Thursday, November 30, 2006

Roberta Lamb

I am very sad to report that my colleague Roberta Lamb died recently after a brief illness. I helped bring Roberta to UCI and was very optimistic that she would make a huge contribution, in addition to her existing body of excellent work. Roberta was young and vital and her death is a tragedy for her family, colleagues, and information studies. She fearlessly tackled enormously difficult intellectual problems. Roberta's genius was to ask big, nearly imponderable questions and to ground them in lengthy precise field studies, sophisticated theorizing, and deep understandings of technology.

As a celebration of Roberta’s life I invite you to read her award-winning paper Reconceptualizing Users as Social Actors in Information Systems. This paper won the annual 2003 Best Paper Award of the MIS Quarterly, the leading journal in information systems management.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Acting with Technology

My new book co-authored with Victor Kaptelinin, Acting with Technology: Activity Theory and Interaction Design, has just been published by MIT Press.

The book has a beautiful cover with artwork from my colleague Bill Tomlinson. The image is of computer generated humans ("agents" in Bill's lingo), gathered around a digital campfire. I liked the image because of the grace of the figures and because it calls to mind Leontiev's famous vignette of the primitive hunters which you can read about in the book :)

Here is the first review of the book (that I I know of) by Clay Spinuzzi.