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.”