News

VISSOFT 2018 Keynote by Professor Aaron Quigley


Aaron will be a keynote speaker at the IEEE VISSOFT 2018 conference later this year. “The sixth IEEE Working Conference on Software Visualization (VISSOFT 2018) builds upon the success of the previous four editions of VISSOFT, which in turn followed after six editions of the IEEE International Workshop on Visualizing Software for Understanding and Analysis (VISSOFT) and five editions of the ACM Symposium on Software Visualization (SOFTVIS). Software visualization is a broad research area encompassing concepts, methods, tools, and techniques that assist in a range of software engineering and software development activities. Covered aspects include the development and evaluation of approaches for visually analyzing software and software systems, including their structure, execution behavior, and evolution.”


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St Andrews – University of Primorska co-tutelle in Computer Science


The University of St Andrews and Primorska are soon to agree to award a joint degree with the title of Doctor of Philosophy (on condition that the joint PhD study programme in Computer Science will gain accreditation of the Slovenian Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education). This represents the culmination of many months of effort from Drs Matjaž Kljun, Klen Čopič Pucihar and Professor Aaron Quigley. Aaron and Matjaž first met at the UMAP conference in 2011 in Spain as mentor and mentee in the PhD doctoral program. Since then, Matjaž and Klen who undertook their PhDs in the University of Lancaster have returned to Slovenia to establish and exciting program of HCI research and development in the HICUP lab. In 2017 a program of international support (Slovenian/English) allowed them to invite Aaron to Slovenia for three weeks and this has resulted in a number of join grant submissions and the establishment of this co-tutelle program. We look forward to many years collaborating and we look forward to this new PhD student starting later this year.

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SACHI Seminar – Adriana Wilde (St Andrews): Rising to challenges in assessment, feedback and encouraging gender diversity in computing


Event details

  • When: 23rd January 2018 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a

Abstract:  This talk is in two parts, in the first of which Adriana will focus on her experiences in assessment and feedback in large classes, and in the second part on her work in encouraging gender diversity in computer science.

The focus of the first part will be on her involvement in redesigning an undergraduate module on HCI, where the methods of assessment used were no suitable for increasingly larger classes (up to 160 students). Redesign decisions needed to preserve the validity and reliability of the assessment whilst respecting the need for timely feedback. Adriana will specifically talk about the exam and coursework, and how learning activities in the module were aligned to the assessment, through the use of PeerWise for student-authored MCQs, and the use of video for assessment to foster creativity and application of knowledge. During the talk, there will be an opportunity for discussion on the challenges then encountered.

A (shorter) second part of the talk will present her experiences in supporting women in computing, starting with a very small-scale intervention with staff and students at her previous institution, and concluding with her engagement at the Early Career Women’s Network in St Andrews.

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


Event details

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

Title:

Instant Interaction

Abstract:

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.
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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

 

Title

Augmenting touch expressivity to improve the touch modality

Abstract

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.
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iVoLVER system wins Best Demo Jury Award at ACM ISS 2017


The iVoLVER system (iVoLVER.cs.st-andrews.ac.uk), created by Gonzalo Méndez and Miguel Nacenta from the SACHI group at the School of Computer Science, University of St Andrews, received on Thursday 19 the ACM ISS Best Demo Jury Award during the conference, which took place at Brighton, UK.

iVoLVER is a web-based visual programming environment that enables anyone to transform visualizations that the find in-the-wild (e.g., in a poster or a newspaper) into new visualizations that are more useful for them.

An example iVoLVER interface.

The ACM Interactive Surfaces and Spaces conference takes place yearly in different locations. Next year it will take place in Tokyo, Japan. The conference is a premier venue for work that studies how people interact in smart spaces and surfaces and how to design and engineering solutions for novel interfaces.

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


Event details

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

Title:

Visualization and Taxonomy

Abstract:

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.

Gala Malbasic wins Young Software Engineer of the Year award


Gala who undertook her honours project in SACHI has been awarded the Young Software Engineer of the Year 2017 by ScotlandIS.

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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