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Technology's role in bereavement: Opportunities for design

  • 17 Feb 2011
  • 7:00 PM
  • Bahen Room 2135 (2nd floor), 40 St. George Street
Date: Thursday February 17, 2011
Time: Presentation starts at 7:00pm
Location: Bahen Room 2135 (2nd floor)
         40 St. George Street
Cost: Free for ToRCHI members. Join now for $20/year.

Abstract: When a loved one dies, the grieving process can be extraordinarily difficult. Increasingly, personal information technologies play a role in how the bereaved deal with the aftermath of a death. In this talk, I will describe my Ph.D. thesis research investigating the role that technology plays in the life of the bereaved. In particular, I will share the results of a survey conducted with bereaved people regarding their technology attitudes and behaviors following the death of a member of their family. I will then describe more recent work with bereaved parents and local community groups to understand how technology can be designed to facilitate the provision and receipt of social support. I'll conclude with current directions and possibilities for how HCI and technology can meaningfully contribute during this period of life.

Bio: Michael Massimi is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto, and assistant director of the Laboratory for Technologies for Aging Gracefully (or TAGlab) run by Dr. Ronald Baecker. His research focuses on the end of life as a period for technological opportunity and design intervention. He has also published on HCI topics concerning older adults, mobile devices, participatory design, privacy, and methodologies. He holds a Master's degree in computer science from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from the College of New Jersey.
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