Higher Fidelity Systems for End-User Information Management


January 9, 2017


David Karger


MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)


My group develops systems to help people manage information and share it with others. We consider both text (online discussion tools) and structured data (information visualization and management applications). A guiding principle is that humans are intelligent and creative information managers who can accomplish a lot if we build systems that can accurately model and present the sophisticated thinking that people apply to their information. In this talk I’ll take a rapid tour through many of these systems, discussing common motivations and solution themes. Tackling data, I’ll describe a systems that empower people to create their own data-management tools simply by authoring HTML documents. Exhibit lets users author HTML that turns into interactive data visualizations. Mavo adds data editing and spreadsheet-style formulas that permit the construction of full-fledged applications in a single HTML document. Tackling online discussion, I’ll discuss NB, an online-education tool for discussing course content in the margins, Murmur, a system that modernizes the mailing list to address its drawbacks while preserving its great utility, and Wikum, a system that bridges between discussion forums and wikis by helping forum participants work together to build a summary of a long discussion’s main points and conclusions.