School Seminar: Jason Alexander (Lancaster University) – What would you do if you could touch your data?

Event details

  • When: 29th November 2018 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Format: Seminar

Title:  What would you do if you could touch your data?

Abstract: Data Physicalizations are physical artefacts whose geometry or material properties encode data. They bring digital datasets previously locked behind 2D computer screens out into the physical world, enabling exploration, manipulation, and understanding using our rich tactile senses. My work explores the design and construction of dynamic data physicalizations, where users can interact with physical datasets that dynamically update. I will describe our data physicalization vision and show our progress on designing, building, and evaluating physicalizations and discuss the many exciting challenges faced by this emerging field.

Speaker biography:  Jason is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Computing and Communications at Lancaster University. He has a BSc(Hons) and PhD in Computer Science from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and was previously a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Bristol. His research is broadly in Human-Computer Interaction, with a particular interest in developing novel interactive systems to bridge the physical-digital divide. His recent work focuses on the development of shape-changing interfaces—surfaces that can dynamically change their geometry based on digital content—and their application to data physicalization. He also has interests in digital fabrication and novel haptic interaction techniques.

School Seminar – Professor Anirudha Joshi: The story of Swarachakra – Cracking the puzzle of text input in Indian languages

Event details

  • When: 29th October 2018 15:00 - 16:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Format: Seminar

Title: The story of Swarachakra – Cracking the puzzle of text input in Indian languages

Abstract: There was a time when text input in Indian languages was called a ‘puzzle’. People found it so difficult that became a barrier that prevented them from using most other technology products, from doing common tasks such as searching the web or saving a contact. As a result, Indians typed very little in their own languages. The Roman script (in which we write English) is an Alphabet. In contrast, a large majority of Indian scripts are Abugidas – a different type of scripts. In our lab, we were convinced that we need different solutions – what works for Alphabets may not work for Abugidas. Over the years we explored several designs. Our early solutions were for desktop computers. Later we developed concepts for the feature phones. We tried several creative ideas and made prototypes. We got interesting results in the lab. We published papers and case studies. But beyond that, we could not reach out and make a difference to the end-users. Then smartphones arrived, and quickly became popular. It became relatively easier to develop and deploy keyboards. Again, we tried several ideas. One solution stood out in comparison with others. We called it “Swarachakra”. Today, Swarachakra is available for 12 Indian languages and has been downloaded by about 4 million users. What was the problem, and how was it solved? And what challenges remain? Come to the talk to find out.

Speaker biography: Anirudha Joshi is professor in the interaction design stream in the IDC School of Design, IIT Bombay, India, though currently he is on a sabbatical, visiting universities in the UK. His specialises in design of interactive products for emergent users in developing economies. He has worked in diverse domains including healthcare, literacy, Indian language text input, banking, education, industrial equipment, and FMCG packaging. Anirudha also works in the area of integrating HCI activities with software engineering processes. He has developed process models, tools, and metrics to help HCI practitioners deliver a better user experience. Anirudha is active with HCI communities in India and outside. He has chaired in various roles in several conferences including India HCI, INTERACT and CHI. Since 2007, he represents India on IFIP TC13. He is the founding director of HCI Professionals Association of India since 2013. Since 2015 he is the Liaison for India for the ACM SIGCHI Asian Development Committee. Since 2016, he has been the VP Finance of the ACM SIGCHI Executive Committee. Anirudha has diverse backgrounds. He is a BTech (1989) in Electrical Engineering, an MDes (1992), in Visual Communication Design, and a PhD (2011) in Computer Science and Engineering, all from IIT Bombay.

School Seminar – Professor Patrick Olivier – Digital Civics: Infrastructuring Participatory Citizenship

Event details

  • When: 18th October 2018 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Format: Seminar

Title:  Digital Civics: Infrastructuring Participatory Citizenship

Abstract:  Firstly, this is not technical talk, its a talk about a research initiative in “Digital Civics” that Open Lab is undertaking primarily with partners in the North East of England, but also nationally and internationally. Digital Civics proposes the use of digital technologies in the provision of relational models of public services, that is, models that take as a starting point the potential of digital technologies to support citizen-focused sharing of knowledge, experience and resources. By framing government as more than simply the provider of uniform and mechanistic services, digital civics aims to leverage technology to foster environments in which local agents (e.g. charities, local businesses, citizens) are able to solve problems together. Digital Civics research is inherently cross-disciplinary, action-oriented and place-based, and this requires us (as academic researchers) to configure ourselves differently to the communities with whom we conduct our research. In this talk I will be describing examples of our digital civics research, from applications in community engagement and education to public health and social justice, as well as the trajectory and pragmatics of the overall endeavour.

Speaker biography:  Patrick Olivier is Professor of Human-Computer Interaction in the School of Computing, Newcastle University, UK. He founded and leads Open Lab, Newcastle University’s centre for cross-disciplinary research in digital technologies. His research interests span interaction design, social computing and ubiquitous computing, particularly in public service and civic application contexts (education, public health and social justice). He is director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Digital Civics (55 cross-disciplinary PhD students) and the EPSRC Digital Economy Research Centre (a multidisciplinary five-year project involving 25 postdocs).

Google scholar:

https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?hl=en&user=CUu9heMAAAAJ

ORCID:

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2841-7580

Open Lab:

https://openlab.ncl.ac.uk/

Digital Civics:

https://digitalcivics.io/

SACHI Seminar: Alessio Malizia – User Experience: a step towards Natural User Interfaces.

Event details

  • When: 7th June 2018 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33a
  • Format: Seminar

Title: User Experience: a step towards Natural User Interfaces.

Abstract: The road to natural interfaces is still long and we are now witnessing an artificial naturality. These interfaces are natural, in the sense they employ hand gestures, but they are also artificial, because the system designer imposes the set of gestures. In this lecture we will explore together the benefits and issues of Natural User Interfaces.

Speaker biography: Alessio Malizia is a Professor of UX Design at the University of Hertfordshire and a distinguished speaker of the ACM (the international Association for Computer Machinery); he lives in London but is a “global soul” and has been living in Italy, Spain and US. He is the son of a blacksmith, but thereafter all pretensions of manual skills end. Prof. Malizia began his career as a bearded computer scientist at Sapienza – University of Rome and then, after an industrial experience in IBM and Silicon Graphics, moved on with a career in research. He was visiting researcher at the Xerox PARC where he was appreciated for his skills in neural networks (Multilayer Perceptrons) and as peanut butter and chocolate biscuits eater. He worked as Senior Lecturer at Brunel University London and as Associate Professor (and Spanish tapas aficionado) at the University Carlos III of Madrid. Prof Malizia’s research and teaching interests focus on Human-Centred Systems.

He is interested in the design of Ubiquitous Interactive Systems with a special focus on the End-User Development community. He is particularly interested in systems where the physical and digital become seamlessly intertwined producing a new hybrid landscape and the study of problems arising from designing such complex hybrid environments involving collaboration of various disciplines and stakeholders. In his role at the School of Creative Arts at University of Hertfordshire, he is keen to develop novel approaches and attract funding for improving methods to design almost invisible interfaces embedded in a physical environment naturally exploited by users’ innate interaction modalities.

SACHI Seminar: Matjaž Kljun – Large scale studies of habit changing interface design

Event details

  • When: 12th April 2018 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33b
  • Format: Seminar

SACHI Seminar – Large scale studies of habit changing interface design

Speaker: Matjaž Kljun

Abstract:

Various technologies can be used in persuading people to change their habits, behaviours or attitudes. Such technologies are defined as persuasive and they are used in a variety of fields such as marketing, public health and education.

We are daily exposed to persuasion through different visualizations and triggers on all our devices. For example, a social networking application tries to persuade us in opening the app with a push notification and once the app is opened other hooks are placed so we spend more time in it. However, such applications are usually installed by us and we are inclined in using them. But could we persuade highly busy professionals in completing a training course or just about everybody to read terms of service? We will discuss these issues through large-scale studies that have been in done in the wild.

Speaker biography:  Matjaž Kljun is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Information Technologies at University of Primorska and is co-directing the HICUP lab (Humans Interacting with Computers at University of Primorska) and a research associate at the Faculty of Information studies, Slovenia. He received his Ph.D. degree in computer science from Lancaster University, UK. His research interests span across various fields related to Human-Computer Interaction, Personal Information Management and the use of technologies in teaching and learning.

SACHI Seminar: Klen Čopič Pucihar – The Missing Interface: Micro Gestures on Objects for Augmented Reality Interaction

Event details

  • When: 12th April 2018 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33b
  • Format: Seminar

SACHI Seminar – The Missing Interface: Micro Gestures on Objects for Augmented Reality Interaction

Speaker: Klen Čopič Pucihar

Abstract:

Augmented reality technology can introduce digital elements to arbitrary objects. However, these objects were never designed to incorporate the digital component, hence do not provide the necessary interface. To overcome this limitation, AR Interaction systems add sensors to objects, use additional handheld hardware or perform hand and body tracking. These methods are not optimal for direct interaction with physical objects  because they:

  • require modification of existing objects,
  • require the the user to hold the controller in their hand,
  • are based on synthesis of captured RGB or RGB-D data streams imposing the following limitations: (i) gestures need to be performed within the view of the camera; (ii) the gestures include reasonable large hand or finger movements (e.g. pinching the fingers, blooming gesture of opening the palm; (iii) the hand performing gesture is not occluded (e.g. cannot detect gestures if performed whilst grasping an object).

In this talk Klen will look at alternative methods which try to overcome such limitations and make inconspicuous, precise and flexible object oriented interaction possible for both augmented and mediated reality applications.

Speaker Biography

Klen Čopič Pucihar is assistant professor at the Faculty of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Information Technologies at University of Primorska. Klen’s research vision is to look for new ways in which one could augmented, modify and mediate rich sources of visual, auditory and tactile stimuli that fabricate our everyday life experiences. The goal is to augment human abilities with new ways of using computational resources. This is important because the interface presents itself as the bottleneck between us humans and the benefit ever increasing computational resources could have on our everyday life. This makes the interfaces the core challenge for the future and the essence of Klen’s research which is currently mainly concentrated on augmented reality, mobile computing and human-computer interaction focusing on different perceptual issues that arise whilst interacting with various computer systems which lead to innovative user interface designs. Klen’s work was published as high ranked scientific publications and won him best poster award at ISMAR 2014.

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
  • Format: Seminar

 

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.

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: www.alixgoguey.fr

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

Event details

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

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.

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: 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
  • Format: Seminar

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.

SACHI Seminar: 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
  • Format: Seminar

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’).

Biography:  Dr. Christopher Collins is the Canada Research Chair in Linguistic Information Visualization and an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT).  His research focus is interdisciplinary, combining information visualization and human-computer interaction with natural language processing to address the challenges of information management and the problems of information overload.  His work has been published in many venues including IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, and has been featured in popular media such as the Toronto Star and the New York Times Magazine.  He received his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Toronto.  Dr. Collins is a past member of the executive of the IEEE Visualization and Graphics Technical Committee and sits on the IEEE VIS Conference Organizing Committee.