Katie Kuksenok and Cecilia Aragon contribute to the first paper in the Journal of Surgical Research to investigate the use of crowdsourcing for surgical skills assessment

Posted by Daniel Perry on September 23, 2013
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SCC Lab member and CSE PhD student Katie Kuksenok and SCC Lab director Cecilia Aragon were co-authors on a recent article accepted to the Journal of Surgical Research. The article titled “Crowd-Sourced Assessment of Technical Skills (C-SATS): A Novel Method to Evaluate Surgical Performance” marks the first use of crowdsourcing for surgical skills assessment. The article was co-authored by Carolyn Chen, Lee White, Timothy Kowalewski, Rajesh Aggarwal, Chris Lintott, Bryan Comstock, Katie Kuksenok, Cecilia Aragon, Daniel Holst, and Thomas Lendvay.

The article explores the effectiveness of large crowds sampled from two on-line crowdsourcing venues,’s Mechanical Turk and Facebook, testing the hypothesis that crowdsourcing of technical skills using validated surgical assessment tools is equivalent to assessment by experienced surgeon educators. Their results show that not only could crowds, presumably unfamiliar with surgical education, rate a common robotic surgery suturing task equivalent to experienced surgeons’ ratings, but that the crowds could also be honed to identify crowd workers who demonstrated markers of critical thinking making the workers more accurate. While this research finding does not presume that such a rating can assess surgical judgement, they note that this observation is not unlike being able to identify good from bad athletic performances in a sport one may have no ability to play.

This research represents a departure from conventional wisdom and practice in the area of procedural skills education. CSATS may provide a potential opportunity to disseminate basic technical skills assessment rapidly and globally while preserving educator resources ‘on the ground’ for refined, tailored advanced technical skills curricula to accelerate individual learning curves.

Daniel Perry receives two best paper awards at XSEDE 2013

Posted by Daniel Perry on July 26, 2013
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SCC lab member and HCDE PhD student Daniel Perry has received two best paper awards at the Extreme Science and Engineering (XSEDE) 2013 Conference in San Diego. Perry received Best Student Paper and Best Training, Education, & Outreach Paper Awards for the paper, “Human Centered Game Design for Bioinformatics and Cyberinfrastructure Learning,” which he presented at XSEDE on July 24.

The paper was co-authored by HCDE Professor and SCC lab director Cecilia Aragon, Stephanie Cruz (PhD student in Medical Anthropology), Mette Peters (Sage Bionetworks), and Jeanne Chowning (Northwest Association for Biomedical Research). It provides a human centered game design methodology for science educators and science game designers, as well as design implications for integrating collaborative learning experiences into the usage of large-scale shared computing resources and services. In the talk, Perry detailed their ongoing design process with high school students, undergraduate and graduate students, scientists, and educators in the development of the bioinformatics and cyberinfrastructure learning game Max5.

Megan Torkildson Places Second in CHI Student Research

Posted by Daniel Perry on May 15, 2013
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During the 2013 CHI conference, SCCL lab member and HCDE undergraduate Megan Torkildson competed in the student research competition. Semi-finalists delivered a poster presentation, and finalists were chosen to present a short talk about their research during a conference session. Out of the six selected finalists, Megan was the only undergraduate. She placed second in her category on her work developing a visualization for machine learning errors.

Katie Kuksenok Presents Two Papers at CHI

Posted by Daniel Perry on May 10, 2013
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Early this month, SCCL lab member and CSE PhD student Katie Kuksenok attended CHI 2013 in Paris, France. She presented two papers co-authored with lab member Michael Brooks on, “Challenges and Opportunities for Technology in Foreign Language Classrooms” and “Accessible Online Content Creation by End Users”. This year’s conference was the largest in CHI’s history with approximately 3,400 attendees.

Lab Members Collaborate as Visiting Scholars at the University of Chile

Posted by Daniel Perry on April 04, 2013
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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.

Research to be Presented at International Conference on Biometrics

Posted by Daniel Perry on March 21, 2013
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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.

Hoptree Visual Hierarchy Research to be Presented at INTERACT

Posted by Daniel Perry on March 17, 2013
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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.

Daniel Perry presents on Scientific Visualization Tool at the iConference

Posted by Daniel Perry on February 17, 2013
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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 Receives Berkeley Computer Science Distinguished Alumni Award

Posted by Daniel Perry on February 15, 2013
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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.

Megan Torkildson Presenting at CHI Student Research Competition

Posted by Daniel Perry on February 15, 2013
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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.