Northwestern University
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  • © 2022 Darren Gergle 0

Darren Gergle


I teach a number of undergraduate and graduate courses in the areas of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Computer-Mediated Communication (CSCW), Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), and Language and Technology.

Technology & Human Interaction
Communication Studies 351, EECS 395
An undergraduate course that illustrates the practice of understanding human interactions that take place both with and through technology, and explores the design and creation of technologies along with evaluation techniques to assess the quality of technologies. Specialized topics cover technologies for special populations, social software and collaborative systems, entertainment technologies, and approaches for ubiquitous computing environments.

Community Building Software
Communication Studies 395, EECS 395
This is an advanced undergraduate course that is offered as an independent study to a multi-disciplinary group of students (five or less). The goal is to enhance community through the development of novel technological interventions.

Python for Social Scientists
A graduate level course for students interested in learning the Python programming language and how to apply computational methods to social science research. No prior programming experience is required. Students learn how to write code and apply computational methods to help gather, analyze, and visualize data.

Theories and Practice of Computer Mediated Communication
Communication Studies 525
In this graduate seminar we examine fundamental aspects of human communication and consider their relation to various computer-mediated communication (CMC) technologies such as email, instant messaging, shared collaborative spaces, virtual and augmented reality systems, and new forms of social media. The goal of this seminar is to understand basic communication processes and how they influence the development, adoption and use of modern communication technologies, and in return, how these technologies affect human communication. Students come away from the course with an enhanced understanding of the processes of interpersonal and group communication, how these processes influence and are influenced by CMC technologies, and knowledge of how to apply social science theory to the study, design and development of technology.

Applied Research Methods for Media and Technology
Communication Studies 525
A graduate level course for students carrying out research on behavioral and social aspects of technology and technology use. In the past, student projects examined social effects of Internet communication, evaluation of interactive agents, and the use of automated diary methods for collecting human behavior in the field. The course is run as a lab and seminar involving discussion and hands-on practice of skills including research design and hypothesis testing, behavioral and content analysis, novel methods of data collection in technological settings such as Internet use or mobile phone behavior in the field. In addition, the course teaches the basic statistical methods that coincide with a number of these data collection and analysis techniques. A major goal of the course is to provide students with an understanding of the changing landscape of data collection in technological environments, and to provide them with the basic mechanics for performing analysis of these new data forms.

Theories & Technologies for Human Communication
Communication Studies 525, EECS 431
This is a special topics graduate level course that was last co-taught with Prof. Justine Cassell and Prof. Sid Horton. The course pairs theory about how language and discourse functions with computational work that relies on that theoretical foundation. The goal is to give students practice in how theory in this domain can be adapted and adopted in the design of innovative interactive technology. To this end, the students engage in an increasingly complex set of design exercises based on the fundamentals of discourse, and culminating in a project of the student's own design. The course focused on the concept of grounding - the processes by which humans negotiate mutually agreed-upon meanings and conventions in order to achieve basic interactive goals.