Informatics 201: Fall 2013


General Description
The objective of the course is to provide an overview of research in informatics and to enable graduate students to be successful researchers.

Course Overview

Informatics 201 is a graduate level course designed to introduce you to being a successful researcher in HCI, CSCW, Ubicomp, STS, and other related Informatics disciplines. This course will provide you the tools you need to dive into research with your primary advisor. Discussion is required as well as bringing in other experiences from meeting with your advisors, working with fellow graduate students, former courses at other institutions, industrial experience, and more.

Gillian R. Hayes
Office: Donald Bren Hall, 5072
Phone: 949-824-1483
Email: gillianrh [at] ics [dot] uci [dot] edu
Office Hours: By appointment, please see my online calendar

Required Books: 
Getting What You Came For – Robert L. Peters
A PhD is Not Enough (Peter Feibelman)
Research Design: Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches (John Creswell)

Optional but highly recommended books:
Tomorrow’s Professor (Richard Reis)
Pasteur’s Quadrant (Donald E. Stokes)

Articles for class posted below


Assignments and Readings MUST be completed BEFORE the class next to which they are listed








Getting started in graduate school Chapters 10-13, 21, 22, 23 from Getting What you Came For (GWYCF)
Chapters 1 and 2 from Tomorrow’s Professor 



Framing research and understanding modern tensions with science and technology Introduce yourselves online on the EEE discussion board to each other.Introduce yourselves in person to Marty, Suzie, and Julio.

Make your web page

Take this test on plagiarism.

Put a purpose statement for one or more research projects on the EEE discussion board.  These statements can and should be short.  Please have them up by Sunday night at midnight if possible. Begin to think about what you will write for sample NSF fellowship applications.

Chapter 1: A Framework for Design (RDV2) or The Selection of a Research Design (RDV3)
Chapters 2 & 3 from Pasteur’s Quadrant
Chapter 5 – Tomorrow’s Professor
Chapter 4 from Introduction to Action Research 

Recommended but optional:  Kuhn:  The Structure of Scientific Revolution



Managing Yourself Set up a calendar
Keep a diary this week of your activities as described in this presentation from Judy Olson (and read the presentation) 
No readings other than the time management presentation. No reflection.



Proposing research and asking research questions Full drafts of previous research and plan of research statement for discussion in class. excerpts from writing successful science proposals 
Chapters 2 (Review of the literature), 4 (Introduction), 5 (Purpose Statement), and 6 (Research Questions) from RDV2. In RDV3, these are chapters 2, 5, 6, and 7.
Pick a major survey article/book chapter to read from your field. A survey article will generally include at least 50 references and often more than 100. See Foundations and Trends in HCI or the Morgan Claypool Synthesis Lectures series for examples.



Methods (a quick, shallow sampling)

You should be able to more clearly articulate your thoughts about methods, approach, and research questions from your week before. You should also plan to be able to clearly state the contributions of each of the research papers you are reading for this week. Chapter 5 in Analyzing Social Settings Chapter 10 (Qual. methods) in RD V2 — this is chapter 9 in RDV3
Hayes et al – Designing Capture Applications to Support the Education of Children with Autism 
Dourish – 
Implications for Design
Research Design and Strategies from Research Methods in Anthropology (Bernard)
Defamiliarization — BellReturn to your  work from the previous week of a survey article and write a quick summary of what you see as the future research questions. Post this summary online as instructed in class.



Final versions of your statements (previous research, research plan) turned in via by Friday 11/8 at 4.
Shklovski et al – The Internet and Social Relationships: Contrasting Cross-Sectional Longitudinal Analyses 

Chapters 1 and 2 from Statistics as Principled Argument (Abelson)

Sim et al – Using Benchmarking to Advance Research 

Patel et al – Detecting and Classifying Unique Electrical Events on the Residential Power Line

Reasoning with Numbers from Research Methods in Anthropology (Bernard)

Chapters 9 (Quant methods) and 11 (mixed-methods) in RDV2 — this is Chapt 8, 10 in RDV3



No class. Veteran’s Day. Use this week to work with your partner on your collaborative research abstract.



Understanding and using theory; Contributions and their connection to your Research Questions Bring your own research questions and contributions and benefits statements to class for your work. Be prepared to discuss these issues for the research papers you have read this quarter.

Collaborative research project abstracts due to BEFORE CLASS BEGINS. You should be prepared to talk for around 3 minutes per group about your projects.

Engels, F. Socialism: Utopian and Scientific 
Reading guide to Berger & Luckmann: The social construction of reality Platt (1964)
Strong Inference
Nietzsche (1873) On Truth and Lies in an Extra-Moral Sense
The use of theory — Chapter 7 RDV2 or Chpater 3 RDV3

Discussion questions (bring your responses to class):
Are the perspectives of these authors compatible or mutually exclusive?
What are the key functions of theory (according to you and according to these authors)?
How might you make use of Engels, Nietzsche and other similar texts in your own work?



Team meetings with Gillian about research project plans



 Research Ethics

Complete the IRB training ONLINE.
If you want feedback on your collaborative proposals, bring them ON PAPER to class.

The Belmont Report
Overview of the Tuskegee experiments
Nuremberg Code
Altman – Statistics and Ethics
Writing and ethics — Chapter 3RDv2, Chapter 4 RDV3

Finals week


Final paper due Wednesday by 5PM

In 5,000 to 10,000 words, please include:

Introduction, Background, Related Work, Methods, Expected Outcomes
You can also inlcude a timeline and should include references. Neither will count against your word limit.
I want these through The system WILL SHUT DOWN and not allow late submissions, so be on time. Consider this practice for submitting to conference deadlines.


– Why Grad students succeed or fail:

– How to Choose an advisor:

- How to Deal with Faculty:

- PhD Comics:

– Grad school from the Faculty’s perspective:

General course information and policies

Probably the most dependable way to contact the professor is by e-mail at gillianrh AT ics… etc. Whenever you send e-mail, please make sure you include your full name on the message and Informatics 201 in the subject line, because it is sometimes difficult to decipher student mail addresses. If you don’t hear back in a couple of days, try again. I don’t view this as bugging me, it helps find things that sometimes get lost in the milieux.

The class syllabus is posted on the class Web page and will be continually updated throughout the quarter. You should make it a regular habit to consult the syllabus. (Note: Because the syllabus is constantly updated, make sure you explicitly reload the page to ensure that you are looking at the latest version of the page. )

The final grades will be calculated based on the following weighting scheme. It is possible that this weighting scheme will be adjusted as the quarter progresses. Any such changes will be announced to the class.

Class participation 40%

Homework 30%

Final paper 30%

Students taking the class pass/fail must receive a B- or better to pass the class and should meet with me in person to discuss how to handle the group project.

Class participation, attendance, and good citizenship:

A good portion of the learning in this class will come from in class discussion and activities. If you do not attend class, you cannot participate, and your grade will reflect that. I expect that each student will make an effort to attend all classes and contribute to the discussion and exercises. That said, I recognize that life happens. You sometimes need to go to a doctor or a conference or a funeral or whatever. I don’t want or need to know about it. If it happens once, I get that. If it happens a lot, no amount of excuses, however valid, will make up for your lack of participation. So, don’t feel compelled to share every detail of your lives.

You will be given regular homework assignments. These are for your benefit, and it is in your absolute best interests to complete them. To ensure that you do so, they will be a hefty part of your grade. Unless otherwise specified, homework is due BEFORE class begins on the day of the class in which it is due. If you will miss class, you must turn in your homework BEFORE class begins. Homework turned in after class begins will lose 33% of the grade for each 24 hour period for 3 days.

There will be a final paper. More information on that as the quarter progresses.

Other Important Class Policies:

Late Assignments
You can turn in your assignments up to two days late for half-credit. Later than that, and no credit.


If you are a student with a disability (e.g., physical, learning, psychiatric, vision, hearing, etc.) and think that you might need special assistance or a special accommodation in this class or any other class, please check out the Disability Center online or visit them in person at
100 Disability Services Center, Building 313
Irvine, CA 92697-5130

Counseling Center:

If you find that personal problems, career indecision, study and time management difficulties, etc. are adversely impacting your successful progress at UCI, please check out the Counseling Center online or in person at 203 student services 1.

Technology Requirements:

You need access to a personal computer (Mac or Windows) for major amounts of time for this course. You need Internet access for this course. You must be able to save word processing files in a .doc or .docx (Microsoft Word) or .pdf format for sharing and submitting files to the instructor. You are expected to have working knowledge and capability with your computer before entering this class.
Please submit all papers and materials (unless otherwise noted in the course schedule) through EEE/ online or in person as noted in class. NO ASSIGNMENTS WILL BE ACCEPTED BY EMAIL. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Class information and announcements will be communicated through EEE and through your UCI email address. To access EEE, you will need your UCI Net ID and password. If you do not know these, please contact OIT.

Plagiarism & Cheating:
Please read and heed the following information regarding academic dishonesty. The instructor cannot and will not tolerate academic dishonesty. For more information, refer to the UCI Student Handbook. The UCI campus policy on plagiarism can also be found on the Registrar’s website, under “Academic Honesty Policy”.

In assignments that involve a partner, you will BOTH be held EQUALLY responsible for any plagiarism, regardless of who actually wrote what in the paper. So do not come to me claiming that your partner was the one who actually plagiarized. You are responsible for content with your name on it.
Everything you turn in WILL BE CHECKED FOR PLAGIARISM. The penalty for plagiarism and cheating is at a minimum to receive a 0 on the assignment and have the case reported to the Associate Dean’s office. Particularly flagrant cases may receive more severe punishment (notably failing the course).

I can not emphasize to you enough how strongly I feel about plagiarism and cheating. It will NOT be tolerated.
 If you have any questions, please come to me and ask. It is much better to ask before than to be caught after.

What is cheating?

❑ Supplying or using work or answers not your own.

❑ Providing or accepting assistance with completing assignments or examinations.

❑ Faking data or results. (particularly important as researchers!)
❑ Interfering in any way with someone else’s work.

❑ Stealing an examination or solution from the teacher.

What is plagiarism?

❑ Copying a paper from a source text without proper acknowledgment.

❑ Buying a paper from a research service or term paper mill.
❑ Turning in another student’s work with or without that student’s knowledge.

❑ Copying a paper from a source text without proper acknowledgment.

❑ Copying materials from a source text, supplying proper documentation, but leaving out quotation marks.
❑ Paraphrasing materials from a source text without appropriate documentation.

❑ Turning in a paper from a term paper website.
You should be EVER WATCHFUL about plagiarism. It can creep up in the strangest and most unexpected places, and I will be on guard at all times in search of it. In academia, the only thing we have is our ideas. If you do not respect other people’s ideas, you can not be a successful, moral, and ethical academic.

Generally, when you use ideas and/or words gathered from some other source, you will either quote that source directly or you will paraphrase or summarize that work. You MUST let the reader know which you are doing.

1. If you quote the source directly, you must

a. put quotation marks before and after that person’s words;

b. let the reader know the source by (1) putting a footnote or endnote number at the end of the quotation, or (2) putting at least the source’s name in parentheses after the quotation marks (such as when being taken from fieldwork).

2. If you paraphrase (a paraphrase is about the same length as the original, but in different words) or if you summarize (a summary is a severely shortened version of the original), you must

a. introduce the source in some manner at the beginning of the passage being paraphrased (or summarized) so that the reader can tell where your idea stops and the other person’s begins;

b. state the ideas taken from the source in your own words and your own arrangement. It is possible to plagiarize sentence patterns as well as exact words.
****A useful rule to check every time you paraphrase or summarize: if, when you are summarizing, you use more than three words in in a row from the source materials, you should think about using quotations around those words. This is not a bad thing. You want to use the quotes!

c. provide the exact source citation/reference for the ideas that you are summarizing. In formal writing, you can do this with a footnote, endnote, or other formal reference. In less formal writing, you can mark it inline or as a note at the end of your writing. Either way, make sure the reader knows where to find the source and gives proper credit to the original author.
3. You must also provide a footnote, endnote, or reference for ANY chart, graph, figure, table, summary, or other data taken directly from another source as well as anything that you state in text that comes from such a visual reference. You should also be sure to check copyright to determine whether you are even allowed to use this figure in the first place. Google and Flickr both have advanced search engines that allow you to only find images that are allowed to be used (typically with attribution through Creative Commons or another similar body).

For example, the text here on plagiarism has been generously borrowed and slightly modified from the UTC Center for Advisement and Student Success. Likewise, the course materials have been replicated over the years from Judy Olson (Time Management), Irina Shklovski (Quant methods), myself (previous versions of this course), and others who are cited on course slides. Their contributions to this course are much appreciated.