BBL Speaker Series

Join us each Thursday during the fall and spring semesters as we present interesting speakers on topics ranging from current areas of interest in HCI, software demos/reviews, study design, proposed research topics and more. The BBL is the one hour a week where we all come together and provide HCIL members the opportunity to build collaborations, increase awareness of each other’s activities, and generally just have a bit of fun together.

When:  Every Thursday during the semester from 12:30pm – 1:30pm ET
Where: Varies

If you would like to give (or suggest) a future BBL talk, send email to HCIL Director Jessica Vitak ( with your proposed talk title, a brief abstract, and you bio.

Miss a talk that you were interested in? Check our YouTube channel to see if it was recorded. Most are, some are not; based on permissions from the speakers.

Fall 2021 Semester

Date: Thursday, September 16, 2021
Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm ET

Talk Title: Where NLP meets people
Speaker: Hal Daumé III, Professor, Computer Science Department, University of Maryland

Location: HBK2119 and on Zoom
Zoom registration: Click here to register

Abstract: Although natural language processing is about language and language is about people, a lot of research in this space in the past has abstracted away the “people” part. In this talk, I’ll briefly summarize some recent past work on bringing “people” back in, focusing on two pillars: (1) language systems that interact with people, and (2) addressing potential harms of language systems on stakeholder populations. Mostly I’ll talk about upcoming/ongoing projects, also following these two pillars, in settings like computational models of stereotyping, designing technology for content moderation, and interactive summarization.

Bio: Hal Daumé III is a Perotto Professor in Computer Science at the University of Maryland, College Park; he also spends time at Microsoft Research, New York City. He holds joint appointments in UMIACS and Language Science. For more information, see his website:

Date: Thursday, September 9, 2021
Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm ET

Talk Title: Communities, Computing & the Carolinas
Speaker: Tammy Clegg, Associate Professor, College of Information Studies, University of Maryland

Location: HBK2119 and on Zoom
Zoom registration: Click here to register

Abstract: Recently, I was invited to give a keynote talk at the ACM International Computing Education Research Conference. After putting this talk together, I wanted to share it with my home research community as it included personal reflections on how my own approach to learning and HCI has been shaped by my early experiences in CS. In this talk I will trace my own entree into Computer Science as a woman of color in North Carolina, sharing ways community experiences played pivotal roles. More broadly, I will share research insights from my research that illustrate the pivotal role of communities for STEM learning and that point to ways to mobilize communities to support such learning. Lastly, I will share some examples of STEM and computing learning environments that draw upon inherent characteristics of communities to promote life-relevant STEM learning.

Bio: Tamara Clegg is an associate professor in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland, where she co-directs the Youth eXperience (YX) Lab. She received her Ph.D. from Georgia Tech’s College of Computing and her B.S. in Computer Science from North Carolina State University. Tamara’s work focuses on designing technology (e.g., social media, mobile apps, e-textiles, community displays) to support life-relevant learning where learners, particularly those from underrepresented groups in science, engage in science in the context of achieving personally relevant goals. She seeks to understand ways such learning environments and technologies support scientific disposition development. Tamara’s work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Institute of Museum and Library Studies, and Google.

Date: Thursday, September 2, 2021
Time: 12:30-1:30pm
Location: iSchool Commons (HBK 0300)

Details: Join us for our welcome back to campus event. We’ll do introductions, catch up with lab members and their research, and have pizza. We’ll also have former HCIL director Niklas Elmqvist officially pass the torch (er, hockey stick) to incoming director Jessica Vitak. The event will be held in the iSchool Commons to give us more space to spread out.

Past BBL Events

Spring 2021 Semester

Fall 2020 Semester