St Andrews HCI Research Group

News

Seminar: Rights-driven Development


Abstract:

Alex will discuss a critique of modern software engineering and outline how it systematically produces systems that have negative social consequences. To help counter this trend, he offers the notion of rights-driven development, which puts the concept of a right at the heart of software engineering practices. Alex’s first step to develop rights-driven practices is to introduce a language for rights in software engineering. He provides an overview of the elements such a language must contain and outlines some ideas for developing a domain-specific language that can be integrated with modern software engineering approaches. 

Bio:

Alex Voss, who’s an Honorary Lecturer here at the school and an external member of our group. Alex was also a Technology Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and an Associate in the Department of Philosophy at Harvard.

Alex holds a PhD in Informatics and works at the intersection of the social sciences and computer science. His current research aims to develop new representations, practices and tools for rights-respecting software engineering. He is also working on the role that theories of causation have in making sense of complex socio-technical systems.

His research interests include: causality in computing, specifically in big data and machine learning applications; human-centric co-realization of technologies; responsible innovation; computing and society; computer-based and computer-aided research methods.

More about Alex: https://research-portal.st-andrews.ac.uk/en/persons/alexander-voss

Event details:

  • When: 28th February 2024 12:30 – 13:30
  • Where: Jack Cole 1.19

 

If you’re interested in attending any of the seminars in room 1.19, please email the SACHI seminar coordinator: aaa8@st-andrews.ac.uk so they can make appropriate arrangements for the seminar based on the number of attendees.

TEI ’24 Entangled Threads Workshop


Sign up for our workshop Exploring the value and significance of bringing a craft ethos to debates around the IoT/connected things

Call for Participation

Join us for a one day workshop to explore how a craft practice and ethos can help us to respond to privacy, trust, bias and the Internet of Things.

“How healthy is the internet?”  As more and more things become internet-connected (i.e. become part of the IoT) questions of trust, privacy, security, data ownership, data bias, and the commercial abuse of data, become ever more pressing. This reflects a recognition of a wider problem with the internet alongside the rapid developments in machine learning (i.e. AI) and how it is being unreflectively ‘put to work’ in an ever-increasing range of applications. This workshop will explore these tensions and concerns through the lens of craft, both as a practice and a conceptual ethos.

Embroidery pieces along with some 3d printed silhouette of people

This studio will use embroidery as a craft-oriented communal/social practice activity to scaffold a discussion framed by our craft ethos characteristics, involving notions of; subjectivity, bespokeness, localism, embodiment, provenance, authenticity, and care-full-ness. Embroidery is an appropriate craft-oriented method which we believe encourages flavors of conversation that are distinct from other forms of participatory workshops. Whilst these activities will likely enable mindful stitching, we are more pointedly using this method as a dialogical activity where the acts of communal stitching will enable us to direct conversation to certain aspects of craft characteristics beyond the literal objects participants are making. Through this embodied making activity, you will create a bespoke embroidered badge based on a set of provocations and take a deep dive into the issues with IoT we have highlighted.

Through making together in small groups, supported by experienced researchers working in the field, we hope to provide an environment for rich discussion and material speculation on alternative visions of ‘healthier’ connected futures. The studio will use the embroidered outcomes as well as a range of predesigned props and design resources to not only discuss entanglements of living well in a digital culture, but also to help us collectively and individually envision stories/scenarios which encapsulates vision/s of an alternative, healthier, digitally connected future. At the conclusion of the workshop we will explore the possibility of setting up a special interest group that takes our thinking forward into the future.

More information and Sign up here

Congratulations to Xu, Pireh, and Abd.


We are delighted to see Xu, Pireh, and Abd graduated this week! Congratulations!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emory – St Andrews Collaborative Research Grant


Dr Jason Jacques (St Andrews) and Dr Kristin Williams (Emory) have been awarded the Emory – St Andrews Collaborative Research Grant for their project Considering Household Division of Labor when Engaging Civic Participation in Environmental Stewardship’

 

 

Climate change and environmental policy research often focuses on planetary scale changes, that are challenging for individuals to contextualise in their own environment. The project focuses on exploring and understanding how individuals engage with environmental stewardship on a hyper-local level: how do individual households understand their environment and are they able to draw connections between their actions, the activities in their community, and the environment around them?

In answering these questions, the project will connect households and communities together, combining this network of citizen scientists and environmental sensors, to enhance their understanding through bespoke visualisations customised for these communities.

“It great that the St Andrews is willing to take the initiative to support international collaboration on big questions, including environmental policy and sustainability. Connecting with Kristin, and others at Emory, for this project has offered unique opportunities to build capabilities and contrast the unique needs of communities on both sides of the Atlantic.” 

See more information about the Global Partnerships at St Andrews.

User Troubles during “Shoot St Andrews to Green”!


A map shows missing images from the OpenStreetMap for St Andrews

A map shows missing images from the OpenStreetMap for St Andrews

Many photos of St Andrews are missing from open-access maps. WikiShootMe allows anyone to add an image to places on Wikimedia and Wikipedia that doesn’t already have one. So we took the initiative to take photos of St Andrews’ historic buildings and upload them to Wikicommons using WikiShootMe. However, WikiShootMe is currently only a desktop website and is difficult to use when out and about. Many usability challenges emerged, leading us to turn this into a User-Centred Interaction Design project.

MORE

Measuring heart rate and blood oxygen remotely in the home


Pireh Pirzada has developed and validated a first rPPG system (Automated Remote Pulse Oximetry System, or ARPOS) that measures both heart rate and blood oxygenation levels remotely within participants’ home environments (real-life scenarios).

The research shares the first data set collected from real life scenarios which includes various factors such as skin pigmentations, illuminations, beard, makeup, and glasses. The research also shares its experiment protocol and source code used to collect and analyse the data.

 

Abstract:

Current methods of measuring heart rate (HR) and oxygen levels (SPO2) require physical contact, are individualised, and for accurate oxygen levels may also require a blood test. No-touch or non-invasive technologies are not currently commercially available for use in healthcare settings. To date, there has been no assessment of a system that measures HR and SPO2 using commercial off-the-shelf camera technology that utilises R, G, B, and IR data. Moreover, no formal remote photoplethysmography studies have been performed in real-life scenarios with participants at home with different demographic characteristics. This novel study addresses all these objectives by developing, optimising, and evaluating a system that measures the HR and SPO2 of 40 participants. HR and SPO2 are determined by measuring the frequencies from different wavelength band regions using FFT and radiometric measurements after pre-processing face regions of interest (forehead, lips, and cheeks) from colour, IR, and depth data. Detrending, interpolating, hamming, and normalising the signal with FastICA produced the lowest RMSE of 7.8 for HR with the r-correlation value of 0.85 and RMSE 2.3 for SPO2. This novel system could be used in several critical care settings, including in care homes and in hospitals and prompt clinical intervention as required.

Keywords: remote health monitoring; heart rate measurement; blood oxygenation level measurement; rPPG system

 

The research outputs also include:

Dataset: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6522389

Experiment protocol: dx.doi.org/10.17504/protocols.io.n2bvj6zkxlk5/v1

Code: https://github.com/PirehP/ARPOSpublic

 

Researchers:

Pireh Pirzada

Collaborate and Celebrate the First Female Alumni


Collaborate and celebrate event poster

Students were invited to collaborate on researching digitised archival information about St Andrew’s first female alumni and thus expand the limited amount of information we have about these front-running women.

Description:

The Postgraduate Development Officer collaborated with Tomas Vancisin, a SACHI Group researcher focusing on visualising historical university records, and the Inclusion Diversity Equity Accessibility (IDEA) network to host a pilot event to raise awareness about the University’s first female students.

The University of St Andrews is over 600 years old, but women have only been allowed to study here for the past 145 years. In 1877, 15 years before women were officially allowed to study at universities around Scotland, St Andrews started offering women the Lady Literate in Arts qualification, which was equivalent to an MA degree. Despite the significance of this qualification for gender equality and beyond, the amount of information we have about these pioneering women is sparse. The event aimed to spark a discussion and encourage attendees to become “knowledge activists” by looking for additional information about these women. In addition to filling information gaps about underrepresented women, the session also showcased opportunities to develop skills in digital media, research, public engagement, and team collaboration

The long-term goal is to run Wikipedia training as a means to encourage writing Wikipedia Biographical articles about LLA’s we identify as notable.

Here is what one of the attendees said about their experience: 

“I really enjoyed searching for information about the LLA graduates. It was exciting to try and uncover what information is out there, and it was good fun. I also enjoyed hearing more about the IDEA network, and I am keen to get involved as a ‘knowledge activist.”

More information:

 

HCI Staff Position at SACHI


Come and join our group! We are currently advertising for a new staff member to join our HCI group at the School of Computer Science.


Supporting the expansion and development of the SAHCI group, topics of interest include but are not limited to: tangible computing, digital fabrication, ubiquitous computing, information visualization, human-centered artificial intelligence, augmented reality, novel software and hardware interactions, and critical HCI. Expertise in the field of HCI and technical expertise in the creation of hardware and or software interactions is of particular interest.


For more details: https://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/CRS296/lecturer-senior-lecturer-reader-in-human-computer-interaction-ac7180gb


Closing Date: 17th August 2022


Please share far and wide

HCI meets Constraint Programming


Understanding How People Approach Constraint Modelling and Solving – University of St Andrews and University of Victoria

Ruth Hoffmann will be presenting the paper on “Understanding How People Approach Constraint Modelling and Solving” at the 28th International Conference on Principles and Practice of Constraint Programming (CP 2022) taking place between July 31 to August 5, 2022 in Haifa, Israel.

This paper is a joint collaboration between SACHI (Human Computer Interaction) and Constraint Programming groups, in both the University of St Andrews, Scotland and the University of Victoria, BC.

Abstract

Research in constraint programming typically focuses on problem solving efficiency. However, the way users conceptualise problems and communicate with constraint programming tools is often sidelined. How humans think about constraint problems can be important for the development of efficient tools that are useful to a broader audience. For example, a system incorporating knowledge on how people think about constraint problems can provide explanations to users and improve the communication between the human and the solver.
We present an initial step towards a better understanding of the human side of the constraint solving process. To our knowledge, this is the first human-centred study addressing how people approach constraint modelling and solving. We observed three sets of ten users each (constraint programmers, computer scientists and non-computer scientists) and analysed how they find solutions for well-known constraint problems. We found regularities offering clues about how to design systems that are more intelligible to humans.

Researchers

The paper can be found at: https://doi.org/10.4230/LIPIcs.CP.2022.28

Conference

Ruth will be presenting the paper in the main conference and giving an invited talk at ModRef 2022 to raise awareness of the benefits of understanding how people represent, model and solve constraint problems.

CP 2022 Conference link: https://easychair.org/smart-program/FLoC2022/CP-2022-08-03.html#talk:197219

ModRef 2022 link: https://easychair.org/smart-program/FLoC2022/ModRef-2022-07-31.html#talk:197355

More ModRef info: https://modref.github.io/ModRef2022.html#invtalks

Congratulations to Adam Binks, Alice Toniolo and Miguel Nacenta on publishing their paper ‘Representational transformations: Using maps to write essays’


The paper is open access: Representational transformations: Using maps to write essays.

Summary of the paper and its findings

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We built a tool to study how writers move between map and text to write essays. The main takeaway is that important cognitive work happens in the transformation process between map and text representations.

There are lots of existing tools for building representations to support complex cognitive tasks – e.g. argument maps, text, notes, slides, sketches, and so on. But tool support for the transformations *between* representations is much more neglected – and we think it’s crucial!

We built Write Reason, a tool which combines a text editor and a mapping interface. You can drag parts of the map into the text, and parts of the text into the map, and it helps you keep them in sync.


We then studied how 20 students used Write Reason to write essays. You can interactively explore the maps and essays built by participants. We identified key properties of transformations: change in representation type, cardinality, and explicitness. And we found that most used an all-at-once batch translation, while a few used bit-by-bit interleaving. 

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We think understanding transformations is crucial for building the next generation of multi-representational tools. How can we better support multi-transformation pipelines like these? Can automation unlock more complex + powerful workflows, which would be tedious to do manually?

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Our findings revealed and falsified some of the key implicit assumptions that we baked into the design of Write Reason. We hope that these reflections will help other designers and researchers start one step ahead of us and avoid these mistakes!

Project page. Paper (open access).