Centre for Computing and Communications (CCC) TALKS

Talks by Lasse Johansson and Jonas Grønvad, Humanomics Research Centre; and Sebastian Boring, Department of Computer Science University of Copenhagen (DIKU).

Humanities in Society: Research Styles and Societal Stances of Humanities Researchers

Talk by Lasse Johansson and Jonas Grønvad, Humanomics Research Centre.


In Europe and the US, the social sciences have had very clear relations to the surrounding society, e.g. by providing knowledge and manpower to the growing welfare state in the postwar period. But what about the humanities? How do humanities researchers position themselves vis-à-vis the state, the economic sector, etc.?In this presentation we answer these questions using data from a survey conducted among humanities researchers in Denmark in the fall 2013. Using geometric data analysis we first construct the space of humanities research styles, a concept inspired by Karl Mannheim and Ludwik Fleck. We do this based on 26 variables across three different themes:

  1. Type of data used in research
  2. Type of analytical methods/techniques used in research
  3. Epistemological position.

The resulting space is structured around four styles: a quantitative, a qualitative, a text-based and an empirically eclectic style. We then project supplementary variables related to the researchers' stances towards state, economic sector, etc. into the space of research styles, allowing us to see how these stances are associated with research styles. It turns out that specific stances towards the surrounding society are associated with specific research styles. We also got a little surprise for the information scientists.


Lasse Johansson is a research assistant at Humanomics Research Centre. He holds an MSc in sociology from the University of Copenhagen and a BA in philosophy from Aarhus University. He was a visiting sociology scholar at the University of California, Berkeley. In his thesis, which he defended in April 2013, he investigated organizational changes at Danish universities in the context of new legal and economic frameworks (supervised by Professor Heine Andersen).

Lasse Johansson's research interests include sociology of science, research policy and social policy. He is working on historical comparative methods, interviewing, surveys, geometric data analysis and social network analysis.

Jonas Grønvad has joined the Humanomics Research Center on a scholarship. He is a graduate student in sociology at University of Copenhagen where he currently holds a B.Sc. in Sociology.

Jonas Grønvad's research interest is knowledge production, elite studies, and the role of science and expertise in governance processes. His work at the Humanomics research project is on the survey questionnaire mapping the humanities as a scientific field.

Dark Patterns in Proxemic Interactions – A Critical Perspective (DIS 2014 Best Paper Award)

Talk by Sebastian Boring, Department of Computer Science University of Copenhagen (DIKU)

Proxemics theory explains peoples’ use of interpersonal distances to mediate their social interactions with others.

Within Ubicomp, proxemic interaction researchers argue that people have a similar social understanding of their spatial relations with nearby digital devices, which can be exploited to better facilitate seamless and natural interactions. To do so, both people and devices are tracked to determine their spatial relationships.

While interest in proxemic interactions has increased over the last few years, it also has a dark side: knowledge of proxemics may (and likely will) be easily exploited to the detriment of the user. In this paper, we offer a critical perspective on proxemic interactions in the form of dark patterns: ways proxemic interactions can be misused.

In this talk, I will discuss a series of these patterns and describe how they apply to these types of interactions. In addition, we identify several root problems that underlie these patterns and discuss potential solutions that could lower their harmfulness.


Sebastian Boring is an Associate Professor in the Human-Centered Computing Group (HCC) and the Vice Director of the Center for Communication and Computing (CCC) at the University of Copenhagen.

His research focuses on novel interaction techniques around the display's boundaries.

He is particularly interested in considering the surrounding of displays as new interaction canvas instead of only looking at the display itself.

Before coming to Copenhagen, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Interactions Lab at the University of Calgary working with Dr. Saul Greenberg and Dr. Sheelagh Carpendale.

Sebastian Boring received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Munich, Germany, and was previously a visiting researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA in 2005 (working with Gregory Abowd, Gillian Hayes, and Julie Kientz), in the Media Team at the University of Oulu, Finland in 2007 (working with Jukka Riekki and Timo Ojala), and in the Human Computer Interaction Lab, Hasso-Plattner-Institute, Berlin in 2009 (working with Patrick Baudisch and Sean Gustafson).