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.

University of New Hampshire