Keynote Presentations

Looking Back on 20 Years of Data Mining the Web and Forward to our AI-Powered Online Future

Kalev Leetaru
Thursday, April 4, 8:30-9:30 a.m.
Illinois Ballroom

What happens when massive computing power brings together an ever-growing cross-section of the world’s information in realtime, from news media to social media, books to academic literature, the world’s libraries to the web itself, mass machine translates all of it from more than 100 languages and transforms this immense record of humanity into a living global catalog of our planet, connecting the world’s information into a single massive ever-evolving realtime network that allows us to peer into the very soul of global society?

Today the GDELT Project is one of the largest open datasets for understanding human society, totaling more than 3.2 trillion datapoints spanning 200 years and has become a global standard used by humanitarians, NGOs, scholars, journalists and even ordinary citizens to make sense of our chaotic and rapidly evolving world. From disaster response to countering wildlife crime, epidemic early warning to food security, estimating realtime global risk to mapping the global flow of ideas and narratives, GDELT explores how we can use data to form bridges that can help build empathy and expand our own limited horizons, breaking down linguistic, geographic and cultural barriers to let us see the world through the eyes of others and even forecast the future, capturing the realtime heartbeat of the planet we call home.

From mining thousands of web pages on a single small server 23 years ago to exploring our humanity through trillions of datapoints spanning data centers in 12 countries today, we’ll take a journey through what its been like to conduct web-scale research over the past two decades, from the days when Mosaic ruled the web to today’s globalized cloud and what we’ve learned from all those studies about what makes us human. Along the way we’ll look at how traditional machine learning and statistical models transforming billions of news articles into hundreds of millions of human events, tens of billions of hyperlinks and trillions of knowledge graph entries have been joined by deep learning approaches capable of translating half a billion images totaling a quarter-trillion pixels into 300 billion datapoints recording the objects, activities, locations, words and emotions through which we see the world around us.

The ability of the emerging world of deep learning to lend structure to content that has never before been computationally explorable, on through systems capable of asking questions of our data and understanding its deeper patterns entirely on their own, we are reaching a world in which the web is increasingly becoming accessible in ways we couldn’t dream even a few years ago. Here’s what it looks like to conduct data analytics at a truly planetary scale and the incredible new insights we gain about the daily heartbeat of our global world and how our AI powered online future will help us make sense of our world in ways we could never have imagined.

What’s more important, technology or content? A modern marketer’s perspective.

Dave Kissel
Friday, April 5, 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Illinois Ballroom

Dave Kissel (UIUC ’85, Media) will challenge conventions about our future and if the stories we tell, or the technology that deliver them, will prevail. Whether your background is technology, marketing, art, media or business, you will learn about the forces that will truly define our future, and how your expertise will help shape that future.

Pre-Conference Workshops

Visual Regression Testing with BackstopJS

David Needham
Wednesday, April 3, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Lincoln Room

How do you tell if a change you made to your website has unintended side effects? Security updates should rarely result in anything changing visually, but how can you be sure?

Visual regression testing automates the comparison process by taking screenshots of two URLs and comparing them. You can view a report that highlights the differences and use the pass/fail result to make decisions.

In this workshop, we will use the BackstopJS visual regression tool locally, via Node JS, to automate visual QA. We will also learn how to scale and automate these tests across multiple sites and URLs.


  • Intro and setup
  • Visual Regression Testing
    • What is it?
    • Benefits / Limitations
  • BackstopJS
    • What is it?
    • Example demo
    • Hacking the example (pt1 and pt2)
    • Scaling example (pt1 and pt2)
    • Backstop-crawl
  • Continuous Integration
    • What is it?
    • Automating BackstopJS
  • Breakout Sessions

Just Enough Strategy: How to Redesign Your Site Without Losing Your Marbles

Lindsey Gates-Markel, Allison Ofisher, and Melinda Miller
Wednesday, April 3, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Alma Mater Room

Not every web project requires a big budget or lots of staff time. And guess what? You may not even need a redesign to help your organization meet its goals and reach the right audiences. For smaller web projects, strategic content alone makes a huge difference.

User experience and content strategy consultants from Pixo will walk you through realistic processes for wrangling your unruly site – without giving up a year of your life.

Mining the Media at Planetary Scale: Exploring Our Global World Using the Modern Cloud

Kalev Leetaru
Wednesday, April 3, 1:30-4:30 p.m.
Lincoln Room

What can many tens of billions of hyperlinks, tens of billions of words of academic literature, billions of tweets, two billion news articles, half a billion photographs, millions of books and more than a million hours of television teach us about the world we live in, from global events to the textual and visual narratives through which we see our shared planet? How can analytic tools from mass machine translation to thousand-dimension sentiment mining, textual and visual geocoding to event, narrative and relationship extraction allow us to explore content in non-traditional ways? How can deep learning approaches allow us to move beyond text to examine our increasingly visual online world? Most importantly, once we’ve used these techniques to translate a pile of text or images into trillions of data points, how do we in turn transform those numbers into analyses and visualizations and ultimately into insights and findings? From the unexpected power of the creatively applied keyword search through the capability of tools like Google’s BigQuery to uncover patterns from the chaos of petabytes, how can we leverage the capabilities of the modern cloud for workflows from the basic through the pioneering?

This workshop will examine datasets, tools and workflows for understanding our world through the eyes of the news media, from simple turnkey tools that require no technical experience on through advanced workflows that harness the full capabilities of the modern cloud, offering a behind-the-scenes look at many of the analyses from the keynote. Most of the examples will focus on GDELT’s news-related datasets, APIs and tools, but we’ll also look at how we’ve analyzed large Twitter datasets (including the Decahose), half a century of academic literature (and the issues of normalizing across thousands of publishers), books (including transforming 600 million pages of books spanning 500 years into one of the world’s most unique art galleries) and television (including how to make TV “searchable”), covering questions from a wide array of disciplines. Instead of code samples, the workshop will focus on the higher order questions of how to map complex questions onto massive datasets in creative and efficient ways that leverage the unique capabilities and characteristics of the public cloud, focusing on Google Cloud Platform. From simple exploratory analyses like comparing the dueling worlds of CNN and FOX, through aspirational questions at the heart of what makes us human like creating a map of global happiness, towards practical applications like asking whether we can forecast the economic and political stability of governments, there will be something for everyone here.

Attendees will come away with a deeper understanding of:

  • How to conduct large-scale analyses and mining of media data with a special emphasis on news content, but covering examples from social media, academic literature, books and television, among others.
  • How to translate complex questions into computational workflows ranging from simple keyword searches through deep learning approaches.
  • How to expand traditional textual assessment to incorporate visual analysis using cloud deep learning tools like Google’s Cloud Vision API, Cloud Speech API and Cloud Video API.
  • How to think about how methodologies like machine translation, sentiment analysis, geocoding, narrative coding, event and relation extraction and image codification can be used in creative ways to answer complex questions, as well as the nuances in applying them to diverse global content.
  • Lessons learned and from-the-trenches insights from applying analytic workflows at massive scale from the technical to the methodological and especially the nuances of working with global content across so many languages, sources, geographic resolutions and non-traditional modalities.
  • Approaches to managing, versioning and accessing datasets spanning trillions of data points where the underlying computational pipelines, taxonomies and inputs are constantly evolving.
  • Making massive research datasets available to global and highly diverse user communities ranging from advanced data scientists with existing mass computing resources through ordinary citizens using limited bandwidth mobile devices, creating interfaces for users including researchers, journalists, humanitarians on the ground, policymakers and citizens and the underlying technical architectures and design decisions required from simply posting terabyte JSON files in cloud storage to custom cloud-based analytic websites to tools like Google’s BigQuery platform.

Gaining Social Traction

Caitlin DeWilde
Wednesday, April 3, 1:30-4:30 p.m.
Alma Mater Room

Bring your computers to this workshop and learn how to:

  • Establish personal brand/professional pages across social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn)
  • Establish and represent business and organization pages on Google, Yelp and social sites
  • Develop a content calendar and digital marketing strategy
  • Protect your online reputation from cyberbullying and negative reviews
  • Integrate social media strategy with traditional digital marketing efforts
  • Navigate social media policies in academia and business settings

Breakout Sessions

Chatbots: The Next Online Conversation

Caitlin DeWilde
Thursday, April 4, 9:45 a.m.-10:45 a.m.
Alma Mater Room

Digital messaging (texting, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, etc) has increased worldwide nearly 70% in the last two years, and businesses now have a new technology to reach consumers: chatbots.

Chatbots, or computer programs that simulate conversation, allow businesses and brands to connect with consumers via social media messaging. Often, chatbots are designed to do their job so well, they imitate how a human would behave in having a conversation via text, or for the purposes of this lecture, Facebook Messenger.

  • Chatbots: what they are and how they work
  • Stats on social media messaging use and chatbot utilization
  • Getting started with chatbot builders
  • Creating subscriber sequences to deliver more customized content
  • Pros and cons of chatbots for brands, businesses and consumers

Building Flexible Web Apps

Dan Harmon
Thursday, April 4, 9:45-10:45 a.m.
Chancellor Ballroom

How would your app perform if you were told you needed to move it to the cloud as-is? Or if you were told that you needed to move from a Windows server to Linux to save money. How much re-writing would you need to do? Luckily there are many technologies out there that make this possible but the level of success you achieve depends on how flexible your app is. I will give some practical advice on how we shifted to .NET Core and which architectural decisions we made to enable the greatest flexibility for our app.

Navigation to the Rescue! : Tips for effectively addressing multiple audiences and lots of content

Ashley McQuaid
Thursday, April 4, 9:45-10:45 a.m.
Lincoln Room

How do you create an effective and engaging marketing experience for prospective students, while still keeping current students, staff, parents, and alumni happy? And how do you do this while making your website clean, coherent, and simple to both manage and navigate?

In this presentation, we will dive into examples from past clients to see how refreshing (or entirely restructuring!) your sitemap and creating a sitemap-based navigation scheme can improve your user's experience and maintain your website's longevity.

You will learn:

  • Best practices for structuring your website's architecture, whether you have a lot or a little time to spend
  • Sound principles for directing users around your website, including traditional navigation schemes and navigating via page content
  • How to help all kinds of audiences find what they need, when they need it, without sacrificing a coherent site structure>

Less is More: Reducing "Clutter" & Prioritizing What Matters to Unleash our Creativity and Productivity through Minimalism

Todd Spinner
Thursday, April 4, 9:45-10:45 a.m.
Quad Room

Most professionals who work with technology can have multiple roles and often coding, creation and social media can take a back burner both professionally as well as personally. We can be drowning in possessions, commitments, and tasks. Our tech work can become a burden and our content and production can suffer and burnout can occur. The list of what I want to accomplish is often overshadowed by the amount of mental, physical and professional clutter some of which is physical and some is virtual.

This program will look at ways we can focus on what truly matters and is important to us through the lenses of minimalism and essentialism. We will learn how to focus on how to figure out what matters to us, reducing our possessions, clutter, and commitments and organize what remains to build a meaningful, purpose-driven life.

Reaching a Segment of One: Collecting and Utilizing Data to Create a Personalized User Journey

Abby Bell and Kerstin Zauke
Thursday, April 4, 9:45-10:45 a.m.
Technology Room

As digital marketers, everything we do is about getting to know a prospect well enough to send customized information as if they were the only one who will be receiving that message–a segment of one.

By studying the personalized user journey, you can optimize and replicate to align with your larger audience, and continuously improve the individual user experience.

In this session, you'll learn how to utilize advanced user data concepts including online behavior, activity and interest tracking, and how to implement progressive user profiling to get a more complete picture of your user. You'll also learn how to apply that information using dynamic content distribution techniques and digital marketing automation, funneling users through a personalized journey based on the data you have gathered.

Bringing your CMS into the 21st century

Brad Wood
Thursday, April 4, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Alma Mater Room

Discuss things learned while moving from Umbraco CMS 4.9 to Apostrophe CMS which is built on NodeJS. An Overview of Apostrophe CMS and best practices when your web team consist of 2 people at a small liberal arts college.

Expanding Your Social Media Reach and Engagement with Storytelling

Melissa Kuhl and Beth Peralta
Thursday, April 4, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Chancellor Ballroom

Social media goes beyond sharing content and promoting events. In University of Illinois Extension and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, social media is also used as a storytelling venue to share what we do and why it matters to residents of Illinois and beyond. Through storytelling, communicators can reach stakeholders, customers, and the general public in a unique and engaging way, moving past the surface of selling a product to show how the organization is truly making a difference in the lives of the people it serves. Communicators can utilize storytelling through a variety of platforms and styles to reach all sorts of audiences that may be interested in their organization. In this presentation, we'll show through examples and ideas how to take your organization's storytelling to the next level, thereby engaging more customers and stakeholders in a deeper, more authentic way.

More Than Captions: Web Accessibility in Online Education

Christine Scherer
Thursday, April 4, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Lincoln Room

For staff, faculty, and administrators working in online education, web accessibility can seem like a threat, a burden, or an enigma. Stories about universities and online programs getting sued over a lack of captions on videos, for example, has made everyone aware of web accessibility. But awareness doesn't mean that everyone understands why it's important or how to implement it. In this presentation, attendees will learn about why web accessibility is important, especially in online education, and ten best practices for developing a web accessibility strategy for an online program. They'll come away with both concrete practices and high-level theories to apply to their own online learning classes and programs.

Google AMP: High-Speed Pages in Higher Ed

Ian Mullinder and Caroline Roberts
Thursday, April 4, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Quad Room

Google AMP – a framework that optimizes an existing page for mobile use and serves it from the Google AMP cache – promises to make it easier for users to access and interact with your content when they are on mobile devices.

This framework achieves major Search Engine Optimization (SEO) goals by speeding up page load times, thereby increasing user satisfaction, especially for students who are mobile-dependent. But is Google AMP a good fit for higher ed content?

In this presentation, a developer and a content strategist will present iFactory's current Google AMP projects and suggest approaches tailored to institutions of higher education.

Beyond the Basics: Unlocking Your Analytics Potential

Matthew Lewandowski
Thursday, April 4, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Technology Room

In a complex digital landscape, data can make or break you. From optimizing ad spend to knowing what to put above the pagefold of your website, digital decision making is something that every organization knows should be a focus, but few are able to get it right. In this session, Matthew Lewandowski, Digital Analytics Lead at Barkley REI, will uncover some common digital marketing missteps and illustrate how Google Analytics can help track, identify and activate an analytics strategy that can maximize your marketing efforts.

From large scale to small, this step-by-step intermediate session will show you how to elevate your organization's Google Analytics by showing you how to:

  • Analyze and optimize your conversion funnel
  • Identify your best website users and leverage them for remarketing
  • Create automated alerts to proactively monitor your web activity
  • Implement meaningful campaign tracking

Web Redesign from the Client/User Perspective

Andy Blacker, Vanessa Burgett, and Julia Nucci Kelly
Thursday, April 4, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Alma Mater Room

From understanding the needs of your audiences to creating your content curation plan, learn and discuss the process of undertaking a website redesign from the client's perspective. Three communicators from across the College of Fine and Applied Arts will share their experiences with website redesign projects. From research and analysis to developing an RFP and selecting a vendor, we'll share our issues, expectations for design, and outcomes. We'll present details about developing and launching three unique and different websites and provide data on their effectiveness.

Reusable Component Libraries: Bootstrap and Beyond

Benjamin Sweedler
Thursday, April 4, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Chancellor Ballroom

Reusable component libraries, such as Bootstrap and Material Design, can help developers build consistent UIs. But it can be difficult to decide which one to use, with so many libraries in today's landscape of frontend development.

In this talk, we will start with Bootstrap, learning what it is and what it accomplishes for an individual or team. We will examine other popular open-sourced component libraries, and compare how accessible and themeable they are. We will learn how to consider compatibility with various web frameworks. Finally, we will show how teams could go about building their own reusable component libraries.

Simplified Functional JS for the win!

Jeff Barczewski
Thursday, April 4, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Lincoln Room

Learn how embracing a functional approach with JS can dramatically improve your development process, testing, re-use, and maintenance. Develop code that is bulletproof, resilient and easy to reason about. Functional techniques can be applied in an evolutionary manner as you grow accustomed to the concepts. Anyone can start using functional techniques today, no math degree required. It just takes an open mind and a passionate teacher to get started. Jeff will explain why functional approaches are so beneficial and will show you pragmatic ways to ease into functional programming. Once you've seen the light, it will likely forever change how you approach development.

Lights, Camera, Action: Facebook LIVE

Erin Knowles and Matt Wiley
Thursday, April 4, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Quad Room

Going live on Facebook is a simple way to reach your audience and increase future engagement on your page, so why don't more organizations use it? It turns out, to consistently do it well and sustain a series takes more than just whipping out your phone and hitting "Go Live". Communicators from the University of Illinois Extension will share tips from their series "Facebook LIVE with the Horticulturists", including lessons learned and small, affordable steps you can take to increase production quality.

Don't Ignore 100 Million People: How to Make Your Content Accessible

Stephen Tidmore
Thursday, April 4, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Technology Room

It's too easy to create inaccessible content–i.e., online content that people with disabilities cannot access. At its worst, inaccessible content can get a company sued. (Just ask the 500+ organizations who were sued in 2017 for having websites that did not meet accessibility standards.) But the larger threat is in ignoring the approximately 100 million Americans who have some form of disability. Creating accessible content is easier than you think and it's a smart business decision. But mostly, it's the right thing to do.

In this fascinating dive into "accessible content design," we'll explore the principles and practices that produce accessible online experiences. Full of examples and fresh insights, this talk will help transform your inaccessible content once and for all.

Performance Optimizations for Progressive Web Apps

Chris Lorenzo
Thursday, April 4, 2:45-3:45 p.m.
Alma Mater Room

Struggling to get your website to load in less than 5 seconds on a mobile phone? You're not alone! At Comcast we've built many responsive sites and work hard at optimizing for performance. Using the latest PRPL pattern and Progressive Web API's, we provide a compelling alternative to native apps. This talk will cover why performance of your site is so important and dive into the Chrome performance tools to explain exactly how a browser loads a site and what causes things to slow down.

Lessons From the Coupon Factory: Design Systems at Scale

Mike Aparicio
Thursday, April 4, 2:45-3:45 p.m.
Chancellor Ballroom

Learn how we scaled our in-house CSS framework to a full fledged, cross-platform design system at Groupon. Everything from auditing the existing product to design tokens, documentation and implementation. A small team of designers and engineers worked together to create a robust, maintainable system that supports hundreds of product people across dozens of teams working across web, iOS and Android. You can apply these same lessons to your site or product, regardless of scale. We made plenty of mistakes so that you don't have to!

Managing Social Media Without Losing Your Mind

Meaghan Downs
Thursday, April 4, 2:45-3:45 p.m.
Lincoln Room

You don't have to be Marie Kondo to keep your social media workload organized and optimized. This session will share best practices, multi-channel planning strategies as well as online tools and time-saving hacks to stay organized and on brand without stressing over filling out spreadsheets. Whether you're Type A or the type who thrives in last-minute chaos, we'll discuss ideas for social media campaign planning and reporting that works with individual workflow styles, not against them. In this presentation, you'll learn practical tactics for daily and long-term social media management while remaining flexible to react to the next trending topic.

Learn a Candidate's True Personality in 10 Questions or Less

Patrick Delancy
Thursday, April 4, 2:45-3:45 p.m.
Quad Room

Hiring good people is hard! There are all kinds of ways to assess someone's technical skills, but when it comes to behavior and personality, we tend to rely on intuition. This session will cover some techniques for exposing a person's true personality quickly. This will include some of the best questions to ask, how to determine if a candidate actually has the skills you need, and even some of the basics of simple lie detection that anyone can do without a machine!

These skills are useful for more than just finding the right candidate or even nailing that interview for your dream job. After this session, you could be on course to improve how deep and honest all of your professional relationships are.

Monitoring the Easy Way

Daniel Barker
Thursday, April 4, 2:45-3:45 p.m.
Technology Room

Observability is a hot new buzzword that comes from Control Theory, which isn't so new or hot. We'll look at how we can get more observability into our systems using Prometheus, Jaeger, OpenTracing, and Istio. We'll walk through a demo and deployment using the Operator pattern in Kubernetes.

Offline-first apps with WebComponents

A.Mahdy AbdelAziz
Friday, April 5, 9:45 a.m.-10:45 a.m.
Humanities Room

We will explore how to boost the usability of web and mobile-web apps by implementing offline-first functionalities, it's the only way to guarantee 100% always on user experience. Low signal or no connectivity should no longer be a blocker for the user, we will discuss the available solutions for caching, in-browser database, and data replication. We will also take a look at how WC help solving those issues out of the box.

There will be a live coding demo to see how it's simple to manipulate a large data, completely offline.

Shoulders, Necks, and Wrists, Oh My! Seated Yoga for Coders & Designers

Debra Domal
Friday, April 5, 9:45 a.m.-10:45 a.m.
Chancellor Ballroom

Working smarter means making the most of your time and tools. Taking time to prevent injury can add value to your work life and your overall health and well-being. With a focus on shoulders, necks, and wrists, this session will demonstrate seated yoga postures that can be done at work or at home. We will also address the importance of proper breathing, stretching, and alignment. No previous yoga experience is required.

How Our Collaborative Discovery Informed the Design of Stanford Summer Session

Christine Coughlan
Friday, April 5, 9:45 a.m.-10:45 a.m.
Lincoln Room

Stanford's Summer Session provides current Stanford students, high schoolers and students at other universities with the opportunity to complete a summer at Stanford – getting a full experience of the coursework and college life Stanford offers.

In 2017, Summer Session and High School Summer College merged to better serve students and the institute's goals. With this merge, they needed a unified digital presence to better reflect their identity and effectively market their program.

Through a series of collaborative workshops, discussions and research, we leveraged input from students, staff and their communications team to design a compelling structure and interface to communicate with their audiences.

In this case study, we'll discuss how we designed: navigation, homepage, tuition calculator, and student gateway.

Please join Christine Coughlan, Aten's Director of Digital Strategy, as she talks about working with Stanford and how collaborative discovery exercises helped design the new

Emojis for Business - The Modern Art of Working Remotely and Asynchronously

Fred Galoso
Friday, April 5, 9:45-10:45 a.m.
Quad Room

For centuries, work has always been tightly coupled to geography. However, for employers, this has meant a limited talent pool of candidates. For employees, this has meant a limited amount of geographically close opportunities. This is changing. Distributed teams are possible thanks thanks to the Internet. However, there's a right way and a wrong way to set up distributed teams. This talk is part experience report and part guide on how to work remotely. It will cover practical and time tested tools and tips for working more effectively, even if you do work in a traditional colocated workplace.

Getting Everyone Onboard: Creating Brand Advocates

Charlotte Bauer and Annie Adams
Friday, April 5, 9:45-10:45 a.m.
Technology Room

From Welcome Guides to commemorative graduation programs and everything in between, we'll show you how to engage your team members to strengthen your brand. Involving your team in content and design development through a rebranding process provides a sense of agency that leads to unified messaging. Find out how the philosophy of why intersects with the philosophy of agency to get everyone onboard to create energetic brand advocates.

Future-Proofing Your JavaScript Framework Decision

John Riviello
Friday, April 5, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Humanities Room

Choosing a JavaScript framework is both exciting and stressful. The decision will have a large impact on both your development team and your customers for the foreseeable future, so how can you effectively decide with all of that pressure?

The best way to approach this decision is to actually take a step back and plan the architecture of your single-page web app in a way that minimizes the reliance on a web framework while still providing all the benefits of a framework.

This case study from Comcast walks through what that single-page web app architecture looks like, as well as the decision making process their web engineering teams follow when making technology decisions such as choosing a JavaScript framework, so you can successfully apply the same blueprint.

The Internet is Broken and It's Breaking Us

Jack Brighton and Safiya Noble
Friday, April 5, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Chancellor Ballroom

The utopian vision of the founders of the internet was probably never realistic. But even the most pessimistic never imagined the dystopia the internet has become. We accept invasive mass surveillance as the cost of doing business. We surrender our rights to own music, literature, and all other products of human culture, with every EULA license we click. Most of what remains of our news media system is too busy chasing the last shreds of the "people formerly known as the audience" to meaningfully report what we need to know about the world. Our social media networks have become channels for disinformation while relentlessly monopolizing and monetizing our attention. Even the integrity of our election systems is in serious question. Meanwhile, we have to work harder just to keep up with security threats, the demands of always-on communication, and the imperative to "fail faster."

This session will consider the myriad ways today's internet is comprehensively undermining human culture, ethics, law, economics, and community. We'll revisit the vision of the founders as a way of measuring how completely it has failed. We'll examine the particulars of today's dystopian internet, and discuss how they undermine and disrupt our mission as researchers, educators, and public servants. After assessing the challenges, we'll begin a conversation: Instead of accepting that today's state of technology is inevitable, how can we begin to take back control for human values?

Pleasing Google, Boosting Applications: SEO Insights for Universities

Patrick Wicker
Friday, April 5, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Lincoln Room

If you're like most universities, your website is costing you thousands of visitors every year. These lost opportunities are prospective students who might've found their way to enrollment‚ if your website wasn't essentially hidden in search engine results.

But search engine optimization (SEO) is here to save the day! And lucky for you, most universities continue to make fundamental SEO mistakes that‚ with the help of this session‚ you can easily sidestep to seize the top spots on Google search results (and attract those students you would've otherwise missed altogether).

In this fascinating, practical session, Patrick Wicker (Google-certified SEO pro) will demonstrate precisely what your school should do to optimize itself for search engines like Google.

Don't be afraid of SEO. You don't need any specialized technical knowledge to soar up the search rankings. You just need to know the changes to make to your website content and architecture.

Reusable UIs with Web Components

Cory Rylan
Friday, April 5, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Quad Room

Stop rewriting your web UIs for every JavaScript framework or library. With Web Components, we can create genuinely reusable components that will work in any front-end UI framework. In this session, we will cover the Web Component APIs and tools available to build and publish your components. We will take what we learned and use a Web Component across several popular UI frameworks like Angular, React, and Vue.

20 Tips for Effective Integration of Interns

Michelle Rome, Julia Hartman, and Andrea Pellegrini
Friday, April 5, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Technology Room

Do you have interns? Do you have stuff you want to do but don't have time for? Are you nervous about taking on an intern? Learn how the ATLAS Internship Program has helped over 250 undergraduates in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences gain hands-on technology experience in a workplace environment with over 100 unique projects and 40 different clients.

Our interns have had internships in social media, data analysis, and website development with local non-profits, University units and small businesses.

Take away best practices from a repeat client, current intern, and program leadership about structuring successful internships. This session will be interactive.

State of WebXR: What do you need to know today for building Web Mixed Reality Applications CANCELLED

Rabimba Karanjai
Friday, April 5, 1:15-2:15 p.m.
Humanities Room

The virtual world is cluttered. No other way to put it. We have VR, AR, MR, XR and more technologies and jargons than ever before. But what does it all mean for a developer? How are they relevant? Do we need to go back to learning new technologies to build on each platform, or we keep on iterating on new technologies till industry and users fix their mind on one. And why now?

In this session we will try to answer three question.

  • 1. Where all this VR,AR,MR,XR are different, or are they?
  • 2. Why now?
  • 3. And what do we need to know to build the experience

Come to the talk to learn how we at Mozilla Mixed Reality team are bridging the gap between all these technologies and bringing the power back to open web. Build your WebVR apps using aframe, build WebAR apps without markers using WebXR api's without any vendor lock-in. And how you can help, be part of the journey

The Benefits of Iterative Failure

Lauren Liss
Friday, April 5, 1:15-2:15 p.m.
Chancellor Ballroom

As design thinkers, we must focus on the process and not just the end goal. This presentation will address the benefits of creating environments that allow teams to take risks and fail; through this failure, they become more resilient, more realistic, and more accountable. In turn, their future work is more thoughtful and they have a greater ability to be nimble, collaborate, and pivot away from ineffective ideas.

The Science Behind Good Design

Drew Fast
Friday, April 5, 1:15-2:15 p.m.
Lincoln Room

Designing is all about making choices to capture an audience's attention and to get across a message. Effective design is not just pretty colors and unusual fonts, but understanding what causes people to react and decide to do something. In our increasingly visual culture, non-designers are often tasked with creating designs, but lack the confidence that they can create professional looking visuals because they "don't have a natural talent" for design. Knowing the science behind good design will improve the way you visually communicate – from slide presentations, to creating web mock-ups and making images for social media. This talk will focus on how the human brain reacts to design, ways to incorporate these theories to your creations, and where research ends and design judgment begins. After this talk you'll have the tools and confidence to experiment with design in your own projects and well as developing an eye for identifying good design.

How to make a video to convince taxpayers that your academic research is worth their tax dollars

Amy Young
Friday, April 5, 1:15-2:15 p.m.
Quad Room

Are you facing the challenge of presenting research to a general audience? Video content can be effective, but it can be time-consuming and expensive to produce.

In this presentation, we will reverse-engineer, step-by-step, some successful research and science videos.

Using examples from peer institutions, scholarly journals, social media, and popular film, you will see how the fundamental principles taught in film school can guide your decisions when designing shots, building a soundscape, and editing your materials. You will also see how a videographer would estimate a) the running time of a video and b) the types of shots designed to show the value of the research activity and to keep a viewer's interest.

We'll look at a specific case study–3D printing of living cells–and compare how the same research activity is described and shown differently in a peer-reviewed journal article, a popular science magazine, and a short video.

Who should attend:

  • People who are responsible for creating video content (writing, filming, sound recording, editing) and are looking for strategies to organize their materials.
  • People who are considering hiring a production company and want to estimate how long it may take to produce short videos.
  • Researchers who would like to convert a journal article in a video abstract, without access to professional film equipment.

Strengthening Teams through Decision-Making Frameworks

Adrian Bettridge-Wiese
Friday, April 5, 1:15-2:15 p.m.
Technology Room

Anyone who's worked in a team has experienced the challenges surrounding group decision-making. Competing priorities, mental models, and preferences can all contribute to disorganized, conflict-prone situations where all too often it's the loudest voice that carries the day. If this situation persists, it can lead to disaffected teams, low morale, and poor outcomes.

One potential solution is creating frameworks that govern how teams make decisions. Based on research about negotiation and organizational behavior, this presentation covers a simple classification system for types of decisions, some sample decision-making frameworks and their applications, and how to create and implement a framework for your own team. By the end, you should have a firm grasp of the core concepts and be able to introduce them to your teams to streamline your own decision making.