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Introducing the 2015 UNH IRES team

We are pleased to introduce the six students who will participate in the 2015 UNH IRES program. The program is funded by the National Science Foundation, Office of International and Integrative Activities. We are grateful for the support.

This year we received 32 exceptionally strong applications. After careful deliberation, we selected the six students listed below to participate in the program. This summer they will conduct research at the HCILab at the University of Stuttgart under the supervision of Albrecht Schmidt. Congratulations to all six! We are looking forward to a productive and fun summer.

Chun-Cheng Chang is a PhD student in Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle. He currently works in the Human Factors Statistical Modeling Lab under the supervision of Dr. Linda Ng Boyle where he conducts studies evaluating the distraction properties of voice control interfaces. He is interested in how cognitive workload measurements can be used as a guide for better automotive user interfaces.

Jennifer Cooper is pursuing a Master of Science in human factors/ergonomics from the University of Minnesota. She earned her B.A. in psychology from St. Catherine University in 2012, where she discovered a passion for research. She is currently working in a human factors lab at the U of M that conducts a range of research studies on in-vehicle warning systems, at-risk driving populations, and human-centered safety designs. Her research interests are human-computer interaction, technology-mediated learning, and transportation safety.

Chloe Eghtebas is a senior Electrical and Computer Engineering student at Olin College of Engineering interested in making a positive impact on the world. Chloe is passionate about cybersecurity, design, entrepreneurship, and electrical and computer engineering. As someone who values higher education and technological innovation, her plan is to continue to increase technical expertise through academia and industry.

Chihiro Jimbo is currently finishing up her Master’s in Human-Computer Interaction at the University of Michigan School of Information. She specializes in user experience research and design and would like to apply the knowledge to the automotive domain, especially in ubiquitous computing pertaining to drivers’ cognitive load and developing interfaces that would moderate smooth information transition between the system and driver in intelligent vehicle systems. You can view Chihiro’s work and connect with her at http://www.jimbochihiro.co.

Morgyne Weaver is a senior at Wellesley College graduating in May 2015. She is a Media Arts and Sciences major and an English minor. Currently she is interested in making tangible interfaces much more intuitive for users, while also decreasing cognitive load. She is drawn to the challenge of creating an interface that many people from different backgrounds will not only be able to easily use, but that they will like to use.

Vicky Zeamer is a Media Arts and Sciences & American Studies major from Wellesley College. Vicky is spending her senior year researching how millennials interact with global cities through the MIT Mobile Experience Lab. She gets most excited about user experience research, media ecology, and interface design. She looks forward to getting a PhD in HCI/Interaction Design in the near future.

2015 UNH IRES: HCI student summer research experience in Germany

HCI Lab, Stuttgart

The UNH HCI Lab is happy to announce the 2015 UNH International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) program. Within the program we plan to fund 3 undergraduate and 3 graduate students to conduct research at the Human Computer Interaction (HCI) Lab of Professor Albrecht Schmidt at the University of Stuttgart. Professor Schmidt and his lab are among the world leaders in the field of HCI. Successful applicants will participate in the program between June 1 and July 31, 2015. They will receive full financial support for participation, covering items such as airfare, room and board, health insurance, as well as a $500/week stipend. The total value of the financial package is approximately $8,500 for 9 weeks.

Student research within the UNH IRES program will focus on developing and testing tools for estimating cognitive load in the domains of in-vehicle user interfaces, knowledge acquisition, speech interfaces, or similar areas.

2014 UNH IRES students visiting Ludwigsburg palace in Stuttgart

UNH IRES students will live and work in Stuttgart. Stuttgart is a city of about 600,000, where students will encounter history around every corner. For example, Stuttgart is believed by many to be the cradle of the automobile, and students can visit the Mercedes-Benz museum that is devoted to the history of this iconic brand.

The program is funded by the National Science Foundation, Office of International and Integrative Activities. We are grateful for the support.

To learn more about the program (including student experiences from 2014) and to apply, click on the UNH IRES menu at the top of this page, or here.

First Lab Visit in UNH IRES Program: Hasso Plattner Institute


On June 30th, 2014 we met with Dominik Schmidt at Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI). HPI was Founded in 1998 and is the first, and still the only entirely privately funded university college in Germany.


Dominik is currently doing research in human-computer interaction. More specifically, in his research, he scales natural user interfaces to span entire rooms and creates novel interaction technologies and techniques with the goal to enable seamless and powerful interaction across physical space.Before joining Patrick Baudisch at HPI’s Human Computer Interaction Lab in Potsdam, Germany, Dominik received his Ph.D. from  Lancaster University, UK, where he was part of the Embedded Interactive Systems (EIS) group. You can check out his blog here.


The objective of the human computer interaction department at HPI is to unify the virtual world of the computer with the physical world of the user into a single space. During our visit we got a glimpse of a few projects they are working on. The most intriguing piece of technology they have is an interactive floor. One research project Dominik showed us is GravitySpace. GravitySpace is a new approach to tracking people and objects indoors. Unlike traditional solutions based on cameras, GravitySpace reconstructs scene data from a pressure-sensing floor. While the floor is limited to sensing objects in direct contact with the ground, GravitySpace reconstructs contents above the ground by first identifying objects based on their texture and then applying inverse kinematics.

A picture during our visit. This is the room below the interactive floor. 
GravitySpace recognizes people and objects. We use a mirror-metaphor to show how GravitySpace identifies users and tracks their location and poses, solely based on the pressure imprints they leave on the floor.
 HPI says

Smart rooms support users by offering not only a series of convenient functions, like home automation, but also by acting pro-actively on the user’s behalf. To this end, such rooms need to know their own geometry as well as the people and their actions within it.”

The GravitySpace prototype senses pressure at 1mm resolution and projects across an active area of 8 m² in a single seamless piece–a 10x larger version of multitoe.

Check out this video of GravitySpace:

Another projects they showed us is called Haptic Turk Wwalk-Up VR where a user can use his/her friends for motion based feedback in a virtual world. This is a great solution because it not only involves your friends it is also a cheap solution to not buying an expensive motion platform.
Fully immersive experience with motion feedback based on People

First Weekend in UNH IRES Program: Mercedes-Benz Museum and Ludwigsburg Palace

Mercedes-Benz Museum

The Mercedes-Benz Museum was so much fun to see. It was my first automobile museum and it did not disappoint. The museum structure is a double helix and you start at the top of the building from the 1886 Benz Patent-Motorwagen to present time. The one thing I found interesting about the museum is that it not only takes you through Mercedes-Benz history, but also historic world events. One historic event that caught my eye being a track and field athlete is Jesse Owens saluting after beating Germany’s Lutz Long (right) to the long jump title at the 1936 Olympics (as you can see in the picture above). We actually went and saw the stadium in Berlin where Jesse Owens competed later during our time in Germany. 


The Ludwigsburg Palace in my mind was the most beautiful place I saw in Stuttgart. You can’t help but get entranced in its atmosphere.

Week 1: Introduction to Eye Tracking and Physiological Sensor Technology

First Week Technology

During our first week at the University of Stuttgart we received a plethora of technology that was mainly new to all of us. It was a very exciting week. I felt like a kid in a toy store being able to pay with everything. The technology we played with were:

I am very fortunate to have already been exposed to such advanced technologies because I will most likely be using these devices later on in my education and career. Especially now that eye trackers and brain computing interfaces are becoming more and more commercialized.