Research Archive

The HCIL has conducted a broad range of research over the years, and continues to pursue several areas in depth.  Past projects are listed below, and are grouped by area. Current projects can be viewed HERE in “CURRENT PROJECTS”.

Communities | Design Process | Digital Humanities | Digital Libraries | Education | Electronic Health Record Informatics | Interaction Design & Children | Physical Devices | Public Access | Social and Ethical Implications | Visualization

Communities

Baltimore Learning Community
An electronic learning community that provides teachers with multimedia resources that are linked to outcome-oriented curriculum guidelines.

Community Analysis and Visualization
Nation of Neighbors is Neighborhood Watch for the 21st century. It facilitates real-time collaboration within communities and between community members and Law Enforcement. Their mission is to enable Citizens and Law Enforcement to work together to fight and deter crime and improve our communities.

EmailViz: Email Archive Visualization
A range of projects focused on visualizing archived email of individuals, and the organizational and social spaces to which they belong.

ICDL Communities
ICDL Communities will provide a supportive, safe environment for children who speak different languages and are from different cultures to come together using activities related to books in the ICDL as common ground.

Mobile Collaboration for Young Children
Mobile devices can support the learning experience as children create narratives in various contexts. Mobile device limitations can be overcome by bringing people and devices together. In addition, social interaction and collaboration are essential to the emotional and cognitive development of young children.

Preserving Virtual Worlds
Interactive media are highly complex and at high risk for loss as technologies rapidly become obsolete. The Preserving Virtual Worlds project will explore methods for preserving digital games and interactive fiction. Major activities will include developing basic standards for metadata and content representation and conducting a series of archiving case studies for early video games, electronic literature and Second Life, an interactive multiplayer game.

Design Process

Adolescent Search
We are examining search roles, or patterns of behavior, in adolescents when searching for information on a computer to compare with roles found when studying younger children.

InterLiving: Technologies for Families
Bringing together families and researchers with the goal of developing technologies that will encourage communication, collaboration and creativity.

Kids Search
We are examining search roles, or patterns of behavior, in children ages 7, 9, and 11 when searching for information on a computer.

Life Relevant Learning
Promoting scientific learning in everyday life by studying and supporting three areas: new learning experiences, identity and disposition, and learning technologies.

Lifelines for Juvenile Justice (Original)
LifeLines provide a general visualization environment for personal histories.

Questionnaire for User Interface Satisfaction (QUIS)
The QUIS is designed to assess users' subjective satisfaction with specific aspects of the human-computer interface.

Social Action
SocialAction is a social network visualization that provides analysts systematic and flexible techniques for exploration.

Digital Humanities

Dickinson Electronic Archives
A website devoted to the study of Emily Dickinson, her writing practices, writings directly influencing her work, and critical and creative writings generated by her work.

Emily Dickinson's Correspondences: A Born-Digital Textual Inquiry
This XML-based archive brings together seventy-four poems and letters from Emily Dickinsons correspondence with her sister-in-law and primary confidante, Susan Dickinson. Each text is presented with a digitized scan of the holograph manuscript. These images have zoom functionality as well as a special light-box feature that allows users to view and compare constellations of related documents. Users may search by date, genre, manuscript features, and full text. Dating from the 1850s to the end of Dickinsons life, the work collected here shows all the characteristics of the poets mature art.

Monk
MONK is a digital environment designed to help humanities scholars discover and analyze patterns in the texts they study.

Preserving Virtual Worlds
Interactive media are highly complex and at high risk for loss as technologies rapidly become obsolete. The Preserving Virtual Worlds project will explore methods for preserving digital games and interactive fiction. Major activities will include developing basic standards for metadata and content representation and conducting a series of archiving case studies for early video games, electronic literature and Second Life, an interactive multiplayer game.

Romantic Circles
The premier Website for scholarship on British Romantic literature and culture

Digital Libraries

Baltimore Learning Community
An electronic learning community that provides teachers with multimedia resources that are linked to outcome-oriented curriculum guidelines.

Categorized Search Results
Users can view and organize web search results using meaningful and stable hierarchies. This can help speed discovery, especially for exploratory searchs.

Dynamic Query Interfaces for the EOSDIS Information System
How to help earth scientists find the data they need.

Emily Dickinson's Correspondences: A Born-Digital Textual Inquiry
This XML-based archive brings together seventy-four poems and letters from Emily Dickinsons correspondence with her sister-in-law and primary confidante, Susan Dickinson. Each text is presented with a digitized scan of the holograph manuscript. These images have zoom functionality as well as a special light-box feature that allows users to view and compare constellations of related documents. Users may search by date, genre, manuscript features, and full text. Dating from the 1850s to the end of Dickinsons life, the work collected here shows all the characteristics of the poets mature art.

Evaluation of the Perseus Hypermedia Corpus
One of the earliest thorough evaluations of digital libraries.

Hypertext Research: The Development of HyperTIES
Pioneering work on hypertext.

Library of Congress National Digital Library
Prototypes for the American Memory collections.

Multilingual Access to Large spoken ArCHives (MALACH)
The MALACH project's purpose is to dramatically improve access to large multilingual collections of recorded speech in oral history archives. Researchers are using Holocaust survivor testimonies collected by the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education to test this technology.

PhotoFinder
Sustained effort to develop personal photo library browsing tools, including the patented drag-and-drop annotation tool with search capabilities.

PhotoMesa Zoomable Image Browser
A tool to support management of images through annotation, search, and a zoomable user interface to access thousands of images.

SearchKids: Digital Libraries for Children
Giving young children access to digital media.

Visible Human
Coordinated previews and overviews help find the right slice.

VoiceGraph
VoiceGraph was a user interface for retrieval of audio recordings based on automatic processing of speech contained in the recordings.

WebTOC: A Tool to Visualize and Quantify Web Sites
The table of contents of a website with indication of the amount and type of information behind each branch of the hierarchy.

Education

Animal Blocks
Our design team partnered with Neurosmith to design an animal version of MusicBlocks, an educational toy for young children.

Baltimore Learning Community
An electronic learning community that provides teachers with multimedia resources that are linked to outcome-oriented curriculum guidelines.

BIRD Note-taking system
Allows the integration of dynamically captured presentation materials with student notes.

Classroom of the Future
Mobile and embedded technologies are created in partnership with pre-school children and teachers at the Center for Young Children.

Collaborative Storytelling: KidPad
Created in partnership with children in Sweden, UK, and U.S., this zooming application enables children to tell stories with multiple mice.

HyperCourseware and Interactive Learning
HyperCourseware is a system of interlocking programs and files that serve as an electronic infrastructure for classroom and distal learning to create electronically what had previously been in notebooks, on the blackboard, and in textbooks

Learning Historian
The Learning Historian record the history of user interaction with a simulation and allows this history to be replayed for review, sent with a message, used in a tutorial, or replayed as a series of variants to facilitate comparisons and explorations.

Life Relevant Learning
Promoting scientific learning in everyday life by studying and supporting three areas: new learning experiences, identity and disposition, and learning technologies.

Longitudinal Search Study
We are undertaking a longitudinal study of search roles, or patterns of behavior, from child to adolescent, when searching for information on a computer.

Mobile Collaboration for Young Children
Mobile devices can support the learning experience as children create narratives in various contexts. Mobile device limitations can be overcome by bringing people and devices together. In addition, social interaction and collaboration are essential to the emotional and cognitive development of young children.

PETS: A Personal Electronic Teller of Stories
These robotic animals enabled children to be storytellers. Now it is a commercial product from Anthrotronix called CosmoBot.

Q&A: Supporting Engagement and Peer Learning in a Classroom Setting
We are investigating the use of technology to support active student engagement and peer learning in the classroom. We have created a tool called Q&A that allows instructors to pose a question to their students. The students then use Q&A to submit their responses and help aggregate the class' responses.

Research Issues in the Electronic Classroom
We evaluated electronic classrooms used to support collaborative strategies for learning. The AT&T Teaching Theater and the IBM-TQM Teaching Theater provided an unusual opportunity to investigate the application of hypermedia and collaborative groupware to lecture and college seminar environments.

SearchKids: Digital Libraries for Children
Giving young children access to digital media.

Simulated Processes in a Learning Environment (SimPLE)
An application framework for creating simulation-based learning environments.

SINQ (Scientific INQuiry)
SINQ (Scientific INQuiry) is a application for mobile devices designed to help children capture their questions and observations as they arise in their everyday experiences and to provide guidance for developing them into scientific inquiry projects.

StoryRooms
Children are able to build their own rooms to tell their own stories using mobile and embedded technologies.

Tablet Mylar Slides
A TabletPC-based replacement for traditional mylar slides that supports private notes, "infinitely" long slides, and publishing to the web.

Tangible Flags
Using Tangible Flags, children on field trips can easily collaborate to create and connect digital information to the real world, but also have the flexibility to explore independently.

Electronic Health Record Informatics

LifeFlow
Event sequence analysis is an important task in many domains. In most cases they deal with more than thousands of records. While previous research has focused on searching and browsing, overview tasks are often overlooked. LifeFlow provides a novel, interactive visual overview of event sequences, scales to any number of records, summarizes all possible sequences, and highlights the temporal spacing of the events within sequences.

Interaction Design & Children

Adolescent Search
We are examining search roles, or patterns of behavior, in adolescents when searching for information on a computer to compare with roles found when studying younger children.

Life Relevant Learning
Promoting scientific learning in everyday life by studying and supporting three areas: new learning experiences, identity and disposition, and learning technologies.

Longitudinal Search Study
We are undertaking a longitudinal study of search roles, or patterns of behavior, from child to adolescent, when searching for information on a computer.

Physical Devices

Animal Blocks
Our design team partnered with Neurosmith to design an animal version of MusicBlocks, an educational toy for young children.

CrossY: A Crossing Based Drawing Application

Dual/Multi Display Electronic Readers
Existing electronic reading devices don't adequately support the different types of reading people perform. We explored interface designs for a two-screen reading device that allow it to improve the reading experience. To perform our exploration we created a series of prototypes, ranging from low-fi paper to a fully-functioning electronic reading device with two detachable, motion-sensitive faces

High-Precision Touchscreens: Museum Kiosks, Home Automation and Touchscreen Keyboards
Between 1987 and 1991 HCIL worked on a series of touchscreen projects for museum kiosks, home automation, and text data entry.

Mobile Collaboration for Young Children
Mobile devices can support the learning experience as children create narratives in various contexts. Mobile device limitations can be overcome by bringing people and devices together. In addition, social interaction and collaboration are essential to the emotional and cognitive development of young children.

ModelCraft
With the availability of affordable new desktop fabrication techniques such as 3D printing and laser cutting, physical models are used increasingly often during the architectural and industrial design cycle.

PETS: A Personal Electronic Teller of Stories
These robotic animals enabled children to be storytellers. Now it is a commercial product from Anthrotronix called CosmoBot.

ProofRite

Single Display Groupware / Multiple Input Devices
A Java toolkit to support several simultaneous users of a single computer at the same time.

StoryRooms
Children are able to build their own rooms to tell their own stories using mobile and embedded technologies.

Tangible Flags
Using Tangible Flags, children on field trips can easily collaborate to create and connect digital information to the real world, but also have the flexibility to explore independently.

Therapeutic Play with a Storytelling Robot
Using the PETS technologies for a more engaging physical therapy experience. This became the commercial product from Antrotronix.

Public Access

Community Response Grids
The 911.gov system would rely on the Internet and the mobile communication devices to allow citizens to receive and submit information about significant homeland security community problems. Based on lessons from recent natural catastrophes and the terror attacks of 9/11, telephone, radio, and television-based emergency response systems cannot meet all of the emergency response needs of communities. The combination of mobile telecommunications devices and the Internet in 911.gov, however, has the potential to provide higher capacity and more effective service, as well as create interactive communication mechanisms that can reach many more citizens and government officials simultaneously.

Electronic Voting Systems
Evaluation of usability, preference, accuracy and confidence in new voting system technologies and verification systems.

High-Precision Touchscreens: Museum Kiosks, Home Automation and Touchscreen Keyboards
Between 1987 and 1991 HCIL worked on a series of touchscreen projects for museum kiosks, home automation, and text data entry.

Restaurant Food Safety Inspections: Digital disclosure with a nationally standardized database
The goal of this project is to compile, study, and openly distribute a nationally standardized database of government health inspectors' restaurant ratings.

Social and Ethical Implications

Restaurant Food Safety Inspections: Digital disclosure with a nationally standardized database
The goal of this project is to compile, study, and openly distribute a nationally standardized database of government health inspectors' restaurant ratings.

Visualization

Biodiversity Information Visualization (TaxonTree, DoubleTree, EcoLens, LepTree)
Interfaces for online biodiversity and ecological databases, featuring incremental tree and graph browsing, in-context search results, coupled views, and readable labels.

Bioinformatics Visualization
We developed information visualization tools for gene expression data analysis, including mosaics, hierarchical clustering, parallel coordinates, treemaps, and scattergrams.

BRQLayer
BRQLayer is a photo viewer that generates Bi-level Radial Quantum (BRQ) layouts, which consist of a primary region surrounded by secondary regions. The thumbnails resize and the regions shift around dynamically as the layout is resized.

Business Network Monitoring Visualization
Several small projects relevant to Network Management (satellite network, business network).

Categorized Search Results
Users can view and organize web search results using meaningful and stable hierarchies. This can help speed discovery, especially for exploratory searchs.

CateRank: Interactive Exploration of Multivariate Categorical Data
CateRank aids in the categorical data exploration by providing useful visualizations and rankings for individual variables as well as the pairs of variables.

Community Analysis and Visualization
Nation of Neighbors is Neighborhood Watch for the 21st century. It facilitates real-time collaboration within communities and between community members and Law Enforcement. Their mission is to enable Citizens and Law Enforcement to work together to fight and deter crime and improve our communities.

Conference Monitor
Conference Monitor (CM) is a real time webbased tweet visualization dashboard to monitor the backchannel conversation during academic conferences.

CounterPoint: A Zooming Presentation Tool
A plugin for PowerPoint that enables zoomable and hierarchical presentations.

CrossY: A Crossing Based Drawing Application

DateLens: A Scalable Calendar Interface
An interactive fisheye calendar for Pocket PC and Outlook on the desktop that couples compact overviews, user control over the visible time period, and integrated search.

Digital Docket
Our work aims to develop interfaces to help scholars in the humanities and social sciences explore large text collections. We focus on the use of a combination of content and meta data to visualize the collection and support exploration.

Dynamaps and Census Data User Interfaces
Dynamap is an interface designed to facilitate easier viewing and dynamic query sliders for analysis of map-related census data.

Dynamic Query Interfaces for the EOSDIS Information System
How to help earth scientists find the data they need.

Elastic Windows for Rapid Multiple Window Management
Windows are organized in a hierarchical fashion on a space-filling tiled layout to support multiple window operations which enable fast task-switching and display reorganization.

EmailViz: Email Archive Visualization
A range of projects focused on visualizing archived email of individuals, and the organizational and social spaces to which they belong.

Emily Dickinson's Correspondences: A Born-Digital Textual Inquiry
This XML-based archive brings together seventy-four poems and letters from Emily Dickinsons correspondence with her sister-in-law and primary confidante, Susan Dickinson. Each text is presented with a digitized scan of the holograph manuscript. These images have zoom functionality as well as a special light-box feature that allows users to view and compare constellations of related documents. Users may search by date, genre, manuscript features, and full text. Dating from the 1850s to the end of Dickinsons life, the work collected here shows all the characteristics of the poets mature art.

Evaluation of Visual Analytics
The NSF funded SEMVAST project (Scientific Evaluation Methods for Visual Analytics Science and Technology) aims to provide benchmark data sets with ground truth, develop corresponding metrics and automated tools for evaluation, and to seed an infrastructure for the coordination of long term evaluation activities.

Excentric Labeling for Information Visualization
Excentric labeling dynamically labels a set of objects located around the cursor.

FeatureLens
Exploring and Visualizing Frequent Patterns in Text Collections with FeatureLens

Fisheye Menus for Selection from Long Menus
A dynamic interactive menu that enables rapid selection from within large menus without scrolling.

Generalized Query Previews
Query previews form a simple and effective method to eliminate most of the zero-hit and mega-hit queries and help users prune data efficiently. Generalized query previews supply distribution information on data attributes and give continuous feedback about the result size.

Govstat Project
Integration of data and interfaces to enhance human understanding of government statistics.

Graph Visualization
A list of projects related to Graph Visualization.

Hierarchical Clustering Explorer
The Hierarchical Clustering Explorer began by supporting interactive exploration of clusters shown in dendrograms. It expanded to included the powerful rank-by-feature framework to support systematic discovery in high-dimensional multi-variate data.

Highway Traffic Management
Summary of several projects conducted in cooperation with the Center for Advanced Transportation Technology.

Information Visualization Benchmarks Repository
Including the InfoVis Contest of 2003 and 2004.

Interactive Information Visualization of a Million Items
New algorithms and interaction techniques to adapt popular information visualization representations for displaying one million of items.

Learning Historian
The Learning Historian record the history of user interaction with a simulation and allows this history to be replayed for review, sent with a message, used in a tutorial, or replayed as a series of variants to facilitate comparisons and explorations.

LifeFlow
Event sequence analysis is an important task in many domains. In most cases they deal with more than thousands of records. While previous research has focused on searching and browsing, overview tasks are often overlooked. LifeFlow provides a novel, interactive visual overview of event sequences, scales to any number of records, summarizes all possible sequences, and highlights the temporal spacing of the events within sequences.

Lifelines for Juvenile Justice (Original)
LifeLines provide a general visualization environment for personal histories.

LifeLines for Visualizing Patient Records
LifeLines is a zoomable one screen overview of a patient record.

Lifelines2
Exploring temporal patterns in categorical data. We focus on Electronic Health Records and helping users find potential cause and effects phenomena in databases of patient records

ManyLists
ManyLists is a product comparison tool that compares products' features using Spatial Layouts with Animated Transitions. We applied the design concept from our recent comparison tools: Twinlist. It aims to meet the following three goals: 1. Support the comparison of at least four products,each with dozens of attributes. 2. Provide an overview to help users spot products provide more desirable features with less effort. 3. Allow the customization of positive and negative features. We proposed three guidelines for designing similar Spatial Layouts with Animated Transitions systems: break multi-step processes into small comprehensible steps, show animated transitions for each step, and use spatial layouts to indicate relationships among features.

ManyNets: Visualize Many Networks Simultaneously
ManyNets is a network visualization tool with tabular interface designed to visualize up to several thousand network overviews at once. This allows networks to be compared, and large networks to be explored using a divide-and-conquer approach.

Nanomaps

Network Visualization by Semantic Substrates
Network analysts may benefit from meaningful and stable layouts for nodes in 1-5 defined regions. Then users control link visibility to reduce clutter and see patterns of relationships. Our major application has been citations among U.S. Supreme, Circuit and District Court cases.

Nora Project
Data mining and visualization for the humanities.

PatternFinder
Searching Categorical Histories with PatternFinder: Query Support for Electronic Health Records

PhotoCropr
Application that can be used to explore croppings of images using either the "Rule of Thirds" or the "Golden Spiral" composition rules.

PhotoFinder
Sustained effort to develop personal photo library browsing tools, including the patented drag-and-drop annotation tool with search capabilities.

PhotoMesa Zoomable Image Browser
A tool to support management of images through annotation, search, and a zoomable user interface to access thousands of images.

Role Management
A proposed fourth generation user-centered design emphasizing users roles, colleagues, and tasks rather than documents.

RouteLens
Helps users record the history of their common trips and review summary information to find patterns and compare alternative routes.

Science 2.0: Studying Collaboration in Socio-Technical Systems
New kinds of science, which we will call Science 2.0, are needed to study the integrated interdisciplinary problems at the heart of social-technical systems. Science 2.0 will be especially important to meet the design challenges in secure voting, global environmental protection, energy sustainability, and international development among many others.

Similan: Finding Similar Records from Temporal Categorical Data
Similan is a temporal categorical data analysis tool that helps users find similar records from temporal categorical data. By implementing similarity metric computation and adopting ideas from rank-by-feature framework to rank records by similarity, Similan provides an interactive interface to customize and visualize similarity search results.

Simulated Processes in a Learning Environment (SimPLE)
An application framework for creating simulation-based learning environments.

Snap-Together Visualization
Information visualizations with multiple coordinated views enable users to rapidly explore complex data and discover relationships. SNAP is a software tool for creating coordinated views.

Social Action
SocialAction is a social network visualization that provides analysts systematic and flexible techniques for exploration.

Sonification of Maps
Color coded maps (choropleth maps) are often used to present information such as unemployment rates for each state. An auditory version (sonification) of such maps benefit blind users by providing an interactive sonic map.

SpaceTree: Browsing Node Link Diagrams
An interactive tree browser that builds on the conventional node link diagram approach by adding carefully designed layouts, animations, and iconic subtree representations coupled with integrated search.

STICK: Science & Technology Innovation Concept Knowledge-base
This project overcomes the bias in the Science of Science and Innovation Policy (SciSIP) towards popular or ultimately successful innovations by providing the much needed data and tools for analyzing innovations of all possible outcomes. This comprehensive endeavor enables SciSIP researchers to build and test theories that explain the differentiated trajectories of science and technology innovations and their associated communities.

Temporal Visualizations
A summary of HCIL projects in Temporal Visualization.

TimeSearcher for Time-Series Data
TimeSearcher 1 and 2 provide powerful search capabilities for numerical (integer or real) time series with equally spaced time points. Appropriate for gene expresssion, financial, weather, and many other time-varying data series. Users specify queries with innovative graphical timeboxes and pattern matching widgets

Treemap
Treemap 4 provides information visualization tools for hierarchical data using a novel space filling approach. There are now dozens of commercial and freeware versions of treempas, and our research tools remain available for educational purposes.

TreePlus: Visualizing Graphs as Trees
TreePlus is an interactive graph visualization system that transforms graphs into trees and shows the missing graph structure with visualization and interaction techniques.

TreeVersity: Visualizing Changes Over Time Using Dynamic Hierarchies
TreeVersity explores change in trees over time. Users can analyze relative and absolute change over one variable in each node, as well as created and removed nodes. TreeVersity can also help compare non-inherently hierarchical datasets, by grouping them by their attributes.

User Interface and Visualization for Electronic Health Records: SharpC at Maryland
The University of Maryland is participating in the National Center for Cognitive Informatics and Decision Making in Healthcare (NCCD). This program seeks to support improvements in the quality, safety and efficiency of health care through advanced information technology. NCCD's research focus area is Patient-Centered Cognitive Suport.

VAST Challenge
Advancing Visual Analytics Evaluations through Competitions

Visible Human
Coordinated previews and overviews help find the right slice.

Visualizing Legal Information (Dotfire, GRIDL)
Working on legal information gave us a chance to test emerging ideas of visual displays for digital libraries. These working demonstrations expanded on the Spotfire ideas of dynamic queries, and added a grid interface to organize data by categorical attributes.

WebTOC: A Tool to Visualize and Quantify Web Sites
The table of contents of a website with indication of the amount and type of information behind each branch of the hierarchy.

Zoomable User Interfaces (Pad++)
Our original toolkit for Zoomable User Interfaces. Replaced with Piccolo.

Zoomable User Interfaces (Piccolo)
A Java & C# toolkit that supports the development of 2D structured graphics programs in general, and Zoomable User Interfaces (ZUIs) in particular.