Human Computer Interaction and Data Visualization - Awards

University Awards

IBM's University Awards programs include the highly competitive Ph.D. Fellowship, Faculty Awards, Innovation Awards, and Shared University Research Awards.

IBM Awardees in HCI

Prof. Matt Jones, Swansea University, UK (Faculty Award 2010)

Title: Haptic interactions with the Spoken Web

Interactions with Spoken Web are performed over a dumb phone instrument. Having such a minimal device requirement ensures that any phone device can be used to interact with the content on the Spoken Web. This provides access to the billions who are currently untouched by the smartphone and the WWW revolutions. The research under this proposal aims to look at advanced interaction techniques that can be performed using such dumb devices. A user intent can be expressed by several tapping and scratching interactions on the phone case. Such events can then be captured from the mobile microphone and can be processed to determine the user intention. The research promises to build haptic interaction modalities on such low-end phone devices.

Prof. Andrew Sears, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (Faculty Award 2009)

Title: Interruption recovery in an aging workforce: The role of cognitive abilities and visual cues

Interruptions while interacting with information technologies have been acknowledged as having negative consequences, yet are a pervasive feature of modern technology. As a result, researchers have studied the implications of interruptions, methods of identifying "interruptible moments", and tools that can help individuals manage and recover from interruptions. Researchers accept that attention, cognitive workload, and related factors are important in understanding the implications of interruptions. However, existing research has not addressed these issues in the context of an aging workforce. As the workforce continues to age, it is essential that we understand the challenges older workers experience and develop techniques that allow these individuals to continue to be productive. This is particularly important because, with age, individuals often experience changes in their physical, perceptual, and cognitive capabilities. Therefore, the proposed research will investigate the relationship between cognitive status and the ability to recover from interruptions during interactions with information technologies. Simultaneously, the research will seek to identify the types of visual cues that individuals use as they recover from the interruption and continue with their original task. The outcomes of the proposed research will provide insights that can guide the development of new tools that will allow users of information technologies, including older adults, to better manage and recover from interruptions.

Scott Hudson, Carnegie-Mellon University (Faculty Award 2008)

Corporations are realizing that to become truly global entities they need to connect their resources around the world to each other in such a way that work can flow seamlessly between centers of excellence. Successfully developing vibrant communities of information, sharing expertise in real-time, and connecting people in social networks are key steps along the way to creating a seamless global organization. A major impediment towards these goals is the flood of communications that we are already subjected to, and the fact that all messages are created - and treated by messaging systems - as equal. The work proposed here will investigate the concept of pro-active messaging and the user interface techniques that will enable it. We propose to take messages beyond passive entities that are delivered from one person to another, to entities that are active - carrying out actions to improve their utility based on information about the sender's purpose and the recipient's current state, tasks, and contexts. By allowing users to modify message behavior based on intent, and developing intelligent supports for messaging, communications can become more productive, thus clearing channels for important messages, and making users more open to community and expertise exchanges.

Margaret Burnett, Oregon State University (Faculty Award 2008)

In recent years, software engineering researchers have begun to study program navigation. Programmers spend up to 35% of their time navigating source code to find pieces that are relevant to their current task. This number can only increase with the rising complexity of large distributed programming projects. Tools to address navigation costs are beginning to emerge. Some of these navigation tools are useful, but they lack a theoretical basis. We propose to address this lack. Specifically, we hypothesize that Information Foraging Theory might be able to predict, step-by-step, programmers' navigation behavior in debugging and maintenance. We seek to determine whether this is true. If so, this theory will provide a theoretical foundation for software navigation tools, and a model based upon it can significantly improve today's ad hoc tool-building practices - by explaining what is fundamentally necessary in such tools.