Tag Archives: IRES

Fourth Week in Oldenburg

In our fourth week at Oldenburg, many exciting events occurred, including the Fourth of July and Orit and Andrew’s visit.

On Independence Day, I made an American flag fruit tart that I brought to work. Later in the day, Susanne Boll (the professor in charge) invited us to her home for hot dogs, and I made another American-themed dessert: brownies.

fruit tart

Susanne tried to translate what a “brownie” is for her young children, starting with “cookie,” then “chocolate cake,” and finally settling with “chocolate bar,” which is rather accurate.

Michelle and multimodal poster

Later in the week, Orit and Andrew visited, and the three of us IRES Oldenburg students presented our research so far through a poster presentation and demos. I showed my work in Multimodal Attention Arousal in Head-Mounted Displays, where I’ve been working with Arduino, vibration motors/speakers, and 3D-rendering/3D-printing in order to figure out user perception of urgency in different audio and vibro-tactile parameters. The motivation behind my research is alarm fatigue in staff working in safety-critical environments such as hospitals, where the vast amount of loud alarm noises as well as false alarms creates desensitization.

Michelle demo with Andrew

Third Week In Oldenburg

In our third week in Oldenburg, we continued to make progress on our projects. I am helping my supervisor with the EyeSee360 application. EyeSee360 is an application that maps the 3D position objects around the user. This allows a user to have an idea of where out-of-view objects without having to look for them. After going through a crash course in 3D programming and seemingly endless bug fixing, I finished porting the program to the Hololens.

We have been taking advantage of Germany’s central location in Europe to travel on the weekends. Last week, we flew to Milan where we saw the sights and ate delicious Italian cuisine.

At Duomo di Milano

This past weekend, we traveled closer to home and visited Germany’s Heide and Serengeti Parks. We had a blast going on all of the rides and seeing the animals.

Waiting for the Ghostbusters ride at Heide Park

Lemurs at Serengeti Park

Second Week in Oldenburg

During our second week in Oldenburg, we all delved deeper into our respective projects. In the project I am joining, we are designing an ambient light display to be used on a car when the driver is considering changing lanes. The display will inform the driver of the car’s distance from other cars in the lane he/she is attempting to change into. I began testing different light patterns on a model and began asking for input from some of the colleagues in OFFIS who had experience with peripheral cues, ambient lighting, and other related topics. I received a lot of helpful criticism that will hopefully help me to create a user-centered design.

ALD Model

One of the biggest things I think we had to adjust to this week was the European aversion to using debit/credit cards. As Michelle said, our favorite past time has become grocery shopping, but in order to do so we had to learn quickly that we should have cash on hand and schedule regular trips to the ATM.

I experienced this while traveling for the first time since arriving in Oldenburg, because my mother also came to visit during the second week. I was turning 21, so she decided to come to Oldenburg and help me celebrate my birthday. She had never been to Europe before, so we took a weekend trip to Thessaloniki in Greece. My mother and I are prone to using our credit cards all the time, so remembering to carry euros was an adjustment for both of us.


Even though the lack of credit card readers was a new experience, going to the beach is typically a tradition we observe on my birthday. It was nice that some things don’t change despite some of the differences myself and the other IRES students have been adjusting to.






First Week in Oldenburg

In our first week at OFFIS in the University of Oldenburg, we found ourselves warmly welcomed by our new colleagues and supervisors:


We took advantage of the week’s uncharacteristic sunny weather to explore town, where we found plentiful grocery stores and bakeries.


Going grocery shopping became interesting adventures in themselves, as we quickly discovered that items typical to us – such as vanilla extract – are non-existent here, and that stores close Sundays. Ultimately, we managed to adjust quickly and I have been cooking and baking (banana bread, cakes, and the peanut butter cookies pictured below) with all sorts of local ingredients!

pb cookies

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.