BBL Speaker Series
Join us each Thursday during the fall and spring semesters as we present interesting speakers on topics ranging from current areas of interest in HCI, 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.
If you would like to give (or suggest) a future BBL talk, send email to HCIL Director Jessica Vitak (email@example.com) with your proposed talk title, a brief abstract, and your bio.
Talks are held in the HCIL (HBK2105), but if you can’t make it in person, register for Zoom here.
Spring 2023 Semester
BBL Talk: Dr. Deokgun Park, “Cognitive Architecture for Operant Conditioning
May 11, 2023 12:30 pm BBL Series
BBL: CHI practice talks!
April 20, 2023 12:30 pm BBL Series
Brown Bag Talk: Arvind Satyanarayan presents, “Intelligence Augmentation through the Lens of Interactive Data Visualization”
April 13, 2023 12:30 pm BBL Series
Brown Bag Talk: Andy Stefik shares “Evidence Standards and Data Science for All”
April 6, 2023 12:30 pm BBL Series
Brown Bag Talk: Dr. Andrea Parker presents “Transforming the Health of Communities through Innovations in Social Computing”
March 30, 2023 12:30 pm BBL Series
Brown Bag Talk: Dr. Katie Davis discusses her new book, “Technology’s Child”
March 16, 2023 12:30 pm BBL Series
Brown Bag Talk: Aligning incentives with institutional values
March 9, 2023 12:30 pm BBL Series
Brown Bag Talk: Human Spaceflight Risk from Decreasing Ground Support on Long-Duration Missions Beyond Low-Earth Orbit
March 2, 2023 12:30 pm BBL Series
Computational Thinking and Creativity – Do they go together?
February 23, 2023 12:30 pm BBL Series
Developing an Approach to Support Instructors to Provide Emotional and Instructional Scaffolding for English Language Learners Through Biosensor-Based Feedback
February 16, 2023 12:30 pm BBL Series
Sharing the Productivity Tools & Tips That Help You Get Work Done
February 2, 2023 12:30 pm BBL Series
Fall 2022 Semester
Date: Thursday, December 1, 2022
Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm ET
Talk Title: (Some) things I worry about in HCI/CSCW research
Speaker: Dan Cosley, Program Officer, National Science Foundation
Location: HBK 2105
Abstract: In this talk, rather than report out on some research that I’m involved with, I plan to do some meta-reflection on things that I worry reduce the contribution and impact of research in HCI, CSCW, and related areas. I tentatively plan to focus on four main issues, based both on work I’ve been involved with myself and on other studies I’ve seen:
- Our Methods Make Us Dumb (Other People Know Things)
- Whither the Artifact? (Goldilocks and the Three Stances)
- Things Change (Tweet, Tweet… Musk!); and
- Failure To Generalize (A Grounded Theory of X?)
I haven’t given a talk like this before, and many of the issues have already been observed in some form by people smarter than me, but I think there’s value in bringing them together and hope that talking about this will be useful for both HCI practice and HCI research. I plan to have the talk itself run a little short so we can have a more interactive discussion, so feel free to bring a few of your own worries along to share.
Bio: Dan Cosley is a permanent program officer at NSF as of September 2020, homed in the Human-Centered Computing program in CISE and associated with a number of other solicitations, with a mostly up to date list at https://www.nsf.gov/staff/staff_bio.jsp?lan=dcosley. Before that, he was an associate professor at Cornell in the Information Science department, doing both design-based and analytic research in the spaces of Human-Computer Interaction and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work. This includes work around designing user interfaces for recommender systems; modeling human information behaviors from computational traces; supporting crowdwork and online collaboration, and studying the power relationships involved; systems and models connecting social media, identity, and memory; and various other topics that he helped students work on along the way.
Date: Thursday, November 17, 2022
Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm ET
Talk Title: Participatory approaches to AI in digital health and well-being
Speaker: Lauren Wilcox, Senior Staff Research Scientist, Google
Location: HBK 2105
Abstract: Advances in computing technology continue to offer us new insights about our health and well-being. As mutually reinforcing trends make the use of wearable and mobile devices routine, we now collect personal, health-related data at an unprecedented scale. Meanwhile, the use of deep-learning-based health screening technologies changes relationships between caregivers and care recipients, with multitudinous implications for equity, privacy, safety, and trust . How can researchers take inclusive and responsible approaches to envisioning solutions, training data, and deploying AI/ML-driven solutions? Who should be involved in decisions about how to use ML/AI in digital health and well-being solutions, and even what solutions matter in the first place? In this talk, I will discuss participatory approaches to designing digital health and well-being technologies with patients, family members, and clinicians. Starting with field studies in clinics exploring how people navigated use of a deployed, diagnostic AI system, and moving onto examples of responsibility AI practices, I will discuss participatory approaches and their importance throughout the technology design, development, and evaluation process.
Bio: Lauren Wilcox, PhD, is a Senior Staff Research Scientist in Responsible AI and Human-Centered Computing in Google Research. She brings sixteen years of experience conducting human-centered computing research in service of human health and well-being. Previously at Google Health, Wilcox led initiatives to align AI advancements in healthcare with the needs of clinicians, patients, and their family members. She also holds an Adjunct Associate Professor position in Georgia Tech’s School of Interactive Computing. Wilcox was an inaugural member of the ACM Future of Computing Academy. She frequently serves on the organizing and technical program committees for premier conferences in the field (e.g., ACM CHI). Wilcox received her PhD in Computer Science from Columbia University in 2013.
Date: Thursday, November 10, 2022
Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm ET
Talk Title: How and what kind of research we do in the Small Artifacts Lab (Hint: Design, Wearable, Fabrication, and Accessibility)
Speaker: Huaishu Peng, Assistant Professor, CS, UMD
Location: HBK 2105
Abstract: In this talk, I will give a brief overview of the HCI research we are conducting (or planning) in the Small Artifacts Lab. I will showcase several recent works concerning various HCI topics, e.g., design, fabrication, wearable computing, and accessibility, but all from a technical perspective. As examples, I will discuss how we designed a small wearable robot that can relocate itself on a user’s full body instead of staying only in one area of interest (e.g., a smartwatch on the wrist) and how the design opens new opportunities in both research and art; I will also talk about how we created a tangible artifact that supports blind developers to create the graphical layout of webpages on their own. Towards the end of the talk, I will time and discuss with the audience how technical innovation can drive HCI research.
Bio: Huaishu Peng is an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science department at the University of Maryland, College Park. He aims to advance interactive technologies by designing, prototyping, and evaluating novel artifacts that are personal, hands-on, and often small when it comes to the form factors. He is interested in the methods of building these personal artifacts (through design and interactive fabrication), the scenarios of using them (in mixed reality), and the users who can benefit from them (with assistive and enabling technology). His work has been published in CHI, UIST, and SIGGRAPH and won Best Paper Nominee. His work has also been featured in media such as Wired, MIT Technology Review, Techcrunch, and Gizmodo.
Date: Thursday, November 3, 2022
Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm ET
Talk Title: Designing Health Technology for the Intersection of Evidence and Everyday Life
Speaker: Elena Agapie, Assistant Professor, Informatics, UC-Irvine
Location: HBK 2105
Abstract: Pursuing healthy behaviors is a complex, long-term process that is difficult to maintain. Many technologies promise to support people in pursuing health goals, yet many such technologies fail to account for people’s everyday needs or incorporate evidence-based strategies. In this talk, I discuss the challenges that researchers encounter in designing technologies that use health evidence-driven techniques and accounting for people’s everyday life. I use human-centered design methods and create novel systems that address key challenges that people encounter in working on health goals: starting new behaviors while accounting for the complexities of everyday life and engaging with health goals long term. I discuss how technology can better support clinicians and peers in providing evidence-driven tailored support to clients, for supporting physical activity, and mental health therapy.
Bio: Elena Agapie is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine. She studies, designs, and builds technology to support people in pursuing positive health behaviors by drawing on people’s everyday experiences and evidence-based interventions. Agapie’s work has been published and received awards in top HCI venues including CHI, CSCW, and HCOMP. She received her Ph.D. in Human Centered Design and Engineering from the University of Washington, and Masters degree in Computer Science from Harvard University. Agapie worked on research projects in industry research labs including Microsoft Research, Fuji Xerox Palo Alto Research Lab, Intel, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. Her work is supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.
Date: Thursday, October 27, 2022
Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm ET
Talk Title: Record, Reveal, and Share: Computer-mediated Perspective Sharing
Speaker: Sang Won Lee, Assistant Professor, CS, Virginia Tech
Location: HBK 2105
Abstract: This talk discusses ways to design computational systems that facilitate empathic communication and collaboration in various domains. My research agenda is a journey for me to create a framework we can use to understand the components we need to consider in using technologies to foster empathy. The framework will be introduced, and I will focus on the recent projects that suggest sharing perspectives as a prerequisite towards empathy and address technical barriers to sharing perspectives in emerging technologies.
Bio: Sang Won Lee is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Virginia Tech. His research aims to understand how we can design interactive systems that facilitate empathy among people. His research vision of computer-mediated empathy comes from his computer music background, thriving to bring music’s expressive, collaborative, and empathic nature to computational systems. He creates interactive systems that can facilitate understanding by providing ways to share perspectives, preserve context in computer-mediated communication, and facilitate self-reflection. He has applied these approaches to various applications, including creative writing, informal learning, writing, and programming.
Date: Thursday, October 20, 2022
Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm ET
Talk Title: Unobtrusive Machine-Readable Tags for Identifying, Tracking, and Interacting with Real-World Objects
Speaker: Doğa Doğan, Ph.D. candidate, MIT
Location: HBK 2105
Abstract: Ubiquitous computing requires that mobile and wearable devices are aware of our surroundings so as to augment the real world with contextual information that enriches our interactions with them. For this to work, the objects around us need to carry machine-readable tags, such as barcodes and RFID labels, that describe what they are and communicate this information to devices. While barcodes are inexpensive to produce, they are typically obtrusive, less durable, and less secure than other tags. Regardless of their type, most conventional tags are added to objects post hoc as they are not part of the original design.
I propose to replace this post-hoc augmentation process with tagging approaches that extract objects’ integrated hidden features and use them as machine-detectable tags to make the real world more informative. In this talk, I will introduce three projects: (1) InfraredTags are invisible fiducial markers embedded into 3D printed objects using infrared-transmitting filaments, and detected using cheap infrared cameras. (2) G-ID marks different 3D printed copies of the same object by using unique printing (“slicing”) settings, which result in unobtrusive, machine-detectable surface artifacts. (3) SensiCut is a smart laser cutting platform that leverages speckle imaging and deep learning to distinguish visually similar workshop materials. It adjusts designs based on the chosen material and warns users against hazardous ones. I will show how these methods assist users in creative tasks and enable new interactive applications for augmented reality (AR), object traceability, and user identification.
Bio: DoğaDoğan is a Ph.D. candidate at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and currently an intern at Adobe Research, where he builds novel identification and tagging techniques. At CSAIL, he works with Stefanie Mueller as part of the HCI Engineering Group. Doğa’s research focuses on the fabrication and detection of unobtrusive physical tags embedded into everyday objects and materials. His work has been nominated for best paper and demo awards at CHI, UIST, and ICRA. He is a past recipient of the Adobe Research Fellowship and Siebel Scholarship. Prior to MIT, Doğa conducted research in the Laboratory for Embedded Machines and Ubiquitous Robots at UCLA, and the Physical Intelligence Department of the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems. His website: https://www.dogadogan.com/.
Date: Thursday, October 13, 2022
Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm ET
Talk Title: Toward an Equitable Computer Programming Practice Environment for All
Speaker: Carl Haynes-Magyar, Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow, Carnegie Mellon University
Location: HBK 2105
Abstract: Traditional introductory computer programming practice has included writing pseudocode, code-reading and tracing, and code-writing. These problem types are often time-intensive, frustrating, cognitively complex, in opposition to learners’ self-beliefs, disengaging, and demotivating—and not much has changed in the last decade. Pseudocode is a plain language description of the steps in a program. Code-reading and tracing involve using paper and pencil or online tools such as PythonTutor to trace the execution of a program, and code-writing requires learners to write code from scratch. In contrast to these types of programming practice problems, mixed-up code (Parsons) problems require learners to place blocks of code in the correct order and sometimes require the correct indentation and/or selection between a distracter block and a correct code block. Parsons problems can increase the diversity of programmers who complete introductory computer programming courses by improving the efficiency with which they acquire knowledge and the quality of knowledge acquisition itself. This talk will feature experiments designed to investigate the problem-solving efficiency, cognitive load, pattern application and acquisition, and cognitive accessibility of adaptive Parsons problems. The results have implications for how to generate and sequence them.
Bio: Carl C. Haynes-Magyar is a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science in the Human–Computer Interaction Institute. Carl’s master’s work included evaluating curriculums based on their ability to develop a learner’s proficiencies for assessment and assessing the relationship between perceived and actual learning outcomes during web search interaction. His doctoral work involved studying the design of learning analytics dashboards (LADs) to support learners’ development of self-regulated learning (SRL) skills and investigating how people learn to program using interactive eBooks with adaptive mixed-up code (Parsons) problems. His postdoctoral work is a continued investigation into computing education that involves creating an online programming practice environment called Codespec. The goal is to scaffold the development of programming skills such as code reading and tracing, code writing, pattern comprehension, and pattern application across a gentle slope of different problem types. These types range from block-based programming problems to writing code from scratch. Codespec will support learners, instructors, and researchers by providing help-seeking features, generating multimodal learning analytics, and cultivating IDEAS: inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility, sexual orientation and gender awareness. Carl has published several peer-reviewed articles at top venues such as the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI). He has taught as an instructor for courses on organizational behavior, cognitive and social psychology, human-computer interaction, learning analytics, educational data science, and data science ethics. He has been nominated for awards related to instruction and diversity, equity, and inclusion. He is a member of AAAI, ACM SIGCHI and SIGCSE, ALISE, and ISLS. Carl received his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan School of information in 2022, and a master’s degree in Library and Information Science with honors from Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies (iSchool) in 2016.
Date: Thursday, October 6, 2022
Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm ET
Talk Title: Assistive Smartwatch Application to Support Neurodiverse Adults with Emotion Regulation
Speaker: Vivian Motti, Assistant Professor, Department of Information Sciences and Technology, George Mason University
Location: HBK 2105
Abstract: Emotion regulation is an essential skill for young adults, impacting their prospects for employment, education and interpersonal relationships. For neurodiverse individuals, self-regulating their emotions is challenging. Thus, to provide them support, caregivers often offer individualized assistance. Despite being effective, such an approach is also limited. Wearables have a promising potential to address such limitations, helping individuals on demand, recognizing their affective state, and also suggesting coping strategies in a personalized, consistent and unobtrusive way. In this talk I present the results of a user-centered design project on assistive smartwatches for emotion regulation. We conducted interviews and applied questionnaires to formally characterize emotion regulation. We involved neurodiverse adults as well as parents, caregivers, and assistants as active participants in the project. After eliciting the application requirements, we developed an assistive smartwatch application to assist neurodiverse adults with emotion regulation. The app was implemented, tested and evaluated in field studies. I conclude this talk discussing the role of smartwatches to deliver regulation strategies, their benefits and limitations, as well as the users’ perspectives about the technology.
Bio: Vivian Genaro Motti is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Information Sciences and Technology at George Mason University where she leads the Human-Centric Design Lab (HCD Lab). Her research focuses on Human Computer Interaction, Ubiquitous Computing, Assistive Wearables, and Usable Privacy. She is the principal investigator for a NIDILRR-funded project on assistive smartwatches for neurodiverse adults. Her research has been funded by NSF, TeachAccess, VRIF CCI, and 4-VA.
Date: Thursday, September 29, 2022
Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm ET
Talk Title: Inclusion Efforts at Vanguard
Speaker: Oxana Loseva, Senior UX Researcher, Vanguard
Location: HBK 2105
Abstract: A detailed look at how Vanguard fosters inclusion of research participants with various disabilities. We will discuss how to build a panel of participants with different disabilities, the work that is being conducted by them at Vanguard, and the work a contractor with Down Syndrome has done during her 5-month tenure with Vanguard.
Bio: Oxana has an undergraduate degree in Service Design from Savannah College of Art and Design. While working on her bachelor’s she started working with folks with disabilities and exploring the physical accessibility of spaces. She went on to earn a Master’s in Design Research from Drexel University where she focused on developing a game for people with cognitive disabilities. She works at Vanguard as a Sr. UX Researcher and when she is not working on her game that teaches people with cognitive disabilities how to manage money, she spends time with her pup Pepper and takes her hiking around PA.
Date: Thursday, September 22, 2022
Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm ET
Talk Title: Anytime Anywhere All At Once: Data Analytics in the Metaverse
Speaker: Niklas Elmqvist, Professor, iSchool, UMD
Location: HBK 2105
Abstract: Mobile computing, virtual and augmented reality, and the internet of things (IoT) have transformed the way we interact with computers. Artificial intelligence and machine learning have unprecedented potential for amplifying human abilities. But how have these technologies impacted data analysis, and how will they cause data analysis to change in the future? In this talk, I will review my group’s sustained efforts of going beyond the mouse and the keyboard into the “metaverse” of analytics: large-scale, distributed, ubiquitous, immersive, and increasingly mobile forms of data analytics augmented and amplified by AI/ML models. I will also present my vision for the fundamental theories, applications, design studies, technologies, and frameworks we will need to fulfill the vast potential of this exciting new area in the future.
Bio: Niklas Elmqvist (he/him/his) is a full professor in the iSchool (College of Information Studies) at University of Maryland, College Park. He received his Ph.D. in computer science in 2006 from Chalmers University in Gothenburg, Sweden. Prior to joining University of Maryland, he was an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN. From 2016 to 2021, he served as the director of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory (HCIL) at University of Maryland, one of the oldest and most well-known HCI research labs in the United States. His research area is information visualization, human-computer interaction, and visual analytics. He is the recipient of an NSF CAREER award as well as best paper awards from the IEEE Information Visualization conference, the ACM CHI conference, the International Journal of Virtual Reality, and the ASME IDETC/CIE conference. He was papers co-chair for IEEE InfoVis 2016, 2017, and 2020, as well as a subcommittee chair for ACM CHI 2020 and 2021. He is also a past associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Visualization & Computer Graphics, as well as a current associate editor for the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies and the Information Visualization journal. In addition, he serves as series editor of the Springer Nature Synthesis Lectures on Visualization. His research has been funded by both federal agencies such as NSF, NIH, and DHS as well as by companies such as Google, NVIDIA, and Microsoft. He is the recipient of the Purdue Student Government Graduate Mentoring Award (2014), the Ruth and Joel Spira Outstanding Teacher Award (2012), and the Purdue ECE Chicago Alumni New Faculty award (2010). He was elevated to the rank of Distinguished Scientist of the ACM in 2018.
Date: Thursday, September 15, 2022
Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm ET
Talk Title: Ideological Trajectories in Recommendation Systems for News Consumption
Speaker: Cody Buntain, Assistant Professor, iSchool, UMD
Location: HBK 2105
Abstract: While originally developed to increase diversity in product recommendations and show individuals personalized content, recommendation systems have increasingly been criticized for their opacity, potential to radicalize vulnerable users, and incentivizing anti-social content. At the same time, studies have shown that modified recommendation systems can suppress anti-social content across the information ecosystem, and platforms are increasingly relying on such modifications for soft content-moderation interventions. These contradictions are difficult to reconcile as the underlying recommendation systems are often dynamic and commercially sensitive, making academic research on them difficult. This paper sheds light on these issues in the context of political news consumption by building several recommendation systems from first principles, populated with real-world engagement data from Twitter and Reddit. Using domain-level ideology measures, we simulate individuals’ ideological trajectories through recommendations for news sources and examine whether standard recommendation approaches drive individuals to more partisan content and under what circumstances such radicalizing trajectories may emerge. We end with a discussion of personalization’s impact in consuming political content, and implications for instrumenting deployed recommendation systems for anti-social effects.
Bio: Dr. Cody Buntain is an assistant professor in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland and a research affiliate for NYU’s Center for Social Media and Politics, where he studies online information and social media. His work examines how people use online information spaces during crises and political unrest, with a focus on information quality, preventing manipulation, and enhancing resilience. His work in these areas has been covered by the New York Times, Washington Post, WIRED, and others. Prior to UMD, he was an assistant professor at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and a fellow at the Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Fellowship.
Date: Thursday, September 8, 2022
Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm ET
Talk Title: Aphasia Profiles and Implications for Technology Use
Speaker: Kristin Slawson, Clinical Associate Professor, University of Maryland Hearing and Speech Clinic, and Michael Settles
Location: HBK 2105
Abstract: Conservative estimates suggest that 2.5 million people in the US have aphasia, yet few people have ever heard of the condition. Aphasia is a poorly understood, “invisible disability” that specifically impacts use of language in all forms. People with aphasia are more likely than other stroke survivors to experience social isolation, loss of independence, and significantly lower levels of employment. These immediate consequences have negative ripple effects on the mental and physical health outcomes of survivors and their family members. This talk aims to increase awareness of specific aphasia profiles in hopes of exploring how technology can be adapted to help people with aphasia maintain their prior level of work, social engagement, and independence to the greatest degree possible.
Bio: Kristin Slawson is a Speech-Language Pathologist and a Clinical Associate Professor in Hearing and Speech Sciences. As a brain injury specialist, she is particularly interested in the functional impact of brain injuries on cognitive-linguistic abilities and implications of these changes on maintenance of social connections and return to school and work.
Bio: Michael Settles is a 2022 ASHA Media Champion Award for his work advocating for aphasia awareness. He is featured in a special exhibit on aphasia and word finding at the Planet Word Museum in Washington, DC. He is an advocate for expanded use of technology to support communication needs of people with aphasia.
Check out slides from Kristin’s presentation here.
Date: Thursday, September 1, 2022
Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm ET
Location: HCIL (HBK 2105)
Welcome back for fall 2022 semester! Join us, have some pizza, and meet the faculty and students who are part of the lab.
5/5 | Shiqing (Licia) He
Finding the Grammar of Generative Craft
Abstract: Art and craft design is challenging even with the assistance of computer-aided design tools. Despite the increasing availability and intelligence of software and hardware, artists continue to find gaps between their practices and tools. Through this presentation, I introduce Grammar-driven Craft Design Tools (GCDTs), which explicitly embed and utilized craft domain knowledge as their primary mechanisms and interfaces. Besides bridging the gap between design-aid tools and craft domain knowledge, GCDTs also have additional benefits such as supporting generative design, facilitating learning, and preserving domain knowledge. This talk discusses how the next generation of design-aid tools can help artists find their creative expressions.
Bio: Licia He is a generative artist and a human-computer interaction researcher. After receiving her Ph.D. from the School of Information, University of Michigan, Licia is currently an assistant professor at the Department of Visualization, Texas A&M University, where she leads the Generative Craft Lab. Passionate about programming and visual art, she explores ways to record and present information around her through her research and artworks.
4/28 | Pablo Paredes
Everyday stress management technology “in the wild” towards equitable wellbeing computing
Abstract: In this talk, I discuss my work in stress management sensing and intervention technologies for everyday use, i.e. that can be widely adopted by the entire population. I present stress as an example and introduction to equitable wellbeing computing focused on the design, building, and evaluation of affordable, engaging, and efficacious ubiquitous computing technology enabling the equal widespread of wellbeing. I delve in detail into examples of both sensors and interventions that can enable this vision.
First I discuss “sensorless” sensing as an approach to repurposing existing data and infrastructure to obtain continuous, longitudinal stress data that is informed by sound theory on biomechanics. Then I describe an intervention design approach that combines applied machine learning with human-centered design to repurpose engaging attention-grabbing technology (Internet apps, messaging) into personalized just-in-time stress management interventions. My talk finalizes with a future vision on how to take wellbeing computing research out of the lab and “in the wild”, how to manage “shared autonomy” challenges between humans and automated wellbeing systems, and how to focus on embedding ethical principles in the design of these modern systems.
Bio: Pablo Paredes earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2015 with Prof. John Canny. He is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Department and the Epidemiology and Population Health Department (by courtesy) at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He leads the Pervasive Wellbeing Technology Lab, which houses a diverse group of students from multiple departments such as computer science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, anthropology, neuroscience, and linguistics. Before joining the School of Medicine, Dr. Paredes was a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Computer Science Department at Stanford University with Prof. James Landay. During his Ph.D. career, he held internships on behavior change and affective computing at Microsoft Research and Google. He has been an active associate editor for the Interactive, Mobile, Wireless, and Ubiquitous Technology Journal (IMWUT) and a reviewer and editor for multiple top CS and medical journals. Before 2010, he was a senior strategic manager with Intel in Sao Paulo, Brazil, a lead product manager with Telefonica in Quito, Ecuador, and an entrepreneur in his native Ecuador and, more recently, in the US. In these roles, he has had the opportunity to hire and closely evaluate designers, engineers, business people, and researchers in telecommunications and product development. During his academic career, Dr. Paredes has advised close to 40 mentees, including postdocs, Ph.D., master’s, and undergraduate students, collaborated with colleagues from multiple departments across engineering, medicine, and the humanities, and raised funding from NSF, NIH, and large multidisciplinary intramural research projects.
4/21 | Laura Moradbakhti
Considering Users’ Basic Psychological Needs in Technology Design
Abstract: Users’ needs should be at the center of new technology design and development efforts. Nonetheless, there is a big gap in current research surrounding basic psychological need fulfillment. According to the Basic Psychological Needs Theory, the satisfaction of our basic psychological needs is necessary for autonomous motivation: if our needs, namely autonomy (desire to have control over our actions), competence (innate desire to experience mastery) and relatedness (desire to care for others and be cared for in return) are fulfilled, we are motivated to engage in a task. If the needs are not fulfilled, our well-being is negatively affected. In the past, basic psychological needs were measured to explain motivation for task engagement in the workplace, education and sport sector but there is little research drawing a link to technology usage and interaction. However, especially with the growing use of technologies in our daily lives, their increasing autonomy and competence in executing tasks, and their role in virtual communication, it is crucial to assess users’ need satisfaction to ensure their well-being when interacting with new technologies. My research focuses on design factors that positively influence users’ basic psychological needs. I will present several studies that address design factors, individual differences in need satisfaction, and the importance of basic psychological needs for technology acceptance.
4/14 | Stephen MacNeil
Digital Tools to Facilitate Participatory Design at Scale
Bio: Dr. Stephen MacNeil is an Assistant Professor at Temple University where he founded the Temple HCI Lab. Before that, he received his PhD from the College of Computing and Informatics at UNC Charlotte and his BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University. He was also a postdoctoral researcher in the Design Lab at UCSD. Although his background is highly technical, Dr. MacNeil’s research is rooted in human-computer interaction, participatory design, and learning sciences. These design sensibilities have led to his involvement in regional and global design initiatives as a lead organizer for Design for San Diego (d4sd.org) and as a US Representative for the Young Designers’ Circle at the World Design Organization.
4/7 | Jinjuan Heidi Feng
Understanding Social Media Usage related to Cognitive Disabilities in the Arabic World
Abstract: Social media has become a desirable means for spreading awareness, advocating for rights, establishing communities, acquiring information, and much more. Studies confirmed the substantial value of social support and community belonging for individuals with disabilities and their caregivers. Users in the Arabic world have shown an increasing interest in using social media in the past decade. However, there is limited research that investigated how social media was used in the Arabic world to support people with cognitive disabilities and advocate for their rights. We tried to start filling this gap through a two-stage project. In the first stage, we interviewed caregivers and teachers for children with cognitive disabilities from Saudi Arabia to examine their motivations and concerns around using social media in relation to their children or students’ conditions. We found that caregivers used social media with caution to seek information and emotional support, to spread awareness, and to communicate and build communities. In the second stage of the project, we applied text mining approaches, including sentiment and temporal analyses, on Arabic tweets related to cognitive disabilities during a nine year period. Content volume, temporal evolution, user accounts, sentiment, and topics of the tweets were analyzed. The results provide new insight into public perspectives, which may assist interested entities to form and distribute appropriate resources and information.
Bio: Dr. Jinjuan Heidi Feng, a visiting professor at the Trace Center of UMD, is a professor in the Computer and Information Sciences Department at Towson University. She received a Ph. D. in Information Sciences from UMBC in 2005. 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 the program co-chair for the 23rd International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility (ASSETS21) and the general chair for ASSETS16. She is associate editor for the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies and the ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing.
3/31 | Christina Chung
Personal Informatics in the Changing, Social World
Abstract: Personal informatics refers to information individuals can collect about themselves, such as food intake, physical activity, sleep, and mood. Current personal informatics tools have been designed primarily for personal use, focusing on quantitative measurements that are easy to collect via sensors or manual input. These systems often overlook the changing nature of everyday life, the social contexts individuals live in, the variety of goals and values they have, and the constraints and preferences associated with these contexts and values. My research has examined the collaborative use of personal informatics data and co-constructed experience in various contexts. In this talk, I will share a few recent studies unpacking ways to rethink personal informatics technology that considers the changing contexts of health behavior, shifting values and priorities, as well as the social roles and relationships that often deeply intertwine with health decisions.
Bio: Christina Chung is an Assistant Professor in Informatics and the Luddy Faculty Fellow 2020/2021 at the Indiana University Bloomington. She is also the director of the Proactive Health lab. Her research focuses on how ubiquitous computing and personal informatics data can be designed and shared to support relationships, motivate health behavior, and support collaborative care. She has published in top HCI conferences and medical journals; receiving a Best Paper Award, Honorable Mentions, and an Impact Recognition Award. Her research has been featured in mainstream media, such as CNN and Geekwire, and is supported by the National Science Foundation, IU Luddy Faculty Fellowship, and IU Precision Health Initiative. Christina received her Ph.D. in Human Centered Design and Engineering from the University of Washington while she was a member of the Design. Use. Build (DUB) group. Previously, she was also a software engineer in IBM Research Collaboratory Taiwan conducting service innovation research in health and wellness. She holds an M.B.A and B.B.A in Information Management from the National Taiwan University.
3/17 | Karen Holtzblatt
Understanding Remote Working and Diverse Teams
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3/10 | Dr. Merijke Coenraad
Designing to Introduce Technological and Algorithmic Bias in Computing Lessons
Bio: Merijke Coenraad is a Learning Experience Designer at Digital Promise. She recently defended her PhD dissertation in the Department of Teaching & Learning, Policy & Leadership in the College of Education at the University of Maryland. Her research focuses on the intersections of educational technology and equity including the creation of materials, platforms, and experiences in partnership with teachers and youth through participatory design methods. Merijke has an M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction from Boston College and a B.S. in Elementary Education and Spanish and Hispanic Studies from Creighton University. She is a former middle school teacher.
3/3 | Ben Shneiderman
Human-Centered AI: Ensuring Human Control, Enhancing Human Performance
Abstract: A new synthesis is emerging that integrates AI technologies with Human-Computer Interaction to produce Human-Centered AI (HCAI). Advocates of this new synthesis seek to amplify, augment, and enhance human abilities, so as to empower people, build their self-efficacy, support creativity, recognize responsibility, and promote social connections. Researchers, developers, business leaders, policy makers and others are expanding the technology-centered scope of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to include Human-Centered AI (HCAI) ways of thinking. This expansion from an algorithm-focused view to embrace a human-centered perspective, can shape the future of technology so as to better serve human needs. Educators, designers, software engineers, product managers, evaluators, and government agency staffers can build on AI-driven technologies to design products and services that make life better for the users. These human-centered products and services will enable people to better care for each other, build sustainable communities, and restore the environment. The passionate advocates of HCAI are devoted to furthering human values, rights, justice, and dignity, by building reliable, safe, and trustworthy systems. The talk will include examples, references to further work, and discussion time for questions. These ideas are drawn from Ben Shneiderman’s new book Human-Centered AI (Oxford University Press, February 2022). Further information at: https://hcil.umd.edu/human-centered-ai
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, NAI, and the Visualization Academy and a Member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering. He has received six honorary doctorates 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 lead author 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. His new book on Human-Centered AI, was published by Oxford University Press in February 2022.
2/24 | Paul Bricman
Building customizable and collaborative AI assistants
Abstract: AI assistance is an increasingly widespread approach to improving knowledge work. However, most commercial AI assistants today offer users limited customization options, making them difficult to integrate in specific workflows. You might be able to change its voice or superficially integrate it with other apps, but what if you wanted to teach it complex new skills (e.g. formulating research questions, connecting ideas, putting together counterarguments, etc.)? In this talk, I will describe two prototypes which explore this question. Dual is an experimental AI assistant whose skills are entirely defined by users through a lightweight scripting language which extends prompt engineering with variables and nested calls. However, even if customizable skills are handy in tailoring an AI assistant’s skill set to the user’s needs, knowing when to use what skill remains challenging. You might only have a broad overarching goal (e.g. learning a concept, solving a problem, making a decision, etc.) whose translation to individual replies is non-trivial. As an early step in addressing this challenge, I will introduce Oneironomicon, a conversational sandbox for training AI assistants on “dreamed-up” user simulators using reinforcement learning before repurposing their know-how to help real users.
Bio: Paul is a Romanian-born Netherlands-based student exploring ways of augmenting human cognition using AI. On the surface, this happens by designing tiny new primitives, mechanics, and affordances which symbiotically bring together minds and machines. On a deeper level, this happens by putting together a cognitive infrastructure: a patchwork of building blocks which together enable a rich combinatorial space of thought patterns, both organic and artificial, both individual and collective.
2/17 | Dr. Niloufar Salehi
From content moderation to school assignment: What do theories of justice teach us about design?
Abstract: Computational systems have a complex relationship with justice: they may be designed with the intent to promote justice, tasked to resolve injustices, or actively contribute to injustice itself. In this talk I will take two theories of justice, restorative and distributive justice, as frameworks to analyze and imagine alternatives to two real-world systems. First, I will analyze online harms such as harassment and revenge porn and how they are currently addressed through content moderation. I will use restorative justice to discuss the shortcomings of content moderation to effectively address those harms and discuss what alternatives we might design. Second, I will analyze an attempt at using computational systems to promote distributive justice in public schools in San Francisco that ultimately failed to achieve its theoretical promises of transparency, equity, and efficiency. I will show how incorrect modeling assumptions about families’ priorities, constraints, and goals clashed with the real world causing the algorithm to fail. Through this work I argue for recognizing the limitations of algorithmic solutions, broadening how we evaluate computational socio-technical systems, and ongoing engagement with those affected by those systems.
Bio: Niloufar Salehi is an Assistant Professor at the School of Information at UC Berkeley, with an affiliated appointment in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Her research interests are in social computing, participatory and critical design, human-centered AI, and more broadly, human-computer-interaction (HCI). Her work has been published and received awards in premier venues in HCI including ACM CHI and CSCW. Through building computational social systems in collaboration with existing communities, controlled experiments, and ethnographic fieldwork, her research contributes the design of alternative social configurations online.
2/10 | Lightning Talks
Four lightning talks featuring HCIL student researchers. Students will share a research project or idea and facilitate a discussion among attendees.
2/3 | Mohammad Ali
Fake-News Network Model: A Conceptual Framework for Strategic Communication to Deal with Fake News
Abstract: This article analyzes the entire life span of a corporate fake-news report as a case study, proposing a conceptual framework for strategic fake-news communication. Using the confirmation-bias theoretical model, this qualitative textual analysis examines the most widely circulated tweets of a fake-news item about Nike, 603 replies to the tweets, users’ biographical profiles (e.g., political affiliations), the role of opinion leader(s), and relevant prior contexts. The findings provide in-depth insight into how people believe fake news and how their conversations about fake news (re)shape the victim brand’s social realities. Overall, the findings of this study illustrate a “Fake-News Network Model” that explains the underlying mechanisms of how a fake-news item functions together with other aspects (e.g., context, perception, opinion leaders, and cognitive processes), prompting certain people to believe particular fake-news reports and, discuss the victim brand (e.g., Nike) based on that perceived truth. The article discusses the implications of this network model for both fake-news researchers and strategic communication professionals.
Bio: Mohammad Ali is a doctoral student in the College of Information Studies (iSchool) at the University of Maryland (UMD) College Park. The areas of his research interest include strategic communication, fake news, health informatics, computational journalism, HCI, and computational social science. A former journalist, Ali has studied public administration and mass communication prior to joining the iSchool Ph.D. program. His scholarly works got published/accepted and presented in different journals and conferences, including International Journal of Strategic Communication, Visual Communication Quarterly, Media Practice and Education journal, Atlantic Journal of Communication, Cultivating Q Methodology (book chapter), Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) conference, International Communication Association (ICA) conference, National Communication Association (NCA) conference, and Australian & New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA) conference.
1/27 | Xiaojun Bi
AI-powered Interaction: Principles, Models, and Applications
Abstract: How to leverage AI to enhance and augment users’ interaction with computers is a grand challenge. In this talk, I will use text-based communication in Post-PC computing as an example to demonstrate how to integrate AI into interactive systems. We have created multiple AI-powered writing systems that can (1) infer users’ communication intention from noisy input such as eye gaze, voice, and finger touch, and (2) adapt to individuals and support text input on invisible and imaginary keyboards, and (3) detect whether users develop early signs of Parkinson’s Disease. The secret ingredient behind these AI-powered interactive systems is probabilistic modeling: we have created probabilistic models to quantify uncertainty in interaction, and adapted Bayesian inference as a principle of resolving uncertainty in interaction and integrating multimodal input.
Bio: Xiaojun Bi is an Assistant Professor (2017 – present) in the Department of Computer Science at Stony Brook University. Prior to joining Stony Brook, he was a Research Scientist at Google LLC. Xiaojun’s research lies at the intersection of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), with a primary focus on AI-powered Interaction. Xiaojun Bi has authored over 40 publications in the premier HCI publication venues such as CHI and UIST, and has won 10 Best Paper or Honorable Mention awards. He is a two-time Google Faculty Research Award winner and inventor of 33 US patents. Xiaojun Bi earned his Ph.D. degree from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto, and received his Master’s degree in Computer Science and Bachelor’s degree in Automation from Tsinghua University. Further information, including publications and videos demonstrating some of his research, can be obtained from https://www.cs.stonybrook.edu/~xiaojun/
Fall 2021 Semester
12/2 | Liang He
Beyond Shape: 3D Printing Kinetic Objects for Interactivity
Abstract: Contemporary AI, driven by Big Data and statistical machine learning, raise important questions for researchers as the promise of machines as collaborative partners in a number of everyday and domain settings Emerging 3D printing technology has enabled the rapid creation of physical shapes. However, 3D-printed objects are typically static with limited or no moving parts. Creating 3D printable objects with kinetic behaviors such as deformation and motion is inherently challenging. To enrich the literature for making movable 3D-printed parts and support a wider spectrum of applications, I introduce the concept of “print driver”, a class of parametric mechanisms that use uniquely designed mechanical elements and are printed in place to augment 3D-printed objects with the ability of deformation, actuation, and sensing. In this talk, I will present a series of my research works to showcase how the print drivers can be used to lower the barrier for making 3D-printed kinetic objects and to support augmented 3D printable behaviors for interactivity. I will also share my personal thoughts on how to utilize print drivers to mediating the physical interface and computation and enabling a wider variety of interactive applications.
Bio: Liang He is a Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, advised by Jon E. Froehlich. He works at the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and digital fabrication. He takes a mechanical perspective to create novel design techniques by exploiting parametric mechanical properties and to develop computational design tools for the design, control, and fabrication of 3D printable augmented behaviors. Prior to joining UW, Liang received his M.S. in Computational Design at Carnegie Mellon University, his M.S. in Computer Science at the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, and his B.S. in Software Engineering at Beihang University. He also worked in HP Labs, in the VIBE group at Microsoft Research (Redmond), and at Keio-NUS CUTE Center. Liang publishes at top HCI venues such as CHI, UIST, TEI, and ASSETS, and received two best paper awards and one best paper nominee.
11/18 | Virginia Byrne
Preventing & Responding to Trauma in Online Spaces
Bio: Virginia L. Byrne, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs at Morgan State University. She earned her PhD in 2020 from the University of Maryland, College Park in Technology, Learning and Leadership from the College of Education. Her research investigates how social media and instructional technologies are changing how we teach, learn, and connect in higher education. In 2016-2017, she worked in the HCIL with Dr. Tammy Clegg, Dr. Jon Frohlich and the BodyVis team.
11/11 | Brian Wentz and Meagan Griffith
Evaluating the Cost of Accessibility through the Lens of Time
Abstract: There have been wild claims of exorbitant costs required to make interfaces accessible, and these claims distract from the reasonable obligation for accessible websites as well as hinder a productive process to enact new rulemaking regarding web accessibility. At the core of the issue is a lack of concrete data regarding the amount of time lost to inaccessible web interfaces. This talk will discuss our findings related to the unanswered question of time loss directly due to inaccessible web interfaces and its implications not only for organizations but most importantly to users with disabilities.
Bio: Brian Wentz is a visiting professor at the iSchool during fall 2021, working directly with the Trace Center. Dr. Wentz is also a Professor of MIS at the Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania as well as the Research Advisor for My Blind Spot in New York. For more than 15 years, he has been involved in a variety of projects related to Web accessibility and usability for people with disabilities. His research expertise focuses on HCI, accessibility, usability, and their intersection with business, public policy, and law. His most recent publication, “A Socio-legal Framework for Improving the Accessibility of Research Articles for People with Disabilities” can be found in the Journal of Business and Technology Law.
Bio: Meagan Griffith is a second year HCIM student. She is currently a Graduate Assistant for Dr. Gregg Vanderheiden but began working with Dr. Brian Wentz and Dr. Jonathan Lazar in 2019 before her senior year of undergraduate studies at University of Maryland. Her research with Dr. Wentz and Dr. J. Lazar investigated and quantified the time lost by Blind users on the web due to accessibility barriers. Now, she is assisting Dr. Vanderheiden with the deployment of Morphic – a tool that makes computers easier to use and allows portability with settings and AT. Meagan will also be working on new exciting projects investigating what the future of interfaces may look like and how to effectively simplify email interfaces. Additionally, she will be completing her Master’s thesis and plans to defend it in Spring 2022.
11/4 | Yaxing Yao
Privacy for Whom? A Multi-Stakeholder Exploration of Privacy Designs
Abstract: How to protect people’s privacy is a key challenge in our increasingly data-driven society. Existing research on privacy protection has primarily focused on end-users of computing systems. However, there are various stakeholders at play in these socio-technical systems. Privacy tools that only consider the end-users might collide with the needs of other stakeholders, making these tools less desirable. Drawing from my work on smart homes, I will present the privacy needs of different stakeholders and how these needs might conflict with each other. For example, my research shows that secondary users (i.e., people, such as guests and passersby, who are neither the owners nor direct users, can be subject to usage and recording of smart home devices) have their own privacy needs, which differ from that of the owners and are often ignored. I will discuss how a multi-stakeholder perspective can influence the design of privacy-enhancing technologies (e.g., cooperative mechanisms that bridge different stakeholders) as well as its implications for other emerging domains (e.g., smart cities).
Bio: Yaxing Yao is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Information Systems at UMBC. His research lies in the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Usable Privacy, and Design. Traditionally, empirical privacy research has focused on the privacy concerns and needs from the individual user’s level. However, evolving networked environments, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart Homes, are transforming the privacy landscape considering the conflicting privacy needs, imbalanced power dynamics, and social confrontations among different stakeholders beyond a single user. His research shifts the research focus from the privacy experiences of single users to that of multiple stakeholders in these environments, aiming to develop novel privacy-enhancing technologies to address the privacy needs of multiple stakeholders in shared systems such as the IoT, Smart Homes, and Smart Cities. He earned his PhD in Information Science from the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University (2020) and has complete a postdoc position in the CyLab at Carnegie Mellon University (2020-2021).
10/28 | Alina Striner
Designing For Distributed Audience Engagement in Immersive Media Experiences
Abstract: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the consumption and co-creation of arts changed fundamentally. In this talk, I will present my research on audience participation in media experiences, describing work on mapping a spectrum of audience interactivity, and creating an audience participation design space in the context of game live-streaming. I will also describe work on designing the Co-creation Space, a digital safe space for the creation of remote participatory art. This talk will consider the challenges of designing for distributed liveness and remote co-creation as the arts moves into a hybrid in-person and remote format.
Bio: Alina Striner is a postdoctoral researcher in the DIS group at the Dutch national research institute of Mathematics and Computer Science (Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica) in Amsterdam. Her research focuses on designing for immersive audience experiences in interactive media, and on technology for artistic co-creation. Previously she was a ERCIM post-doc fellow at CWI, and completed her PhD in the HCIL in 2019.
10/21 Lightning Talks
Short presentations and discussions on ongoing work
During these brown bags, we invite 3-4 HCIL members to give a 3-5 minute overview of a research idea they have or a research project they’re working on, and get feedback from the wider HCIL community/audience. These are informal ways to talk about your research and work through potential challenges you might be facing in developing a study or idea.
Speakers: Sarah Vahlkamp, Hannah Bako, Jude Poole
10/14 | Zahra Ashktorab
Human AI Collaboration: Social Perceptions, Measuring Outcomes and Overreliance
Abstract: Contemporary AI, driven by Big Data and statistical machine learning, raise important questions for researchers as the promise of machines as collaborative partners in a number of everyday and domain settings becomes more and more a reality. A number of papers in recent years have addressed questions of human-AI collaboration, for example in medical decision-making, data science work or IT infrastructure design practices. This talk will consist of the study of human-AI collaboration in two contexts: a human-AI collaborative word guessing game and an AI-assisted UX paradigm that aids data labelers by allowing a single labeling action to apply to multiple records.
Bio: Zahra Ashktorab is Research Scientist in the AI Experience team at IBM Research. In her research group, Dr. Ashktorab studies factors that lead to successful collaborations between humans and AI agents in various domains and settings. Her current interests lie at the intersection of machine learning, human-computer interaction, and design. Dr. Ashktorab has published innovations in several different research communities including CHI (Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems), CSCW (Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work) and IUI (Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces). Dr. Ashktorab received a BS in Computer Science from University of Maryland, College Park and her MS and PhD in Human Computer Interaction from University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to joining IBM Research in 2017, she interned for Microsoft Research, Data Science for Social Good, and National Institutes of Health.
10/7 | Yuhan Luo
Prompting Rich and Low-Burden Self-Tracking Through Multimodal Data Input
Abstract: Multimodal systems seek to support effective human-computer interaction leveraging people’s natural capabilities. While screen-based touch, keyboard, and mouse input have been the mainstream, we see the growing popularity of speech input. Inspired by speech’s fast, flexible, and expressive nature, I examine how speech input complements traditional touch input on smartphones in supporting self-tracking practices.
Bio: Yuhan Luo is a Ph.D. Candidate in Information Studies at University of Maryland College Park. Her research focuses on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Health Informatics, Personal Informatics, and Ubiquitous Computing. Yuhan is passionate about bringing positivity to individuals’ everyday health and well-being through supporting them to better capture and manage their personal health data. Toward this goal, she has designed and evaluated multimodal self-tracking systems such as mobile apps and Alexa skills. Before joining the Ph.D. program at UMD, Yuhan received her master’s degree in Information Science and Technology at Pennsylvania State University and her bachelor’s degree in Computer Science at Southeast University in China. More information can be found on her website: https://www.terpconnect.umd.edu/~yuhanluo/.
9/30 | Jessica Vitak
Connecting Contexts: Designing Privacy and Security Resources to Teach Core Concepts to Children and Families
Abstract: As smartphones, tablets, and related technologies have become commonplace, children are becoming adept at navigating these devices long before they enter school. At the same time, most conversations about how data privacy and security are deferred until children are in middle and high school, if not older. In this talk, I’ll walk through two of my team’s research projects focused on helping children and families develop digital literacy, with a focus on developing their understanding of privacy and security risks and how to protect their data online. I’ll describe ongoing design work with children to develop tools that are both engaging and educational. And I’ll highlight the important role that libraries, educators, and parents play in teaching and reinforcing core privacy and security concepts.
Bio: Jessica Vitak is an associate professor in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland and Director of the HCIL. Her research evaluates the privacy and ethical implications of big data, the internet of things, and other “smart” technologies. She seeks to understand how privacy concerns play a role in technology adoption and use, and she develops tools and resources to help children and adults make more informed decisions when using technology and sharing sensitive data. For more information, see https://pearl.umd.edu.
9/23 | SJ Terp
Cognitive Security: All the Other Things
Abstract: SJ will host a fireside chat on the human side of managing disinformation response across countries, communities, and languages.
Bio: SJ Terp helps autonomous systems, algorithms, and human communities work together. She’s an Atlantic Council senior fellow, working on technology policy, and cofounded CogSecCollab and ThreeT Consulting, where she worked on processes and technologies for disinformation defense. Her background includes autonomous systems, intelligence systems, data strategy, data ethics, nationstate policy development, crowdsourcing, and crisis data response.
9/16 | Hal Daumé III
Where NLP meets people
Abstract: Although natural language processing is about language and language is about people, a lot of research in this space in the past has abstracted away the “people” part. In this talk, I’ll briefly summarize some recent past work on bringing “people” back in, focusing on two pillars: (1) language systems that interact with people, and (2) addressing potential harms of language systems on stakeholder populations. Mostly I’ll talk about upcoming/ongoing projects, also following these two pillars, in settings like computational models of stereotyping, designing technology for content moderation, and interactive summarization.
Bio: Hal Daumé III is a Perotto Professor in Computer Science at the University of Maryland, College Park; he also spends time at Microsoft Research, New York City. He holds joint appointments in UMIACS and Language Science. For more information, see his website: https://users.umiacs.umd.edu/~hal/
9/9 | Tamara Clegg
Communities, Computing & the Carolinas
Abstract: Recently, I was invited to give a keynote talk at the ACM International Computing Education Research Conference. After putting this talk together, I wanted to share it with my home research community as it included personal reflections on how my own approach to learning and HCI has been shaped by my early experiences in CS. In this talk I will trace my own entree into Computer Science as a woman of color in North Carolina, sharing ways community experiences played pivotal roles. More broadly, I will share research insights from my research that illustrate the pivotal role of communities for STEM learning and that point to ways to mobilize communities to support such learning. Lastly, I will share some examples of STEM and computing learning environments that draw upon inherent characteristics of communities to promote life-relevant STEM learning.
Bio: Tamara Clegg is an associate professor in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland, where she co-directs the Youth eXperience (YX) Lab. She received her Ph.D. from Georgia Tech’s College of Computing and her B.S. in Computer Science from North Carolina State University. Tamara’s work focuses on designing technology (e.g., social media, mobile apps, e-textiles, community displays) to support life-relevant learning where learners, particularly those from underrepresented groups in science, engage in science in the context of achieving personally relevant goals. She seeks to understand ways such learning environments and technologies support scientific disposition development. Tamara’s work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Institute of Museum and Library Studies, and Google.
9/2 | Welcome back event
Join us for our welcome back to campus event. We’ll do introductions, catch up with lab members and their research, and have pizza. We’ll also have former HCIL director Niklas Elmqvist officially pass the torch (er, hockey stick) to incoming director Jessica Vitak. The event will be held in the iSchool Commons to give us more space to spread out
Spring 2021 Semester
1/28 | Special Event led by Catherine Plaisant & Joel Chan
— Tagging the Historical CHI Video Archive (Watch-and-Hack-athon)
Abstract. The HCIL has worked to digitize 100’s of early CHI Videos from 1983 to 2002. Those videos show pioneering work and are important to our field. They are starting to be posted online but most have no keywords to help people find videos of interest. In teams (i.e. zoom rooms) we will watch a set of videos, tag them, then get back together and share impressions and thoughts about the videos we saw.
Bios. Catherine Plaisant is a Senior Research Scientist at the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies and Associate Director of Research of the Human-Computer Interaction Lab. Catherine earned a Doctorat d’Ingénieur degree in France (similar to an Industrial Engineering PhD). In 1988 she joined the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory where she has been working with multidisciplinary teams on designing and evaluating new interface technologies that are useful and usable.
Joel Chan is an Assistant Professor in the University of Maryland’s College of Information Studies (iSchool), and Human-Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL). His research and teaching focus on the intersection of people, information, and creativity. He wants to know how they (can best) combine to enable us to design the future(s) we want to live in. His work has been recognized with a Best Paper Award at the ASME Design Theory and Methodology conference, the Design Studies Award 2015, and supported by an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant. Previously, he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Project Scientist in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. He received his PhD in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh.
2/4 | Pardis Miri
— Facilitating Affect Regulation Using a Vibrotactile Technology
Abstract. Dr. Miri will discuss her work on designing vibrotactile technologies to facilitate affect regulation. Specifically, she will cover how she designed, engineered, and evaluated a vibrotactile breathing pacer to help with stress reduction in a population of young college students. She will discuss whether the pacer was effective in anxiety reduction (both in self report and psychophysiology measures) and, where effective for whom it was effective (e.g., for those low on Big Five Openness, the device was more effective). She will then discuss how she built on the knowledge gained from a college student population, and is currently targeting her research for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
Bio. Pardis Miri, PhD, is a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, where she is working at the intersection of human computer interaction and affective science. Such research is highly interdisciplinary, and involves computer systems, human-computer interaction, psychology, and behavioral science. She is being advised by Professor Keith Marzullo at the University of Maryland iSchool, whose research is on distributed systems, and by Professor James Gross, whose research underlies much of what we now know about emotion regulation. She is also working with Professor Antonio Hardan of the Stanford School of Medicine, whose research is on children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Dr. Miri leads a multidisciplinary research team in the Stanford Psychophysiology Lab (the WEHAB team) aimed at the design, engineering, and evaluation of technologies to help people to successfully manage their emotions, moods, and stress responses. She is interested in both neurotypical and neurodiverse populations. Specifically, her work focuses on using theoretically-grounded and data-driven approaches to engineer end-to-end systems that empower people to regulate their unwanted affective experiences and behaviors in their everyday lives. Then, by running carefully-designed clinical experiments, she examines both the average effect (whether the system was effective in changing affect) and the heterogeneous effect (for whom the system was effective). The results of this research will inform practice about what types of interventions are more useful for what type of trait and state individual differences, and will reduce the use of drugs in personalized mental healthcare. To know more, please visit https://wehab.stanford.edu
2/11 | Nick Diakopoulos
— Automating the News: How Algorithms are Rewriting the Media
Abstract. Amid the push for self-driving cars and the roboticization of industrial economies, automation has proven one of the biggest news stories of our time. Yet the wide-scale automation of the news itself has largely escaped attention. In this rapidly shifting terrain, Nicholas Diakopoulos focuses on the people who tell the stories—increasingly with the help of computer algorithms that are fundamentally changing the creation, dissemination, and reception of the news.
Diakopoulos reveals how machine learning and data mining have transformed investigative journalism. Newsbots converse with social media audiences, distributing stories and receiving feedback. Online media has become a platform for A/B testing of content, helping journalists to better understand what moves audiences. Algorithms can even draft certain kinds of stories. These techniques enable media organizations to take advantage of experiments and economies of scale, enhancing the sustainability of the fourth estate. But they also place pressure on editorial decision-making, because they allow journalists to produce more stories, sometimes better ones, but rarely both.
Bio. Nicholas Diakopoulos is an Associate Professor in Communication Studies and Computer Science (by courtesy) at Northwestern University where he directs the Computational Journalism Lab. He is also a Tow Fellow at Columbia University School of Journalism as well as Associate Professor II at the University of Bergen Department of Information Science and Media Studies. His research focuses on computational journalism, including aspects of automation and algorithms in news production, algorithmic accountability and transparency, and social media in news contexts. He is author of the book, Automating the News: How Algorithms are Rewriting the Media, published by Harvard University Press. Recently he was a resident researcher in the Computational Political Journalism Lab at the Washington Post. He received his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Computer Science from the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and his Sc.B. degree in Computer Engineering from Brown University.
2/18 | Campus closed today due to inclement weather —- WILL BE RESCHEDULED FOR A LATER DATE
2/25 | Cory Lebson
— Working in UX: During a Pandemic and Beyond
Abstract. Across the world, Covid-19 has led to lost jobs, economic stress and general uncertainty about what will come next. But how, specifically, have UX jobs been impacted? In this talk, Cory will provide an on-the-ground perspective on how Covid has impacted his UX work and provide perspective on what may be different about doing UX work in 2021 and eventually post-Covid.
Bio. Cory Lebson has been a user experience consultant for over 20 years and is the Principal and Owner of Lebsontech LLC. Lebsontech is focused on user research and evaluation, user experience strategy and UX training. Cory is the author of The UX Careers Handbook and is a LinkedIn Learning instructor. Cory also speaks frequently, has been featured on the radio and has also published a number of articles in a variety of professional publications. Cory has an MBA in marketing and technology management, as well as an MA in sociology and a BS in psychology (from UMD). Cory is a past president of the User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA) International and is also a past president of the UXPA DC Chapter.
3/4 | Kent Norman
— Information Integration Theory and the Human-Computer Interface
Abstract. Information Integration Theory (IIT) was developed in the 1960’s by Norman H. Anderson. It is a comprehensive theory on how people assess information of different types from different sources to form an overall judgment or decision. It has been used to scale information, determine the integration function, and measure the weighting of factors of information.While I was trained in IIT as a graduate student at the University of Iowa and a post doc at UCSD with Anderson and published numerous studies in the 70’s and 80’s, I failed to truly carry it through to research in HCI and more recently the psychology of video games. In atonement, I present this talk and propose new research methods using the experimental designs of IIT to reap the benefits of IIT in human-computer interaction.
Bio. Kent L. Norman (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kent_Norman) received his doctorate from the University of Iowa in Experimental Psychology, 1973. He was an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland where he was the director of the Laboratory for Automation Psychology and Decision Processes, (LAPPD) and is a founding member of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory since 1984. His research is on judgment and decision making, human/computer interaction, cognitive issues in interface design, usability research, and the design of electronic educational environments. During the last ten years his research lab has studied psychological aspects of video games including factors of attraction and immersion, violent acts in video games, and an assessment of skills required for different genres of games. He is the developer of HyperCourseware™, a prototype for blended classroom and Web-based learning and the co-developer of the QUIS™, the Questionnaire for Interaction Satisfaction. His most recent book is Cyberpsychology: An introduction the human-computer interaction, Second Edition (2017). He retired January 2018 after 42 years at the University of Maryland.
3/11 | Bill Killam
— The Colorectal Cancer Risk Assessment Tool: A Case Study
Abstract. The Colorectal Cancer Risk Assessment Tool redesign project is a good, albeit rare, example of a “soup-to-nuts” project. The project was conducted by the Human Factors Engineering firm I direct, for the National Cancer Institute . It involved literature research, interaction design, and iterative design as well as both qualitative and quantitative evaluations. After describing multiple interactive visualization designs we will discuss evaluation results and show a demonstration of the final implementation. The origin of the project provides some insight into when and how user experience design issues become the focus of a project in the corporate world. Sadly, it also shows when and how user experience design is forgotten in the corporate world.
Bio. Bill Killam is an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland and teaches undergraduate courses on interaction design, research methods, and usability testing. He also teaches the HCIL Open House’s longest running tutorial (every year since 2000 and counting). He has a BS in electrical engineering and an MA in psychology and is board certified in Human Factors Engineering. In addition to teaching, he runs a Human Factors Engineering consulting firm out of Ashburn, VA.
3/18 | Spring Break
3/25 | Hernisa Kacorri, Catherine Plaisant
— Tips and Tricks to Prepare Videos and Make them Accessible
SLIDES (with Edit Access so you can update them – restricted to UMd people)
Abstract. We will share general principles and tips to produce high quality videos (software demonstrations, talk presentations, etc.) then open the floor to hear from other members of HCIL what other techniques you have found useful or what questions you have. We will pay particular attention to steps you should take to make your videos accessible. This session is NOT an introduction to video editing tools. It will focus on producing research videos for conferences such as CHI, VIS or CSCW.
Bios. Hernisa Kacorri is an Assistant Professor in the College of Information Studies. She holds an affiliate appointment in the Department of Computer Science and the Human-Computer Interaction Lab at the University of Maryland, College Park and serves as a core faculty at the Trace R&D Center. She received her Ph.D. in Computer Science in 2016 from The Graduate Center at City University of New York, and has conducted research at the University of Athens, IBM Research-Tokyo, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, and Carnegie Mellon University. Her research focuses on data-driven technologies that can benefit the disability community, with an emphasis on rigorous, user-based experimental methodologies to assess impact. Hernisa is a recipient of a Mina Rees Dissertation Fellowship in the Sciences, an ACM ASSETS best paper award and a best paper finalist, an ACM CHI honorable mention award, and an IEEE WACV best paper award. She has been recognized by the Rising Stars in EECS program of CMU/MIT.
Catherine Plaisant is a Senior Research Scientist at the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies and Associate Director of Research of the Human-Computer Interaction Lab. Catherine earned a Doctorat d’Ingénieur degree in France (similar to an Industrial Engineering PhD). In 1988 she joined the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory where she has been working with multidisciplinary teams on designing and evaluating new interface technologies that are useful and usable.
4/1 | Sungsoo Ray Hong
— Towards Alignable AIs: Helping humans to better understand, steer, and use deep neural networks
Abstract. As the use of machine learning models in product development and data-driven decision-making processes became pervasive in many domains, people’s focus on building a well-performing model has rapidly shifted to understanding how their model works. Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in understanding how Deep Neural Networks (DNNs) work under the hood and more importantly, how we can adjust the way DNNs work based on our knowledge and expectation. However, DNNs’ architecture offers limited transparency, imposing significant challenges in (1) determining when DNNs make unsuccessful predictions with potential bias and more importantly, and (2) improving the model to make the future behavior align with human expectation. In this talk, I will introduce my approach and vision towards establishing an interactive platform that assists data scientists in steering DNNs in a more cost-efficient, effective, and useful way. At the beginning of the talk, I introduce a formative study that aimed at deeply understanding the current practice of data scientists who apply explainable AI tools in designing, building, and deploying machine learning models. Then I introduce my recent approaches focusing on leveraging interactive attention mechanisms towards empowering users to better steering DNNs in the stage of data collection/annotation and model building stages.
Bio. Ray Hong is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Information Sciences and Technology at George Mason University. He earned his Ph.D. in Human-Centered Design and Engineering at the University of Washington. In Mason, he directs the Alignment lab where members focusing on bridging the gap between humans’ mental models and the way that AI operates by designing novel tools and establishing theories in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Computer-supported Cooperative Work (CSCW). His ultimate mission is to improve the way people interact with and tune AIs to have trustworthy and unbiased insights and decisions. Before joining the University of Washington, he had 5 years of industry experience at Samsung Research where he contributed to commercializing digital products adopted in Samsung’s millions of mobile and home devices.
4/8 | Dick Horst
— Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night, nor difficult to use websites, nor Covid-19 — User Research for the U.S. Postal Service
Abstract. Dick Horst is the founder and president of UserWorks, a DC-area consulting firm that specializes in UX design and evaluation. For the last ten years, UserWorks has been supporting Booz Allen Hamilton in helping the U.S. Postal Service enhance its web presence. The work has involved a series of user research studies that have utilized a variety of user research methods to address a wide range of interaction design issues. It thus serves as a good example of an ongoing program of support for an enlightened client who appreciates the value of a user-centered design process and who has had a sustained commitment to user research in implementing their online business processes. Dick will provide an overview of this work, including some of the challenges involved, design issues of interest, the UX methods employed, and the types of design improvements that have been recommended (and in most cases implemented). He will use this case study to address some of the similarities and differences between this sort of applied user research and the more academic cognitive research and tool development for which the HCIL is so well known.
Bio. Dr. Horst founded UserWorks over 30 years ago and has piloted the company through business upturns and downturns, including the current Covid-19 pandemic. He has a bachelor’s degree from Bucknell University, a masters and Ph.D. degrees from Carnegie-Mellon University in cognitive psychology, and a background in psychophysiological research, having conducted his dissertation research at the University of Illinois and worked early in his career at the University of Maryland Medical School.
4/15 | Martez Mott
— Accessible Virtual Reality for People with Limited Mobility
Abstract. Virtual reality (VR) offers new and compelling ways for people to interact with digital content. VR provides immersive experiences that can be beneficial in various domains, such as gaming, training simulations, education, communication, and design. As VR technologies continue to mature, and as commercial VR systems continue to grow in popularity, an opportunity exist to understand how to incorporate accessibility as a fundamental component in the design of VR systems and applications. This talk will describe ongoing research to understand and eliminate accessibility barriers that prevent people with limited mobility from engaging with VR.
Bio. Martez Mott is a Senior Researcher in the Ability Group at Microsoft Research. His research is focused on designing, implementing, and evaluating intelligent interaction techniques that improve the accessibility of computing devices for people with diverse motor and sensory abilities. His current research focuses on identifying and overcoming accessibility barriers embedded in the design of virtual and augmented reality systems. Martez is passionate about improving diversity in the CS and HCI communities. He co-chaired the 2020 CHIMe Workshop, is serving on the steering committee for CHIMe 2021, and co-founded the Black Researchers @ MSR group. Martez received his Ph.D. in Information Science from the Information School at the University of Washington. Prior to attending UW, he received his B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science from Bowling Green State University.
4/22 | Thijs Roumen
— Portable Laser-Cutting: Transitioning From 1000s of Users to Millions of Users
Abstract. Laser-cut 3D models shared online tend to be basic and trivial—models build over long periods of time and by multiple designers are few/nonexistent. I argue that this is caused by a lack of an exchange format that would allow continuing the work. At first glance, it may seem like such a format already exist, as laser cut models are already widely shared in the form of 2D cutting plans. However, such files are susceptible to variations in cutter properties (aka kerf) and do not allow modifying the model in any meaningful way. I consider this format machine specific. I tackled the challenge by writing software tools to modify 2D cutting plans, replacing non-portable elements with portable counterparts. This makes the models portable, but it is still hard to modify them. I thustook a more radical approach, which is to move to a 3D exchange format (kyub). This guarantees portability by generating a new machine-specific 2D-cutting plan for the local machine when exported.And the models inherently allow for parametric modifications. Instead, it raises the question of compatibility: Files already exist in 2D—how to get them into 3D? I demonstrate a software tool to reconstruct the 3D geometry of the model encoded in a 2D cutting plan, allows modifying it using a 3D editor, and re-encodes it to a 2D cutting plan. I demonstrate how this approach allows me to make a much wider range of modifications, including scaling, changing material thickness, and even remixing models. The transition from sharing machine-oriented 2D cutting files, to 3D files, enables users worldwide to collaborate, share, and reuse. And thus, to move on from users creating thousands of trivial models from scratch to collaborating on big complex projects.
Bio. Thijs Roumen is a PhD candidate in Human-Computer Interaction in the lab of Patrick Baudisch, Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany. He received his MSc from the University of Southern Denmark, Sønderborg in 2013 and BSc from the Technical University of Eindhoven, Netherlands in 2011. Between the PhD and master he worked at the National University of Singapore as a Research Assistant with Shengdong Zhao. His research interests are in personal fabrication, digital collaboration and enabling increased complexity for laser cutting. His papers are published as full papers in top-tier ACM conferences CHI and UIST. He serves on several ACM program committees including ACM UIST.
4/29 | Alex Leitch
— Glitch As Interface
Abstract. When designing interfaces, there is an inherent tension between usability and learnability. Come and consider how style and breakage play into this tension by encouraging and then undermining user trust, and how expert users may take greater ownership over devices by working with breakage to make unique interactions. We will explore the promises of the most common interaction design grammars and contrast them with familiar grammars of other types of screen-based interaction, examining the role played by game feel, and how a play-oriented perspective can decompose a skilled, planned experience into alternate, client-driven use cases. TL:DR; people find their own uses for things, let’s see how that works with screen-based experiences.
Bio. Alex Leitch is a technology consultant and artist whose work focuses on interaction design. As an artist, they have exhibited at the Toronto International Film Festival, multiple galleries, and installation festivals such as Gladstone Hotel’s Come Up To My Room, Ontario Place’s Winter Lights, and the Burning Man festival. In their developer role, Leitch has served as a technical lead or senior software developer on many web-based projects. They cofounded Site 3 Colaboratory, an art and technology makerspace in Toronto, Dames Making Games Toronto, and have been involved in a variety of Canadian not-for-profit arts and entertainment organizations. Alex teaches how to approach technology from a creative perspective.
5/6 | No BBL (End of the Spring 2021 public BBL series)
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.
12/10 | HCIL Students & Faculty
— End of the Semester Virtual Holiday Party