J. Blustein's Dalhousie Homepage

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Postal address
Dr. J. Blustein
Dalhousie U., Faculty of Computer Science
Goldberg CS Bldg., 6050 University Ave.
PO Box 15000 [why?]
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3H 4R2
Address in vCard format
Office (maps and directions)
Room 4203
Mona Campbell Bldg. (1459 LeMarchant St.)
Telephone ☎
(+1)(902) 494-6104
(+1)(902) 492-1517
Dalhousie University is in Mi'kma'ki, on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi'kmaq Nation.
The practice of territorial acknowledgment is one step towards reconciliation and moving towards equitable co-existence between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

Office Hours My office hours are on Tuesdays 1:00–2:30 p.m.; I am also available to meet by appointment (online and in person).

I am an Associate professor in both Dalhousie's Faculty of Computer Science and School of Information Management.  Further details of my academic appointment are in the other information section, below.
Because the e-mail service for @cs.dal.ca and @dal.ca addresses is not always completely reliable I am likely to respond from an address using @dalprofs.org instead.

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Research Interests

I am an active researcher.  My overall goal is to help people find and use information more effectively.  I believe this goal can best be achieved through interdisciplinary and collaborative research.  Much of my research is conducted under the mantle of the HAIKU research group.

A searchable version of my bibliography is in the collection of links to research resources I maintain primarily for graduate students.

My research is funded by CFI, NSERC, and SSHRC.

Selected Publications

In addition to my record in Dalhousie's institutional repository, a list of some selected publications (many with abstracts) is available.

My ORCID ID is 0000-0003-4347-054X; I have an author page at Google Scholar and an author page at ResearchGate.

Research Areas

My major research areas are summarized by the fields below:

Text which does not form a single sequence and which may be read in various orders …
(Simpson & Weiner, 1993, in the OED Additions Series)
Human-Computer Interaction
Understanding how people use computer technology, to develop tools that fit users rather than tools that users must contort to fit
Web science
What do people and communities want from [the technology of] the Web
(Shneiderman, 2007 in CACM, DOI:10.1145/1247001.1247022)
Digital Libraries
A reconceptualisation of that cornerstone of civilisation, The Library

Specifically the following topics:

Hypertext in the wild: Technology-enabled Learning (esp. annotation and text analytics)
Supporting expert readers and learners by understanding their needs, and building suitable tools to support their activities
Building on open electronic resources to create tools that will enable users to make more, and more persistent, knowledge from existing texts
Sensemaking is the process of searching for a representation and encoding data in that representation to answer task-specific questions.
(Russell et al., 1993 in INTERCHI'93, DOI:10.1145/169059.169209)
Touch Archive
A curated collection of non-textual objects, from cultural artefacts to computer files
Information Seeking
… a variety of behaviors [sic] seemingly motivated by the recognition of missing information. … information seeking is typically defined strictly in terms of active and intentional behavior…
(Case, 2007, p. 81, Looking for Information: A Survey of Research on Information Seeking, Needs, and Behavior[sic], 2e, ISBN 978-0-12-369430-0)
Privacy (especially in Health Records)
Using privacy-by-design to create communities of trust and collaboration to produce high efficiency, harmonization and linkage of datasets

Potential Graduate Students/Research Assistants

Please see the Graduate section (below) for topic suggestions, answers to frequently asked questions, and more.  I do not do research in data mining (except possibly specialised user interfaces).

Selected Publications

In addition to my record in Dalhousie's institutional repository, a list of some selected publications (many with abstracts) is available.

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For details about all of my courses see my courses webpage.

A list of topics I can use books about is in a webpage just for book reps.

Course Information for 2018/2019

This Winter (Jan.Apr. 2019) I am teaching CSCI 1107 (Social Computing) and CSCI 6606 (Human-Factors in Online Information Systems).

Most course materials, and all announcements, for my courses should be available for registered students from the dal.brightspace.com website.

Lecture Notes, etc.

My courses webpage has information about all of the courses I teach.

I also keep a collection of material for teaching (forms, slides, notes, etc.) for a variety of courses.

Some of the materials for my current classes is available to my students through Dal's Brightspace and the FCS's portal websites.

Office Hours

Office Hours I have office hours on Tue. 1:002:30 p.m.; I am also available to meet by appointment (online and in person).  My office is in Room 4023 of the Mona Campbell Building (maps and directions).

Undergraduate Advising

To make an appointment with an advisor or to ask questions about advising please send an e-mail message to <undergrad@cs.dal.ca>.

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Graduate students …

please see

office hours  I have office hours on Tue. 1:002:30 p.m.; I am also available to meet by appointment (online and in person).  My office is in Room 4023 of the Mona Campbell Building (maps and directions).

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Other Information

is four parts: about me, other resources, for more …, and about this document.

About Me

How I pronounce my surname

I pronounce my family name as blustin in the International Phonetic Alphabet.  That sounds like this sound file.


As a high school student I was much more successful in humanities courses (Literature, History and Philosophy) than the Sciences (Mathematics, Physics, etc.) but because I found the way the empirical sciences explained the world enticing, and the experience I had working with researchers at the Weizmann Institute, I enrolled in biochemistry at university.  Three summers working in physiology and genetics laboratories helped me decide that my talents lay elsewhere.  I began studying computer science and philosophy but later focused my attention solely on CS.  As a tutor, and later as an instructor, I discovered the joy of teaching — of being a part of someone's learning.

My masters supervisor (Bob Webber) introduced me to hypertext and cyberpunk literature; and I introduced him to the then nascent World Wide Web.  We began a lengthy investigation into how to help people to find and use information that is the basis of my research mission.  I began my PhD studies in Computer Science under the supervision of the late Jean Tague-Sutcliffe (then the Dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Western Ontario).  Mark Kinnucan, a professor in GSLIS, introduced me to the cognitive aspects of human-computer interaction just as Jean introduced me to serious experimental design and statistical analysis.

My doctoral thesis was about developing and testing methods for automatically converting lengthy scholarly texts into forms that are quick to read and understand.  In the last phases of that research it became apparent to me just how essential individual differences and interface aspects were to the effectiveness of such methods.  The way I approach my goal of helping people to find and use information continues to be deeply embedded in hypertext and, since the end of my doctoral work, has involved studies of human-computer interaction.

For further information about my research and other activities please see my homepage at <URL: https://web.cs.dal.ca/~jamie> or my research group's webpage at <URL:https://web.cs.dal.ca/~jamie/HAIKU>.  Also, Claus Atzenbeck published an interview with me in 2015 (Claus Atzenbeck. 2015. Interview with Jamie Blustein. SIGWEB Newsletter Autumn 2015.  DOI:10.1145/2833219.2833220).

Academic Appointment

I am an associate professor in Dalhousie University's Faculty of Computer Science and hold a cross-appointment in the School of Information Management (in the Faculty of Management).  I became an associate professor (with tenure) effective July 2007.  I have been a faculty member in Computer Science (and Graduate Studies) at Dalhousie since August 2000.  I joined the Faculty of Management in 2005.


My weekday schedule is no longer on the WWW.

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Other Resources

Hypertext Collection

I keep a mini-website of information for, and about, the hypertext community.

For Proceedings Chairs

I was proceedings chair for ACM Hypertext in 2002.  I have prepared some notes to help future proceedings chairs and kept a copy of all of the instructions, etc. that were used for that conference.

General Teaching Materials

My collection of material for teaching (forms, slides, notes, etc.) for a variety of courses is available.

For more …

please see


Sections: address, research, teaching, grad students, other.

Document version
Created on 15 Feb. 2001 by J. Blustein.
Last updated on 04 February 2019 by J. Blustein.
Image credits
Main divider image courtesy of Travis Beckham's squidfingers;
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Final dividers courtesy of the webweaver.nu website;
Map icon courtesy of, and copyright 2011 by, WebIconSet.com.
Office Hours icon is a variation of an illustration by Anoshkin.
Modesto Text Light typeface used in headings provided by OnlineWebFonts.COM under CC BY 3.0 [link to license].

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