Join us each Thursday during the semester as we present interesting speakers on topics ranging from current areas of interest in the HCI field, software demos/reviews, study design, proposed research topics and more.
The BBL is the one hour a week where we all come together and provide HCIL members the opportunity to build collaborations, increase awareness of each other’s activities and generally just have a bit of fun together. There is no RSVP; simply show up!
Details to join us:
When: Every Thurs during the semester from 12:30p – 1:30p ET
Where: Via Zoom at this same link each week — https://umd.zoom.us/j/92820973827
If you would like to give (or suggest) a talk, presentation, workshop, etc., send an email to lab coordinator email@example.com and briefly describe your proposed talk title, a brief abstract and your bio.
Fall 2020 Semester
9/10 | Niklas Elmqvist
— Meet & Greet
9/17 | Megan Boddum
— Best Practices For Designing and Implementing Kids User Research
Abstract. How to better take into consideration and implement children’s feedback when it comes to product development
With the ongoing emergence of kids tech and media, it is important to understand how kids’ feedback and participation in the co-design process can be pivotal in the creative development and, ultimately, the success of products. How can companies better incorporate children’s feedback in the creative process to best design products that resonate and reach a wider audience?
For this session Megan will give an overview of kids user research and best practices. She will present on designing effective kids’ research for various media types, followed by a review of a few case studies.
Bio. Megan Boddum has over ten years of diverse experience working in different facets of children’s technology ranging from research to outreach, program management, curriculum design and production. Megan specializes in qualitative research that helps teams build innovative and positive digital experiences for kids and families. Megan has worked in research for Leapfrog, WestEd, YouTube Kids and other various Bay Area startups. Currently Megan is working as an independent consultant focusing on helping companies and individuals with various children’s technology, media, education and research initiatives. With her own practice Megan has designed and developed a set of creative methodologies to meet the unique needs of the products and industries served.
9/24 | Kathy Weaver, Emmett Ryan, Donal Heidenblad, Nathan Bos
— UMD Data Challenge Panel
Abstract. UMD Data Challenge is a week-long data exploration event at the University of Maryland hosted by The College of Information Studies. During the week, students will gain analytical experience by solving challenging problems exploring datasets provided by professional organizations, build technical aptitude integrating datasets to create multidisciplinary knowledge, and obtain real-world team-building experience. This week long distributed format allows for sufficient time to evaluate, formulate a question about the dataset, and conduct dataset integration, analysis, and results preparation.
Kathy Bio. Dr. Kathy Weaver is a Senior Lecturer in the College of Information Studies at UMD. In addition to teaching both InfoSci and graduate courses, she has hosted the information challenges for the iSchool during the past 6 years. Dr. Weaver has taught and worked in education in a variety of settings for over 30 years, including industry, higher education, and elementary schools. Her extensive experience in Information Management, has included 6 implementations of SAP focused on Information Assurance, Quality Assurance, and User Management, redesigning and managing an Intellectual Property website at the Boeing Corporation, and working with the King County Libraries in Washington.
Emmet Bio. Emmet Ryan is a junior at UMD. He is currently working towards a bachelor’s degree in information science with a minor in sustainability, and has taken part in the Data Challenge for the past two years. Emmet’s team received the Best Presentation of Results award from the 2020 Challenge. Most recently, Emmet was an IT analyst intern at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) where he worked with two teams on privacy and cybersecurity audits of the 2020 Census. After graduation, Emmet plans to apply his data science knowledge to his interest in policy, possibly through a full-time analyst position at GAO.
Donal Bio. Donal Heidenblad is a lecturer at the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland where he teaches information technology, programming, and data courses. Donal is interested in how to effectively incorporate ethics instruction into STEM courses. Donal earned his M.S. in Information Systems from UMBC. Before coming to the iSchool, Donal worked in a variety of roles including training engineer, project manager, and software developer.
Nathan Bio. Dr. Nathan Bos is a senior research associate at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory with more than 20 years of experience working in the applied behavioral sciences. Nathan’s research is in human-computer interaction, behavioral modeling, and advanced analytics. He has also worked in the area of applied data science for nonprofits. His recent work includes research in counterfactual forecasting, explainable AI and causal reasoning. Nathan has more than 50 publications in peer-reviewed conferences and journals in information science, psychology, education and engineering. He has served as a judge for two Data Challenges.
10/1 | Joel Chan, Caro Williams-Pierce
— “What does a successful process for an HCI researcher look like? In terms of personal development, week to week / day to day, moving ideas forward, etc.? Special Pandemic Edition“
Joel Bio: Joel Chan is an Assistant Professor in the University of Maryland’s College of Information Studies (iSchool) and Human-Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL), and Senior Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study of Communities and Information (CASCI). Previously, he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Project Scientist in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) at Carnegie Mellon University, and received his PhD in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh. His research investigates how to build systems for innovation that are open and sustainable. His long-term goal is to help create a future where any person or community can design the future(s) they want to live in. His research has received funding from the National Science Foundation and the Institute for Museum and Library Sciences, and received Best Paper awards from the ASME Conference for Design Theory and Methodology, the journal of Design Studies, and the ACM SIGKDD Conference On Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD).
Caro Bio: Caro Williams-Pierce is an Assistant Professor at University of Maryland’s College of Information Studies (iSchool), a member of the Human-Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL) and the Youth eXperience (YX) Lab. She received her joint masters degree in Mathematics and Mathematics Education, and her PhD in Mathematics Education, from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Her research focuses on designing for mathematical play and learning in a variety of informal contexts, but she also researches mathematics learning, embodied cognition, and games and learning more broadly. She has published in the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, Information & Learning Sciences, Contemporary Educational Psychology, Frontiers in Education, and Science, among others.
10/8 | Sarah McGrew
— Who is Behind This? Teaching Students to Evaluate Online Information
Abstract. Young people often turn to the Internet for information, where they face nearly constant questions about what to trust. In this talk, I will argue that educational innovations are a necessary component of efforts to combat the spread of online mis- and disinformation. However, few research-based resources exist to support teachers and students to learn to effectively evaluate online information. I will outline a curricular approach designed to teach strategies that professional fact checkers use to evaluate online sources and explore students’ progress in learning these strategies with findings from a series of intervention studies in high school and college classrooms. I’ll discuss possibilities and hurdles for teaching evaluation strategies and consider how technological solutions might accompany educational innovations.
Bio. Sarah McGrew is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research focuses on young people’s civic online reasoning—how they search for and evaluate online information on contentious social and political topics—and how schools can better support students to learn effective evaluation strategies. Dr. McGrew has developed assessments of students’ online reasoning, conducted research on fact checkers’ strategies for evaluating digital content, and tested curriculum designed to teach these strategies to secondary and college students. In addition to investigating online reasoning curricula in secondary and college classrooms, Dr. McGrew’s current research focuses on how best to support teachers to learn online reasoning themselves and how to design lessons in online reasoning that are rooted in civic and community issues that students know and care about. She has a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Teacher Education from Stanford University and previously taught high school history in Washington, DC.
10/15 | Karen Holtzblatt
— The Jerk Project
Abstract. The Valuing and Jerk Project.
For the last 40 years we’ve been encouraging women to choose technology careers. But today the quit rate for women in tech is 41% compared to 17% for men. The number of WIT has fallen from 31% in 1990 to 25% in 2014. Research points to cultural dimensions of tech companies that create a work environment of bias, hostility and devalue. Overall women and people of color report a significantly more negative workplace experience. These interpersonal dynamics create more stress and work against feelings of belonging and value. It is not surprising that our research finds that women “thinking of leaving their job” score lower on key factors necessary for women to thrive.
In this talk Karen shares the research and some of the interventions to identify the explicit behaviors which create or undermine the experience of connection and value in the workplace. Field research identified 15 key valuing and 15 key jerk behaviors. A subsequent survey helped to determine the relative value of each behavior for men and women. We share our data and unveil our interventions including fun awareness posters, a self-assessment checklist, and workshop ideas. All work was done by world-wide professional and student volunteers, including many from UMD.
Bio. Karen Holtzblatt is CEO of InContext Design, a thought leader, industry speaker, and author. As a recognized leader in requirements and design, Karen has developed transformative design approaches throughout her career. Contextual Design, co-developed with Hugh Beyer, is the industry standard for understanding the customer and organizing that data to drive innovative product and service concepts. Her newest book Contextual Design 2nd Edition Design for Life is used by companies and universities worldwide. In recognition of her impact on the field, Karen was awarded the first Lifetime Award for Practice by ACM SIGCHI. In 2018 she founded the non-profit WITops to focus on the challenges of retaining women in high tech companies.
10/22 | Jinjuan Heidi Feng
— ARMStrokes: using mobile technology to support everyday stroke rehabilitation
Abstract. Stroke is a major contributor to adult disability in many countries. Stroke often causes long-term disabilities that affect cognitive, physical, and speech functions. Intensive rehabilitation exercise is critical for stroke recovery during the early stage of a stroke. However, only 31 percent of stroke survivors actually complete the recommended exercises due to a variety of factors including lack of motivation. Working closely with stroke survivors and therapists, we investigated the use of mainstream smart phone-based technology in supporting everyday stroke rehabilitation under the supervision of medical professionals. Rather than using specialized sensors to track user movements, we focused on developing an approach without the need for any additional hardware. ARMStrokes supports customized exercise plans to fit each stroke survivor’s specific functionalities in different recovery stages. Longitudinal evaluations with stroke survivors and therapists suggested the application played positive roles in motivating the patients to complete rehabilitation exercises. Design challenges were also identified through the evaluation studies.
Bio. Dr. Jinjuan Heidi Feng is a professor at the Computer and Information Sciences Department at Towson University. She conducts research in the area of Human-Computer Interaction, accessible computing and Health-informatics. She works with national and local communities to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities through information technology. Her current research projects focus on assistive technologies for people with cognitive disabilities, mobile applications for healthcare related services, and accessible security techniques for individuals with visual or cognitive disabilities. Dr. Feng has served as treasurer/secretary for the ACM Special Interest Group on Accessible Computing (SIGACCESS) since 2015. She is associate editor for the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies and the ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing. As the Director of the School of Emerging Technologies at Towson University, she promotes interdisciplinary research and curriculum development through collaboration both within and beyond Towson University.
10/29 | Leo Zhicheng Liu
— Towards a grammar for animated data graphics
Abstract. Animated data graphics are becoming popular for data-driven storytelling. However, creating such animated graphics remains challenging and time consuming. In this talk, I will present research results on understanding the design space and authoring paradigms of animated data graphics, and describe our first attempt at designing a tool for authoring animated transitions based on the keyframing paradigm. The ultimate goal of this line of research is to develop a visualization grammar that can power the creation of expressive animated narratives, and provide a foundation for developing authoring and design tools.
Bio. Zhicheng “Leo” Liu is an assistant professor in the department of computer science at University of Maryland. Prior to joining UMD in August 2020, he was a research scientist at the Creative Intelligence Lab, Adobe Research. Leo received his PhD in the Human-Centered Computing program from Georgia Tech and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Computer Science of Stanford University. His research focuses on developing effective and scalable tools to support data analysis and communication. His works have received multiple paper awards at IEEE InfoVis, IEEE VAST and ACM CHI.
11/5 | Ben Shneiderman
— Human-Centered AI: 15 Recommendations for Bridging from Ethics to Practice
Abstract. Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HCAI) is a growing theme that seeks to shift the focus from algorithms to the users and many stakeholders in modern information technology systems. This talk and related article (https://dl.acm.org/doi/10.1145/3419764) attempt to bridge the gap between widely discussed ethical principles of Human-Centered AI (HCAI) and practical steps for effective governance. I propose 15 recommendations at three levels of governance: team, organization, and industry. The recommendations are intended to increase the reliability, safety, and trustworthiness of HCAI systems: (1) reliable systems based on sound software engineering practices, (2) safety culture through business management strategies, and (3) trustworthy certification by independent oversight.
Bio. Ben Shneiderman (http://www.cs.umd.edu/~ben) is an Emeritus Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Computer Science, Founding Director (1983-2000) of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory (http://hcil.umd.edu), and a Member of the UM Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS) at the University of Maryland. He is a Fellow of the AAAS, ACM, IEEE, and NAI, and a Member of the National Academy of Engineering, in recognition of his pioneering contributions to human-computer interaction and information visualization. His widely-used contributions include the clickable highlighted web-links, high-precision touchscreen keyboards for mobile devices, and tagging for photos. Shneiderman’s information visualization innovations include dynamic query sliders for Spotfire, development of treemaps for viewing hierarchical data, novel network visualizations for NodeXL, and event sequence analysis for electronic health records.
Ben is the co-author with Catherine Plaisant of Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction (6th ed., 2016). He co-authored Readings in Information Visualization: Using Vision to Think (1999) and Analyzing Social Media Networks with NodeXL (2nd edition, 2019). His book Leonardo’s Laptop (MIT Press) won the IEEE book award for Distinguished Literary Contribution. The New ABCs of Research: Achieving Breakthrough Collaborations (Oxford, 2016) describes how research can produce higher impacts.
11/12 | Sheena Erete
— Countering Structural Oppression through Co-design with Residents in Resource-Constrained Communities
Abstract. There has been a recent push in technology design to consider social implications of design — both historical, current, and future. In resource-constrained communities, there have been historical policies and practices (e.g., redlining, overpolicing) that have created concentrated poverty, increased unemployment, and lack of adequate and equitable educational, housing, and health opportunities. However, several local community-based organizations have taken the initiative to address their communities’ challenges regarding issues such as safety and education. In this talk, I will discuss two projects that illustrate how we design technologies, practices, and programs with community residents and organizations to support their efforts to counter social issues that are a result of long-term structural oppression. Specifically, I describe (1) our co-design and evaluation process of a mobile application to support violence prevention efforts by street outreach workers and (2) the evolution of Digital Youth Divas, our program that encourages middle school Black and Latina girls to engage and participate in STEAM experiences. The first project is an example of how to design with organizations that intentionally attempts to counter traditional policing practices by law enforcement by taking a community-led approach to public safety in neighborhoods that experience high violence. The second project illustrates how we can address policies and infrastructure that create barriers for Black and LatinX girls and their families to engage in informal learning opportunities. Insights lead to discussion regarding how we as designers can intentionally support community-based counter structures to make a long-term, sustainable impact on communities that have historically faced systemic oppression.
Bio. Dr. Sheena Erete is an associate professor in the College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University. Her research explores the role of technology and design in addressing social issues such as violence, civic engagement, and STEM education in resource constrained communities in Chicago. She earned a Ph.D. in Technology and Social Behavior (a joint degree in Computer Science and Communication) from Northwestern University and a Masters of Computer Science from Georgia Tech. As an undergraduate, she attended Spelman College, where she studied Mathematics and Computer Science.
11/19 | Susan Campbell
— There’s no AI in Team: Evaluating Systems for Multiple-Human Interaction
Abstract. As AI systems become increasingly common, they will need to become more useful and usable as well. One way to make an AI more usable is to embed it into a team structure. Current research on AI-enabled teams generally focuses on functional requirements for the AI, such as task performance or levels of operator intervention required. However, AIs must be designed to optimize the outcomes of the entire sociotechnical system, or else gaps may lead to failures. Looking into the future, AI systems created to assist humans will need to be designed to work with humans, or within human teams. We do not argue that AI systems in human teams need to be human-like, but there are particular behaviors and non task-related requirements that are necessary for them to operate harmoniously as part of a team. This research effort uses a novel input-process-emergent state-output-input (IPEOI) model with four levels to describe what is needed for AI-enabled team performance. In this talk, I will describe the work our multidisciplinary team has done to define the problem of AI-human teaming and provide a preliminary look at our proposed model. This work has been done in collaboration with Breana Carter-Browne (ARLIS), Susannah Paletz (iSchool), Melissa Carraway (iSchool PhD student), Sarah Vahlkamp (iSchool PhD student), Jana Schwartz (ARLIS), and Polly O’Rourke (ARLIS).
Bio. Susan G. Campbell is an Assistant Research Scientist at the Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security (ARLIS) and a lecturer in the University of Maryland iSchool, focusing on cybersecurity. At ARLIS, she leads two research projects on assessing aptitude for cybersecurity jobs and a capacity building project for HCI assessment. Dr. Campbell has experience designing and evaluating assessments of cognitive abilities, skills, and knowledge, including assessments of cyber aptitude, risk tolerance, and English listening ability. Other project contributions range from designing interfaces for dictionary tool building to writing interview protocols to evaluate translation memory systems and analyzing complex language education data sets. Her current research focuses on understanding the cognitive underpinnings of performance in cybersecurity and using those frameworks to develop assessments and educational interventions. Dr. Campbell holds a PhD and MA in Psychology from the University of Maryland College Park and a BS in Cognitive Science from Carnegie Mellon University.
12/3 | Mols Sauter
— The Impact of Tool Design and Media Portrayals in the Success of Activist DDoS Attacks
Abstract. This talk explores the role of tool design and media coverage in the relative success of Operation Payback and earlier activist distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) actions. Through a close reading of changes in the tool’s interface and functionality across several iterations, the article considers the evolution of the Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC) DDOS tool, from one that appealed to a small, inwardly focused community to one that engaged with a larger population. The article further considers Anonymous’s contribution to the reframing of DDOS actions from a tool of direct action to a tool of media manipulation and identity construction as well as the news media’s role in encouraging individuals to participate in the Operation Payback actions.
Bio. M.R. Sauter is an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland College of Information Studies. They are the author of The Coming Swarm: DDoS Actions, Hacktivism, and Civil Disobedience on the Internet. They received their PhD from the Department of Art History and Communication Studies at McGill University in 2020, and they hold a masters degree in Comparative Media Studies from MI. They have held research fellowships at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet and Society, and New America.