Collaborative games for science and engineering
We are interested in the uptake of concepts of cyber problem solving specifically among young underrepresented minorities and women, and in better understanding the larger relationships between people, educational games, and infrastructural computational technologies. Collaboration and creative strategies are encouraged and integrated into the gameplay mechanics.
Emotion and affect in distributed collaboration
Through qualitative analysis of the text-based communications created by these online collaborative projects, we aim to understand how team members express affect and emotion in this medium and the impact that these expressions have on group dynamics, creativity, and problem solving.
Visual analytics for chat and social media
We are developing and evaluating interactive visual analytics tools and techniques for large, temporal, text communication data sets with many participants. Our work focuses on enabling efficient qualitative analysis of social media data sets by maintaining context, providing examples, and supporting group discussions around the data.
Scaling qualitative analysis of emotion with natural language processing and machine learning
Based on the labels of emotion expressed in each message, we have been able to train accurate machine learning classifiers to label the rest of the data set. These labels are fine-grained, including fear, anticipation, and interest, and several can be applied to a single message, forming a challenging formulation of the sentiment analysis problem. Through the use of diverse feature sets and sliding-window feature extraction, we have been able to create relatively accurate SVM classifiers. We are currently extending our approach by using graphical models to incorporate message context.
Human-centered biometric security
We are studying security technology from a human-centered perspective. Our work includes usability evaluation of emerging security technologies, studies of people’s day-to-day password-related practices, and evaluation to determine the key interface design factors affecting user acceptance of biometric security systems.
Dr. Aragon and her colleagues are developing and evaluating a dynamical systems theory of collaborative creativity based on distributed affect and interfaces that facilitate socio-emotional communication.
Dr. Aragon and her colleagues and students performed multiple lab and field studies of thermostats and developed an innovative usability metric for thermostats to facilitate energy saving behavior. This metric is currently being evaluated in Energy Star’s draft specifications for programmable thermostats.
Sunfall is the first visual analytics system in production use at a major astrophysics project. The system resulted in labor savings of nearly 90%; the number of erroneous images was reduced by 70%; the innovative visual interfaces increased human efficiency by a factor of four.
Airflow Hazard Visualization
This work highlights the importance of understanding principles of human visual perception and cognitive ability, and applying this knowledge to the design and implementation of appropriate visualizations in an operationally stressful environment.