News

Lab members’ research on thermostat usage gets published and covered by media

Posted by Anissa Tanweer on July 09, 2015
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Thermostat studied by HDS Lab members

HDS Lab Director Cecilia Aragon and Lab Member Daniel Perry co-authored a paper along with Marco Pritoni, Alan K. Meier, and Therese Peffer that was recently published in the journal, Energy Research & Social Science and covered in The Washington Post.

The study, “Energy efficiency and the misuse of programmable thermostats: The effectiveness of crowdsourcing for understanding household behavior,” recruited participants from the crowdsourcing service Mechanical Turk. These participants self-reported thermostat usage and took pictures of their programmable thermostats. The researchers found that misunderstanding and misuse of programmable thermostats was widespread, undermining their potential to contribute to energy efficiency and cost savings.

The research also revealed flaws in self-reported survey data, which raises questions about the validity of thermostat-related studies that rely solely on traditional surveys. And compared to traditional surveys, this crowdsourcing method allowed the study to be completed rapidly and at low cost.

Citation:

Pritoni, M;  Meier, A. K.;  Aragon, C.;  Perry, D.;  Peffer, T. (2015). Energy efficiency and the misuse of programmable thermostats: The effectiveness of crowdsourcing for understanding household behavior. Energy Research & Social Science, 8, 190-197.

Katerena Kuksenok participates in international humanoid robotic soccer competitions

Posted by Anissa Tanweer on May 07, 2015
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HDS Lab member Katerena Kuksenok recently returned from travels that took her all over the world in the name of research. In mid-March, she attended the Computer Supported Cooperative Work Doctoral Colloquium in Canada to get feedback and critique on her dissertation proposal (extended abstract PDF). From there, she was off to Germany to join the Berlin United Nao Team Humbolt (NaoTH), which traveled together to Tehran to compete in the IranOpen humanoid robotic soccer competition. The team took a couple of weeks to travel around Iran, which they found to be a beautiful, friendly, and fascinating country. Then they returned to Germany for the GermanOpen in Magdeburg, another humanoid robotic soccer competition. There, the team slept in a hostel with quite a lot of goats and sheep, and a very pretty calf, and spent all waking hours eating and working in the conference center. So, Katerena has no idea about the rest of Magdeburg, which is probably not just a stretch of pleasant German countryside. In both Tehran and Madgeburg, the NaoTH team earned third place, though the GermanOpen match was so close (see 8:00 and on for the heat and the drama) that it necessitated an awkward, hilarious penalty shoot-out: the penalty shooter code had never been tested in a competition, and was written a year ago.

TueFranzi DSC00570 Better_reduced

Daniel Perry presents at Bio-IT Conference & Expo

Posted by Anissa Tanweer on May 07, 2015
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HDS Lab member Daniel Perry recently attended the Bio-IT Conference & Expo in Boston and delivered a talk called, “Human-Centered Game Design for Science Learning Games: A Bioinformatics Game Case Study.” His presentation provided a case study of the game MAX5, a bioinformatics learning game designed for youth. Daniel discussed a human centered design process as an applicable approach to the creative design of science games for diverse player types.

Cecilia Aragon invited to speak on data science at two South American universities

Posted by Anissa Tanweer on May 05, 2015
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Lab Director and HCDE Professor Cecilia Aragon was recently invited to present seminars on data science at the two leading universities in Chile. She gave an invited talk on human-centered data science at the Millennium Project in Semantic Web Research (http://ciws.cl) at the University of Chile and then presented an interactive seminar on applications of human-centered data science to business and innovation in the Innovation Center at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. During her stay in Santiago, Aragon collaborated with researchers in the Department of Computer Science and the Center for Mathematical Modeling at the University of Chile and in the School of Design and Business School at the Universidad Católica.

Santiago, Chile

Santiago, Chile

HDS member, Ray Hong, to present at CHI 2015

Posted by Anissa Tanweer on April 13, 2015
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HDS lab member, Ray Hong, will present a talk titled, “Improving Game Experiences” at the 2015 ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) in Seoul, Korea. Hong will present empirical data on the usability and usefulness of the Vizmo prototype, a new way of browsing video games based on their visual style and mood. The CHI talk is based on a paper title “VIZMO Game Browser: Accessing Video Games by Visual Style and Mood,” co-authored by Jin Ha Lee, Sungsoo (Ray) Hong, Hyerim Cho, and Yea-Seul Kim. More about Vizmo can be found here: http://vizmo.mooo.com/.

HDS grad students recognized for excellence in HCDE

Posted by Anissa Tanweer on April 13, 2015
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Two members of the Human-Centered Data Science Lab have been recognized for their outstanding contributions to Human Centered Design and Engineering. Daniel Perry received the 2015 HCDE Student Innovator Award for Research, and Taylor Scott received the 2015 HCDE Student Innovator Award for Teaching. Recipients of the departmental Innovator Awards are in turn nominated for the College of Engineering’s Community of Innovators Awards, which will be announced in May 2015.

Cecilia Aragon Presents at AAAS Symposium on the Human Side of Data Science

Posted by Daniel Perry on February 22, 2015
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Lab Director and HCDE Professor Cecilia Aragon presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual meeting in San Jose, California on Feb. 15th. In a talk titled “Future Career Paths for Data Scientists in Academia,” she addressed the human dimensions of data science that will be important for academic careers in the field. The talk was part of a larger session titled “Advancing University Career Paths in Interdisciplinary Data-Intensive Science,” led by University of Washington faculty, as well as additional members of the five-year Moore/Sloan data science initiative from UC Berkeley, and New York University.

An article about the presentation was recently featured in UW Today: http://www.washington.edu/news/2015/02/13/aaas-symposium-looks-at-how-to-bring-big-data-skills-to-academia/

 

Research on Bilinguals Use of Emoticons Presented at AAAS

Posted by Daniel Perry on February 20, 2015
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Research conducted by Lab Director Cecilia Aragon and HCDE PhD Student Nan-Chen Chen was recently presented in a talk at the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual meeting in San Jose, California on Feb. 14th.  Aragon presented their findings as part of a larger symposium on “Social, Emotional, and Cognitive Bases of Communication: New Analytic Approaches.” In the research Aragon and Chen analyzed chat logs from astrophysicists collaborating in the U.S. and France, finding that native French speakers in the scientific collaboration used more emoticons when they communicated in English. Their findings have implications for how bilinguals use emoticons to assist in communication when wording or phrasing might be challenging.

An article on the research was recently featured in UW Today: http://www.washington.edu/news/2015/02/13/aaas-talk-some-bilinguals-use-emoticons-more-when-chatting-in-non-native-language/

Ray Hong Wins CHI 2015 Student Design Competition

Posted by Daniel Perry on February 11, 2015
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HDS Lab member, and 3rd year HCDE PhD student Ray Hong recently won the design competition for the 2015 Computer Human Interaction (CHI) Conference Student Volunteer T-Shirts. Ray’s design won out over thirty submissions to represent the student volunteers at the CHI Conference in Seoul, South Korea in mid-April of this year.

The winning design (below) features the Republic of Korea flag, and a globe with Seoul’s major landmarks, including the Kwanghawmun gate and the N Seoul Tower. The design integrates the conference theme of “Crossings” by showing people around the globe crossing each other to say hello in English and Korean, sharing cross-cultural knowledge. Congratulations Ray!

CHISVTShirtClose

CHISVTShirts

Taylor Scott Nominated for Excellence in Teaching Award

Posted by Daniel Perry on February 02, 2015
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Taylor Jackson Scott, 4th year PhD student in the HCDE department and HDS Lab member, was recently nominated for the annual university-wide Excellence in Teaching Award for his outstanding contributions to the University of Washington and the department of Human-Centered Design and Engineering as both an instructor and teaching assistant. In his time at the UW, Taylor has worked closely with faculty and staff to foster creative and innovative learning environments for seven different courses, while serving as a mentor and collaborator to students progressing through the undergraduate and graduate degree programs.  He is currently the instructor for HCDE 411 Information Visualization where he teaches undergraduate students the fundamentals of visualization for use across a wide variety of disciplines. Asked about the nomination, he noted, “I am incredibly honored to be considered for the award, and grateful to those that have helped me along the way.”  The winners of the award are expected to be announced in the Spring quarter of 2015. Way to go Taylor!