BRENT HECHT
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Director of Applied Science
Experiences and Devices
Microsoft
brent(dot)hecht(at)microsoft.com

Associate Professor
Human-centered AI
Spatial Computing
Northwestern University bhecht(at)northwestern.edu
Frances Searle Building 1-144

2240 Campus Rd., Evanston, IL

Lab:
People, Space, and Algorithms Research Group
Frances Searle Building 1-310

Brent J. Hecht

Dr. Brent Hecht is an associate professor at Northwestern University and Director of Applied Science in Microsoft’s Experiences and Devices division. At Northwestern, Dr. Hecht leads the People, Space and Algorithms (PSA) Research Group, whose mission is to “identify and address societal problems that are created or exacerbated by advances in computer science.” Dr. Hecht is particularly interested in understanding and mitigating the cultural, geographic, and economic biases that are reflected and reinforced by artificial intelligence systems and other computing technologies.

Quick Bio:

Dr. Hecht received a Ph.D. in computer science from Northwestern University, a Master’s degree in geography from UC Santa Barbara, and a Bachelor’s degree in computer science and geography from Macalester College. He is the recipient of a CAREER award from the U.S. National Science Foundation and has received awards for his research at top-tier publication venues in human-computer interaction, data science, and geography (e.g. ACM SIGCHI, ACM CSCW, ACM Mobile HCI, AAAI ICWSM, COSIT). At Northwestern, Dr. Hecht holds appointments in the Department of Computer Science and the School of Communication. Dr. Hecht also serves on the Executive Committee of ACM FAccT (formerly ACM FAT*), the premier publication venue for research on understanding and mitigating societal biases in artificial intelligence systems. Dr. Hecht has collaborated with Google Research, Xerox PARC, and Microsoft Research, and his work has been featured by The New York Times, the Washington Post, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, and various other TV, radio, and Internet outlets.

Dr. Hecht advises students in the Computer Science Ph.D. program and the Technology and Social Behavior (TSB) Ph.D. program.

Selected Recent Publications:

  • ACM CSCW 2019 / PACM CSCW: Li, H., Vincent, N., Tsai, J., Kaye, J., and Hecht, B. How Do People Change Their Technology Use in Protest?: Understanding “Protest Users”. CSCW 2019 / PACM Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, 2 (1). New York : ACM Press.
    PDF of Paper

  • WWW 2019 / The Web Conference 2019: Vincent, N., Hecht, B, and Sen, S. (2019) “Data Strikes”: Evaluating the Effectiveness of New Forms of Collective Action Against Technology Platforms. Proceedings of the 28th World Wide Web Conference (The Web Conference / WWW 2019).
    PDF of Paper

  • AAAI ICWSM 2019: Vincent, N., Johnson, I., Sheehan, P., and Hecht, B. (2019) Measuring the Importance of User-Generated Content to Search Engines. Proceedings of the International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (AAAI ICWSM ’19). Menlo Park, CA: AAAI Press.
    PDF of Paper

  • ACM SIGCHI 2019: Das, M., Hecht, B., and Gergle, D. (2019) The Gendered Geography of Contributions to OpenStreetMap: Complexities in Self-Focus Bias. Proceedings of the 37th Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2019). New York : ACM Press.
    PDF of Paper

  • CSCW 2018 / PACM CSCW: Miller, H., Levonian, Z., Kluver, D., Terveen, L., and Hecht, B. (2018) What I See Is What You Don't Get: Effects of Seeing Emoji Rendering Differences Across Platforms. CSCW 2018 / PACM Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, 1 (1). New York : ACM Press.
    PDF of Paper

  • CSCW 2018 / PACM CSCW: Li, H., Alarcon, B., Espinosa, S.M., and Hecht, B. (2018) Out of Site: Empowering a New Approach to Online Boycotts. CSCW 2018 / PACM Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, 1 (1). New York : ACM Press.
    PDF of Paper

  • CSCW 2018 / PACM CSCW: Foong, E., Vincent, N., Hecht, B., and Gerber, E. (2018) Women (Still) Ask For Less: Gender Differences in Wage-Setting and Occupation in an Online Labor Marketplace. CSCW 2018 / PACM Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, 1 (1). New York : ACM Press.
    PDF of Paper

  • ICWSM 2018: He, S., Lin, A.Y., Adar, E., and Hecht, B. (2018) The_Tower_of_Babel.jpg: The Diversity of Visual Encyclopedic Knowledge Across Wikipedia Language Editions. Proceedings of the International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (AAAI ICWSM ’18). Menlo Park, CA: AAAI Press.
    * Best Paper Award
    PDF of Paper | System Demo

  • WWW 2018: Lin, A.Y., Ford, J., Adar, E., and Hecht, B. (2018) VizByWiki: Mining Data Visualizations from the Web to Enrich News Articles. Proceedings of the 27th World Wide Web Conference (WWW 2018).
    PDF of Paper | Data | Presentation Video

  • ACM SIGCHI 2018: Vincent, N., Johnson, I., and Hecht, B. (2018) Examining Wikipedia With a Broader Lens: Quantifying the Value of Wikipedia’s Relationships with Other Large-Scale Online Communities. Proceedings of the 36th Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2018) . New York : ACM Press.
    * Best Paper Award (Top 1% of Submissions)
    PDF of Paper | Data and Code

  • ACM SIGCHI 2018: Kariryaa, A., Johnson, I., Schöning, J., and Hecht, B. (2018) Defining and Predicting the Localness of Volunteered Geographic Information using Ground Truth Data. Proceedings of the 36th Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2018) . New York : ACM Press.
    PDF of Paper

  • ACM SIGCHI 2018: Thebault-Spieker, J., Halfaker, A., Terveen, L., and Hecht, B. (2018) Distance and Attraction: Gravity Models for Geographic Content Production. Proceedings of the 36th Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2018) . New York : ACM Press.
    PDF of Paper

  • ACM CSCW 2018 / PACM CSCW: Thebault-Spieker, J., Kluver, D., Klein, M.A., Halfaker, A., Hecht, B., Terveen, L., and Konstan, J. (2018) Simulation Experiments on (the Absence of) Ratings Bias in Reputation Systems. CSCW 2018 / PACM Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, 1 (1). New York : ACM Press.
    PDF of Paper

  • ACM CSCW 2018 / PACM CSCW: Dillahunt, T., Wang, X., Wheeler, E., Cheng, H.F., Hecht, B., and Zhu, H. (2018) The Sharing Economy in HCI: A Systematic Literature Review. CSCW 2018 / PACM Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, 1 (1). New York : ACM Press.
    PDF of Paper | Paper Dataset

  • ACM GROUP 2018: Thebault-Spieker, J., Hecht, B., and Terveen, L. (2018) Geographic Biases are ‘Born, not Made’: Exploring Contributors’ Spatiotemporal Behavior in OpenStreetMap. The 2018 International ACM Conference on Supporting Groupwork (ACM GROUP 2018). New York : ACM Press.
    PDF of Paper

  • PACM IMWUT / UbiComp 2017: Johnson, I., Henderson, J., Perry, C., Schöning, J., and Hecht, B. (2017) Beautiful…but at What Cost? An Examination of Externalities in Geographic Vehicle Routing. Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies (PACM IMWUT / UbiComp ’17) . New York : ACM Press.
    PDF of Paper

  • AAAI ICWSM 2017: McMahon, C.*, Johnson, I.*, and Hecht, B. (2017) The Substantial Interdependence of Wikipedia and Google – A Case Study on the Relationship Between Peer Production Communities and Information Technologies. Proceedings of AAAI ICWSM 2017. Menlo Park, CA: AAAI Press.
    *Indicates equal contribution
    * Best Paper Nomination (Top 1% of Submissions)
    PDF of Paper | Code | Slides

  • AAAI ICWSM 2017: Miller, H., Kluver, D., Thebault-Spieker, J., Terveen, L., and Hecht, B. (2017) Understanding Emoji Ambiguity in Context: The Role of Text in Emoji-Related Miscommunication. Proceedings of ICWSM 2017. Menlo Park, CA: AAAI Press.
    PDF of Paper

  • ACM MobileHCI 2017: Wenig, N., Wenig, D., Ernst, S., Malaka, R., Hecht, B., and Schöning, J. Pharos: Improving Navigation Instructions on Smartwatches by Including Global Landmarks. Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services (MobileHCI 2017). New York : ACM Press.
    PDF of Paper

  • ACM TOCHI: Thebault-Spieker, J., Terveen, L., and Hecht, B. (2017) Towards a Geographic Understanding of the Sharing Economy: Systemic Biases in UberX and TaskRabbit. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI). 24 (3). ACM Press : New York, NY.
    Preprint PDF | Code

  • ACM CHI 2017: Johnson, I., McMahon, C., Schöning, J., and Hecht, B. (2017) The Effect of Population and "Structural" Biases on Social Media-based Algorithms – A Case Study in Geolocation Inference Across the Urban-Rural Spectrum. Proceedings of the 35th Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2017). New York: ACM Press.
    PDF of Paper | Slides

  • ACM CHI 2017: Lin, A.Y., Kuehl, K., Schöning, J., and Hecht, B. (2017) Understanding “Death by GPS”: A Systematic Analysis of Catastrophic Incidents Associated with Personal Navigation Technologies. Proceedings of the 35th Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2017). New York: ACM Press.
    PDF of Paper | Dataset

  • ACM CHI 2017: Colley, A.*, Thebault-Spieker, J.*, Lin, A.Y.*, Häkkilä, J., Nunes, N., Wenig, D., Kuehl, K., Fischman, B., Nisi, V., Runge, N., Degraen, D., Hecht, B.**, Schöning, J**. (2017). The Geography of Pokémon GO: Beneficial and Problematic Effects on Places and Movement. Proceedings of the 35th Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2017). New York: ACM Press.
    *Indicates co-First Authors, **Indicates co-Principal Investigators
    PDF of Paper | Dataset

  • ACM CHI 2017: Hall, A., Roberts, S., Thebault-Spieker, J., Lin, Y., Sen, S., Hecht, B., and Terveen, L. (2017) Freedom versus Standardization: Structured Data Generation in a Peer Production Community Proceedings of the 35th Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2017). New York: ACM Press.
    PDF of Paper

  • ACM IUI 2017: Sen, S., Swoap, A., Li, Q., Jackson, B., Boatman, B., Dippenaar, J., Gold, R., Ngo, M., Pujol, S., and Hecht, B. (2017) Cartograph: Unlocking Spatial Visualization Through Semantic Enhancement. Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces (IUI 2017). New York: ACM Press.
    PDF of Paper

  • ACM CSCW 2017: Lin, Y., Yu, B., Hall, A., and Hecht, B. (2017) Problematizing and Addressing the Article-as-Concept Assumption in Wikipedia. Proceedings of the 20th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW 2017). New York: ACM Press.
    PDF of Paper | Datasets | Code

  • AAAI ICWSM 2016: Miller, H., Thebault-Spieker, J., Chang, S., Johnson, I., Terveen, L., and Hecht, B. (2016) “Blissfully happy” or “ready to fight”: Varying Interpretations of Emoji. Proceedings of ICWSM 2016. Menlo Park, CA: AAAI Press.
    PDF of Paper | Blog Post | Datasets

  • ACM CHI 2016: Johnson, I., Lin, Y., Li, T., Hall, A., Halfaker, A., Schöning, J., and Hecht, B. (2016) Not at Home on the Range: Peer Production and the Urban/Rural Divide. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2016) . New York: ACM Press
    PDF of Paper | Code | Slides | Maps and Demo

  • ACM CHI 2016: Johnson, I., Sengupta, S., Schöning, J., and Hecht, B. (2016) The Geography and Importance of Localness in Geotagged Social Media. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2016). New York: ACM Press.
    PDF of Paper | Datasets | Slides

  • ACM CHI 2016: Soll, M., Naumann, P., Schöning, J., Samsonov, P., and Hecht, B. (2016). Helping Computers Understand Geographically-Bound Activity Restrictions. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2016). Short paper. New York: ACM Press. New York: ACM Press.
    PDF of Paper

  • ACM MobileHCI 2016: Wenig, D., Schöning, J., Steenbergen, A., Hecht, B., and Malaka, R. (2016). ScrollingHome: Bringing Image-based Indoor Navigation to Smartwatches. Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services (MobileHCI 2016). Short paper. New York: ACM Press.
    * Honorable Mention (Top 5% of Submissions)
    PDF of Paper

  • IJCAI 2015: Sen, S., Johnson, I., Harper, R., Mai, H., Olsen, S., Mathers, B., Vonessen, L., Wright, M., and Hecht, B. Towards Domain-Specific SR: A Case Study from Geography. Proceedings of the 24th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI ’15). Menlo Park, CA: AAAI Press.
    PDF of Paper | GeoSR Dataset

  • ACM MobileHCI 2015: Wenig, D., Schöning, J., Hecht, B., and Malaka, R. StripeMaps: Improving Map-based Pedestrian Navigation for Smartwatches. Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services (MobileHCI 2015). New York: ACM Press.
    * Best Paper Award (Top 1% of Submissions)
    PDF of Paper

  • AAAI ICWSM 2015: Warncke-Wang, M., Ranjan, V. Terveen, L., and Hecht, B. Misalignment Between Supply and Demand of Quality Content in Peer Production Communities. Proceedings of ICWSM 2015. Menlo Park, CA: AAAI Press.
    PDF of Paper

  • ACM CHI 2015: Sen, S., Ford, H., Musicant, D., Graham, M., Keyes, O., and Hecht, B. 2015. Barriers to the Localness of Volunteered Geographic Information. Proceedings of CHI 2015. New York: ACM Press.
    PDF of Paper | Geoprovenance Algorithm Code | Geoprovenance Evaluation Dataset |
    NEW: Interactive Version of Paper!
    * Honorable Mention (Top 5% of Submissions)

  • ACM CHI 2015: Samsonov, P., Tang, X., Schöning, J., Kuhn, W., and Hecht, B. 2015. You Can't Smoke Here: Towards Support for Space Usage Rules in Location-aware Technologies. Proceedings of CHI 2015. Menlo Park, CA: AAAI Press.
    PDF of Paper

  • ACM CSCW 2015: Sen, S., Lesicko, M., Giesel, M., Gold, R., Hillman, B., Naden, S., Russell, J., Wang, Z., and Hecht, B. 2015. Turkers, Scholars, "Arafat" and "Peace": Cultural Communities and Algorithmic Gold Standards. Proceedings of CSCW 2015. New York: ACM Press.
    * Best Paper Award Winner (Top 1% of Submissions)
    PDF of Paper | PluraSR200 Dataset | Semantic Relatedness Library

  • ACM CSCW 2015: Thebault-Spieker, J., Terveen, L., and Hecht, B. 2015. Avoiding the South Side and the Suburbs: The Geography of Mobile Crowdsourcing Markets. Proceedings of CSCW 2015. New York: ACM Press.
    PDF of Paper

  • ACM CSCW 2015: Warncke-Wang, M., Ayukaev, V., Hecht, B., and Terveen, L. 2015. The Success and Failure of Quality Improvement Projects in Peer Production Communities. Proceedings of CSCW 2015. New York: ACM Press.
    PDF of Paper

  • ACM SIGSPATIAL 2014: Stockx, T., Hecht, B., and Schöning, J. 2014. SubwayPS: Towards Enabling Smartphone Positioning in Underground Public Transportation Systems. Proceedings of ACM SIGSPATIAL 2014. New York: ACM Press.
    PDF of Paper

  • WikiSym 2014: Sen, S., Li, T., Hecht, B. 2014. WikiBrain: Democratizing computation on Wikipedia. Proceedings of the 10th International Symposium on Open Collaboration (OpenSym / WikiSym 2014). New York: ACM Press.
    PDF of Paper | API Website

  • AAAI ICWSM 2014: Hecht, B., Stephens, M. 2014. A Tale of Cities: Urban Biases in Volunteered Geographic Information. Proceedings of ICWSM 2014. Menlo Park, CA: AAAI Press.
    PDF of Paper | Blog Post

  • ACM DIS 2014: Schöning, J., Hecht, B., Kuhn, W. 2014. Informing Online and Mobile Map Design with the Collective Wisdom of Cartographers. Proceedings of DIS 2014. New York: ACM Press.
    PDF of Paper

  • ACM GROUP 2014: Wang, T., Harper, F. M., Hecht, B. 2014. Designing Better Location Fields in User Profiles. Proceedings of GROUP 2014. New York: ACM Press.
    PDF of Paper

  • ACM CHI 2014: Gao, T., Hullman, J., Adar, E., Hecht, B., Diakopoulos, N. 2014. NewsViews: An Automated Pipeline for Creating Custom Geovisualizations for News. Proceedings of CHI 2014. New York: ACM Press.
    PDF of Paper

  • ACM CSCW 2014: Oeldorf-Hirsch, A., Hecht, B., Morris, M., Teevan, J., Gergle, D. 2014. To Search or to Ask: The Routing of Information Needs Between Traditional Search Engines and Social Networks. Proceedings of CSCW 2014. New York: ACM Press.
    PDF of Paper