SCC lab members, families, and friends enjoyed food, drink, and good company at a potluck at Lab Director Dr. Cecilia Aragon’s house this past week. Grilled meats, salmon, and veggie dishes made for a delicious way to celebrate another successful year, and we noshed with views of Lake Washington in the background. Many thanks to everyone who made this event possible!
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HCDE PhD student and SCC lab member Daniel Perry has been awarded a UW Graduate School Presidential Dissertation Fellowship for the 2014-15 academic year. The Graduate School Presidential Dissertation award was established with support of the University President and assists PhD candidates in the final stages of completing their dissertations. He is the first HCDE student to receive the award.
Perry’s dissertation examines how game-based learning experiences vary based on the specific perceptual, affective, and computational capacities of each learner. His research builds upon a co-design process and studies he conducted with high school students as he developed the game MAX5, a computer game where players use bioinformatics tools to stop a lethal influenza outbreak in the game. He hopes that his research will be of use to other game designers and educators who want to broaden participation to reach diverse types of learners. Perry is advised by SCC Lab Director Dr. Cecilia Aragon.
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A paper on “Collaborative Visual Analysis of Sentiment in Twitter Events” by SCCL members Michael Brooks, John Robinson, Megan Torkildson, Ray Hong, and Cecilia Aragon has been accepted to CDVE 2014, the 11th International Conference on Cooperative Design, Visualization, and Engineering. This paper presents research on Agave, a web-based visual analytics tool for collaborative exploration of large tweet data sets. Click here for more information about Agave. The conference will be held September 14-17, 2014, in Seattle, WA.
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SCC Lab members and HCDE undergraduates John Robinson and Megan Torkildson recently won the College of Engineering’s Capstone Design Award. Their group is conducting a series of interviews and contextual inquiries with emergency responders to better understand their processes and information needs. The goal of the project is to prototype a tool to utilize social media to provide situational awareness. They plan on implementing a prototype tool or visualization that fulfills emergency responders’ needs and would integrate well into their current workflow.
The Engineering Capstone Design Award was created to support student teams across the College of Engineering working on capstone design projects. Teams are awarded $3,000 for materials or training relevant to their Capstone project. Further information about the award can be found on the HCDE blog.
Call for papers, Deadline 4/1/2014 for the International Conference on Cooperative Design, Visualization and Engineering
The international conference CDVE 2014 will be held in Seattle, WA in September after ten previous conferences in Europe and Asia. The focus this year is on cooperative applications and approaches to design, visualization, and engineering. Accepted papers will be published by Springer in Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS) and selected papers may be published in special issues of the Journal of Computer Supported Cooperative Work or the Journal of Concurrent Engineering. HCDE is a technical sponsor of the CDVE 2014 conference, and students from the department will receive a registration discount.
PhD student and SCC Lab member Nan-Chen Chen received the Microsoft Research Graduate Women Scholarship for 2014. The highly selective scholarship was established to encourage first year female PhD students in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, and Math. It is awarded to only ten recipients a year in recognition of their undergraduate work and future research goals. Nan-Chen is interested in building visual analytics tools to help people better understand data. She is passionate about developing technologies that support collaboration and bridging the gaps between disciplines so that people from different fields can more easily work together to solve problems. Further information about the scholarship can be found here.
SCC Lab members Megan Torkildson (undergraduate student) and Daniel Perry (PhD student) represented the HCDE Department at UW’s Computing Open House this past Saturday, an event that drew over 1,000 middle and high school students and their families to explore and learn about computing activities on campus. Torkildson and Perry were among the HCDE volunteers at a table that featured an interactive iPad activity as well as the bioinformatics game, MAX5, developed by Perry and members of the Games for Good Research Group. “Many of the students we spoke with were pretty excited to find out about our department, especially the ones interested in computing as well as film production, art, or game animation. They didn’t know a department like ours existed where they could easily combine these interests” remarked Perry. The annual event was sponsored by Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, and featured dozens of projects in computing related fields.
As an academic lab we focus a lot on formal user studies. But what about companies that are looking for a few simple ways to improve their user interface and get feedback? Lab member Katie Kuksenok’s recent blog post offers tips for organizations seeking to improve their user experience. Read more here. The post was also recently featured on LifeHacker.
Professor Cecilia Aragon presented the keynote address November 11th at the first annual I Chilean Conference on Human Computer Interaction (ChileCHI) in Temuco, Chile. PhD student Daniel Perry also presented recent research he’s conducted on game design. Aragon’s keynote talk offered insights into the evolving state of HCI, drawing on research she has conducted in visualizing large datasets. Aragon also delivered an inspirational talk in Spanish to women computer scientists titled “Choosing to fly: why getting a PhD in computer science is like flying upside down.” The first annual ChileCHI Conference was held in Temuco, Chile, and brought together the international and Latin American HCI communities to exchange ideas, methods, approaches and techniques. The conference theme focused on intercultural exchange and cooperation between people with different backgrounds and needs.
Daniel Perry (who is advised by Aragon) gave a well-received presentation on a paper titled “Diverse Player Experiences in the Design of Science Games for Bioinformatics.” The paper was co-authored by Perry, Aragon, and HCDE students Aaron Lynch, Asmi Joshi, Karin Hellman, John Robinson, Melissa Richtarik, and UW Microbiology student Alyssa-Cyre Oyadomari. The research described the design of the bioinformatics game Max5, built by Perry and HCDE’s Games for Good Directed Research Group. Perry remarked that, “It was really exciting to be a part of such an energetic HCI community. There’s a lot we can learn from increased exchange between the North American and Latin American research communities.”
SCC Lab Director and Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) Professor Cecilia Aragon is co-PI of a recently awarded $37.8 million collaborative initiative for data science research that was received from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The University of Washington, the University of California, Berkeley, and New York University are partners in the five-year initiative that was announced Tuesday at a White House Office of Science and Technology Policy event.
Dr. Aragon’s research focuses on computer-supported cooperative work, visual analytics, and creativity for scientific collaborations, including the socio-technical aspects of cyberinfrastructure. The award will support her further work in understanding relationships and collaborations between data science and science using an ethnographic approach. “It is critical to understand the culture of data science as a socio-technical system and not as a purely technical problem of developing better algorithms to process huge volumes of data, although those are needed as well. In the end, human insight will be required to make sense out of exponentially greater quantities of complex data,” said Aragon. The UW team, which is made up of faculty from across campus, is led by Ed Lazowska, Bill & Melinda Gates Chair in Computer Science & Engineering and Director of the UW eScience Institute. UC Berkeley’s team is led by Nobel laureate astrophysicist Saul Perlmutter, and NYU’s by neuroscientist and computer scientist Yann LeCun.
Further information on the initiative and award recipients can be found at the eScience Institute blog.