Norman Makoto Su

Mug shot of Norman.


Room 261
Informatics East
919 E. 10th Street
Bloomington, IN 47408

+1 (812) 855-1760

I am an assistant professor in the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University Bloomington. At IUB, I count myself lucky to be one of the troublemakers in the Human Computer Interaction Design (HCI/d) group. I am also an affiliated faculty member in the Institute of Software Research at the University of California, Irvine. Before, I did a postdoc at University College Dublin, and my PhD at the University of California, Irvine.

I study our relationship with technology and how this relationship has and can be changed. In particular, I work to understand how different subcultures have reconciled themselves with our present age, an age where digital technology is nearly inescapable. I believe we can learn a lot by studying, designing for, or even provoking both mainstream cultures and niche communities. I’ve studied a wide range of “users”: from corporate nomadic workers and knowledge management practitioners to hardcore video gamers and Irish traditional musicians. Most recently, I am investigating the confluence between traditional/authentic practices and technology.

Academically, my interests lie in human–computer interaction (HCI), computer–supported cooperative work (CSCW), ubiquitous computing, organizational/management science, and science & technology studies (STS). Methodologically, I am an opportunistic researcher. I observe, interview, critique, theorize, design, develop, and evaluate in my studies.

Selected publications

Norman Makoto Su and Bryan Duggan. (2014). TuneTracker: Tensions in the Surveillance of Traditional Music. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS’14), Vancouver, BC, Canada, 845-854. New York: ACM. (Honorable Mention)

Norman Makoto Su, Hiroko N. Wilensky and David F. Redmiles. (2012). Doing Business with Theory: Communities of Practice in Knowledge Management. Computer-Supported Collaborative Work, 21(2-3), 111-162.

Norman Makoto Su. (2010). Street Fighter IV: Braggadocio Off and On-Line. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW’10), Savannah, Georgia, USA, 361-370. New York: ACM. (Best Paper Nominee)

Interested in research?

I’m always looking to do research with motivated undergrads and grad students. If you’re interested in technology and the people that use it, send me an email to schedule a meeting.

News and Updates

April 2016: A paper with Erik addressing authenticity and technology via the dour Kierkegaard to be presented at DIS 2016! I’m also happy to have worked with my wonderful PhD student, EunJeong Cheon, on an Alt.HRI paper arguing why we need to think about and question the ingrained values of roboticists.

November 2015: A nice article spearheaded with Pascale, Miloš, Bonnie, and Hamid on the ethics of self-driving vehicles has appeared in ISTAS.

March 2015: The fantastic Lulu Wang and I have a CHI paper on the transformative role of mobiles in our conversations at Irish pubs.

October 2014: Ashley Tan presented a nice paper at DTRS we wrote with Eli on the rhetoric of industrial design and its relation to sustainability.

June 2014: A fun paper with Leslie S. Liu and Amanda Lazar at UW analyzing the discourse of healthcare robots has been accepted to NordiCHI.

May 2014: My DIS paper on TuneTracker with Bryan Duggan at DIT won honorable mention!

August 2013: I’m really excited to announce TuneTracker, a software system that discerns the changing repertoire of an Irish traditional music (“jam”) session. It’s running in The Cobblestone pub.

April 2013: Paper on traditional musicians to be published in ECSCW 2013.