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 Seminar

CHCI Seminar Series

3rd Friday of every month, 08:30am in the Moss Arts Center Sandbox

HCI graduate students sponsor and contribute to a seminar program in the Center for Human Computer Interaction. This is both a professional and a social event. Come and meet your fellow HCI students. Graduate students can take advantage of this venue to practice a talk in advance of a conference or to present ongoing research, and receive feedback from the CHCI community. This is also a good opportunity for new students interested in doing research in HCI to get to learn more about HCI, and learn about the research being done by each research group in the center. Refreshments are provided!

For more information, please see the seminar schedule.

When: 08:30pm on the 3rd Friday of every month. Seminars by visitors might be at other days/times.
Where: Moss Arts Center Learning Studio.
If you would like to present, please contact Dr. Andrea Kavanaugh (

Making Virtual Reality More Real

2018-02-16 at 08:30:00 in Learning Studio at Moss Arts Center

Presenter: Rick Skarbez

Abstract: What makes virtual reality seem real? Many of us have heard the term "presence" used to describe the feeling produced by virtual environments, but what does it really mean? In this talk, I discuss some of the illusions that make up a virtual experience, including Place Illusion and Plausibility Illusion, I review some experimental results that give some insight into how these illusions are created, and I argue that making VR less realistic can actually make it more real to users.

Bio: Rick Skarbez is a postdoctoral associate in the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech. In 2016, he completed his dissertation, "Plausibility Illusion in Virtual Environments" at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill under the supervision of Professors Fred Brooks and Mary Whitton. His primary research interests revolve around making virtual experiences truly effective.

Making sense of place. Audience responses to immersive journalism.

2017-11-17 at 08:30:00 in Learning Studio at Moss Arts Center

Presenter: Mike Horning

Abstract: Increasingly journalists are exploring how to use immersive 3D experiences in their reporting. This talk looks at a series of studies that examined how audiences interact with news content using augmented reality and 360 video. Based on the research, it offers some suggestions for future directions for design and research.

Bio: Michael Horning is an assistant professor of multimedia journalism in the Department of Communication at Virginia Tech. He is also an affiliate with Virginia Tech’s Center for Human Computer Interaction. Before entering academic, he was a general assignment news reporter for a community newspaper in Southwest Virginia where he regularly covered government and politics. Horning’s research has been focused on how emerging media technologies influence how audiences experience and respond to news. He is interested in understanding how emerging technologies shape journalistic practices and audience perceptions of news content. Horning has published research that has examined how audiences responded to the use of YouTube in the 2008 election debates, how mobile devices impact audience interest in news content and how journalistic norms and value influence political cartoonist’s coverage of sensitive political topics. His current research is exploring how immersive video environments change audience perceptions of news credibility.

Visualizing World War I through mixed reality

2017-10-20 at 08:30:00 in ICAT Learning Studio, 253 Moss Arts Center

Presenter: Todd Ogle, Doug Bowman, Thomas Tucker, Zach Duer, David Hick

Abstract: Vauquois was a small village before it became critical high ground that was fiercely contested for four years by the French and Germans during World War I, with the Americans finally taking the position during the Meuse-Argonne offensive of 1918. In an area smaller than the Virginia Tech Drillfield, a quiet, agricultural village became a killing ground starting in the streets, moving to trenches, and finally moving underground into a network of miles of tunnels used to set over 500 mine explosions in four horrific years of endless combat. Funded through an ICAT SEAD Grant, our team of technologists, artists, educators, historians, engineers, and archaeologists performed a comprehensive site survey of the Hill of Vauquois, combining ground penetrating radar, photogrammetry, and laser scanning to create a digital recreation of the above and below ground features of the craters, trenches, tunnels and galleries that allows us to see Vauquois as it has never been seen before. 360 degree video, animation, and virtual reality tell the story in an immersive experience.

Bio: Todd Ogle: Executive Director, Applied Research in Immersive Environments and Simulations (ARIES) Program, University Libraries. The ARIES program supports applied research that brings together industry partners, faculty, and students interested in the cognitive and affective aspects of learning in immersive environments, games, simulations for training and performance support, and more. Dr. Ogle's research seeks to identify and build upon the factors that lead to learner success in immersive learning environments, such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).

Technology on the Trail

2017-09-15 at 08:30:00 in ICAT Learning Studio, 253 Moss Arts Center

Presenter: Dr. Scott McCrickard

Abstract: The Technology on the Trail initiative seeks to understand and develop ways that technology is used (or avoided!) on trails and in trail-like settings, such as extended and multi-day hikes, where different user goals and desires affect our behaviors and interactions with others. We have divided this initiative into three main focus areas: preparation, experience, and reflection. The speaker will talk about lessons learned for each of these focus areas and outline some challenges and opportunities moving forward. This work was sponsored in part by an ICAT SEAD grant and by the CHCI Social Informatics group.

Bio: Scott McCrickard is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and a member of the Center for Human Computer Interaction within ICAT. His research has focused on ways that technology affects the ways we allocate our attention, largely through notifications and interactions with it. He served as the primary organizer the Technology on the Trail workshop in March 2017 in Blacksburg VA and is organizing the follow-up workshop in Sanibel Island FL in January 2018.

Resurrecting the Gigapixel Display: can embodied cognition be small?

2017-04-21 at 08:30:00 in ICAT Learning Studio, 253 Moss Arts Center

Presenter: Prof. Anthony Cate

Abstract: One of the benefits of moving around a large, interactive display is that users gain kinesthetic cues that can enhance memory for the spatial location of items. Recently my lab has investigated how items' large physical size alone can alter perceptual and cognitive processes independently from the motor actions that they afford. I will describe our efforts to distinguish the roles of locomotion, embodiment, and physical scale on declarative memory. The pursuit of these goals, as well as a fond nostalgia, led us to recreate the original (now-dismantled) Gigapixel Display in a desktop virtual environment. Using VR to reproduce the sense of presence associated specifically with a large display poses a big question: can you take the sense of size out of the sense of presence?

Bio: Anthony Cate is an Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department at Virginia Tech. He received Psychology degrees from Yale University (B.A.) and Carnegie Mellon University (Ph.D.), where he studied Cognitive Neuroscience through the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition. Before joining the faculty at Virginia Tech, he trained as a postdoc in the Group for Action and Perception at the University of Western Ontario, and in the Human Cognitive Neurophysiology Laboratory at the Veterans Affairs Northern California Medical Center in Martinez, CA.

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