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Some highlights of 2014 to date

New Lectureship | RSE/Makdougall Brisbane Medal | AHRC funding for Palimpsest Project
General Chair MobileHCI'14 | Program Chair ITS'14 | Program Chair PerDis'14 | New SICSA theme
Best paper and honorable mention at CHI 2014 | Best paper at AVI 2014 | Best paper at DIS 2014
JISC funded Trading Consequences Launch | 9 papers and other works at CHI 2014.

Our newsfeed has details of these all these activities and research.

Sep 16 / admin

Best wishes to Per Ola


Dr Per Ola Kristensson, one of the cofounders of SACHI, has become a University Lecturer in the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge. In his time at St Andrews he helped to establish the teaching and research footprint for HCI across the School of Computer Science. Speaking to SACHI Per Ola said, “I have enjoyed my time in St Andrews tremendously. It is an incredibly stimulating and vivid research environment and the growth and international visibility of the St Andrews Human Computer Interaction (SACHI) group is a testament to this.” The students here will miss him as will his colleagues. Working with students is clearly close to Per Ola’s heart, as he noted that “both the undergraduate students and the MSc students I have been teaching have been fantastic. It is incredibly rewarding to teach HCI to motivated students.”

Per Ola helped establish SACHI in many ways, from bringing leading researchers to our seminar program to new funded research projects. Professor Aaron Quigley said, “We will all miss Per Ola very much. His energy and razor sharp intellect helped in our research, teaching and in developing new insights into challenging problems”.  Per Ola went on to say that, “the collegial atmosphere is superb and the intellectual environment in the SACHI group has resulted in many papers at CHI, AVI, IUI, etc. co-authored together with colleagues, PhD students or undergraduate students. Some of these papers have also been featured in the international press or won best paper prizes.”

During his time with St Andrews, Per Ola had many successes from being awarded the RSE/Makdougall Brisbane Medal  to being the only UK member of the TR35, the most prestigious annual list published by MIT TechnologyReview in 2013.  Speaking of Per Ola as an academic Aaron said , “While Per-Ola has some serious business credentials under his belt, he is a true academic scholar, in every meaning of that term. He values academia deeply and understands that high quality research with impact doesn’t come overnight. Instead, it comes with deep thought, studious application of suitable methodology and care in reporting research results”.

Speaking about the School of Computer Science and the University Per Ola said, “people here have a genuine belief in academic values and the importance of ensuring teaching and research is of the highest calibre.” Dr Miguel Nacenta, another of Per Ola’s colleagues added, “Per Ola has been a great colleague and a friend. Working with him has enriched all of us at SACHI and we hope that the strong ties that we keep with him result in many more fruitful collaborations.”

Dr Per Ola Kristensson is now a Honorary Reader in the School of Computer Science and continues to be a member of SACHI. Looking back on his time in St Andrews Per Ola noted, “these years I have spent in St Andrews have helped me develop as a researcher and a teacher and I will remember my years here fondly”. We all wish Per Ola well on the next step in his career, it has been our great pleasure to work together for these past few years.


Sep 16 / admin

Welcome to Jonathan Hughes honorary research fellow

 (image courtesy of Butterflycatcher)

Jonathan Hughes
(image courtesy of Butterfly Catcher)

We are delighted to welcome Jonathan Hughes as an honorary research fellow to SACHI and the School of Computer Science. Jonathan is Founder & CEO of Butterfly Catcher and was formerly a founder employee of Realtime Worlds Inc., helping to create the BAFTA-winning videogame franchise ‘Crackdown’ for Microsoft Game Studios. As Principal Designer there he was also responsible for the design direction of ‘MyWorld’, a hugely ambitious entertainment platform which secured $50m funding from NEA and WPP, with executive design oversight of the UK and Asia-Pacific projects. After running the software development agency Zedaxis for several years, with clients such as Skyscanner and the NHS, he founded Butterfly Catcher in 2012, focusing on data visualisation for industry, and in particular finance.

Commenting on his honorary fellowship Jonathan said “I’m delighted to be appointed to this role. Aaron’s team at SACHI have a tremendous reputation and they are undertaking world-leading research which is highly applicable to industry. Being given the opportunity to be involved is very exciting indeed.”

Jonathan has a Masters (Dual Hons) in Psychology & Philosophy from the University of St Andrews, where he specialised in visual perception so this is a return home of sorts! Professor Aaron Quigley said of this fellowship, “we are delighted to have Jonathan join us and we are looking forward to many fruitful collaborations. With his 15 years of industrial experience across a wide range of industry sectors, Jonathan brings a new dynamic to SACHI which we are looking forward to.” Jonathan will contribute to St Andrews HCI research (SACHI) with respect to seminars, involvement in informal supervision, exploration of joint research projects, advice on information visualisation and the finance sector along with working with staff and students on research projects. We also expect Jonathan to provide advice on Palimpsest along with developing new projects and ideas with collaborators within SACHI (both within St Andrews and across Scotland).

Sep 11 / Daniel John Rough

September 23rd, seminar by David Harris-Birtill: Lasers, nanoparticles and cancer: fighting cancer using medical imaging

Speaker: David Harris-Birtill, University of St Andrews
Date/Time: 2-3pm September 23rd, 2014
Location: Maths Theatre D

This talk outlines David Harris-Birtill’s previous research (at the Institute of Cancer Research and Imperial College London) focusing on applications in detecting and treating cancer. The talk will discuss photoacoustic imaging in the clinic, photothermal therapy with gold nanorods, and the advantages of imaging in a variety of settings and in it’s many forms from a nano to a macro scale to help the fight against cancer. This talk will also touch on the importance of displaying the right type of information to the right type of user and why data analysis skills are so important in efficient scientific research.
For any questions please email David on

Dr David Harris-Birtill is a Research Fellow in the School of Computer Science at the University of St Andrews. His current research is in human computer interaction and information visualisation, and is particularly interested in data analysis, sensors and automising research.

David’s work has been published in journals including Astronomy and Astrophysics and the Journal of Biomedical Optics, and has presented his research across the globe at conferences including San Francisco (SPIE Photonics WEST) and Hong Kong (Acoustics 2012). He has created open source image analysis programs which have been downloaded by over 100 researchers all over the globe, has run a course on “Introduction to Matlab for busy researchers and clinicians” and supervised research by Masters and PhD students.

This seminar is part of our ongoing series from researchers in HCI. See here for our current schedule.

Aug 20 / admin

Winter Augmented Reality Meeting 2015 Keynote Speaker Aaron Quigley


Professor Aaron Quigley

Professor Aaron Quigley

Aaron Quigley has been invited to the Winter Augmented Reality Meeting 2015 as a Keynote Speaker. WARM is an interdisciplinary meeting of experts in AR and related domains running its tenth installment. WARM2015 continues the success of previous WARM events (WARM’05, WARM’07, WARM’08, WARM’09, WARM’10, WARM’11, WARM’12, WARM’13, WARM’14).

The organisers of WARM’15 note that the fields of Computer Graphics, Augmented Reality, Computer Vision and Ubiquitous Computing are synergistic. However, the overlap and interleaving contributions of each area has yet to be expressed and understood. The domain expert, focusing and on excelling in his or her field of research, is unable to see the connections. This meeting is a fertile ground to connect ideas and therefore seeks a variety of topics revolving around Augmented Reality and Ubiquitous Computing.

Aaron is currently on sabbatical in Japan conducting research and working on a book. Elements from both of these will form the basis for his keynote lecture in February 2015 at Graz University of Technology, Institute for Computer Graphics and Vision, Austria.



Aug 10 / David Harris-Birtill

Dr David Harris-Birtill awarded SICSA theme: Medical Imaging and Sensing in Computing

Photograph of Dr David Harris-Birtill

Dr David Harris-Birtill has been awarded full funding for the new SICSA knowledge exchange theme

We’re delighted to announce the launch of the new SICSA knowledge exchange theme: Medical Imaging and Sensing in Computing. Led by Dr David Harris-Birtill from the University of St Andrews’ SACHI group, David has been awarded full funding for a series of events to foster new development and collaboration on this topic. (see full SICSA news item)

The theme will run until 31st July 2015 and will have events open to all universities in Scotland, stimulating new ideas, connections and collaborations in this exciting and dynamic field. Dr Robert Davey from Toshiba Medical Visualization Systems is the industry expert who will also be working with us on this theme, providing useful input on the commercial application of this area.

What does the new SICSA knowledge exchange theme cover?

Computing has provided significant technological advancements within medicine over the last decade, contributing to medical imaging within MRI and X-ray CT, PET and ultrasound and optical imaging, and in recent years, advances in smart phones and wearable sensors have also enabled patients and clinicians to get complementary information. These imaging and sensing advances impact the general population as they have found methods to detect cancer, detect arterial plaque which leads to heart attacks, and guide cancer radiotherapy treatments by providing information on how much radiation dose to give to which parts of the body.

By starting this new SICSA theme, Medical Imaging and Sensing in Computing, like-minded researchers across Scotland can form a new intellectual community, promote their research, and foster creativity across institutions and collaborations between academia and industry. In addition, computer scientists involved in other research fields, such as machine learning, will be invited to connect their relevant work to the field of medicine, sparking innovative new projects. Toshiba Medical has highlighted that local industry needs to connect with talented young academics to help stimulate new ideas, engage with academia to find joint funding for industry focused research, and attract talented personnel for recruitment in such a rapidly-growing field.

New areas of research and development needed within industry include extracting useful medical information from wearable sensors, and getting information from large data sources, such as vast medical image and data stores, to help detect disease earlier and make chronic illnesses more treatable. Ultimately this theme enables researchers from across Scotland at all stages of their careers to make meaningful connections with other academics and industry members, to work together to improve patients’ lives. We look forward to the first event!

Aug 8 / admin

Research Visit by Harald Reiterer

Harald Reiterer

Harald Reiterer

Professor Harald Reiterer will visit SACHI in St Andrews from October of 2014 until March of 2015 on his research sabbatical. Together we have established ideas for new interaction paradigms for Distributed User Interfaces, like Blended Interaction. Harald visited SACHI in March 2013 and gave an invited talk about this topic. To discuss and present our ideas a greater audience we have organized together with a CHI 2013 workshop around this topic (More information are available here: As a follow up activity of the CHI 2013 workshop we organized in November 2013 a Dagstuhl Seminar called “Proxemics Interaction in HCI” (More information available here: ). Since this, we have submitted an EU grant proposal together and our students have started collaborations and follow up research.

Aug 8 / admin

Research Visit by Eve Hoggan

Eve Hoggan

Eve Hoggan

Next month Dr. Eve Hoggan who is a research fellow with the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT, Aalto University, Finland will visit SACHI until December. This visit is funded by the Academy of Finland as part of Eve Hoggan’s project – AbiComm: Ability-Based Multimodal Communication. The purpose of this research is to create a mediated interpersonal communication system adapted to the abilities of individual users.

Aug 8 / admin

Lecturer in Human Computer Interaction – SB7181

The School of Computer Science in the University of St Andrews are seeking applications for a SICSA lectureship in Human Computer Interaction or a closely related area. Applications from excellent researchers in any relevant area who are keen to cooperate with others within SACHI and the School of Computer Science. We are especially, but not exclusively, interested in those working in HCI and:
  • Input and Interaction methods
  • Information Visualisation or other techniques relevant to Data Science (e.g. machine learning)
  • Ubiquitous Computing or Systems
  • Digital Humanities

Full details of the post are here and further particulars can be found here. More details of the students, researchers, academics and adjunct members of SACHI can be found on this website.



Jul 9 / admin

Teaching Fellow in Computer Science – (HCI)

Application for this post are now closed.

Teaching Fellow in Computer Science – SB1407

Description School of Computer Science, Salary: £31,342 – £37,394 per annum pro rata,

Start: 1 September 2014 or as soon as possible thereafter, Fixed term for 9 months

Details Applications are invited for a Teaching Fellowship in the School of Computer Science. In the first instance, at least, this is a fixed-term position of nine months with a start date of September 2014. We require a Teaching Fellow to assist with the development and delivery of high quality, innovative teaching. Applicants should have at least a BSc in Computer Science, preferably a PhD, and previous lecturing and tutorial experience at undergraduate level. Preferably they should also be able to demonstrate ability to deliver a range of core Computer Science courses, in particular within the field of HCI, in classroom, laboratory and small-group tutorial environments; experience in the development of innovative material for learning and teaching; and/or experience of contributing to pedagogical studies in the sciences.

Candidates are welcome to make informal enquiries to the School’s Director of Teaching, Dr Graham Kirby,

This post is for 9 months, starting 1 September 2014 or as soon as possible thereafter

Please quote ref: SB1407

Closing Date: 7 August 2014

Further Particulars: SB1407AO FPs.pdf

School of Computer Science
Salary: £31,342 – £37,394 per annum pro rata
Start: 1 September 2014 or as soon as possible thereafter
Fixed term for 9 months

Jul 8 / Jakub Dostal

SACHI at DIS 2014

Jakub Dostal from SACHI and external co-authors published a paper at this year’s DIS conference. The paper was awarded the best paper award, given to the top 1% papers at the conference. This paper is one of the outcomes of a Dagstuhl seminar on Proxemics in Human-Computer Interaction, which Aaron Quigley helped organise and which was attended by several SACHI members.

Dark Patterns in Proxemic Interactions: A Critical Perspective.

Saul Greenberg, Interactions Lab, Department of Computer Science, University of Calgary
Sebastian Boring, Department of Computer Science, University of Copenhagen
Jo Vermeulen, Expertise Centre for Digital Media, Hasselt University
Jakub Dostal, School of Computer Science, University of St Andrews

Proxemics theory explains peoples’ use of interpersonal distances to mediate their social interactions with others. Within Ubicomp, proxemic interaction researchers argue that people have a similar social understanding of their spatial relations with nearby digital devices, which can be exploited to better facilitate seamless and natural interactions. To do so, both people and devices are tracked to determine their spatial relationships. While interest in proxemic interactions has increased over the last few years, it also has a dark side: knowledge of proxemics may (and likely will) be easily exploited to the detriment of the user. In this paper, we offer a critical perspective on proxemic interactions in the form of dark patterns: ways proxemic interactions can be misused. We discuss a series of these patterns and describe how they apply to these types of interactions. In addition, we identify several root problems that underlie these patterns and discuss potential solutions that could lower their harmfulness.

More details about the paper can be found in the ACM Digital Library