahead!"

A Professor of Computer Science at the IT University of Copenhagen’s Center for Information Security and Trust (CISAT), Barkhuus’ current research focus, she said, is on gaining a better understanding of how location-based services can be implemented and used with special attention to privacy preservation.

“Most smart-phone applications today use location or positioning in their functionality, but without users understanding the significance of this,” Barkhuus said. “I study user practices around location sharing services through a qualitative lens as a way of providing insights into potential barriers for adoption, and to provide guidelines for future design. In broader terms, I study how sociotechnical systems are able to support our everyday practices in privacy-sensitive ways.”

Describing the potential current and long-term impact of her work, Barkhuus said, “I hope my research will inform design of privacy-preserving, location-based technologies, particularly in the short run, because many tech companies don’t have the time, willingness, or resources to predict the potential consequences of their location technology efforts.

“More broadly, I want my research to provide tech professionals and tech researchers alike with a better understanding of how to utilize the notion of location, space, and place in practice and in research. Having an understanding of what place and location means, technically as well as socially, is important for both design and future research.”

While at SC&I, Barkhuus said she hopes to interact with many of the SC&I faculty. “They are all doing interesting work; several people are working in areas closely related to mine. My goals are to initiate collaboration and interact with colleagues, to get input on my own work, but also to provide encouragement and ideas to others’ research. SC&I is highly interdisciplinary and as such a great place for me, whose research spans fairly broadly within computer and information science.”

Barkhuus will teach an undergraduate course in human-computer interaction, her core research field. “I’m really looking forward to engaging with Rutgers’ undergrad students within an area that is close to me,” Barkhuus said. “I have been teaching HCI for many years on many different levels, but this is probably the level and type of students I’m mostly familiar with.”

Locating to New York City from Denmark for the year, Barkhuus is very familiar with the city. She has lived there for several years, most recently during the 2022-2023 academic year when she was a Fulbright scholar at Columbia University’s Irving Medical Center. There she worked on a research project focused on health data sharing and privacy, and her research provided insights into design for mobile health informatics systems.

Happy to return, Barkhuus said, “I am very excited to be able to stay in the New Jersey/New York area for another year. I feel very much at home here in the Northeast U.S. and have a significant set of friends and acquaintances in the area. I enjoy the performance culture of NYC and the ease of access to NJ beaches and short upstate getaways. My children and I are thrilled to be able to experience all of this for one more year.”

Learn more about the Library and Information Science Department at the School of Communication and Information website.



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