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Dr. Fiore-Gartland speaks at the Convening on Urban Data Science

Posted by Anissa Tanweer on May 04, 2016
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At the recent Convening on Urban Data Science, held at the University of Chicago on April 27-29, HDS Lab member Brittany Fiore-Gartland presented a talk titled, “Data Science Studies: Toward a sociotechnical and ethical urban data science.” Dr. Fiore-Gartland made the argument that in the context of urban data science, in which there is an influx of computational scientists working on problems of social good and social science, there is a pressing need to integrate sociotechnical and ethical perspectives into practice. There is still an open question around what are the most successful structures for integrating ethnographic research and translating a sociological perspective on science and technology into something valuable for urban data science collaborations. She articulated one model of integration, discussed several modes of translation, and proposed future directions for the integration of social research into urban data science.

HDS Lab member Nan-Chen Chen presents at CSCW

Posted by Anissa Tanweer on March 04, 2016
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At the recent Computer Supported Cooperative Work Conference in San Francisco, Nan-Chen Chen presented the paper, “Considering Time in Designing Large-Scale Systems for Scientific Computing”. In this ethnographic study, Nan-Chen and her co-authors, Sarah Poon, Lavanya Ramakrishnan, and Cecilia Aragon, make the case that temporal rhythms and collective time should be more carefully considered in the design of high performance computing systems. The full paper can be accessed here. DOI: 10.1145/2818048.2819988

HDS Lab members organize and participate in Human-Centered Data Science Workshop

Posted by Anissa Tanweer on March 04, 2016
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HDS Lab director Cecilia Aragon and lab member Brittany Fiore-Gartland recently helped organize the Human-centered Data Science Workshop held in advance of the 2016 Computer Supported Cooperative Work Conference in San Francisco. Over 40 participants representing more than 20 institutions and a wide range of disciplines spent the day developing a research agenda for human centered data science. Position papers submitted by workshop participants can be found here.

Human-Centered Data Science featured at the UW Data Science Poster Session

Posted by Anissa Tanweer on February 11, 2016
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021016_nanchen_UWDS_networkingHDS Lab PhD student Nan-Chen Chen participated in the UW Data Science Poster and Networking Session held on February 10th. The campus-wise event provided an opportunity to share work with the academic community and regional partners, and to connect with other people who work in data-intensive domains. Her poster, Building Visual Analytics Tools for Enabling Human-Centered Data Science, briefly introduced the domain of Human-Centered Data Science (HDS) and illustrated a few visual analytics projects she has been working on. The PDF file of her poster can be found here.

HDS Lab members advance to candidacy

Posted by Anissa Tanweer on January 26, 2016
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HDS Lab members, Ray Hong and Katie Kuksenok, have passed their exams and advanced to PhD candidacy. Ray’s doctoral research in Human Centered Design and Engineering is focused on developing a methodology for distance cartograms, and Katie’s Computer Science dissertation is titled, “Adoption and Adaptation of Programming Practices in Oceanography.”

UW launches new data science master’s degree program

Posted by Anissa Tanweer on December 16, 2015
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The University of Washington is launching a new master’s degree program in data science. The program was designed in collaboration between six UW departments and the eScience Institute, with input from data science hiring managers from around the country. HDS Lab Director, Cecilia Aragon, serves as co-chair of the UW Interdisciplinary Data Science Group that is coordinating the formation of the Master of Science in Data Science program.

The 45-credit MSDS program will launch in autumn 2016, and will accept full and part-time students. The curriculum covers a range of skills that are in high demand in today’s job market, including statistical modeling, machine learning, software engineering, data management, data visualization and user interface design. A full description of the program can be found here, and a press release is available here.

HDS Lab members earn doctoral degrees

Posted by Anissa Tanweer on December 15, 2015
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Two HDS Lab members, Daniel Perry and Michael Brooks, completed their PhD’s from the Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering in 2015. After graduating, Daniel took a position as lecturer and postdoctoral scholar at UC Berkeley’s Information School, where he continues to study ways that gaming and virtual environments can be used for science learning, data visualization, and creative design practices. Michael is now a data scientist at Dato, a startup company specializing in machine learning platforms. His interests include the development of novel visual analytics techniques and systems to improve understanding of social media and communication.

HDS Lab director and members participate in Grace Hopper Celebration 2015

Posted by Anissa Tanweer on October 19, 2015
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The 2015 Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) brought together 12,000 attendees in Houston this October to celebrate women in computing and technology.  GHC is known for attracting outstanding technologists from academia and industry to share their research and insights for professional development.  This year the conference offered 15 tracks including Data Science, Human Computer Interaction, and Emerging Technologies.  GHC also features a career and community fair with hundreds of companies, universities, and non-profit organizations represented.

Cecilia Aragon co-led a workshop for graduate students as part of the series in the Career Track presented by the Computing Research Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W).  The workshop, co-led by Patty Lopez of Intel Corporation, focused on helping graduate students build self-confidence and make progress toward their ideal careers.  Both speakers shared personal experiences of overcoming fear and institutional biases.  They proposed “3 steps to success” for graduate students: 1) working every day to overcome fears, 2) relying on teachers, mentors, and friends for support, and 3) pursuing research topics that are personally interesting, regardless of the current trends.  In the interactive portion of the workshop, participants worked with partners to describe their ideal career paths, three “super powers,” and fears.  They also brainstormed measurable ways to work on overcoming their fears and self-doubt every day.  The workshop reinforced the general themes of GHC, offering insightful advice and building up a supportive community of women in technology.

HDS PhD students Nan-Chen Chen and Meg Drouhard also attended the conference, Nan-Chen as a GHC Scholar and Meg as a poster presenter for the ACM Student Research Competition.

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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.

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