CSSH Film Screening – The Purepecha

The Purepecha: The Poorest of the Poor written, produced and directed by Cheryl Quintana Leader will be screened at the CASE Building CAS B24 at Koc University on May 26, 2011, 18:30 (6:30PM). The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with Ms. Leader.  All, especially MAVA students and students of MAVA 102 and MAVA 360 classes, are invited.

Synopsis: A young Latina girl, Stephanie Maldonado, ventures out one summer day to discover that Coachella Valley’s Duroville trailer park is home to many Purépecha, a Mesoamerican people with a proud and ancient history. She unveils the social injustice against migrant farm working families who harvest America’s fruits and vegetables in one of the wealthiest tourist destinations and provider of a billion dollar crop industry.

PhD Grant for Graphic or Industrial (Product) Designer, Koç University

The following is an announcement for a new PhD grant call, funded by KoçSistem, for Industrial (Product), Graphical or Communication Design Background.

Design Lab. Istanbul, Koc University Industrial PhD Grant  in Interaction Design

Ref number: MAVA / 2011-002
Employment: Time-limited employment
Closing date for application: 2011-05-31
Campus location: Istanbul Rumelifeneri

Koc University in Istanbul, is an expansive university with a strong focus on  interaction design. The Department of Media and Visual Arts is a research intensive environment.The research will take place within Design Lab. at the Department of Media and Visual Arts, in collaboration with the Department of Computer Science  Koc University (KU), Istanbul Rumelifeneri Campus.  The Design Lab. aims to research on future media, product  and space.

The Schools offer education and carry out research within design and computer science in close cooperation with IT industry. The development of the individual’s knowledge and ability to analyze, understand and handle different aspects of IT and interaction design is at focus. Regardless of the application, an artistic design perspective, and programming based on interactivity, are central issues.

Job Description

This PhD position, within Department of Media and Visual Arts is financed by KoçSistem in Istanbul. As a pioneering organization of the IT sector in Turkey, KoçSistem offers a full range of services for business and network applications. Over the years, KocSistem has collaborated with some of the biggest industry partners including Intel, Microsoft, SAP as well as various cross the industries such as Ford, Fiat and Arcelik.

As a PhD student you will be employed by KoçSistem and will receive a salary according to current salary agreements. A maximum of 20% of your time will be devoted to departmental duties in the Department of Media and Visual Arts, mainly teaching. The remaining time will be devoted to your own graduate studies and research within the project related to KoçSistem. You are expected to obtain a PhD within a maximum of 4 years.

Required Qualifications

Only someone who can be or already has been enrolled for PhD studies at a university can be employed at this PhD position. The requirement for being qualified for PhD studies is to have at least four years of university studies, corresponding to a Master’s degree.

Admittance to the post-graduate education will be handled in conjunction with the employment procedure. In general anyone who has graduated with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree with a major in Graphic Design, Communication Design, Industrial (Product)  Design  is eligible as graduate student in Computer Science specializing in Interactıon Design. Students with corresponding qualifications, for instance from similar programs at other universities, may also be admitted.

Special Requirements

The focus of the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree should be on interaction design. The interest in and capability of doing research work is a basic demand. A good Master’s thesis, research project’s output and/or publications with research focus can add extra value to the application.  Experience of creative practice is preferable. It is an advantage if the applicant has artistic experiences and/or graphic design skills especially conceptual design, icon design, graphical interface design.

The applicant should have proficiency and skills in writing and communicating in English. Knowing Turkish is NOTa prerequisite for this position. The start of this position is planned for September 19th, 2011.

Application Procedure

Please send following document to us:

1.      Application Form (http://gsse.ku.edu.tr/application-forms)
2.      Personal and Educational Background Information (CV)
3.      Recommendation Letters (3 for PhD)
4.      TOEFL Requirement (for those whose native language is not English)
(New Internet Based: Minimum Score 80 ; Computer Based: Minimum Score 213 ;Paper Based: Minimum Score 550)
5.      ALES scores (required for all Turkish nationals)
6.      GRE scores (required from Foreign students; optional for Turkish students)
7.      Official transcripts from all the universities attended
8.      Statement of Purpose
9.      Areas of Interest
10.   Application fee of (35 TL or 20 USD or 15 Euro) must be paid to one of the below account numbers.  Please indicate student name and ‘GSSE Yuk.Lisans’ explanation in the payment. Please include your bank receipt in your application pack.

– TL Account Details: 35 TL Application fee, Account number: 386235, Yapi Kredi Bank, Koc University Branch.
– USD Account Details: 20 USD Application fee, Yapi Kredi Bank, Koc University Branch, Swift Code: YAPITRIS, Account Number: 00540749, IBAN Code: TR500006701000000000540749
– EURO Account Details: 15 EURO Application fee, Yapi Kredi Bank, Koc University Branch, Swift Code: YAPITRIS, Account Number: 05437105, IBAN Code: TR290006701000000005437105

Promising candidates will be called for an interview before a final decision is reached on their application. The application shall preferably be sent electronically as PDF by e-mail to the address: gsse@ku.edu.tr indicating reference number on subject line in e-mail. The applicants name and the reference number (MAVA/2011-002) must be also written on the first page of the application.

You can also send your application by surface mail but we suggest you to use an e-mail application.

Address for surface mail application:
Fen Bilimleri Enstitüsü
Koç Üniversitesi, Mühendislik Fakültesi
Rumelifeneri, Sariyer
Istanbul, TURKEY 34450
212 338 1371
Fax:212 338 1395

For any question for application please contact to Oğuzhan Özcanoguzhan.ozcan@mdh.se
However application must sent electronically as PDF by e-mail to the address: gsse@ku.edu.tr, otherwise your application cannot be processed.

Getting Our Genes Back

The argument that we often hear from companies regarding the “benefits” of intellectual property regimes is that they help provide incentives for innovation by providing temporary monopoly to reap the benefits of the innovation. This was what Myriad Genetics, a company based in Salt Lake City, UTAH, argues about the patents it owns for BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic sequences, which are linked to higher hereditary risk of Breast and Ovarian cancer.  Everyone has these two genes. They are believed to work as tumor suppressors (a good thing, because they suppress cancer cells) when they function normally. However, women with certain types of mutations are at a heightened risk of contracting ovarian and breast cancer (National Cancer Institute, 2009).

Myriad Genetics holds the patents for these two genes and hence is the only company that makes tests to detect these genes. According to Myriad Genetics, without proper patent protections, they would not have found the investors to support Myriad to identify the associations between mutations that are linked to increased risk of breast or ovarian cancer.

The problem is these mutations are naturally existing phenomena. And knowing about these mutations does not really have the “new or distinctive form, quality or property” that makes it eligible for patent protection. Rather, Myriad Genetics, and many other companies that hold a patent over a great number of genes, are patenting knowledge and information (not actually patentable). Very crudely put, this is like patenting an arm or a leg, or patenting the law of gravity.

The implications for innovation are highly severe. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (2011) argues:

Because Myriad owned the patents, testing on these two genes could only take place in Myriad’s own labs – meaning that others could not develop tests on those genes, depriving women from alternative (and cheaper) tests.

The Myriad Genes also prevent other researchers from developing treatment methods without Myriad’s permission (probably in exchange for hefty fees, something not all creative geniuses can afford to pay)

In 2009, a union of breast cancer and women’s health groups, breast cancer patients, approximately 150,000 researchers filed a lawsuit against Myriad Genetics’ patents over BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations (Ray, 2009):

The lawsuit claims that patenting genetic sequences hinders the free flow of information and therefore infringes the First Amendment protecting free speech. “Genes are informational. [By] allowing a company to have a patent on the actual sequence you are restricting the free flow of information,” Tania Simoncelli, ACLU’s science advisor, told Pharmacogenomics Reporter this week.

In March 2010, the U.S. District Court found in the plaintiffs’ favor and invalidated the patents:

“It is concluded that DNA’s existence in an ‘isolated’ form alters neither this fundamental quality of DNA as it exists in the body nor the information it encodes. Therefore, the patents at issue directed to ‘isolated DNA’ containing sequences found in nature are unsustainable as a matter of law and are deemed unpatentable subject matter.”

Of course, it did not take long before Myriad filed an appeal in 2010.

Last week, the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. heard the oral arguments. The good news is that The U.S. Department of Justice is also supporting the decision by the U.S. District Court to invalidate the patents.

For more info:

Seminar at Koç University by Levent Soysal

Koç University, College of Social Sciences and Humanities Seminar Series presents:

Levent Soysal, Associate Professor (Ph.D. Harvard University)
Kadir Has University, Department of Radio, TV and Cinema

Civilizing Istanbul: City, Spectacle, and World Culture


Istanbul has come of age since the Millennium and landed itself on the world map of metropolises.  Istanbul is now the proud host of mega spectacles and banks its future(s) on the promise of culture/creative industries. In particular I focus on aestheticization and festivalization of Istanbul’s cultural landscape in the process of Istanbul as European Capital of Culture in 2010.  My animating concern is to explicate the transformation of the cultural and social topography of the city under the duress of neo-liberal re-building and globalizing desires, as it gets incorporated, yet again, into the new world culture and economy.

Time: 3:45pm
Location: Social Science Building, SOS Z 27
Tea & Coffee served 3:30pm;
Presentation begins 3:45pm

Open to All

Note to my students:
The seminar is particularly recommended for Soci360 – Political Economy of Communication and Information

Call for Papers: Special Issue on Blogging across Borders and Cultures

Call for Papers for the Special Issue on Blogging across Borders and Cultures:
International Journal of Interactive Communication Systems and Technologies (IJICST)


Since the late 1990s, Internet users have utilized blogs as one of the most ubiquitous communication tools to connect with audiences worldwide. Today blogging is firmly entrenched into the fabric of contemporary society. Versatile blogging systems provide unlimited access to web-publishing platforms that are free, preprogrammed, and easy to use.

An example of social interactive technologies application used for generating and distributing content, blogging offers people of diverse backgrounds and organizations from both public and private realms ample opportunities for communication, interaction, sharing, and collaboration.

Objective of the Special Issue

IJICST focuses on a broad spectrum of second-generation web-based interactive technologies, their applications, functions, and services. This special issue aims to provide a broad audience of academics, researchers and practitioners with a cross-disciplinary examination of blogging issues, contexts, concepts, and trends in diverse contexts and at various levels of communication.

Recommended Topics

Topics to be discussed in this special issue include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Diffusion of blogging across geographical regions and cultures
  • Impact and applications of blogging systems and technologies
  • Issues, viewpoints, and perspectives on blogging in diverse contexts and at various levels of communication
  • Theories, philosophies, visions, principles, and functionalities of blogging

Submission Guidelines

Prospective authors are invited to submit papers for this special theme issue on Blogging across Borders and Cultures. All submissions must be original and may not be under review by another publication.

INTERESTED AUTHORS SHOULD CONSULT THE JOURNAL’S GUIDELINES FOR MANUSCRIPT SUBMISSIONS at http://www.igi-global.com/Files/AuthorEditor/guidelinessubmission.pdf

All submitted papers will be reviewed on a double-blind, peer review basis. Papers must follow APA style for reference citations.

About International Journal of Interactive Communication Systems and Technologies (IJICST) The International Journal of Interactive Communication Systems and Technologies (IJICST) focuses on a broad spectrum of existing and emerging Internet-based social interaction technologies, including their applications, functions, and services. This interdisciplinary journal brings together global experts from the areas of communication science, human-computer interaction, information systems, computer science, knowledge management, business, economics, media studies, public relations, advertising, marketing, education, law, psychology, anthropology, and social work. IJICST embraces an array of theoretical and investigative approaches ranging from empirical, interpretive, historical, philosophical, critical, as well as other research perspectives and utilizes both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. In addition, this journal offers a major contribution to the existing body of knowledge on the uses and applications of current and emerging social interaction technologies.

This journal is an official publication of the Information Resources Management Association www.igi-global.com/IJICST

Editor-in-Chief: Tatyana Dumova, Point Park University
Published: Semi-Annually (both in Print and Electronic form)


The International Journal of Interactive Communication Systems and Technologies (IJICST) is published by IGI Global (formerly Idea Group Inc.), publisher of the “Information Science Reference” (formerly Idea Group Reference), “Medical Information Science Reference”, “Business Science Reference”, and “Engineering Science Reference” imprints. For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit www.igi-global.com

All submissions should be directed to the attention of:

Tatyana Dumova, Editor-in-Chief
International Journal of Interactive Communication Systems and Technologies
E-mail: tdumova@fastmail.net
Subject: IJICST Special Issue

Seminar at Koç University by Deniz Selman

Koç University, College of Social Sciences and Humanities Seminar Series presents:

Deniz Selman, Assistant Professor (Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania)
Boğaziçi University, Department of Economics

Title: “Political Knowledge and Voting Behavior”

Abstract: Political knowledge is an important factor in understanding voting behavior, particularly when voters’ policy positions conflict with those of their favored candidate. In this paper, we use the National Annenberg Election Survey (NAES) for the 2004 U.S. election to directly estimate voters’ ideological positions, candidates’ ideological positions, and voters’ knowledge of candidates’ ideological positions. We then analyze the relationship between these estimates and the individual’s vote in the 2004 presidential election. The NAES asks voters for their own stances and for the candidates’ stances on specific policy issues. Because candidates’ stances on these policies are known, the data allow us to (1) estimate voters’ knowledge levels using item response theory, and (2) simultaneously estimate the positions of voters and candidates on the same spectrum. Typically, in the empirical literature, individuals’ ideological positions are taken from self-reported placement on an ideological spectrum. Here, we use Poole and Rosenthal’s (1985, 2000) spatial model to estimate ideological positions, treating individuals’ opinions as Poole and Rosenthal treat roll-call data for legislators. This method recovers the underlying ideological space while avoiding the perception issues associated with self-placement. Assuming that voters prefer to vote for the candidate whose ideological position is closer to their own, we find that more knowledgeable individuals are far less likely to vote for the candidate farther from them. Moreover, significantly more voters vote “mistakenly” for Bush than for Kerry. Though a majority of voters have ideological positions closer to Kerry, Bush receives more votes due to this pattern of mistakes.

Location: Koç University, Main Campus SOS Z 21
Time: December 15, 2010. 16:45

Faculty Position at Media & Visual Arts Department

Koç University, Department of Media and Visual Arts, invites applications for full-time faculty positions of any rank (beginning September 2011). Qualified candidates should have a Ph.D. at the time of employment. Areas of specialization are flexible, but candidates with applied and/or research experience in the following fields are especially encouraged to apply:

* Communication/cultural studies
* Film and video
* Interaction design and visual communication design
* Animation and gaming

For full details: Job Announcement

Book on Interactive Marketing

After almost a year since we organized a workshop on Interactive Marketing, our (me and Müberra Yüksel) edited volume on advertising in interactive media is out.

The title of the book is “Değişen İletişim Ortamında Etkileşimli Pazarlama”, which can roughly be translated as “Interactive Marketing in an Evolving Communications Landscape”. The book  investigates theoretical (i.e. interactivity and simulations), practical (viral marketing, advergaming, datamining) and ethical (i.e. privacy) dimensions of interactive marketing.

We would like to extend our thanks to our contributors, Kadir Has University, Tubitak and Doğan-Egmont Publishing

Here is the list of our contributions (in order of appearance):

  1. Parlak Bir Ekran ve Üzerindeki Parmak İzleri (Lemi Baruh & Müberra Yüksel)
  2. Yeni Bir İletişim Ortamı, Yeni Bir Medya (İsmail Hakkı Polat)
  3. Etkileşim Boyutuyla Yeni Medya (Nurhan Babür Tosun)
  4. Haberlere Kliklediniz: İnternet Ortamında İçerik Yönetimi ve Habercilik (Pınar Seden Meral)
  5. Etkileşimli Pazarlama Nedir? (Tanses Gülsoy)
  6. Yeni Nesil Pazarlamanın Anatomisi (Fikret Şahin)
  7. Bir Internet Tezi (Cemil Türün)
  8. Fırsatlar Ağı: Sosyal Medyada Marka İletişimi ve Viral Pazarlama (Lemi Baruh & Ayça Kırgız)
  9. Geleceğin Öncü Mecrası Mobil Pazarlama: 4. Ekran (Melis Türkmen & Elif Tözge)
  10. Reklam Oyunlarının Pazarlama İletişiminde Oynadığı Stratejik Rol (Müberra Yüksel)
  11. Moda Sektörü ve Fiziksel Perakende (Nur Baytok)
  12. Entegre İletişim Araçları Kullanımı ve Medya Planlamasında Yaratıcılık (Bilgen Başal)
  13. Web Veri Merkezleri, Gizlilik ve Pazarlama

In addition, the book contains a short dictionary focusing on terminology used with respect to new media and interactive marketing.The dictionary was edited by Tanses Gülsoy.

To buy the book:
Değişen İletişim Ortamında Etkileşimli Pazarlama kitabını pegem.net'den satın al!