Brown Bag Lunch Schedule: Difference between revisions

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Revision as of 17:04, 7 April 2016

The HCIL has an open, semi-organized weekly "brown bag lunch (BBL)" every Thursdays from 12:30-1:30pm in HCIL (2105 Hornbake, South Wing). The topics range from someone's work, current interests in the HCIL, software demos/reviews, study design, proposed research topics, introductions to new people, etc. The BBL is the one hour a week where we all come together--thus, it’s a unique time for HCIL members with unique opportunities to help build collaborations, increase awareness of each other’s activities, and generally just have a bit of fun together with free food every week. There is no RSVP; simply show up!

If you would like to give or suggest a talk, presentation, workshop, etc., send an email to BBL student co-coordinators Austin Beck ( or Leyla Norooz ( In the email, briefly describe the topic and preferred dates.

To be notified about upcoming events, please subscribe one of these mailing lists.

We thank YAHOO for its sponsorship of the HCIL Brown Bag Lunches Yahoo.jpg.

Spring 2016 Schedule

Date Leader Topic

Kickoff to a new Semester!

Come network, make introductions, share what each of us is working on, and learn about the new HCIL website

Please come to our first BBL of the spring and introduce yourself, and share what you're working on in the coming semester. We'll also cover our new HCIL website and ask our community to help us tweak and improve it (so bring your laptops if you can). The first BBL will be for us to network with each other and kickoff a great new semester.

Tom Yeh
Assistant Professor, University of Colorado CS (link). Host: Jon Froehlich

Printing Pictures in 3D

Abstract: The Tactile Picture Book Project (TPBP) is a research endeavor that utilizes 3D printing as a new media platform for designing, developing, and distributing information in a tangible format. The mission of TPBP is to give children with visual impairments access to a lot more pictures they can "see" by touch and feel. To date, the TPBP team has made 3D adaptations for several children's book classics such as Goodnight Moon, Harold and the Purple Crayon, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Dear Zoo, and Noah's Ark. In this talk, Yeh will demonstrate examples of 3D pictures, discuss the technical challenges encountered in creating these pictures, and share the many valuable lessons learned through the process. In addition, Yeh will present CraftML, a new 3D modeling markup language designed to mimic common web technologies including HTML5, CSS, and Javascript. CraftML allows web designers without prior 3D modeling experience to easily bring their creative talents and design skills to the domain of 3D modeling. The TPBP is supported by a research grant from the National Science Foundation and has appeared in several news outlets such as 9News, Newsweek, DailyCamera, DailyMail, New Scientist, Science Daily, and NPR. (For more information see:,,

Bio: Tom Yeh received his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for studying vision-based user interfaces. In 2012, he joined the University of Colorado Boulder (CU) as an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science. Prior to joining CU, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS). Dr. Yeh's research interests include 3D printing, big data, citizen science, and mobile security. He has published more than 30 articles across these interest areas. He has received best paper awards and honorable mentions from CHI, UIST, and MobileHCI. In 2014, he received the Student Affairs Faculty of the Year Award. Dr. Yeh's research projects are funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

02/11/2016 Cliff Lampe
Associate Professor, University of Michigan iSchool (link) Host: Jessica Vitak

Citizen Interaction Design and its Implications for HCI

Abstract: Cliff Lampe will be describing the Citizen Interaction Design program at the University of Michigan, which has the goals of teaching HCI and UX skills to students by having them work on civic engagement applications in coordination with Michigan cities. The goals of the program are to explore the role of HCI in civic engagement, to train students in the concept of sustainable interaction design, and to develop new forms of “town/gown” relationships. Dr. Lampe will describe the elements of the program, and then discuss the pros and cons of different efforts over the last three years. The talk will conclude by placing CID in the context of larger trends in HCI and social computing research, in particular the expanding set of domains that HCI is trying to cover - and what that means for rigorous research.

Bio: Cliff Lampe is an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan School of Information. His research focuses on prosocial outcomes of social computing systems, including the positive effects of social media interaction, civic engagement through social software, and nonprofit use of social computing tools. In that work, he’s collaborated on studies of sites like Facebook, Reddit, Wikipedia,, Slashdot and more. Cliff is serving as the Technical Program Chair for CHI2016 and CHI2017, as Vice President for Publications for ACM SIGCHI, and as Steering Committee Chair Elect for the CSCW community. In Dungeons and Dragons, he prefers the Druid player class.

02/18/2016 Thomas Haigh
Associate Professor of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (link) Host: ???

Working on ENIAC: The Lost Labors of the Information Age

Abstract: Books and shows about the history of information technology have usually focused on great inventors and technical breakthroughs, from Charles Babbage and Alan Turing to Steve Jobs and the World Wide Web. Computer operations work has been written out of the story, but without it no computer would be useful. Information historians Thomas Haigh and Mark Priestley are writing it back in. This talk focused on ENIAC, the first general purpose electronic computer, based on research for their book ENIAC in Action: Making and Remaking the Modern Computer, published by MIT Press in January, 2016. They explains that the women now celebrated as the “first computer programmers” were actually hired as computer operators and worked hands-on with the machine around the clock. They then look at business data processing work from the 1950s onward, exploring the grown of operations and facilities work during the mainframe era. Concluding comments relate this historical material to the human work and physical infrastructure today vanishing from public view into the “cloud.”

Bio: Thomas Haigh received his Ph.D. in History and Sociology of Science from the University of Pennsylvania after earning two degrees in Computer Science from the University of Manchester. Haigh has published on many aspects of the history of computing including the evolution of data base management systems, word processing, the software package concept, corporate computer departments, Internet software, computing in science fiction, computer architecture, and the gendered division of work in data processing. As well as ENIAC in Action (MIT, 2016) he edited Histories of Computing (Harvard, 2011), a collection of the work of Michael S. Mahoney. He write the “Historical Reflections” column for Communications of the ACM. His new projects are an reexamination of the wartime Colossus codebreaking machine and a book, Acolytes of Information, on the history of information systems work in the American corporation.

02/25/2016 Adil Yalcin
PhD Candidate in Computer Science at UMD (link)

Keshif: Data Exploration using Aggregate Summaries and Multi-Mode Linked Selections

Abstract: We present a new aggregation and multi-mode linked selection framework for data exploration. To enable scalable data overviews, aggregates group records by their attribute values and measure group characteristics within data summaries. To reveal details, linked selections visualize data distributions on aggregations upon interaction with three complementary modes: highlighting, filtering, comparison. This model is domain independent, expressive, minimal, and scalable, and constructs an exploration space without the complexity of manual visualizations and interaction specification tasks. We implemented this framework for tabular data as a web-based tool, Keshif. A Keshif data browser combines summarized aggregations on existing or calculated attributes, and individual records. Data exploration is supported from importing raw data, to authoring, sharing, and forking data browsers, through a fluid, consistent, rapid, and animated interaction design. We demonstrate aggregation designs for multiple data types (categorical, set-typed, numeric, timestamp, spatial) using various glyphs and non-overlapping visualizations (bar, line, icon, disc, geo-area). We illustrate examples from 130+ publicly published Keshif data browsers from diverse domains.

Bio: M. Adil Yalcin, is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Computer Science at University of Maryland, College Park, and a member of Human Computer Interaction Laboratory (HCIL). His goal is to lower human-centered barriers to data exploration and presentation. His research focuses on information visualization and interaction design, implementation, and evaluation. He is the developer of keshif, a web-based tool for rapid exploration of structured datasets. In his previous work, he developed computer graphics techniques and applications.

03/03/2016 Eytan Adar.
Assoc Prof, School of Information, Univ. of Michigan (link). Host: Ben Shneiderman

All the Data Fit to Print: Newsroom Tools for Generating Personalized, Contextually-Relevant Visualizations (Campus Visualizations Partnership lecture)

Abstract Visualizations can enhance news article content by presenting complex facts clearly and providing contextually-relevant visualizations. By using novel natural language and text mining approaches, our systems define "queries" that encode the article's topic (e.g., "unemployment in CA in March," "global average temperatures in 2012") and the comparisons that are made in the article's text (e.g., differences between states or over time) to guide the visualization generation. Compelling visualizations are relevant and 'interesting'-concepts that are very hard measure, but we address these challenges in the Contextifier, NewsViews, and PersaLog systems, which are meant to help journalists tell their stories more effectively (joint work with Brent Hecht, Jessica Hullman, Tong Gao, Carolyn Gearig, Josh Ford, and Nick Diakopoulos).

Bio: Eytan Adar is an Associate Professor in the School of Information & Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan. He works at the intersection of HCI and IR/Data Mining and ranges from empirical studies of large-scale online behaviors to building new systems, tools and methods. He has a Bachelors and Masters from MIT and a PHD in Computer Science at the University of Washington. He was a researcher at HP Labs and Xerox PARC, and spun out a company called Outride. Eytan is co-founder of ICWSM and has served as general chair for ICWSM and WSDM. His website is

03/10/2016 Alina Goldman
PhD Student in Information Studies at UMD's iSchool

StreamBED: Teaching Citizen Scientists to Judge Stream Quality with Embodied Virtual Reality Training

Abstract: StreamBED, a new virtual reality (VR) training environment teaches citizen scientists to make holistic assessments about water quality by allowing them to explore and compare virtual watersheds. The initial design of StreamBED garnered positive feedback, but elicited a need for a comprehensive redesign. This talk poses several questions to understand how training may be redesigned to be more engaging and informative.

Bio: Alina is a PhD Student in Information Studies at UMD's iSchool.

03/17/2016 No Brown Bag for Spring Break.
03/24/2016 Daniel Robbins (link)

Visualize getting a job (Campus Visualizations Partnership lecture)

Abstract Everyone hates LinkedIn. While quite useful, its user interface and paucity of visualization tools requires users to infer relationships, rely on short term memory to form mental models, and resort to ancillary tools for tracking progress. Dan will discuss visualization techniques to assist in a typical job search process. These include views and tools to effectively give overviews of professional connections, stay on top of communications, cue up reminders, and generate summaries. To do this, Dan will suggest ways of integrating timelines, faceted search, and social networks, all in the context of mobile design constraints.

Bio: Dan Robbins has lead the creative design and strategy of high-profile, tech-heavy, immersive experiences at the Microsoft Envisioning Center, Artefact, Brown University Computer Graphics Group, Microsoft Research, and Burning Man. Although a trained sculptor, he has published and patented extensively in the areas of UX design for mobile, search, and 3D. Dan weaves together futuristic points of view, empathic observations of the real world, and leading design trends to bring more trust, beauty, magic, and joy into the world. Dan has a very large collection of sculpture supplies in his cold and wet Seattle basement and till very recently, was the proud owner of two broken down artcars. You can see some of Dan's projects via his work and art portfolios (;

03/31/2016 TBD


Abstract: TBD

Bio: TBD

04/07/2016 Andrea Wiggins
Assistant Professor, University of Maryland iSchool (link)

Community-based Data Validation in Citizen Science

Abstract: Technology-supported citizen science has created huge volumes of data with increasing potential to facilitate scientific progress. However, verifying data quality is still a substantial hurdle due to the intended applications of data and limitations of existing data quality mechanisms. The talk discusses results from a paper that received an "Honorable Mention" at CSCW 2016 which investigated community-based data validation practices in an online community where people record what they see in the nature. We also examined the characteristics of records of wildlife species observations that affected the outcomes of collaborative data quality management. The findings describe the processes that both relied upon and added to information provenance through information stewardship behaviors, which led to improvements in indicators of data quality. The likelihood of community-based validation interactions were predicted by several factors, including the types of organisms observed and whether the data were submitted from a mobile device. Unexpected and counter-intuitive results reflect the realities of the material world in which mobile apps are deployed, and suggest implications for design and practice. The talk concludes with discussion of the evolution of recent developments in Federal policies related to crowdsourcing and citizen science.

Bio: Dr. Wiggins is an Assistant Professor at Maryland's iSchool and director of the Open Knowledge Lab at UMD. She studies the design and evolution of sociotechnical systems for large-scale collaboration and knowledge production. Andrea's current work focuses on the role of technologies in citizen science, evaluating individual and collective performance and productivity in open collaboration systems, and the dynamics of open data ecosystems. Andrea serves on several working groups and advisory boards for citizen science projects across a variety of scientific disciplines, and regularly advises federal agencies and nonprofit organizations on citizen science project and technology design.

04/14/2016 CHI Practice Talks
Kotaro Hara & Elissa Redmiles

Abstract: TBD

Bio: TBD

04/21/2016 Eileen Scanlon and Tim O'Shea
Open University's Chair of Education and Principal of Edinburgh University (respectively)

Abstract: TBD

Bio: TBD

04/28/2016 Tamara Clegg
Assistant Professor, University of Maryland iSchool & Education (link)


Abstract: TBD

Bio: TBD

05/05/2016 Chris Preist
Reader in Sustainability and Computer Systems at Bristol University (link)
Host: Jon Froehlich

On the role of gamification in citizen engagement: What is it good for, and what not?

Abstract: Community campaigning groups typically rely on core groups of highly motivated members. In this talk we consider how crowdsourcing strategies can be used to support such campaigns. We focus on mobile data collection applications and strategies that can be used to engage casual participants in pro-environmental data collection. We report the results of a study conducted with Close The Door Bristol, a community campaign that encourages shops to keep doors shut in winter and so reduce energy consumption. Our study used both quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate the impact of different motivational factors and strategies, including both intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. Specifically we will present analyses of:
- The impact of different motivators and enablers to contribution, including the effect of intrinsic environmental motivation.
- The impact of scoring points and a leaderboard on contribution, and the surprising explanation for the observed behaviour revealed through qualitative analysis.

Bio: Dr Chris Preist is Reader in Sustainability and Computer Systems at the University of Bristol. He leads a team of researchers who combine the disciplines of Industrial Ecology and Computer Science, with two two main themes;
- Modelling the energy use of digital services to allow decisions in software design, internet architecture, business model and user behaviour to be assessed for their impact, both in the short and longer term.
- Using digital services to engage individuals, communities and businesses with pro-environmental attitudes and behaviours, most notably in the area of domestic retrofit for energy efficiency. His research partners include the BBC, Guardian News and Media, the Environment Agency, the Carbon Disclosure Project and EDF Energy.
Prior to joining University of Bristol, he was Head of Sustainable IT Research at HP Labs, Bristol from 2007-09, where he led work on the strategic impact of climate change on business and technology development to exploit emerging opportunities. He joined HP Labs in 1987 following a degree in Pure Maths from University of Warwick, and a Ph.D. in logic programming from Imperial College, London. In previous work at HP Labs, he conducted research in artificial intelligence, automated diagnosis, agent-mediated e-commerce and the semantic web.

Past Brown Bags

View the Past Brown Bag Lunch Schedules to learn more about prior talks.