5 October 2007

Creativity Support Tools: Accelerating Discovery & Innovation
Dr. Ben Shneiderman
Professor and Founding Director of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory
Department of Computer Science, University of Maryland
Institute of Cognitive Science Colloquium
12:00 noon
ICS Conference Room,
MUEN Psychology Blding D430/428

Creativity Support Tools is a research topic with high risk but potentially very high payoff. The goal is to develop improved software and user interfaces that empower diverse users in the sciences and arts to go beyond productivity and be more creative. Potential users include a combination of software and other engineers, diverse scientists, product and graphic designers, and architects, as well as writers, poets, musicians, new media artists, and many others.  
Enhanced interfaces could enable more effective searching of intellectual resources, improved collaboration among teams, and more rapid discovery processes. These advanced interfaces should also provide potent support in goal setting, speedier exploration of alternatives, improved understanding through visualization, and better dissemination of results (demos will be shown). For creative endeavors that require composition of novel artifacts (computer programs, engineering diagrams, symphonies, animations, artwork), enhanced interfaces could facilitate rapid exploration of alternatives, prevent unproductive choices, and enable easy backtracking.
This talk provides a framework for systematic study of creativity. Two key issues are (1) Formulation of guidelines for design of creativity support tools (2) Novel research methods to assess creativity support tools.