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Colloquium – Pam Wisniewski
April 6 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am
University of Central Florida
April 6, 2021
Host: Ganesh Gopalakrishnan
Risk and Resilience: Promoting Privacy, Online Safety, and Empowerment through Human-Centered Computing
Abstract: Dr. Wisniewski’s research expertise is situated at the juxtaposition of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Social Computing, and Privacy. She views privacy as a social mechanism that helps people regulate their interpersonal boundaries with others in a way that facilitates more meaningful connections and safer online interactions with others. Her active grant-funded research focuses on 1) community-based approaches for helping people (adults and teens) co-manage their online privacy with people they trust, 2) teen-centric approaches to online safety that promote self-regulation and empower teens to effectively manage online risks, and 3) online safety interventions that protect our most vulnerable youth from severe online risks, such as sexual predation.
Through her research trajectories above, she has become a leading HCI scholar at the intersections of adolescent online safety, developmental science, interaction design, and human-centered computing. She has created an exciting research program that intertwines research and education to engage teens, college students, experts in adolescent psychology, experts in participatory design and research methods, community partners, and industry stakeholders in a community-based effort to build the village needed to protect our youth from online risks by empowering them.
During her talk, Dr. Wisniewski will give an overview of her ongoing grant-funded research that will continue in the next five years, as well as her career-long aspirations as a “scholar-activist,” which is someone committed to scholarly research and scientific rigor, but equally committed to their situations of origin and are passionate about making the world a better place through their learned experience.
Dr. Wisniewski is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Central Florida. She is a Human-Computer Interaction scholar whose research lies at the intersection of Social Computing and Privacy. Dr. Wisniewski is an expert in the interplay between social media, privacy, and online safety for adolescents. She was one of the first researchers to recognize the need for a resilience-based approach, rather than an abstinence-based approach to adolescent online safety, and to back this stance up with empirical data. She has authored over 80 peer-reviewed publications and has won multiple best papers (top 1%) and best paper honorable mentions (top 5%) at top conferences in HCI. She has been awarded over $3 million in external grant funding, including two prestigious career awards. She is the recipient of the National Science Foundation’s prestigious CAREER Award for her innovative, teen-centric approach to adolescent online safety, “Safety by Design: Protecting Adolescents from Online Risks,” and was the first and only computer scientist to ever be selected as a William T. Grant Scholar. Her research has been featured by popular news media outlets, including ABC News, NPR, Psychology Today, and U.S. News and World Report.