Special Presentation_Designing to Support Strong Tie Relationships_March 19th

Designing to Support Strong Tie Relationships

by: Svetlana “Lana” Yarosh

What do the relationships between childhood best friends, parents and children, and A.A. home group members have in common? These are all examples of “strong tiesʺ — types of connections that are key to reducing loneliness, providing a support network, and growing together as individuals. My research focuses on using technology to support such strong-tie relationships, and I present three examples from my personal work. First, after endeavoring to understand the needs of parents and children who live apart, I designed and built the ShareTable to address some of the challenges they face. Second, I investigated technological support for remote play between a child and a remote partner, such as a best friend who has moved away. Third, I examined the opportunities and challenges in using technology to support strong-tie relationships among those recovering from addiction and alcoholism. I’ll discuss my new and ongoing work at University of Minnesota inspired by each of these three contexts.


Svetlana “Lana” Yarosh is an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science & Engineering Department at University of Minnesota. She has two Bachelors of Science from University of Maryland (in Computer Science and Psychology), a Ph.D. in Human-Centered Computing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and two years of industry research experience with AT&T Labs. Her research falls primarily in the area of Human-Computer Interaction, with a focus on Social Computing and Child-Computer Interaction. She designs systems that enhance strong-tie social relationships to create stronger families, support individual health and wellbeing, and provide a stage for personal and community growth. Her work has been featured on CNN, has won multiple innovation competitions and best paper awards, and has been honored with numerous grants and scholarships.

When: Wednesdays from 1:30-2:30 pm
Where: SUR 2746.

All are welcome to attend!