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Andrew Manches: Interaction, Embodiment and Technologies in Early Learning.


Abstract:
Most of us might agree that ‘hands-on learning’ is good for children in the early years. But why? Is it simply more fun and sociable, or are there any more direct cognitive benefits? And what determines definitions of ‘hands-on’? Can we include iPads? This talk will draw upon an ESRC-funded project to examine the educational implications of recent theoretical arguments about the embodied nature of cognition. Video data from the project will be used to illustrate the methodological significance of the way children gesture when describing mathematical concepts and evaluate a hypothesis that numerical development is grounded upon two particular embodied metaphors. If correct, this presents a serious challenge to traditional approaches to the types of learning materials we offer children. The talk then demonstrates two embodied technologies to consider the potential of new forms of digital interaction to further our understanding of embodied cognition as well as support early learning.

Bio:
Dr Andrew Manches is a Chancellor’s Fellow in the School of Education and leads the Children and Technology group at the University of Edinburgh. He has 20 years experience working with children, first as a teacher, then as an academic. His recent research, funded by an ESRC Future Research Leader grant, focuses on the role of interaction in thinking, and the implications this has for early learning and new forms of technology. When not being an academic, Andrew is a parent of two young children and directs an early learning technology start-up that was awarded a SMART grant this year to build an early years maths tangible technology.

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

Gavin Doherty, Technologies for mental health: designing for engagement.


Abstract:
Mental illness is one of the greatest social and economic challenges facing our society.
The talk will consider at some of the different ways in which technology (and HCI research) can help, with a particular focus on the problem of engagement. Taking examples from a series of projects to develop novel technologies for use in the mental health space, we will see some of the unique issues and challenges which come from working in this domain, and the steps which can be taken to address them. The SilverCloud platform, designed to deliver range of engaging and effective clinician-supported mental health interventions, will be used as a specific example to discuss the topics of evaluation and dissemination. Development of a suite of programmes and a number of partnerships based on the platform have enabled the delivery of supported online interventions to tens of thousands of patients in a range of public and private healthcare services worldwide.

Bio:
Dr. Gavin Doherty is an Associate Professor in the School of Computer Science and Statistics at Trinity College Dublin, and co-founder of SilverCloud Health. He completed his doctorate at the University of York, before undertaking postdoctoral work at CNR in Pisa and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in the UK before moving to TCD. He is interested in design for specific application areas, and has led a number of interdisciplinary projects in a number of different domains. A major focus of his work over the last decade has been on the design of technologies for mental health. The aim has been to develop systems which can increase access to, increase engagement with, and assist in improving the outcomes of mental health interventions.

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

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John Stasko, New Approaches for Information Visualization: Rethinking Existing Notions


Abstract:
As the field of information visualization matures, researchers are able to reflect on, and perhaps even question, some long-accepted notions from the area. In this talk, I focus on three such notions:
* Representing network data through force-directed node-link diagrams
* Focusing on visual representation first and foremost
* Evaluating visualizations through user studies and experiments
Although these ideas clearly have value as evidenced by their acceptance and longevity, I have begun to question the wisdom of each. In this talk I’ll explain my concerns about these notions and I’ll suggest a new, alternative approach to each as well. To support these arguments, I will describe a number of research projects from my lab that illustrate and exemplify the new approach.

Bio:
John received the B.S. degree in Mathematics at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania (1983) and Sc.M. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island (1985 and 1989). He joined the faculty at Georgia Tech in 1989, and he is presently a Professor in the School of Interactive Computing in the College of Computing. His primary research area is human-computer interaction, with a focus on information visualization and visual analytics. John is a senior member of the ACM and IEEE. He was named an ACM Distinguished Scientist in 2011 and an IEEE Fellow in 2014. He also received the 2012 IEEE VGTC Visualization Technical Achievement Award. In 2013 John served as General Chair of the IEEE VIS conferences in Atlanta, and he was named an Honorary Professor in the School of Computer Science at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

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

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Gorkem Pacaci, Visualizing and writing variable-free compositional relational programs


Visualizing and writing variable-free compositional relational programs.

Abstract:
Representing argument binding in compositional relational programs is an issue due to the syntactic problems. We first present our former research on using visualization to overcome this problem, and relevant user studies, and go on to discuss our recent work on syntactic improvements in solving the same problem. We are looking forward to feedback on this early stage research.

Bio
Gorkem studied his masters degree in Abertay Dundee in Computer Games Technology, delivering a thesis on Optimizing collision detection in games. After working in games for a while, he started studying towards a doctorate degree in Uppsala University, Sweden. His study focuses on the representation of relational programming languages

Mel Woods, Future Cities: Co-creating Future City Design Fictions in the Wild


Abstract:
Blue heritage plaques pepper the UK landscape expounding officially validated narratives celebrating past events, people, and buildings. This seminar will discuss a novel method that draws on this specific cultural context to generate reflective, nano-stories, documenting them through populating a place, physical space, and an online data repository. The guerrilla blue plaque method was designed to support people to reflect on possible futures, in this instance the theme of future cities. The seminar will demonstrate how using critical design artefacts can help support understanding of future hopes, needs, and goals for individuals and communities. It will also discuss the method as a feedback mechanism for participatory design, citizen engagement and emergent outcomes from the latest deployment.
This work was initially developed as part of a UK arts and digital media festival and exhibited recently at Microsoft Research Lab, Cambridge at RTD 2015.

Bio:
Mel is Reader at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee. In her research she has developed and explored interaction between people to support discovery, foster creativity and affect. Throughout her academic career she has sustained a critical enquiry in art and design, creating digital artefacts, interfaces, prototypes and exhibits using novel methods and evaluation techniques.

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

Nicolai Marquardt, Towards Ad-hoc Collaboration Spaces with Cross-Device Interaction Techniques


Abstract:
Despite the ongoing proliferation of devices and form-factors such as tablets and electronic whiteboards, technology often hinders (rather than helps) informal small-group interactions. Whereas natural human conversation is fluid and dynamic, discussions that rely on digital content—slides, documents, clippings—often remain hindered due to the awkwardness of manipulating, sharing, and displaying information on and across multiple devices. Addressing these shortcomings, in this talk I present our research towards fluid, ad-hoc, minimally disruptive techniques for co-located collaboration by leveraging the proxemics of people as well as the proxemics of devices. In particular, I will demonstrate a number of cross-device interaction techniques—situated within the research theme of proxemic interactions—that support nuanced gradations of sharing. I will also introduce different novel hybrid sensing approaches enabling these interaction techniques and discuss future research directions.

Bio:
Nicolai Marquardt is Lecturer in Physical Computing at University College London. At the UCL Interaction Centre he is working in the research areas of ubiquitous computing, physical user interfaces, proxemic interactions, and interactive surfaces. He is co-author of the books Proxemic Interactions: From Theory to Practice (Morgan & Claypool 2015) and Sketching User Experiences: The Workbook (Elsevier, Morgan Kaufmann 2012).

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

Nick Taylor, Sustaining Civic Engagement in Communities


Abstract:
Engagement with local issues is typically very low, despite digital technologies opening up more channels for citizens to access information and get involved than ever before. This talk will present research around the use of simple physical interfaces in public spaces to lower barriers to participation and engage a wider audience in local issues. It will also explore the potential for moving beyond top-down interventions to support sustainable grassroots innovation, in which citizens can develop their own solutions to local issues.

Bio:
Nick Taylor is a Lecturer and Dundee Fellow in the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design at the University of Dundee. His research interests involve the use of novel technologies in social contexts, particularly in communities and public spaces. This has involved the exploration of technologies to support civic engagement in local democracy, public displays supporting community awareness and heritage, as well as methods of engaging communities in design.

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

Neal Lathia, Emotion Sense: From Design to Deployment



Location: Maths Lecture Theatre D, University of St Andrews

Abstract:
In the UK, more than 70% of mobile users now own a smartphone. These increasingly powerful, sensor-rich, and personal devices present an immense opportunity to monitor health-related behaviours and deliver digital behaviour-change interventions at unprecedented scale.

However, designing and building systems to measure and intervene on health behaviours presents a number of challenges. These range from balancing between energy efficiency and data granularity, translating between behavioural theory and design, making long psychological assessments usable for end users, and making sense of the sensor and survey data these apps collect in a multidisciplinary setting.

Approximately 18 months ago, we launched Emotion Sense, a mood-tracking app for Android where we tried to address some of these challenges. To date, the app has been downloaded over 35,000 times and has an active user base of about 2,000 people: in this talk, I will describe how we designed, trialled, and launched Emotion Sense, and the insights we are obtaining about diurnal patterns of activity and happiness that we are finding by mining the 100 million+ accelerometer samples the app has collected to date. I’ll close with future directions of this technology — including a novel smoking cessation intervention (Q Sense), and a generic platform (Easy M) that we have developed to allow researchers to conduct their own studies.

http://emotionsense.org/
http://www.qsense.phpc.cam.ac.uk/
http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~nkl25/easym/

Bio:
Neal is a Senior Research Associate in Cambridge University’s Computer Laboratory. His research to date falls somewhere in the intersection of data mining, mobile systems, ubiquitous/pervasive systems, and personalisation/ recommender systems, applied to a variety of contexts where we measure human behaviour by their digital footprints. He has a PhD in Computer Science from University College London. More info/contact http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~nkl25/

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

David Harris-Birtill, Lasers, nanoparticles and cancer: fighting cancer using medical imaging



Location: Maths Theatre D

Abstract:
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 dcchb@st-andrews.ac.uk

Bio:
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.

Aaron Quigley and Daniel Rough, Practice talks for AVI 2014


Title: AwToolkit: Attention-Aware User Interface Widgets
Authors: Juan-Enrique Garrido, Victor M. R. Penichet, Maria-Dolores Lozano, Aaron Quigley, Per Ola Kristensson.

Abstract: Increasing screen real-estate allows for the development of applications where a single user can manage a large amount of data and related tasks through a distributed user inter- face. However, such users can easily become overloaded and become unaware of display changes as they alternate their attention towards different displays. We propose Aw- Toolkit, a novel widget set for developers that supports users in maintaing awareness in multi-display systems. The Aw- Toolkit widgets automatically determine which display a user is looking at and provide users with notifications with different levels of subtlety to make the user aware of any unattended display changes. The toolkit uses four notifica- tion levels (unnoticeable, subtle, intrusive and disruptive), ranging from an almost imperceptible visual change to a clear and visually saliant change. We describe AwToolkit’s six widgets, which have been designed for C# developers, and the design of a user study with an application oriented towards healthcare environments. The evaluation results re- veal a marked increase in user awareness in comparison to the same application implemented without AwToolkit.

Title: An Evaluation of Dasher with a High-Performance Language Model as a Gaze Communication Method
Authors: Daniel Rough, Keith Vertanen, Per Ola Kristensson

Abstract: Dasher is a promising fast assistive gaze communication method. However, previous evaluations of Dasher have been inconclusive. Either the studies have been too short, involved too few partici- pants, suffered from sampling bias, lacked a control condition, used an inappropriate language model, or a combination of the above. To rectify this, we report results from two new evaluations of Dasher carried out using a Tobii P10 assistive eye-tracker machine. We also present a method of modifying Dasher so that it can use a state-of-the-art long-span statistical language model. Our experi- mental results show that compared to a baseline eye-typing method, Dasher resulted in significantly faster entry rates (12.6 wpm versus 6.0 wpm in Experiment 1, and 14.2 wpm versus 7.0 wpm in Exper- iment 2). These faster entry rates were possible while maintaining error rates comparable to the baseline eye-typing method. Partici- pants’ perceived physical demand, mental demand, effort and frus- tration were all significantly lower for Dasher. Finally, participants significantly rated Dasher as being more likeable, requiring less concentration and being more fun.

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