Just returned from UbiComp in Beijing. I co-organized the workshop Research in the large together with Henriette Cramer, Frank Bentley, and David Ayman Shamma.
The workshop was a followup on the workshop with the same title from last year. The workshop spurred some really interesting discussions, and most strikingly to me was how this year we were talking more about difficulties and problems, from previous year. Could be that you do not remember negative stuff as well as positive but, that was my impression. Also interesting was that a large part of the discussion was that in order to understand studies conducted in the large, you must combine them with studies in the small – i.e. small scale qualitative studies to investigate and triangulate with your findings in the large. This discussion was largely, if at all, left out last year.
Beijing also seemed to have become much richer than when I was there in 2008. It was cleaner, people more well dressed, and it was impossible to get a cab on a friday night as everyone was taking them. It is definitely an up and coming economy as they say, and I’m looking forward to see what they do with their new found wealth and increasing living standards. I also hope that it quickly reaches the country side as well.
Now it is back to thesis cranking.