I am on sabbatical this spring and do not plan to supervise student
research this summer.
In summer 2013, I started a project with Nediyana Daskalova '14, Nathalie
Ford '15, Ann Hu '14, Kyle Moorehead '15, and Ben Wagnon '14. We aim to
design technology that helps Grinnell students get more sleep.
We are using a participatory design approach, informed by persuasive
You can read a longer project proposal.
This project is currently on hiatus, but will likely resume in spring or
2011, I supervised Scott Kaitz '11 in his study of why people join
smoking cessation and weight loss support groups on Facebook. This is related to my
larger interest in persuasive technology.
In summer 2010, I worked
with students Sambit Behera '11 and Xin Jin '12 on GreenRes.Net,
an online community to connect college and university eco-residences.
My chief scholarly interests
lie in the area of human-computer interaction (HCI). I see this
area as broadly addressing a scientific question and a design question:
How do people interact with computers? And how can we design computer
systems to enhance rather than detract from the human experience?
My work as a computer scientist emphasizes the latter.
current work, I am exploring methods for the design of ethical
persuasive technology: technology that is designed to change what we
think and do. I had a research leave in 2009-2010 to work with
Grinnell's EcoHouse, engaging in
participatory design of such technology.
In my dissertation at the University of Washington, I engaged in Value Sensitive Design of user interfaces for UrbanSim,
a large scale urban planning simulator, with an eye to transparency,
fairness, and democracy to
support the legitimacy of using UrbanSim as part of the political
I considered documentation for technical uses, a platform to
allow advocacy groups to prsent their views on using simulation data,
and new interfaces to enable
citizens to interact directly with simulation results.
Other professional interests include ubiquitous computing, networks, distributed systems,
the role of ethics and social issues in the CS curriculum, and computational nutrition.
teaching interests span introductory computer science, computer
systems, design, and the social influences and implications of
computing and other technology. In my time at Grinnell, I've
taught Functional Problem Solving (CSC 151), Computer Organization
& Architecture (CSC 211), Operating Systems & Parallel
213), Computer Networks (CSC 364), Software Design (CSC 223),
Human-Computer Interaction (CSC 232), Evolution of Technology (TEC
154), and two Tutorials on technology and society.
like to create a conversational atmosphere in my classes, and I
especially enjoy talking about problems for which there is not one
My personal interests and pleasures include beadwork, knitting, sewing,
and other crafts, walking, gardening, cooking,
reading, talking with cats, and collecting computer science jokes. You
can look at my increasingly neglected, broken, and out-of-date personal web
Janet Davis, Jeannie Albrecht, Christine Alvarado, Tzu-Yi
Chen, and Sohie Lee. Faculty careers at liberal arts colleges: Myths and
reality. Panel presented at the Grace Hopper Celebration of
Women in Computing (GHC 2013), Minneapolis, October 2-5, 2013.
Janet Davis. Early Experiences with Participation in Persuasive Technology Design. In Proceedings of the 12th Participatory Design Conference: Research Papers - Volume 1 (PDC 2012), Roskilde, Denmark, August 12-16, 2012. [local PDF]
Scott Kaitz* and Janet Davis. Facebook Support Groups: Toward Understanding Member Usage. Presented at the Sixth International Conference on Persuasive Technology (PERSUASIVE 2011), Columbus, OH, June 2-5, 2011.
Janet Davis. Generating Directions for Persuasive Technology Design with the Inspiration Card Workshop. In Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Persuasive Technology (PERSUASIVE 2010), Thomas Ploug, Per Hasle, Harri Oinas-Kukkonen (Eds.), LNCS, vol. 6137, pp. 262-273, Copenhagen, Denmark, June 7-10, 2010. [local PDF][slides] The original publication is available at http://www.springerlink.com.
Robert Grimm, Janet Davis, Eric Lemar, Adam MacBeth,
Steven Swanson, Thomas Anderson, Brian Bershad, Gaetano Borriello,
Steven Gribble, and David Wetherall. System
support for pervasive applications (PDF, 1,777 KB). ACM
Transactions on Computer Systems, 22(4):421-486, November