All posts by Andrew Kun

Introducing the 2017 IRES team

We are pleased to introduce the six students who will participate in the 2017 HCI in Ubicomp IRES program. The program is a collaborative effort between Andrew Kun of UNH and Orit Shaer of Wellesley College, and it is funded by the National Science Foundation, Office of International Science and Engineering (OISE). We are grateful for the support.

This year we received a number of exceptionally strong applications. After careful deliberation, we selected the six students listed below to participate in the program. This summer three of them will conduct research at the HCILab at the University of Stuttgart under the supervision of Albrecht Schmidt, and three will work at the University of Oldenburg under the supervision of Susanne Boll. Congratulations to all six! We are looking forward to a productive and fun summer.

Lauren Futami is a junior majoring in Media Arts and Sciences at Wellesley College. She is greatly interested in human computer interaction, product design, and video production. She is also excited to participate in research to discover how large displays and augmented reality can combine to engage people in new learning techniques.

Dana Hsiao is a senior at Wellesley College majoring in Computer Science. She is excited about the potential that Augmented and Virtual Reality have in both video games and practical pursuits. She is also interested in the processes and methods of computer security.

Maleah Maxie is a junior at Wellesley College. She is majoring in Cognitive & Linguistic Sciences and Music. Next year, she will be studying the effectiveness of digital technology in the classroom. She is interested in the safety implications of user interface design in autonomous vehicles and other technology critical to our society’s infrastructure.

Calvin Liang is a master’s student in Human Factors at Tufts University where he also earned his B.S. in Engineering Psychology. He currently conducts Brain-Computer Interaction research under Professor Rob Jacob. Calvin is most interested in using technology as a way to optimize the human experience and hopes to pursue a PhD in HCI in the future. In his free time, he enjoys swimming, reading, and listening to podcasts.

Michelle Quin is a sophomore at Wellesley College double majoring in Media Arts & Sciences and English. She is currently focusing on HCI and Front-End Web Development, and will be studying Computer Science with an emphasis on Machine Learning at the University of Oxford her junior year. Michelle hopes to go into HCI graduate studies in the future and is interested in working to make user interfaces more intuitive as well as reflective of today’s diverse society.

Midori Yang is a sophomore at Wellesley College majoring in Media Arts and Sciences. She currently works at the college’s HCI lab designing applications for large touchscreen surfaces, but wants to branch out into interactive design for mixed/virtual reality. She is interested in designing interfaces that can be used to facilitate digital design experiences for non-technological artists.

Announcement: Sean Smith talk on April 20, 2017

The Internet of Risky Things: Trusting the
Devices That
Surround Us

Sean Smith

2 PM, Thursday, April 20, 2017
Location: IOL Training Room
Please register.

Abstract. The coming “Internet of Things (IoT)” distributes computational devices massively in almost any axis imaginable and connects them intimately to previously non-cyber aspects of human life. If we build this new Internet the way we built the current one, we are heading for trouble: the paradigms protecting the current Internet break down when devices become too long-lived, too cheap, too tightly tied to physical life, too invisible, and too many.

This talk explores risks of IoT to security, privacy, and society—and considers some ways to mitigate them.

Bio. Professor Sean Smith has been working in information security—attacks and defenses, for industry and government—since before the web. Former staff member at Los Alamos National Laboratory and designer of security architecture at IBM, he’s a Professor at Dartmouth and now directs its Institute for Security, Technology, and Society, investigating how to build trustworthy systems in the real world.

Announcement: Orit Shaer talk on March 30, 2017

Designing multi-device environments to enhance collaborative decision making

Orit Shaer

12:30 PM, Thursday, March 30, 2016
Location: IOL Training Room
Please register.

Abstract. Large multitouch displays are becoming increasingly available, offering the promise of enhancing colocated collaboration by enabling multiple users to manipulate information using natural interactions such as touch and gestures. Combining a number of multi-touch displays, large and small, facilitates the development of interactive spaces where users can move freely across tasks and working styles.

However, the availability of these exciting devices is not enough to design effective collaborative environments. We also need a deep understanding of how different design characteristics of the environment affect users’ ability to collaborate. To date, little work has examined co-located collaboration in multi-device environments that involve large-scale displays. We are leveraging infrastructure at Wellesley College, consisting of a large-scale interactive tabletop surface and data wall to investigate co-located collaboration in medium-size teams of 8, working on decision-making tasks. To gain deep understanding of individual and group behaviors while using the collaborative environment, we augment traditional measures such as completion time, performance, user satisfaction, and NASA TLX with new computational methods for objective real-time measurements that combine input from multiple eye trackers with logging of user actions.

Bio. Orit Shaer is the Class of 1966 Associate Professor of Computer Science and co-director of the Media Arts and Sciences Program at Wellesley College. She found and directs the Wellesley College Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Lab. Her research focuses on next generation user interfaces including virtual and augmented reality, tangible, gestural, tactile, and multi touch interaction. Current projects funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and by industry grants include the design and evaluation of smart environments for collaborative decision-making, the design and evaluation of novel interactive visualizations for personal genomics, the development of computational tools for enhancing learning and innovation in bio-design, and the conceptualization and prototyping of interactive STEM exhibits for discovery museums. Shaer received her PhD and MSc in Computer Science from Tufts University. She has been a research fellow in the Design Machine Group at the University of Washington and in the University College London Interaction Center.

Dr Shaer is a recipient of several NSF and industry awards including the prestigious NSF CAREER Award, Agilent Technologies Research Award, and Google App Engine Education Award. At Wellesley she was awarded the Pinanski Prize for Excellent Teaching. Dr Shaer has served on dozens of program committees, editorial boards, and review panels, including NSF division of Computers in Science and Engineering, ACM CHI, CSCW, UIST, and TEI conferences, and the editorial board of Foundations and Trends in Human Computer Interaction. She currently serves as co-Program Chair for ACM TEI 2017. She chaired the ACM conference on Interactive Surfaces and Tabletops (2012).

Thanks UNH IRES cohort of 2016!

I received a nice hand-made card from the UNH IRES cohort of 2016. The students express their thanks to Kelly Shaw of the UNH CEPS Business Services, and Patty Cook at University Travel. Kelly was in charge of paperwork for student stipends, while Patty helped with travel schedules. It’s really nice to receive a card like this – we would like to thank the students for representing us so well in Germany!

2016 UNH IRES student research – part 2

In its third and final year, the UNH International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) program has selected eight students to conduct research in the HCI Lab at the University of Stuttgart, under the supervision of my colleague Albrecht Schmidt. The UNH IRES program is funded by the National Science Foundation, Office of International and Integrative Activities, and we are grateful for their support. The eight students were each assigned to a group within the HCI Lab and participated in the research activities of that group.

I asked each of the students to write a one-paragraph report on their summer experience in Stuttgart, focusing on their research, and on their cultural experience. This is the second installment of these brief reports, where we look at some of the research conducted by the students. (You can see the first installment here.)

Natalie Warren worked EEG recording devices:

Learning about EEG during the past two months under the supervision of Valentin and Jakob has been very rewarding. I’ve learned a huge amount about signal processing, experiment design, MATLAB, coding stimulus presentations, and brain activity, not to mention using EEG recording systems! We also got to put our knowledge to use early in the program by measuring electrical activity generated by the eye movement of some of our colleagues (like Anna, pictured here).

Whitney Fahnbulleh worked on augmenting human memory:

This summer I have been developing a photo gallery application for the “recall” project, a project that explores ways to augment human memory. I have been implementing various ways users can interact with the gallery through touch gestures, mid-air gestures, speech recognition, and keyboard input. My end goal for this project is to flesh out the user interface design and run user studies on the application. I have learned so much about computer vision this summer, and I look forward to working on future projects for recall.

Aditi Joshi worked on visualizing uncertainty:

For the past two months, I have been working on designing and implementing a study investigating uncertainty visualizations. In the future, the amount of uncertain information that we will have access to will increase and often they will have conflicting information. With this study, we are trying to understand how people aggregate uncertainty information so we can implement these techniques in future technologies. In this picture Anna is participating in the study and providing us with some great data.

Donovan O.A. Toure how the realism of virtual faces affects the human observer:

This summer, I worked on the perception of computer generated/virtual faces within the Uncanny Valley by analyzing brain waves as an individual is presented with virtual faces with varying levels of detail. In addition to learning about EEG, digital signal processing, and the uncanny valley, I worked on stimulus creation–including 3D modelling–to help carry out the experiment design.