SACHI Seminar: Alix Goguey (University of Saskatchewan) – Augmenting touch expressivity to improve the touch modality

Event details

  • When: 1st November 2017 13:15 - 14:15
  • Where: Honey 103 - GFB



Augmenting touch expressivity to improve the touch modality


During the last decades, touch surfaces have become more and more ubiquitous. Whether on tablets, on smartphones or on laptops, touch surfaces are used by a majority of us on a daily basis. However, the limited expressivity – the different channels used to convey information to the system – of the touch modality restricts drastically the amount of features that can be controlled via touch only. For instance, a typical smartphone touchscreen only provides the absolute position of a contact on the screen, thus applications usually offer only one way to carry out tasks (which can augment user frustration or cap performances) or restrict possibilities (e.g. Photoshop on desktop offers more than 600 commands but only about 40 on smartphones and tablets). In this talk, I will present an overview of my on-going research and discuss different ways to tackle this problem, augment touch expressivity and user efficiency: from tools that helps better designing touch interfaces to the use of new input dimensions in original interaction techniques.

Speaker biography

Alix Goguey is a post postdoctoral fellow working with Carl Gutwin in the Interaction Lab at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science in October 2016 in the Mjolnir research group at Inria Lille – Nord Europe, France, under the supervision of Géry Casiez. His work focuses on understanding and designing interaction techniques on touch input devices and particularly through the use of new information such as finger identification. To learn more about Alix’s work:

SACHI Seminar – Florian Echtler (Bauhaus-Universität Weimar): Instant Interaction

Event details

  • When: 16th November 2017 15:00 - 16:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33b


Instant Interaction


Although Mark Weiser’s original vision of “ubiquitous computing” has all but arrived due to the wide availability of smartphones, tablets and interactive screens, the envisioned ease of use is still mostly lacking. This is particularly apparent when we consider interaction and collaboration between multiple persons and their personal mobile devices. These issues can be partly mitigated by relying on cloud services for data exchange, but this approach opens up multiple other issues regarding data safety and privacy. In this talk, I will present the concept of “instant interaction”, which aims to enable ad-hoc interaction between multiple persons, their individual mobile devices, and fixed infrastructure, without requiring any prior exchange of account data or PINs. The only prerequisite for immediate interaction is physical proximity. Examples from my current research will illustrate this  concept.

Speaker Biography:

Florian Echtler is junior professor for mobile media at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. His research interests focus on interaction and collaboration using peer-to-peer communication technologies available in today’s mobile devices. Additional topics covered by his research include computer vision for HCI applications, sensor technology and gesture recognition.

SACHI Seminar – Jessie Kennedy (Edinburgh Napier): Visualization and Taxonomy

Event details

  • When: 7th November 2017 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a


Visualization and Taxonomy


This talk will consider the relationship between visualization and taxonomy from two perspectives. Firstly, how visualization can aid understanding the process of taxonomy, specifically biological taxonomy and the visualization challenges this poses. Secondly, the role of taxonomy in understanding and making sense of the growing field of visualization will be discussed and the challenges facing the visualization community in making this process more rigorous will be considered.

Speaker Bio:

Jessie joined Edinburgh Napier University in 1986 as a lecturer, was promoted to Senior Lecturer, Reader, and then Professor in 2000 Thereafter she held the post of Director of the Institute for Informatics and Digital Innovation from 2010-14 and is currently Dean of Research and Innovation for the University.

Jessie has published widely, with over 100 peer-reviewed publications and over £2 million in research funding from a range of bodies, including EPSRC, BBSRC, National Science Foundation, and KTP, and has had 13 PhD students complete. She has been programme chair, programme committee member and organiser of many international conferences, a reviewer and panel member for many national and international computer science funding bodies, and became a Member of EPSRC Peer Review College in 1996 and a Fellow of the British Computer Society.

Jessie has a long-standing record of contribution to inter-disciplinary research, working to further biological research through the application of novel computing technology.

Her research in the areas of user interfaces to databases and data visualisation in biology contributed to the establishment of the field of biological visualisation. She hosted the first biological visualisation workshop at the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2008, was an invited speaker at a BBSRC workshop on Challenges in Biological Visualisation in 2010, was a founding member of the International Symposium in Biological Visualisation – being Programme Chair in 2011, General Chair in 2012 and 2013 – and steering committee member since 2014.

She has been keynote speaker at related international conferences and workshops, such as VIZBI, the International Visualisation conference and BioIT World, and is currently leading a BBSRC network on biological visualisation.

Her research in collaboration with taxonomists at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh, produced a data model for representing differing taxonomic opinions in Linnaean classification. This work led to collaboration on a large USA-funded project with ecologists from six US universities and resulted in a data standard for the exchange biodiversity data that has been adopted by major global taxonomic and biodiversity organisations.

SACHI Seminar – Jonathan Armosa – How to Closely Read a Topic Model: Visualizing the Poetry of Emily Dickinson

Event details

  • When: 9th October 2017 15:00 - 16:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a

Title:  How to Closely Read a Topic Model: Visualizing the Poetry of Emily Dickinson

Biography:  Jonathan Armosa is a Doctoral Fellow at New York University (NYU).  Jonathan’s research is in the area of Digital Humanities and focuses on Computational Modelling of Literature and Information Visualization.  READ MORE

SACHI Seminar: Benjamin Bach – Between Exploration and Explanation: Visualizations for Insights, Curiosity, and Storytelling

Event details

  • When: 5th July 2017 15:00 - 16:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a


Please note that this seminar will now take place in Jack Cole 1.33A on Wednesday 5th July between 15:00 and 16:00

Title: Between Exploration and Explanation: Visualizations for Insights, Curiosity, and Storytelling.

Abstract: This talk presents a set of interactive visualizations for exploration and recent work in how to communicate insights through data-driven stories. In particular, I will present work on visualizing networks including an open-source online platform. Then, I will discuss comics as an approach to communicate not only changes in temporal data but to weave narration, textual explanations, and data visualizations. The questions raised by the talk are about effective ways to engage a larger audience in understanding, learning, and use of visualizations for exploration and communication. As visualizations are becoming more and more commonplace and familiar to people, we can see more and more aspects of our daily lives being potentially enriched with information presented visually. Eventually, I want to raise the question of which role novel technology such as Augmented and Virtual Reality can play in exploring, communicating, and interacting with visualizations.

Biography: Benjamin is a Lecturer in Design Informatics and Visualization at the University of Edinburgh. His research designs and investigates interactive information visualizations to help people explore, present, and understand information hidden in data. He focuses on the visualization of dynamic networks (e.g., social networks, brain connectivity networks), as well as temporal data (e.g., changes in videos and Wikipedia articles, events on timelines), comics for storytelling with visualizations, as well as visualization and interaction in Augmented and Virtual Reality. Before joining the University of Edinburgh in 2017, Benjamin worked as a postdoc at Harvard University, Monash University, as well as the Microsoft-Research Inria Joint Centre. Benjamin was visiting researcher at the University of Washington and Microsoft Research in 2015. He obtained his PhD in 2014 from the Université Paris Sud where he worked at the Aviz Group at Inria.

Dr. Christopher Collins – Finding What to Read: Visual Text Analytics Tools and Techniques to Guide Investigation

Event details

  • When: 27th June 2017 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33b

Title:  Finding What to Read: Visual Text Analytics Tools and Techniques to Guide Investigation

Abstract:  Text is one of the most prominent forms of open data available, from social media to legal cases. Text visualizations are often critiqued for not being useful, for being unstructured and presenting data out of context (think: word clouds). I argue that we should not expect them to be a replacement for reading. In this talk I will briefly discuss the close/distant reading debate then focus on where I think text visualization can be useful: hypothesis generation and guiding investigation. Text visualization can help someone form questions about a large text collection, then drill down to investigate through targeted reading of the underlying source texts. Over the past 10 years my research focus has been primarily on creating techniques and systems for text analytics using visualization, across domains as diverse as legal studies, poetics, social media, and automotive safety.  I will review several of my past projects with particular attention to the capabilities and limitations of the technologies and tools we used, how we use semantics to structure visualizations, and the importance of providing interactive links to the source materials. In addition, I will discuss the design challenges which, while common across visualization, are particularly important with text (legibility, label fitting, finding appropriate levels of ‘zoom’).


Dr Oliver Schneider and Professor Karon MacLean: Haptic Experience Design: How to Create for Touch and Making and Experimenting with Furry Robots with Feelings

Event details

  • When: 12th June 2017 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a

We have a SACHI seminar on Monday 12th June 2017 which will be given by two speakers, presenting two connected talks within the normal hour slot.

The speakers are Dr Oliver Schneider from the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany and Professor Karon MacLean who is Professor of Computer Science at the University of British Columbia, Canada.

Professor Daniel Vogel, University of Waterloo: New Approaches to Mode-Switching

Event details

  • When: 15th June 2017 14:00 - 15:00

When:  Thursday June 15th

Where:  Maths Seminar Room 2

Time:  14:00 – 15:00

Title:  New Approaches to Mode-Switching

Abstract:  The fundamental unit of all interaction is issuing commands, and the trickiest types of commands are those that control “modes” — different ways to map the same input to different application actions. For example, the current mode in a tablet drawing app could determine if the exact same sequence of touch movements draws a line, pans the canvas, makes a marquee selection, or issues a gestural command. Switching between modes like these are frequent, so finding optimum mode-switching methods is important.  In this talk, I survey my group’s work to understand and improve mode-switching and command selection for different input types and device form factors. These include: Pin-and-Cross, a touch overloading technique combining static touches with nearby crossing selection; Conté, a pen-like input device that leverages small changes in contact geometry; Doppio, a reconfigurable two-faced smartwatch for tangible input; and Gunslinger, a mid-air interaction technique using bare hand postures and gestures performed in a relaxed arms-down position.

Dr Mike Hazas, Lancaster University: Internet services, energy demand and everyday life

When: Tuesday 30th May, 14:00 to 15:00

Where: Jack Cole room 1.33A

Title:  Internet services, energy demand and everyday life

Abstract:  Over the last decade, the growth in data traffic across the Internet has been dramatic, and forecasts predict a similar ongoing pattern. Since this is associated with remarkable electricity consumption (about 10% globally, and rising), such a trend is significant to efforts to reduce carbon emissions.  This calls for careful attention to the nature of these trends, as levels of Internet electricity demand become ever more directly and explicitly problematic.  Based on a host of prior literature and two field studies, this talk explores what we know about the energy intensity of digital stuff, and the growth of Internet traffic.  It considers how such traffic can be attributed to different Internet services like video streaming or social networking, and how these link to everyday practices which draw upon and generate data online.

Biography:  Dr Mike Hazas is a Senior Lecturer at Lancaster University, who works at the confluence of human-computer interaction and social science. His research combines qualitative and quantitative methods to understand everyday practices and technologies, how they can be related to carbon emissions and energy demand, and more sustainable trajectories. Mike co-directs the multidisciplinary Socio-Digital Sustainability group at Lancaster, and has served as a chair of the CHI Specific Application Areas subcommittee for the last three years.  Mike is a co-investigator in the DEMAND Centre (EPSRC, 2013-2018) which is concerned with the relationship of social practices and energy demand.

Professor Andrés Lucero : Co-Designed, Collocated & Playful Mobile Interactions

Event details

  • When: 11th April 2017 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a

When: Tuesday 11th April

Time: 14:00 – 15:00

Where: Cole 1.33A

Title: Co-Designed, Collocated & Playful Mobile Interactions

Abstract: Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets were originally conceived and have traditionally been utilized for individual use. Research on mobile collocated interactions has explored situations in which collocated users engage in collaborative activities using their mobile devices, thus going from personal/individual toward shared/multiuser experiences and interactions.