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.

When:  Every Thursday during the semester from 12:30pm – 1:30pm ET
Where: Varies

If you would like to give (or suggest) a future BBL talk, send email to HCIL Director Jessica Vitak (jvitak@umd.edu) with your proposed talk title, a brief abstract, and your bio.

Miss a talk that you were interested in? Check our YouTube channel to see if it was recorded. Most are, some are not; based on permissions from the speakers.


Fall 2021 Semester

Date: Thursday, December 2, 2021
Time:
12:30pm-1:30pm ET

Talk Title: Beyond Shape: 3D Printing Kinetic Objects for Interactivity
Speaker: Liang He, Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science & Engineering, University of Washington

Location: HBK2119 and on Zoom
Zoom registration: Click here to register

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 bEmerging 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..

Date: Thursday, November 18, 2021
Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm ET

Talk Title: Preventing & Responding to Trauma in Online Spaces
Speaker: Virginia Byrne, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs, Morgan State University

Location: HBK2119 and on Zoom
Zoom registration: Click here to register

Abstract: TBD

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.

Date: Thursday, November 11, 2021
Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm ET

Talk Title: Evaluating the Cost of Accessibility through the Lens of Time
Speakers: Brian Wentz and Meagan Griffith

Location: HBK2119 and on Zoom
Zoom registration: Click here to register

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.

Bios:

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.

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.

Date: Thursday, November 4, 2021
Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm ET

Talk Title: Privacy for Whom? A Multi-Stakeholder Exploration of Privacy Designs
Speaker: Yaxing Yao

Location: HBK2119 and on Zoom
Zoom registration: Click here to register

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).

Date: Thursday, October 28, 2021
Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm ET

Talk Title: Designing For Distributed Audience Engagement in Immersive Media Experiences
Speaker: Alina Striner, postdoctoral researcher, DIS group

Location: HBK2119 and on Zoom
Zoom registration: Click here to register

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.

Date: Thursday, October 21, 2021
Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm ET

Talk Title: Lightning Talks by HCIL students
Speakers: Sarah Vahlkamp, Hannah Bako, Jude Poole

Location: HBK2119 and on Zoom
Zoom registration: Click here to register

Date: Thursday, October 14, 2021
Time:
12:30pm-1:30pm ET

Talk Title: Human AI Collaboration: Social Perceptions, Measuring Outcomes and Overreliance
Speaker: Zahra Ashktorab, Research Scientist, IBM

Location: HBK2119 and on Zoom
Zoom registration: Click here to register

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.

Date: Thursday, October 7, 2021
Time:
12:30pm-1:30pm ET

Talk Title: Prompting Rich and Low-Burden Self-Tracking Through Multimodal Data Input
Speaker: Yuhan Luo, PhD Candidate, College of Information Studies, University of Maryland

Location: HBK2119 and on Zoom
Zoom registration: Click here to register

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/.

Date: Thursday, September 30, 2021
Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm ET

Talk Title: Connecting Contexts: Designing Privacy and Security Resources to Teach Core Concepts to Children and Families
Speaker: Jessica Vitak, Associate Professor, College of Information Studies, University of Maryland

Location: HBK2119 and on Zoom
Zoom registration: Click here to register

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.

Date: Thursday, September 23, 2021
Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm ET

Talk Title: Cognitive Security: All the Other Things
Speaker: SJ Terp, Faculty Member, College of Information Studies, University of Maryland

Location: HBK2119 and on Zoom
Zoom registration: Click here to register

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.

Date: Thursday, September 16, 2021
Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm ET

Talk Title: Where NLP meets people
Speaker: Hal Daumé III, Professor, Computer Science Department, University of Maryland

Location: HBK2119 and on Zoom
Zoom registration: Click here to register

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/

Date: Thursday, September 9, 2021
Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm ET

Talk Title: Communities, Computing & the Carolinas
Speaker: Tammy Clegg, Associate Professor, College of Information Studies, University of Maryland

Location: HBK2119 and on Zoom
Zoom registration: Click here to register

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.

Date: Thursday, September 2, 2021
Time: 12:30-1:30pm
Location: iSchool Commons (HBK 0300)

Details: 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.


Past BBL Events

Spring 2021 Semester

Fall 2020 Semester