Category Archives: nsf

Getting started: An Introduction to IRES

I’ll be using this first blog post as a sort of introduction. Throughout the next couple of weeks i’ll be writing about my experiences and thoughts throughout the UNH IRES program that I’ve been participating in this summer.

For starters UNH IRES is an “International Research Experience for Students” organized by the University of New Hampshire. It is part of a four year program where students spend their summer working in Germany at the HCI lab at the University of Stuttgart.

Now for a little information about myself. My name is Micah Lucas. I just got my BS in Electrical Engineering and am starting my MS in Electrical Engineering this fall at the University of New Hampshire.

Over the last several weeks, myself and the other three students chosen this year for the UNH IRES program have been working on our own group research project with the HCI lab. Additionally almost every weekend has been spent traveling to different places throughout Europe. My blog post will mostly be focusing on these things. I look forward to sharing these experiences.

UNH IRES group photo (from left to right: Micheal Nguyen, Rudra Timsina, Micah Lucas, Drea Fekety)

First week in HCI lab Stuttgart

This is my first blog posting on human computer interaction site of UNH. I am blogging about my travel experience, lab visits in Europe and the project I am working on during my stay in Stuttgart Germany.

My name is Rudra Timsina. I am an Electrical Engineering student at University of New Hampshire. I graduated from UNH with a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering in May 2014. I am attending UNH Graduate School from fall 2014. I am very thankful to Professor Kun and Professor Miller for providing me an opportunity to participate in a summer research project in Germany; International Research Experience for Students-a program of University of New Hampshire (UNH IRES).

It’s a great pleasure  for me to spend two months in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) lab in Stuttgart with three other friends. We are working with eye tracking devices, brain computer interfaces and biofeedback system to measure physiological responses induced as a result of cognitive load task and light illumination. We spent first few weeks learning new technologies that were needed for our project. We also spent some time reading literatures related to our project. We learned to use eye trackers (SMI, Facelab, tobii), EPOC-brain computer interface, and Nexus 10 – biofeedback system.

It was very exciting to meet a group of very nice people at HCI lab in Stuttgart. It was good to know about their interesting projects. Some of the projects were about augmented workplace with user defined tangibles, projects on public displays, large scale analysis of mobile notifications, project with driving simulators, etc.

I want to thank the whole HCI team at Stuttgart for helping us with housing setup, transportation, to get familiar with the city and project related assistance.

More post coming soon…

Working with a head mounted eye tracker.
Working with a head mounted eye tracker.

Introduction to HCI Lab, Getting started in IRES projects, and thank you’s

So this is my first post on this blog, which was designed to chronicle the thoughts and experiences of the students privileged enough to participate in the 2014 “International Research Experience for Students” organized by the University of New Hampshire. It is part of a four-year program in which students spend their summer working with the HCI lab at the University of Stuttgart, Germany, under the advisement of Dr. Albrecht Schmidt.

I have to say it’s been quite an experience, and much more than I was expecting (in a good way, of course). Professors Andrew Kun and Tom Miller at the University of New Hampshire set me up with a great opportunity for career- and personal-development, and I hope I’ve delivered up to their expectations. I’ve certainly surpassed my own.

Most of our time in Stuttgart has been spent working and researching with the HCI lab, but we’ve also spent a great deal traveling Europe. I will go into further detail about both of those aspects in further blog posts. I’ll use this post to give some background to the future posts I’ll make.

My background is in Human Factors Psychology, and I’m currently a doctoral student at Clemson University’s Visual Perception & Performance Lab. Human Factors has been a big part of HCI for a long time now, and I’m glad I’ve been able to contribute to this multidisciplinary trend in scientific research.

When I got here, I had a general idea that our IRES team would be working on a research project involving eye-tracking, cognitive workload, and human-computer interaction with visual and auditory displays. However over the course of the last 8 weeks, I and my IRES colleagues have formulated a project that (in my opinion) has the potential to contribute much to these sub-fields while also setting the stage for future IRES projects.

I’d also like to say, before I go on to future posts, a big thanks to everyone at the Stuttgart HCI Lab, including-but-not-limited-to Albrecht, Bastian, Yomna, Stefan, Niels, Markus, Mauro, Mariam, Ali, Miriam, Katrin, Sven, Lars, Michael, and anyone else I might have forgotten (sorry if I did!)

Stay tuned for more updates about my experience in the IRES program.