In March, SCCL PhD student Michael Brooks and Professor Cecilia Aragon were invited for two weeks as visiting scholars to the Computer Science Department of the University of Chile, to collaborate on research with Professor Barbara Poblete and her students. Thanks to the University of Chile Department of Computer Science for their generous sponsorship of this visit. Professors Poblete and Aragon discovered their overlapping research interests in social media data mining and visualization through their involvement with Latinas in Computing.
A paper titled “Perceptions of Interfaces for Eye Movement Biometrics” by lab member Michael Brooks, lab director Cecilia Aragon, and Oleg Komogortsev (Texas State University San Marcos) has been accepted for publication at the 2013 International Conference on Biometrics. The conference will take place June 4-7 in Madrid, Spain. Through user studies of emerging technology for biometric identification via eye movement patterns, the paper argues for the increased use of human centered design practices in biometric systems research and development.
Lab members research on the hoptree visual hierarchy navigation tool has been accepted at INTERACT 2013, September 2-6 in Cape Town, South Africa. The paper, titled “Hoptrees: Branching History Navigation for Hierarchies”, is the result of collaboration between SCCL member Michael Brooks and lab director Cecilia Aragon with Jevin West and Carl Bergstrom from the UW Department of Biology, and developed out of a project for Cecilia Aragon’s HCDE 511 Information Visualization class.
Lab member Daniel Perry presented at the 2013 iConference (February 12 – 15) in Fort Worth, Texas. His presentation was titled “VizDeck: Streamlining exploratory visual analytics of scientific data,” and described the design and evaluation of VizDeck, a web-based visual analytics tool that automatically recommends a set of appropriate visualizations based on the statistical properties of the data and adopts a card game metaphor to present the results to the user. The talk was well received, and one of three visualization long papers presented this year. Daniel commented that “the iConference is just getting better and better each year. I was really impressed with some of the social media and other visualization presentations this year.”
Professor Cecilia Aragon, SCC Lab director, has been awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award in Computer Science from the Division of Computer Sciences of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley. The award was announced at the annual Berkeley EECS Annual Research Symposium (BEARS) on February 14, 2013. Aragon was one of two recipients of the 2013 award, along with Eric Allman, a computer programmer who developed sendmail. Previous winners of this award have included Douglas Engelbart, Jim Gray, Butler Lampson, Niklaus Wirth, Eric Schmidt, Steven Wozniak, and Peter Norvig.
Lab member and HCDE undergraduate Megan Torkildson has been accepted to the CHI Student Research Competition (36% acceptance rate) for her work on “Visualizing Performance of Classification Algorithms with Additional Re-Annotated Data”. The next round of the competition involves a poster presentation during the conference. Currently, she is working with PhD students Katie Kuksenok and Sean Mitchell to run additional user studies on the visualization.
Lab members Katie Kuksenok and Michael Brooks have won the 2012-2013 Shobe Prize with their proposal for Feedback Sandwich, an “app for collecting real-time feedback from friends and colleagues in a non-awkward way.” Competing teams submitted a pitch for a technology design project, and two winning teams were selected by a panel of judges to receive $5000, office space, and one-on-one mentoring to develop their product idea. The other winning team was Go-Go-Games, a startup founded by HCDE PhD student Alexis Hiniker and Stanford University Graduate School of Education alumni Joy Wong Daniels and Heidi Williamson.
SCCL work will be presented at the Computer-Supported Cooperative Work 2013 conference . It has been the result of work by a diverse, interdisciplinary group of people working to understand the role of affect expression in distributed scientific collaboration.
But there are many more chat messages (half a million!) than can reasonably be labelled manually, so we decided to try to automate identification of affect expression; our CSCW2013 paper reports a detailed description of our approach, including trade-offs of various decisions in the machine learning pipeline . The automation is not expected or intended to replace the human process of interpretation, but to provide an analytic lens that makes a large dataset accessible for analysis of the role of affect. Automated labels of affect can be used to enable large-scale analysis of social media data, including but not limited to chat logs .There are three lessons for applying machine learning to affect detection in chat we have carried from our experiments :
- Use specialized features: add to counts of words, with features particular to the medium (in chat, after all, it pays to distinguish “what.” from “WHAAAAAAAT”) or particular to the context (such as acronyms or conversation participant names, where known)
- Different features benefit different codes: we were inclusive with adding features to the set, and trained separate classifiers for each code, as different features have different effectiveness across codes (eg, swear words and “frustration”)
- Use an interpretable classifier: this helped to improve feature sets by reasoning about what features were deemed important
Our resulting pipeline is available on GitHub as a command-line tool, ALOE. In ongoing work, we are incorporating automation provided by ALOE into a web-based tool for large-scale analysis of social media data, TextPrizm .
 M. Brooks, K. Kuksenok, M. K. Torkildson, D. Perry, J. J. Robinson, T. J. Scott, O. Anicello, A. Zukowski, P. Harris, C. Aragon. Statistical Affect Detection in Collaborative Chat. CSCW 2013. PDF
 T. J. Scott, K. Kuksenok, D. Perry, M. Brooks, O. Anicello, C. Aragon. Adapting Grounded Theory to Construct a Taxonomy of Affect in Collaborative Online Chat. SIGDOC 2012. PDF
 K. Kuksenok, M. Brooks, J. J. Robinson, D. Perry, M. K. Torkildson, C. Aragon. Automating Large-Scale Annotation for Analysis of Social Media Content. Poster at 2nd Workshop on Interactive Visual Text Analytics, IEEE VisWeek (2012). PDF
A recent article in The Chronicle, titled “Scholarly Publishing’s Gender Gap“, discussed the Eigenfactor Project, a University of Washington research effort spearheaded by biologists Jevin West and Carl Bergstrom. The goal of the project is to “use recent advances in network analysis and information theory to develop novel methods for evaluating the influence of scholarly periodicals and for mapping the structure of academic research.” As part of the project, the Bergstrom Lab analyzed two million scholarly articles to determine the gender of the authors and calculate the gender gap in scholarly publishing.
SCCL member Michael Brooks and lab director Cecilia Aragon helped developed the gender browser referenced in article, in collaboration with Jevin West, Carl Bergstrom, and Jennifer Jacquet. The browser allows readers to view the gender composition of scholarly articles from 1665 to 2011. Aragon and Brooks developed the hoptree visual navigation used in the browser.
Lab member Taylor Jackson Scott gave a well received presentation at the ACM Special Interest Group on Design of Communication conference in Seattle on a paper entitled “Adapting Grounded Theory to Construct a Taxonomy of Affect in Collaborative Online Chat.” The work detailed a flexible and extensible means for constructing a taxonomy of affect in text-based online communication. Katie Kuksenok, Michael Brooks, Daniel Perry, Ona Anicello, and Cecilia Aragon were co-authors for the paper.