The Center for Human-Computer Interaction is an interdisciplinary research center jointly sponsored by the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology; and the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science at Virginia Tech.


CHCI Member Ed Fox is recognized as an ACM Fellow!


A much-deserved recognition for a remarkable set of achievements and contributions to our field.

For details please follow this link

CHCI matching funds program for HCI+art+design SEAD grants


Starting in January 2018, for an initial period of two years (through December 2019), CHCI will provide matching funds to add value to eligible ICAT SEAD grants. The purpose is to enhance support for our successful and active CHCI faculty affiliates in art+design, allowing them to do more on their projects (hire a better student, hire students for a longer period, buy more expensive equipment, etc.).

For details, please follow this link

Congratulations to Lawrence Warren, I/ITSEC scholarship winner


The CHCI warmly congratulates Lawrence Warren, MS student in Computer Science, who was recently awarded the 2018 RADM Fred Lewis Postgraduate I/ITSEC Scholarship. The scholarship is "offered to stimulate student interest and university participation in preparing individuals for leadership in the Modeling & Simulation, Training and Education communities." Lawrence's research is on the user experience of locomotion techniques in virtual reality; he is advised by Dr. Doug Bowman. Lawrence will formally receive the scholarship at the I/ITSEC conference in Orlando in December. Congratulations, Lawrence!

CHCI welcomes new member Elham Morshedzadeh


Elham Morshedzadeh is a new faculty member in our Industrial Design program, with research interests in UX. For more information, please see her personal website.

CHCI welcomes new member Zach Duer


Zach Duer is an educator and artist. He is an Assistant Professor in the School of Visual Arts and Virginia Tech. Previously, he held the position of Immersive Environment Specialist at the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA, and taught new media art as an instructor in the Kinetic Imaging department at Virginia Commonwealth University. He holds an MFA in Kinetic Imaging from Virginia Commonwealth University (2014), an MA in Music Composition from Mills College (2009) and a BM in Music Composition from Minnesota State University Moorhead (2007). For more information, please see his personal website.

Dr. Panagiotis Apostolellis bridges digital divide between museums and learning


Panagiotis Apostolellis, an adjunct professor in the Department of Computer Science in Virginia Tech's College of Engineering, and a team of researchers are helping to bridge the digital gaps that visitors experience in museums by studying virtual spaces that could serve to make institutions more interactive, social, and gamelike. More information on the VT News article.

Congratulations to Yinlin Chen on successful PhD defense


Title: "A High-Quality Digital Library Supporting Computing Education: The Ensemble Approach"
Abstract: In this research, we addressed both external and internal quality aspects of DLs. For internal qualities, we focused on completeness and consistency of the collection, catalog, and repository. We developed an application pipeline to acquire user-generated computing-related resources from YouTube and SlideShare for an educational DL. We applied machine learning techniques to transfer what we learned from the ACM Digital Library dataset. We built classifiers to catalog resources according to the ACM Computing Classification System from the two new domains, that were evaluated using Amazon Mechanical Turk. For external qualities, we focused on efficiency, scalability, and reliability in DL services. We proposed cloud-based designs and applications to ensure and improve these qualities in DL services using cloud computing. The experimental results show that our proposed methods are promising for enhancing and enriching an educational digital library.

This work received support from ACM, as well as the National Science Foundation under Grant Numbers DUE-0836940, DUE-0937863, DUE-0840719, and IMLS LG-71-16-0037-16.

Advisor: Ed Fox

Congratulations to Ayat Mohammed on successful PhD defense


Title: "High-dimensional Data in Scientific Visualization: Representation, Fusion, and Difference"
Abstract: This research examines humans' predictable bias in interpreting visual-spatial, spatiotemporal information, and inference-making in scientific visualization from a visual analytic point of view. I examined different case studies from different domains such as land suitability in agriculture, spectrum sensing in software-defined radio networks, raster images in remote sensing, pattern recognition in 3D points cloud, airflow distribution in aerodynamics, galaxy catalogs in astrophysics and protein-membrane interaction in molecular dynamics. Each case required different computing power, ranging from personal computer to high-performance cluster. Based on this experience across application domains, I propose an empirical paradigm for scientific visualization that supports three key features of scientific data analysis: representations, fusion, and visual discrimination. The results of these studies contribute to our knowledge of efficient MVMD designs and provides scientific visualization developers with a framework to mitigate the trade-offs of scalable visualization design such as the data mappings, computing power, and output modality. Ayat is starting a post-doc at Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) in their Visualization group.

Advisor: Nicholas Polys

Congratulations to Panagiotis Apostolellis on successful PhD defense


Title: "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).

Congratulations to Anamary Leal on successful PhD defense


Title:"Negotiating Ambiguity in Describing Fabrics Through Technology".
Abstract: Designers and non-designers alike often describe fabric in ways that are markedly different or unclear. For example, two designers may attribute qualities such as heavy or thick to a material, but actually mean completely different things despite using the same words.We highlight user interface designs and implementations that use the ambiguity of language without eliminating it. We studied how people described distinct fabrics, from exp erts,novices, to everyday people and the crowdsourcing community on how they interpret fabrics.We applied that information to designs that communicated materiality and ambiguity in various ways, and studied how interfaces affected a user's pro cess of exploring materials and negotiating the meaning of materiality. The most important findings are user interface guidelines that apply to any interface where ambiguity of description is a key resource, such as design."

Advisor: Steve Harrison.

Congratulations to Yinlin Chen on successful PhD defense


Congratulations to Yinlin Chen on the successful defense of Ph.D. dissertation entitled "A High-quality Digital Library Supporting Computing Education: The Ensemble Approach". Abstract: Educational Digital Libraries (DLs) are complex information systems, which are designed to support individuals’ information needs and information seeking behavior. To have a broad impact on the communities in education and to serve for a long period, DLs need to structure and organize the resources in a way that facilitates the dissemination and the reuse of resources. Such a digital library should meet defined quality dimensions in the 5S (Societies, Scenarios, Spaces, Structures, Streams) framework including completeness, consistency, efficiency, extensibility, and reliability to ensure that a good quality DL is built. In this research, we addressed both external and internal quality aspects of DLs. For internal qualities, we focused on completeness and consistency of the collection, catalog, and repository. We developed an application pipeline to acquire user-generated computing-related resources from YouTube and SlideShare for an educational DL. We applied machine learning techniques to transfer what we learned from the ACM Digital Library dataset. We built classifiers to catalog resources according to the ACM Computing Classification System from the two new domains, that were evaluated using Amazon Mechanical Turk. For external qualities, we focused on efficiency, scalability, and reliability in DL services. We proposed cloud-based designs and applications to ensure and improve these qualities in DL services using cloud computing. The experimental results show that our proposed methods are promising for enhancing and enriching an educational digital library. This work received support from ACM, as well as the National Science Foundation under Grant Numbers DUE-0836940, DUE-0937863, DUE-0840719, and IMLS LG-71-16-0037-16.

CHCI welcomes new member Brook Kennedy


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.

Congratulations to Mohammed Seyam on successful PhD defense


Congratulations to Mohammed Seyam on the successful defense of his Ph.D. dissertation entitled "Multifaceted Approach for Teaching Mobile Software Development: Class Experiences With Lectures, Tutorials, and Pair Programming". His advisor is Scott McCrickard, with committee members Nicholas Polys, Na Meng, Hicham G. Elmongui (Alexandria University, Egypt), and Woongsup Kim (Dongguk University, South Korea).

CHCI faculty Kurt Luther receives NIH grant


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.

CHCI welcomes new member Jeff Joiner


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.

CHCI welcomes new member Patrick Finley


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!

Congratulations to Mahdi Nabiyouni of successful PhD defense


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.

CHCI welcomes new member Meaghan Dee


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!

CHCI's presence at the Science Museum during VT Science Festival


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.

CHCI welcomes new member Gang Wang


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!

NSF grant for transforming VT's ECE department awarded to CHCI faculty


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 website.

Congratulations to Ayshwarya Saktheeswaran on successful Masters defense


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 named Frank J. Maher Professor


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.

Prof. Reza Barkhi recognized as scholar of the week


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 presented AR automotive application at IEEE VR'16


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 joins the CHCI


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!

CHCI20 Plenary Panel recording now available


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).

Best paper award for CHCI members at ICAT-EGVE conference


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 joins the CHCI


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!

Congratulations to Shaymaa Khater on successful PhD defense


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!

NSF grant on Computational Thinking awarded to Dr. Deborah Tatar


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.

CHCI welcomes new member Dane Webster


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 newest member of CHCI


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!

CHCI faculty members promoted to full professor


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.

Congratulations to Felipe Bacim on successful PhD defense


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 joins the CHCI


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!

CHCI welcomes our newest member Todd Ogle


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, 2015-16 BoV graduate student representative


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.

Congratulations to Ashley Robinson, successful PhD defense 3/27/15


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.

NUI project fair presents innovative natural user interfaces Dec. 9


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!

CHCI Celebration a great success


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.

Warm welcome to our new CHCI faculty member Kurt Luther


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.

CHCI celebrates new ICAT/ICTAS affiliation September 8


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 ( Download the event announcement

Chris North honored with research award


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!

CHCI students dominate the international 3DUI Symposium Contest


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.

Active representation and participation of CHCI at CSCW '14


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.

Pardha Pyla, Outstanding Young Alumnus of COE


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 awarded the IEEE VGTC Best Doctoral Dissertation Award


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."

Ji-Sun Kim named 2nd place winner in ACM Grace Hopper Celebration


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:

Yelp Dataset Challenge: VT CHCI team wins grand prize


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.

CHCI students finalists in NUMA competition


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.

VT team places 6th in the DARPA Virtual Robotics Challenge


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, 2013 ACM TechNews, great publicity for our research and our department.

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Fluid 960 Grid System, created by Stephen Bau, based on the 960 Grid System by Nathan Smith. Released under the GPL / MIT Licenses.