Congratulations to Panagiotis Apostolellis on the successful defense of his Ph.D. dissertation entitled "Evaluating Group Interaction and Engagement using Virtual Environments and Serious Games for Student Audiences in Informal Learning Settings". His advisor is Doug Bowman, with committee members Chris North, Todd Ogle (TLOS), Manuel Perez-Quinones (UNC, former CS faculty), and Marjee Chmiel (Howard Hughes Medical Institute, former Associate Director of Curriculum and Communications at the Smithsonian Science Education Center).
Brook Kennedy is an Associate Professor in the Industrial Design program with a career spanning 15 years in Industrial, Interaction and Communication design consulting. He received a BA in Art from Reed College in Portland, Oregon and an MFA at Stanford University from the Joint Program in Design. You can find more info about Brook here.
Kurt Luther and T.M. Murali, both researchers in the College of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science, recently received funding to begin tracking the effects of everyday chemical pollutants on human cells by depicting clear relationships between protein-based cell networks and their disruptors using crowdsourced visual graphs. The project is funded by the National Institutes of Health through its "Big Data to Knowledge" initiative. More information on the VT News article.
Jeff Joiner is an Assistant Professor of Practice and the Director of FourDesign, the student-run, faculty-led design studio at Virginia Tech. He received his MFA in Design with a Concentration in Design Research from the University of North Texas in Denton, TX. He has also taught in the design departments at both UNT and at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX. You can find more about him here and his design work at The Rocket Lab and FOURDESIGN.
Patrick Finley is an interactive designer and design educator who maintains a practice centered around research, teaching and service. His design work has been showcased at national and international competitions. He regularly conducts presentations and workshops at conferences throughout the country, most notably at AIGA and UCDA. Patrick’s current work, FitHub, is a fitness app for the Android and iPhone platforms that acts as a hub to all wearable fitness devices. The app leverages gamification by encouraging users to track fitness based statistics and compete against friends in challenges. Currently on its third version, FitHub received the Google Developer Award “Best of Show” in the fitness category and has over 37,000 downloads to date. Patrick earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, minoring in Computer Science, from the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire and a Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, with an emphasis in Human Computer Interaction, from Iowa State University. Welcome Partick!
The title of the proposal is "Supporting Crowdsourced Sensemaking in Big Data with Dynamic Context Slices" and it was awarded $500,000 over three years. This research will investigate how crowdsourcing and computational techniques can be combined to support the efforts of an individual analyst engaged in a complex sensemaking task, such as identifying a threat to national security or determining the names of people and places in a photograph. Check out the NSF Award Abstract.The title of the proposal is "Supporting Crowdsourced Sensemaking in Big Data with Dynamic Context Slices" and it was awarded $500,000 over three years. This research will investigate how crowdsourcing and computational techniques can be combined to support the efforts of an individual analyst engaged in a complex sensemaking task, such as identifying a threat to national security or determining the names of people and places in a photograph. Check out the NSF Award Abstract.
Congratulations to Mahdi Nabiyouni on the successful defense of his PhD dissertation entitled "How Does Interaction Fidelity Influence User Experience in VR Locomotion?”. His advisor is Doug Bowman, co-advisor Tobias Hollerer (UCSB) and committee members Chris North, Denis Gracanin, and Nicholas Polys.
Meaghan Dee is the Chair of Visual Communication Design Program in the School of Visual Arts at Virginia Tech. Meaghan received her BFA in Graphic Design from University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and her MFA in Design from Virginia Commonwealth University. Prior to joining Virginia Tech, she worked professionally as a designer for the Architecture and Design firm, Marnell Companies, where she regularly collaborated with Architects, Interior Designers, and Industrial Designers on large-scale resorts. Meaghan's design focus is on branding, typography, editorial design, user experience, and packaging. She regularly collaborates on Freelance Design projects and Grant research. Her work has been awarded nationally and internationally by the American Advertising Federation, the American Institute of Graphic Artists, Graphic Design U.S.A., Graphis, and Hiii Typography. More about Meaghan on her personal website. Welcome Meaghan!
PhD student Panagiotis Apostolellis represented the CHCI with his work on Collaborative Orchestrated Learning in Virtual Environments (C-OLiVE), during the Virginia Tech Science Festival - School Preview Day, on Friday 10/5/16. Panagiotis set up a small auditorium outside of the Planetarium of the Science Museum of Western Virginia (SMWV) in Roanoke and had visiting school groups interact with his unique multi-player game. The game is teaching the process and the mechanics involved in the production of olive oil, using a custom virtual environment - simulation game, where student groups can play together using Xbox controllers and iPads. The game was specifically developed for informal learning settings and will be also presented at the VT Science Festival on campus on Saturday, October 8th. More information about this project can be found here.
The Center for HCI is pleased to welcome its newest member, Dr Gang Wang. Gang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and his research covers a range of topics of Cyber Security, Internet Measurement, Mobile Networks, and HCI, mostly from data-driven perspectives. More info about Gang on his personal website. Welcome Gang!
Edward A. Fox, professor of Computer Science and CHCI faculty, has received the university’s 2016 XCaliber Award for making extraordinary contributions to technology enriched active learning. Established in 1996 by the Office of the Provost, the XCaliber Award is present annually by Technology-enhanced Learning and Online Strategies to recognize individual faculty members or teams of faculty and staff who integrate technology in teaching and learning. More information here.
Congratulations to Ben Knapp, Tom Martin (co-PI's), Steve Harrison (senior personnel), and Luke Lester for their NSF award for the amount of $2,000,000 for 5 years. The project titled "Radically Re-designing the Fan-in and Fan-out of an Electrical and Computer Engineering Department" aims to transform Virginia Tech's Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering from a department with narrow curricular paths that attracts and produces traditional engineers to one that draws and retains a wider pool of students and prepares them to be T-shaped professionals for a range of careers. More information on the NSF award website1>.
Congratulations to Ayshwarya Saktheeswaran on the successful defense of her Masters Thesis entitled "The Role of Teaching Assistants in Introductory Programming Courses”. Her advisor is Steven Harrison and committee members Deborah Tatar and Stephen Edwards.
Doug Bowman, professor of computer science in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, has been awarded the Frank J. Maher Professorship in Engineering by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors. A member of the Virginia Tech faculty since 1999 and director of the Center for Human-Computer Interaction since 2011, Bowman is a world leader in research in 3-D interfaces for computers and virtual reality, with a wide range of uses in education and training, the arts, science, and urban design. More information here.
The Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation recognizes Reza Barkhi, a professor and head of the department of accounting and information systems in the Pamplin College of Business, for his research in collaborative technologies and team problem-solving. Barkhi is interested in Group Decision Support Systems, which are computer-based systems that help a team of decision-makers solve problems and make choices, and Organizational Integration Systems. His research interests are in designing group decision support systems, organizational integration systems, distributed decision-making systems, telecommunication networks, and economics of information systems. More information here.
ISE PhD student Hyungil Kim, Prof. Joe Gabbard’s advisee, delivered his recent works on automotive AR applications at the IEEE VR '16 (in Greenville, SC, 3/19-23) and the ACM IUI '16 (in Sonoma, CA, 3/7-10) conferences. In his IEEE VR paper "Casting shadows: Ecological interface design for augmented reality pedestrian collision warning" co-authored with Prof. Gabbard, he presented a novel AR driver interface based on a new design approach, ecological interface design (EID), to consider both human-computer interaction and human-environment interaction. In his ACM IUI paper, "Look at Me: Augmented Reality Pedestrian Warning System Using an In-Vehicle Volumetric Head Up Display" co-authored with 5 Honda researchers, he showed benefits of this novel interface in drivers' braking performance by an experimental user study conducted on the real road.
David Hicks, an associate professor of history and social science education (Social Studies) in the School of Education at Virginia Tech, is the newest faculty affiliate in the Center for HCI. David is the program area leader for History and Social Science (Social Studies) Education in the faculty of Teaching and Learning and affiliate faculty of Learning Sciences and Technologies. He holds a BA (Honors) in Social History from Lancaster University (UK), a Postgraduate Certificate in Education with distinctions in theory and practice from Leeds University (UK), an MA in History from the State University of New York at Cortland, and a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from Virginia Tech. David taught middle school and high school social studies in New York state and served as a museum curator/educator at the History Museum of Western Virginia on the “29 Let’s Go” D-day exhibit before completing his Ph.D. You can find more information on his personal website. Welcome, David!
After the successful event of our 20-year celebration on October 15-16th, 2015 we are glad to release the recording of the Plenary Panel that opened the event. Participants were Dr. John Carroll and Dr. Marybeth Rosson (founding members) from Penn State University, Dr. Deborah Hix, former CHCI faculty member, and our own Dr. Doug Bowman (current Director) and Dr. Edward Fox, along with Dr. Scott McCrickard (moderator).
Graduate student Mahdi Nabiyouni and advisor Dr. Doug Bowman received the best paper award at the prestigious ICAT-EGVE conference, for their paper "An Evaluation of the Effects of Hyper-Natural Components of Interaction Fidelity on Locomotion Performance in Virtual Reality." Paper abstract: Hyper-natural interaction techniques are intentionally designed to enhance users’ abilities beyond what is possible in the real world. We compared such hyper-natural techniques to their natural counterparts on a wide range of locomotion tasks for a variety of measures. The results show that the effects of the hyper-natural transfer function was mostly positive, however, hyper-natural techniques designed to provide biomechanical assistance had lower performance and user acceptance than those based on natural walking movements.
Aisling Kelliher, an Associate Professor in the Computer Science Department at Virginia Tech, where she also has a joint appointment in the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology and the School of Visual Art, is the newest faculty affiliate in the Center for HCI. Aisling received a Ph.D. in Media, Arts and Sciences from the MIT Media Lab and is joining VT from the Carnegie Mellon School of Design. Her research centers on the creation and study of interactive media systems for enhancing reflection, learning, and communication. You can find more information on her personal website. Welcome, Aisling!
Shaymaa Khater successfully defended her PhD dissertation, "Personalized Recommendation for Online Social Networks Information: Personal Preferences and Location Based Community Trends," with advisor Denis Gracanin. In her research, Shaymaa presents TrendFusion, an innovative model that analyzes the trends propagation, predicts the localized diffusion of trends in social networks and recommends the most interesting trends to the user. During the dissertation work they found that performance evaluation demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed recommendation system, with TrendFusion accurately predicting places in which a trend will appear, with 98% recall and 80% precision. Congratulations, Shaymaa!
Project Title: Chem+C: Integration of Environmental Chemistry and Computing to Advance Evidence-based Reasoning, Problem Solving, and Computational Thinking in Middle School Students. The CHEM+C is a two-year, $1,250,000 project funded by the NSF to investigate a method of broadening access to CT thinking by providing it in a context that all students take: 8th Grade Integrated Science. This method will also expose students to how CT can interact with and deepen the understanding of chemistry. The project embeds targeted chemistry topics into editable, runnable computational models in a pedagogy of structured scientific argumentation. Students will learn about chemical systems through interacting with models as they are represented visually, and about CT through modifying and adapting the code to better represent aspects of the chemical systems. The PI is Deborah Tatar, Professor of Computer Science, ICAT Fellow and Member of the Center for Human-Computer Interaction; Felicia Etzkorn, Professor of Chemistry, brings her expertise as co-PI. Two additional co-PI’s, Drs. Victor Sampson and Stephanie Rivale, from University of Texas Austin, bring expertise in Science Education and Assessment. The project will work primarily with four teachers in the Austin, Texas area.
The Center for HCI is pleased to welcome its newest member, Dane Webster. Dane is an Associate Professor in the School of Visual Arts, focusing on 3D modeling, visualization, and animation. Welcome, Dane!
Thomas Tucker, an Associate Professor of Creative Technologies in the School of Visual Arts, is the newest faculty affiliate in the Center for HCI. Thomas is a visual artist specializing in 3D modeling, visualization, and animation, and he has already worked extensively with several CHCI members. Welcome, Thomas!
The CHCI offers its congratulations to long-standing faculty members Deborah Tatar and Steve Sheetz, who have been promoted to the rank of full professor at Virginia Tech (VT News article). Deborah, a member of the Computer Science faculty, directs the POET (Pragmatics of Educational/Emotional Computing Lab), while Steve is in the department of Accounting and Information Systems in the Pamplin College of Business.
On June 22, Felipe Bacim successfully defended his PhD dissertation, "Increasing Selection Accuracy and Speed through Progressive Refinement." In this innovative research, Felipe designed and evaluated 3D selection techniques based on the concept of gradual refinement of the set of selectable objects, rather than single immediate selections. The work has been published in the IEEE Symposium on 3D User Interfaces and the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, among others. Felipe will soon begin work at Apple, Inc. Congratulations, Felipe!
Nathan Lau, an Assistant Professor in the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, is the newest faculty affiliate in the Center for HCI. Nathan's research centers on display and interface design for operations centers in a variety of domains. Welcome, Nathan!
Todd Ogle is the Director of Networked Knowledge Environments in VT's Technology-Enhanced Learning and Online Strategies or TLOS. Todd has been working with CHCI Director Doug Bowman for several years on the use of mobile augmented reality for historical inquiry learning, and he is involved in several other AR and educational technology projects. For more information please see here.
Congratulations to Mohammed Seyam for being appointed graduate student representative to the Board of Visitors. Mohammed is a graduate student in our PhD program working in HCI with Dr. Scott McCrickard. Read the full article at VT News.
Title: A Mixed Methods Approach to Understanding the Attitudes of Minority Middle School Girls Toward Computer Science
Advisor: Manuel A. Perez-Quinones
Abstract: The number of women in computing is significantly low compared to the number of men in the discipline, with minority women making up an even small segment of this population. Related literature accredits phenomenon to multiple sources (e.g. background, stereotypes, discrimination, self-confidence, etc.), which includes a lack of self-efficacy or belief in ones capabilities. However, a majority of the literature fails to represent minority females, such as African Americans, in their research.
This research uses a mixed methods approach to understanding the attitudes of minority middle school girls toward computer science and the factors that influence these attitudes. Since women who do pursue computing degrees and continue with graduate education often publish in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) in greater proportions than men, this research used an intervention to introduce minority middle school girls to computational thinking concepts through HCI. To expand the scope of the data collection, a separate group of girls were introduced to computational thinking concepts through algorithms. Data was collected through both quantitative and qualitative sources, and analyzed using inferential statistics and content analysis.
The results show that minority middle school girls generally have negative attitudes toward computer science. However, after participating in a computer science intervention, perceptions toward computer science become positive. The results also reveal that several factors influence the attitudes of middle school girls toward computer science such as the participation in an intervention, the intervention content domain, the facilitation of performance accomplishments, and participant characteristics like socioeconomic status, mother's education, school grades, the use of mobile phones and video game consoles at home.
The students in this semester's Natural User Interfaces graduate seminar class will be presenting the innovative NUIs they've been developing at a project fair next Tuesday. NUI class project fair Tuesday, Dec. 9, 3:30-5:30 PM In the Cube at the Moss Arts Center The six inspiring projects that will be presented use state-of-the-art NUI technologies like the Oculus Rift, the Leap Motion Controller, the Myo gesture control armband, and the Perceptive Pixel advanced multi-touch display. Projects include an in-air musical instrument, a gesture-controlled text input method, a game for autistic children based on tangible interaction, and bare-hand interaction with a large 3D virtual environment. The public is welcome. Drop in any time. Please forward to anyone who might be interested. Come join us for a glimpse of the future of natural interaction!
The Center celebrated its new affiliations with ICAT and ICTAS at a "CHCI Celebration" on Monday, September 8 at the Moss Arts Center. Approximately 100 guests enjoyed interactive demonstrations (including a virtual reality experience in the Cube), engaging posters, and stimulating conversation. The event was hosted by the directors of the Center and the two Institutes: Doug Bowman (CHCI), Roop Mahajan (ICTAS), and Ben Knapp (ICAT). The CHCI was proud to showcase the awesome work of its faculty and students. Check out our Flickr Photostream for images of the event.
The CHCI is delighted to announce its new member, a newly appointed CS faculty as Assistant Professor, Kurt Luther. Luther's main research interests include human-computer interaction (HCI), social computing and crowd-sourcing, and creativity support tools. Specifically, he builds and studies social computing systems to enhance human creativity and problem solving abilities, in domains such as computer animation, visual design, knowledge discovery, and citizen science. He is also interested in connections to the digital humanities, especially history. Luther holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Graphics Technology (minor in Art and Design) from Purdue University and a Doctoral degree in Human-Centered Computing from Georgia Tech.
The Center for Human-Computer Interaction (CHCI) invites you to attend a special event celebrating its new affiliation with the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) and the Institute for Critical Technologies and Applied Science (ICTAS). The event will be held at the Cube in the Moss Arts Center, and will feature: - Interactive demonstrations, video, and research posters - Virtual Reality experiences in the Cube facility - Special presentations at 4:30 PM by Ben Knapp (ICAT), Roop Mahajan (ICTAS), and Doug Bowman (CHCI) - Free food and drinks Come celebrate with us! CHCI was established in 1995 and is one of the nation\'s premier research centers in human-computer interaction. Research areas include visualization and analytics, interactive displays and devices, social collaborative computing, and data/information/knowledge. The Cube is located just to the left of the main entrance of the Moss Arts Center (190 Alumni Mall) at Virginia Tech. The event is open to the entire Virginia Tech community. For more information, contact Doug Bowman (firstname.lastname@example.org). Download the event announcement
Learn more about the research of the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) and meet the faculty and students who are crossing traditional discipline boundaries to develop new possibilities for exploration, expression, and creativity during ICAT Day on Monday, May 5th. The collection of events, which are free and open to the public, showcases the work and ideas that have been generated from ICAT faculty and students during the spring semester. The event, which will include expo-style informational booths, technology demonstrations, and hands-on activities, will be held in the Moss Arts Center, located at 190 Alumni Mall. Activities will be offered from noon until 6 p.m., unless otherwise noted. The full event schedule and poster can be found here.
CHCI faculty member Chris North, professor of computer science, received the 2014 College of Engineering Dean's Award for Excellence in Research for his work on visual analytics and information visualization. Congratulations, Chris!
For the fourth time in five years, a team of doctoral students from the Center for Human-Computer Interaction has won the top prize in the IEEE 3-D User Interfaces contest. The Virginia Tech team devised a solution entitled "Slice-n-Swipe" that provided multiple virtual tools to allow users to annotate point clouds using natural in-air gestures. Read the full story at the COE News website.
Doug A. Bowman, professor of computer science and director of the Center for Human-Computer Interaction in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, has received the 2014 Visualization and Graphics Technical Committee technical achievement award in virtual reality from the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). The international award recognizes Bowman for his research and design achievements that have significantly advanced knowledge in the fields of three-dimensional user interfaces and virtual reality systems. Read the full story at the College of Engineering website.
CHCI members and past members Deborah Tatar, Steve Harrison, Scott McCrickard, Aditya Johri, Stacy Branham, Joon Suk Lee, Robert Beaton, Siroberto Scerbo, Michael Stewart, and Samantha Yglesias attended the CSCW 2014 conference in Baltimore Maryland from Feb. 16-19th. Dr. Branham, who had passed the final defense for her doctorate only four days before, organized a workshop on Co-creating and Identity-Making in CSCW: Revisiting Ethics in Design Research, that drew participants from around the world, including Ms. Yglesias, and Professors Tatar and Harrison. Dr. Lee, recent doctoral student and now a professor at Virginia State College, delivered a paper called the Sounds of Silence: Exploring Contributions to Conversations, Non-responses and the Impact of Mediating Technologies in Triple Space", co-authored with Prof. Tatar. Dr. Johri, now at George Mason, reported on work conducted while at Virginia Tech, with graduate student Janaki Srinivasan entitled "The Role of Data in Aligning the 'Unique Identity' Infrastructure in India." Dr. McCrickard oversaw and presented the conference video program together with Katie Derthick of University of Washington. Robert Beaton, Siroberto Scerbo and Michael Stewart were student volunteers.
Come join the Interdisciplinary Research Honor Society for it's 4th Annual IDR Day! This year we are changing things up a bit and combining the best of our research symposium and roundtable problem-solving events into one, with something for everyone. We have an exciting lineup of speakers who will share their insights into working in interdisciplinary teams, interdisciplinary graduate education, and how to bridge science, technology and the arts. Graduate and undergraduate students will showcase their own IDR in poster sessions, and we'll wrap up with a FREE buffet dinner and engaging roundtable discussions to try to solve some important regional problems in diverse teams. IDR Day is FREE and open to anyone on campus! Science, Engineering, Liberal Arts... undergrads through faculty and staff, we welcome and strongly encourage all to participate in this unique event!
When: Thursday, February 27th, 2014, 1:00-8:30pm
Where: The Inn @ Virginia Tech
Registration Deadline: Sunday, February 23rd
(register at http://www.idrsociety.org/idr-day-2014/)
For more information, list of speakers and schedule, please visit our website at http://www.idrsociety.org/idr-day-2014/.
April 11: Squires Student Center, Blacksburg Campus
As the breadth and impact of High Performance Computing (HPC) and Visualization continue to grow, Virginia Tech is proud to host an inaugural day-long event to connect the campus community in a computational commonwealth. HPC Day provides an occasion to explore the myriad ways that supercomputing is changing our world and to celebrate Virginia Tech's contributions. In the morning, Advanced Research Computing labs and VT IT resourcesand facilities will host open house tours. We will host a lunchtime Keynote speaker. Student work, research labs and units will be showcased with an afternoon poster session. Panels will bring out VT faculty and administrators to discuss the applications of HPC as well as the visions for the future.
Schedule of Events: (tentative)
9:00-11:00 ARC Open House
- Andrews Information Systems Building (AISB): visit the VT IT machine room
- Visionarium Lab (Torgersen 3050): Demos on the VisCube and a chance to explore/interact with other visualization equipment
12-1:15 Keynote speaker (TBD)
Old Dominion Ballroom
2:00-4:00 Poster Session for students and faculty
Williamsburg Room & Squires Atrium
4:00-5:00 Panel 1- Computing at the Edge: Applications of HPC and HPV
5:00-6:00 Panel 2- Computing the Future: Computational Science at Virginia Tech
CS alum Pardha Pyla was recently selected as an Outstanding Young Alumnus of COE. This year (as last) there will be 2 alumni of COE so honored at the COE Academy of Excellence induction dinner in spring 2014. We are very proud of Pardha's receiving this award! We are grateful, also, for the invaluable assistance of his advisor, emeritus professor Rex Hartson, in preparing this nomination. In addition, folks at Bloomberg, Pardha's current employer, provided a valuable support letter.
The award is governed by the following rules:
The Alumni Association and College of Engineering are inviting your proposal of a candidate from your department to receive recognition during the 2012-13 academic year. This award is typically given at the Academy of Engineering Excellence dinner. Each year the Alumni Association continues its recognition of recent alumni with the selection of one Outstanding Recent Alumnus or Alumna from each college.Recipients must be graduates of the past ten years (2002 or more recently). Each should have distinguished him or herself professionally in his/her career or in rendering service to the university since graduating.
Alex Endert was awarded the first annual IEEE VGTC Best Doctoral Dissertation Award. The award was presented at the IEEE VIS Conference in October 2013. Alex completed his dissertation in Computer Science at Virginia Tech in August 2012, under advisor Chris North. His dissertation is entitled "Semantic Interaction for Visual Analytics: Inferring Analytical Reasoning for Model Steering". Alex also won the Best Dissertation Award in the Department of Computer Science.
"The IEEE VGTC Doctoral Dissertation Competition IEEE Computer Society Visualization and Graphics Technical Committee (VGTC) has recently established the Best Doctoral Dissertation Award program to recognize outstanding academic research and development in visualization and visual analytics. The dissertations must address a topic relevant to visualization or visual analytics. The competition will be administrated by the IEEE VGTC Visualization Pioneers Group (VPG) under the auspices of VGTC. The award, to be known as the IEEE/VGTC VIS Pioneers Group Doctoral Dissertation Award, will be presented annually at the VPG Reception held at IEEE VIS conference."
Congratulations to Ji-Sun Kim, 2012-2013 PHD graduate of our department with co-advisors Denis Gracanin and Francis Quek, on being named 2nd place winner of the ACM Grace Hopper Celebration Graduate Student Research Competition earlier this month. Her competition entry, entitled "Action-Transferred Design Approach of Navigation Techniques for Effective Spatial Learning in 3D Virtual Environments", describes the core part of her doctoral research.
Ji-Sun describes her research thusly: "The proposed action-transferred design approach was inspired by observations from theories of learning, action, perception, and neuropsychology. We empirically demonstrated the proposed action-transferred design approach addresses the practical usability issues of previous walking-like navigation techniques, while effectively supporting spatial learning. We believe that the action-transferred design approach can open many research opportunities and applications in human computer interaction (HCI) research area. These applications include virtual exploration of scientific datasets, historic places, or real estate, architectural or urban design, military or firefighting training, and even robotics (operation of unmanned vehicles)."
This is the 2nd year in a row that CS@VT has had a graduate student win 2nd place in this competition. As a winner of a Student Research Competition at GHC, Ji-Sun will be eligible to participate in the Grand Finals of all the ACM Student Research Competitions for 2013-2014:
VT CHCI graduate student Ji Wang, alumnus Sheng Guo and professor Chris North along with graduate student Jian Zhao from the University of Toronto, have won the grand prize of the Yelp Dataset Challenge. The award announcement can be found here.
The abstract of their winning project titled "Clustered Layout Word Cloud for User Generated Review" is the following: User generated reviews, like those found on Yelp and Amazon, have become important reference material for decision making in our daily life, for example, in dining, shopping and entertainment. However, the large amounts of available reviews make the reading process tedious. In this project, we present a word cloud visualization of user generated reviews based on semantics to facilitate the decision making tasks. We used a natural language processing approach, called grammatical dependency parsing, to create a semantic graph based on the review content. A force-directed layout was then applied to the semantic graph to generate the clustered layout word cloud. Our approach can afford users more insights about reviews by creating word clusters spatially based on their semantic information. We also conducted an experiment to compare the efficiency of our method with two alternative review reading techniques: random layout word cloud and normal text-based reviews. The results showed that the proposed technique had faster task completion times and better user satisfactions.
Siroberto Scerbo and Felipe Bacim, Ph.D. students in CHCI and Computer Science, along with advisor Doug Bowman, have been named finalists in the 2013 Nokia Ubimedia Mindtrek Awards (NUMA). Their project "Insane Llamas" is a next-generation augmented reality game that allows players to defeat evil llamas hiding in the physical real-world environment by shooting virtual kiwis with a physical slingshot attached to an iPad. The game began as a class project in Bowman's 3D Interaction seminar. Based on a submission video, the team was named one of four winners of the competition, and will compete for the top prize Oct. 2 in Finland.
Congratulations to Doug Bowman and his colleagues on placing 6th in the DARPA Virtual Robotics Challenge. This means that the VT team in collaboration with TU Darmstadt will proceed to the next phase of the competition, and will receive an ATLAS robot to use in this next phase. Doug reports that Felipe Bacim (CS Ph.D. student) was the leader of the Operator Control Station (user interface) aspect of the project.
This achievement was featured in the July 3rd ACM TechNews, great publicity for our research and our department.