Gregorio Convertino
Principal User Researcher at Informatica Corporation
Email: gconvertino AT gmail DOT com
Twitter: AT gconvertino

Professional Projects



Q&A analytics and mixed-initiative tools for customer care

The project, at Xerox Research Centre Europe, involved researchers from HCI and Machine Learning and focused on modeling process, content, and people variables from large-scale Q&A sites, such as the stackexchange sites. The project moved from analytics work to the development of a mixed-initiative user interface for customer care, or helpdesk services, at Xerox, i.e., a dashboard for a crowd manager who works between a Q&A crowd and helpdesk operators. I managed the project while excellent contributions were made by my collaborators Tiziano Piccardi, Massimo Zancanaro, Cedric Archambeau, Ben Hanrahan, Guillaume Bouchard, and Ji Wang.

Innovation Cockpit

Innovation Cockpit is a dashboard that augments current Idea Management Systems (IMS). IMS allow people in business organizations or local geographic communities to generate, share, judge, refine, and select ideas as part of a grassroots process. However, a class of users that lacks adequate support in current IMS are the facilitators. Their role is critical because they help the best ideas to emerge and grow, while balancing the judgments of the crowd with those of the managers or leaders in the community. In this project (conducted both at PARC and XRCE), Marcos Baez, Arturo Montragon, Guillaume Bouchard, Cedric Archambeau and I built and evaluated a dashboard (Innovation Cockpit) that supports facilitators in making more efficient and effective decisions in conditions where the selection and judgment become prohibitively lengthy and time consuming.

Mail2Wiki and Mail2Tag

Mail2Wiki. Corporate wikis are affected by poor adoption rates. The high interaction costs required to share, organize and maintain information on current wikis are limiting broader adoption. To address this problem our research team at PARC (with our colleagues at XRCE) has buit two research prototypes.
    • An email plugin (MS Outlook) that allows knowledge workers to easily feed new content into their wiki sites directly from the email client (see Hanarahan et al. 2011).
    • A a wiki plugin (MediaWiki) that allows wiki curators to update and organize the content shared on the wikis via a combination of machine-based functions and human input on interactive visualizations (see Kong et al. 2011). 
Mail2Tag. I have worked with Les Nelson, Ed Chi, and Rowan Nairn on the design and evaluation of Mail2Tag, a corporate blog developed and deployed at PARC. It supports sharing directly via email: workers define and use tagging keywords as email addresses. It supports lightweight collaboration and builds on current email practices in the enterprise. Also, it makes the routing of information across the organization smarter (less noisy) via recommendation functions.

Wikipedia and Twitter analytics

With Drs. Suh, Hong, Chi, Pirolli I have been analyzing relevant patterns in the behaviors of Wikipedia editors or Twitter users. These studies are aimed at understanding and modeling how these uniquely large online communities function and how web 2.0 tools can best support them. For example, for Wikipedia, we found a drastic drop in the growth of the population of Wikipedia editors after mid-late 2007. We also found a progressive increase in the rate of reverts of new edits and a growing rates of reverts to newcomers' contributions. These findings, which suggest greater resistance to new content and newcomers, were published at WikiSym 2009 and received the attention of various news media via reports provided by Dr. Ed Chi, the team leader (New York Times 23/04/2010 and 24/Aug/2009, New Scientist 4/Aug/2009, Guardian 12/Aug/2009, Time 28/Sep/2009, The Wall Street Journal 23/Nov/2009).

Collective Intelligence in Organizations

With other researchers, such as Antonietta Grasso, Ed Chi, Giorgio De Michelis, David Millen, Joan DiMicco, I have been leading an international research effort on novel social media technologies for supporting 'Collective Intelligence in Organizations' e.g., wikis, blogs, social networks designed for knowledge workers in organizations,  (see We organized and run two workshops at two premiere international conferences in CSCW research (ACM CSCW 2010 and ACM Group 2010) with top scholars in academia and industry. In 2011, I will co-edit of a special issue for the Journal of CSCW.

 PhD  Research

My PhD research at Penn State with Drs. Carroll (advisor) and Rosson (co-advosor) has focused on developing experimental methods for studying (and enhancing) collaborative tools for supporting activity awareness and knowledge sharing (common ground building) in computer-supported work groups.
    • My studies of activity awareness have been reported in various publication venues: NordiCHI 2004 (paper and demo), a 2006 paper in the journal ‘Interacting with Computers’, a 2011 chapter of a handbook on research methods (MIT Press).
    • My studies of common ground and geo-collaborative prototypes have been reported in various publication venues: ACM CHI 2009, ACM CHI 2008, ISCRAM 2008, ACM Group 2007, ISCRAM 2007, HCII 2007, and a journal paper is to appear.
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