ACM SIGCHI: Communication Ambassador & Turing Award Celebration News

Congratulations to Hui-Shyong Yeo, who has been selected as both an ACM SIGCHI communication ambassador and to represent SIGCHI at the ACM 50 Years of the A.M. Turing Award Celebration.

Yeo is a 2nd year PhD student and is particularly interested in exploring and developing novel interaction techniques. Since joining us in SACHI, he has had work accepted at ACM CHI 2016 and CHI 2017, ACM MobileHCI 2016 and 2017 and ACM UIST 2016. His work has featured at Google I/O 2016, locally on STV news and he gave a talk at Google UK in 2016 about his research.  His work has also featured in the media including in Gizmodo, TheVerge, Engadget and TechCrunch., see his personal website for more details. READ MORE

Microsoft Surface Hub award

Microsoft Surface Hub (image courtesy of Microsoft)

Microsoft Surface Hub (image courtesy of Microsoft)

We are pleased to announce that Microsoft Research and Microsoft have selected our Academic Research Request Proposal for the “Intelligent Canvas for Data Analysis and Exploration” as one of ten to award. READ MORE

July: ACM SIGCHI Adjunct Chair for Specialized Conferences


Congratulations to Professor Aaron Quigley who had been appointed the office holder for the ACM SIGCHI Adjunct Chair for Specialized Conferences by the ACM SIGCHI President Loren Terveen.

Aaron will take over from Philippe Palanque later this month and is looking forward to working with the ACM SIGCHI Executive Committee, Conference Management Committee and ACM staff over the next three years.


New Lecturer: Welcome to Uta Hinrichs


Dr Uta Hinrichs

SACHI and the School of Computer Science in the University of St Andrews are delighted to welcome Dr Uta Hinrichs as a new lecturer. Uta has been a postdoctoral research fellow with SACHI since 2012 and she now co-leads SACHI along with her colleagues. During her time as a post-doc, Uta served on the program committee for CHI 2015 and she was the ACM ITS 2013 and ACM UIST 2013 volunteer co-chair. READ MORE

Aaron Quilgey delivers a Distinguised Seminar in Helsinki

Prof. Aaron Quigley from the University of St Andrews is giving a talk on Friday 6th March.  The talk will take place in Otaniemi in the TUAS building at 14:00.
Friday 6th March, 14:00-15:00


Public-displays to the left of me, head-mounted displays to the right, Here I am, stuck with the mobile phone that is you!

Displays are all around us, on and around our body, fixed and mobile, bleeding into the very fabric of our day to day lives.  Displays come in many forms such as smart watches, head-mounted displays or tablets and fixed, mobile, ambient and public displays. However, we know more about the displays connected to our devices than they know about us. Displays and the devices they are connected to are largely ignorant of the context in which they sit including knowing physiological, environmental and computational state. They don’t know about the physiological differences between people, the environments they are being used in, if they are being used by one or more people.

In this talk we review a number of aspects of displays in terms of how we can model, measure, predict and adapt how people can use displays in a myriad of settings. With modeling we seek to represent the physiological differences between people and use the models to adapt and personalize designs, user interfaces. With measurement and prediction we seek to employ various computer vision and depth sensing techniques to better understand how displays are used. And with adaptation we aim to explore subtle techniques and means to support diverging input and output fidelities of display devices. The talk draws on a number of studies from recent UMAP, IUI, AVI and CHI papers.

Our ubicomp user interface is complex and constantly changing, and affords us an ever changing computational and contextual edifice. As part of this, the display elements need to be better understood as an adaptive display ecosystem rather than simply pixels.

Professor Aaron Quigley is the Chair of Human Computer Interaction in the School of Computer Science at the University of St Andrews, UK. Aaron’s research interests include surface and multi-display computing, human computer interaction, pervasive and ubiquitous computing and information visualisation. He has published over 135 internationally peer-reviewed publications including edited volumes, journal papers, book chapters, conference and workshop papers and holds 3 patents. In addition he has served on over 80 program committees and has been involved in chairing roles of over 20 international conferences and workshops including UIST, ITS, CHI, Pervasive, UbiComp, Tabletop, LoCA, UM, I-HCI, BCS HCI and MobileHCI.

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.

The title for his talk will be “Constructing Reality: Digital-Physical Scaffolding” and the abstract is,

Is the relationship between human and computer akin to a dance, where each moves effortlessly responding to the movements of the other? Or, are computers just agents who do our bidding, either undertaking direct actions on our behalf or proactively determining services, information and supports we may need on a moment to moment basis? Or, should computers continue to be best thought of as simple devices which we should turn over work to as Vannevar Bush said or thinking assistants to perform the routinizable work as Licklider suggests while we focus on creative thought and decision? Neither the beautiful dance, the agent nor the simple device seems to capture our current experience of human computer interaction. Technology underpins the human experience and digital technologies in the form of devices, computers and communications are weaving themselves into the fabric of existence. The nature of this weaving is far from uniform, distributed or even fair. For some, the impact of digital technologies are far removed from their day to day life and serve only to support some of the infrastructure of where they live, if at all. For others, digital technologies form part of the substrate of their existence and living without their mobile phone, social media apps and streaming music service seems unimaginable. Between these extremes are broad swathes of the global population who rely on digital technologies for the infrastructure in their areas and services delivered to their homes. Of course, our use and indeed reliance of technology is not new. Indeed, it is one of the defining characteristics of humans and society, our fashioning of tools, instruments and technologies to help shape our world and lives. In this talk I will discuss how we have already used technology to fashion and construct our present reality and explore ways we might create new scaffolds for the future such as enhancing our senses for a myriad of reasons from correction to replacement and enhancement.



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.


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).

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.

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.