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Semantic Software Lab
Concordia University
Montréal, Canada

CSE Seminar Talk, Dr. Stephann Makri, "Coming Across Information Serendipitously: An Empirical Study", Concordia University, Montréal

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2012-05-01 11:00
2012-05-01 12:00

Date & Place

May 1st, 2012, 11am-12noon, Concordia University, Montréal, SGW Campus, EV3.309


We wanted to gain a detailed empirical understanding of how
researchers come across information serendipitously, grounded in
real-world examples. To gain this understanding, we asked 28
researchers from a broad cross-section of disciplines to discuss in
detail memorable examples of coming across information serendipitously
from their research or everyday life. We found that although the
examples provided were varied, they shared common elements
(specifically, they involved a mix of unexpectedness and insight and
led to a valuable, unanticipated outcome). These elements form the
core of 1) a descriptive model of serendipity and 2) a framework for
subjectively classifying whether or not a particular experience might
be considered serendipitous and, if so, how serendipitous. In this
talk, we discuss this model and framework and the implications of our
findings on the design of interactive systems.


Dr. Stephann Makri is a Research Associate at University College
London Interaction Centre and is conducting research as part of a
£1.87m UK Research Council funded project (SerenA: Chance Encounters
in the Space of Ideas) which aims to understand how people come across
information 'serendipitously' and to design ubiquitous computing
systems based on this understanding.