Congratulations to Lawrence Warren, I/ITSEC scholarship winner

2017-10-24

The CHCI warmly congratulates Lawrence Warren, MS student in Computer Science, who was recently awarded the 2018 RADM Fred Lewis Postgraduate I/ITSEC Scholarship. The scholarship is "offered to stimulate student interest and university participation in preparing individuals for leadership in the Modeling & Simulation, Training and Education communities." Lawrence's research is on the user experience of locomotion techniques in virtual reality; he is advised by Dr. Doug Bowman. Lawrence will formally receive the scholarship at the I/ITSEC conference in Orlando in December. Congratulations, Lawrence!

CHCI welcomes new member Elham Morshedzadeh

2017-10-02

Elham Morshedzadeh is a new faculty member in our Industrial Design program, with research interests in UX. For more information, please see her personal website.

CHCI welcomes new member Zach Duer

2017-09-27

Zach Duer is an educator and artist. He is an Assistant Professor in the School of Visual Arts and Virginia Tech. Previously, he held the position of Immersive Environment Specialist at the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA, and taught new media art as an instructor in the Kinetic Imaging department at Virginia Commonwealth University. He holds an MFA in Kinetic Imaging from Virginia Commonwealth University (2014), an MA in Music Composition from Mills College (2009) and a BM in Music Composition from Minnesota State University Moorhead (2007). For more information, please see his personal website.

CHCI welcomes new member Zach Duer

2017-09-27

Zach Duer is an educator and artist. He is an Assistant Professor in the School of Visual Arts and Virginia Tech. Previously, he held the position of Immersive Environment Specialist at the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA, and taught new media art as an instructor in the Kinetic Imaging department at Virginia Commonwealth University. He holds an MFA in Kinetic Imaging from Virginia Commonwealth University (2014), an MA in Music Composition from Mills College (2009) and a BM in Music Composition from Minnesota State University Moorhead (2007). For more information, please see his personal website.

Congratulations to Yinlin Chen on successful PhD defense

2017-09-27

Title: "A High-Quality Digital Library Supporting Computing Education: The Ensemble Approach"

Abstract: In this research, we addressed both external and internal quality aspects of DLs. For internal qualities, we focused on completeness and consistency of the collection, catalog, and repository. We developed an application pipeline to acquire user-generated computing-related resources from YouTube and SlideShare for an educational DL. We applied machine learning techniques to transfer what we learned from the ACM Digital Library dataset. We built classifiers to catalog resources according to the ACM Computing Classification System from the two new domains, that were evaluated using Amazon Mechanical Turk. For external qualities, we focused on efficiency, scalability, and reliability in DL services. We proposed cloud-based designs and applications to ensure and improve these qualities in DL services using cloud computing. The experimental results show that our proposed methods are promising for enhancing and enriching an educational digital library.

This work received support from ACM, as well as the National Science Foundation under Grant Numbers DUE-0836940, DUE-0937863, DUE-0840719, and IMLS LG-71-16-0037-16.

Advisor: Ed Fox

Congratulations to Ayat Mohammed on successful PhD defense

2017-09-27

Title: "High-dimensional Data in Scientific Visualization: Representation, Fusion, and Difference"

Abstract: This research examines humans' predictable bias in interpreting visual-spatial, spatiotemporal information, and inference-making in scientific visualization from a visual analytic point of view. I examined different case studies from different domains such as land suitability in agriculture, spectrum sensing in software-defined radio networks, raster images in remote sensing, pattern recognition in 3D points cloud, airflow distribution in aerodynamics, galaxy catalogs in astrophysics and protein-membrane interaction in molecular dynamics. Each case required different computing power, ranging from personal computer to high-performance cluster. Based on this experience across application domains, I propose an empirical paradigm for scientific visualization that supports three key features of scientific data analysis: representations, fusion, and visual discrimination. The results of these studies contribute to our knowledge of efficient MVMD designs and provides scientific visualization developers with a framework to mitigate the trade-offs of scalable visualization design such as the data mappings, computing power, and output modality. Ayat is starting a post-doc at Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) in their Visualization group.

Advisor: Nicholas Polys

Congratulations to Panagiotis Apostolellis on successful PhD defense

2017-09-26

Title: "Evaluating Group Interaction and Engagement using Virtual Environments and Serious Games for Student Audiences in Informal Learning Settings". His advisor is Doug Bowman, with committee members Chris North, Todd Ogle (TLOS), Manuel Perez-Quinones (UNC, former CS faculty), and Marjee Chmiel (Howard Hughes Medical Institute, former Associate Director of Curriculum and Communications at the Smithsonian Science Education Center).

Congratulations to Anamary Leal on successful PhD defense

2017-09-26

Title: "Negotiating Ambiguity in Describing Fabrics Through Technology".

Abstract: Designers and non-designers alike often describe fabric in ways that are markedly different or unclear. For example, two designers may attribute qualities such as heavy or thick to a material, but actually mean completely different things despite using the same words.We highlight user interface designs and implementations that use the ambiguity of language without eliminating it. We studied how people described distinct fabrics, from exp erts,novices, to everyday people and the crowdsourcing community on how they interpret fabrics.We applied that information to designs that communicated materiality and ambiguity in various ways, and studied how interfaces affected a user's pro cess of exploring materials and negotiating the meaning of materiality. The most important findings are user interface guidelines that apply to any interface where ambiguity of description is a key resource, such as design."

Advisor: Steve Harrison.

Congratulations to Yinlin Chen on successful PhD defense

2017-09-26

Congratulations to Yinlin Chen on the successful defense of Ph.D. dissertation entitled "A High-quality Digital Library Supporting Computing Education: The Ensemble Approach". Abstract: Educational Digital Libraries (DLs) are complex information systems, which are designed to support individuals’ information needs and information seeking behavior. To have a broad impact on the communities in education and to serve for a long period, DLs need to structure and organize the resources in a way that facilitates the dissemination and the reuse of resources. Such a digital library should meet defined quality dimensions in the 5S (Societies, Scenarios, Spaces, Structures, Streams) framework including completeness, consistency, efficiency, extensibility, and reliability to ensure that a good quality DL is built. In this research, we addressed both external and internal quality aspects of DLs. For internal qualities, we focused on completeness and consistency of the collection, catalog, and repository. We developed an application pipeline to acquire user-generated computing-related resources from YouTube and SlideShare for an educational DL. We applied machine learning techniques to transfer what we learned from the ACM Digital Library dataset. We built classifiers to catalog resources according to the ACM Computing Classification System from the two new domains, that were evaluated using Amazon Mechanical Turk. For external qualities, we focused on efficiency, scalability, and reliability in DL services. We proposed cloud-based designs and applications to ensure and improve these qualities in DL services using cloud computing. The experimental results show that our proposed methods are promising for enhancing and enriching an educational digital library. This work received support from ACM, as well as the National Science Foundation under Grant Numbers DUE-0836940, DUE-0937863, DUE-0840719, and IMLS LG-71-16-0037-16.

CHCI welcomes new member Brook Kennedy

2017-07-06

Brook Kennedy is an Associate Professor in the Industrial Design program with a career spanning 15 years in Industrial, Interaction and Communication design consulting. He received a BA in Art from Reed College in Portland, Oregon and an MFA at Stanford University from the Joint Program in Design. You can find more info about Brook here.

Congratulations to Mohammed Seyam on successful PhD defense

2017-04-14

Congratulations to Mohammed Seyam on the successful defense of his Ph.D. dissertation entitled "Multifaceted Approach for Teaching Mobile Software Development: Class Experiences With Lectures, Tutorials, and Pair Programming". His advisor is Scott McCrickard, with committee members Nicholas Polys, Na Meng, Hicham G. Elmongui (Alexandria University, Egypt), and Woongsup Kim (Dongguk University, South Korea).

CHCI faculty Kurt Luther receives NIH grant

2017-02-22

Kurt Luther and T.M. Murali, both researchers in the College of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science, recently received funding to begin tracking the effects of everyday chemical pollutants on human cells by depicting clear relationships between protein-based cell networks and their disruptors using crowdsourced visual graphs. The project is funded by the National Institutes of Health through its "Big Data to Knowledge" initiative. More information on the VT News article.

CHCI welcomes new member Jeff Joiner

2017-01-16

Jeff Joiner is an Assistant Professor of Practice and the Director of FourDesign, the student-run, faculty-led design studio at Virginia Tech. He received his MFA in Design with a Concentration in Design Research from the University of North Texas in Denton, TX. He has also taught in the design departments at both UNT and at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX. You can find more about him here and his design work at The Rocket Lab and FOURDESIGN.

CHCI welcomes new member Patrick Finley

2017-01-12

Patrick Finley is an interactive designer and design educator who maintains a practice centered around research, teaching and service. His design work has been showcased at national and international competitions. He regularly conducts presentations and workshops at conferences throughout the country, most notably at AIGA and UCDA. Patrick’s current work, FitHub, is a fitness app for the Android and iPhone platforms that acts as a hub to all wearable fitness devices. The app leverages gamification by encouraging users to track fitness based statistics and compete against friends in challenges. Currently on its third version, FitHub received the Google Developer Award “Best of Show” in the fitness category and has over 37,000 downloads to date. Patrick earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, minoring in Computer Science, from the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire and a Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, with an emphasis in Human Computer Interaction, from Iowa State University. Welcome Partick!

Congratulations to Mahdi Nabiyouni of successful PhD defense

2017-01-07

Congratulations to Mahdi Nabiyouni on the successful defense of his PhD dissertation entitled "How Does Interaction Fidelity Influence User Experience in VR Locomotion?”. His advisor is Doug Bowman, co-advisor Tobias Hollerer (UCSB) and committee members Chris North, Denis Gracanin, and Nicholas Polys.