Brown Bag Lunch Schedule

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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.

Fall 2016 Schedule

Date Leader Topic

Kickoff to a new Semester!

Come network, make introductions, and share what each of us is working on

Please come to our first BBL of the fall 2016-2017 academic year to introduce yourself and share what you're working on in the coming semester. The first BBL will be for us to network with each other and kickoff a great new semester.


CHI Papers Clinic Lunch

Abstract: TBD

Bio: TBD

09/15/2016 Karen Holtzblatt
InContext Design / University of Maryland, College Park

Contextual Design, Cool Concepts, and Women in Tech Project

Abstract: Karen has recently joined University of Maryland as a Research Scientist and will provide a brief overview of her work in user-centered design techniques and innovation as well as her new work understanding and creating intervention methods to help technology companies retain women.

Karen will share the new techniques described in her upcoming book Contextual Design V2: Design for life. Because of the revolution in how technology is now integrated into life with smartphones and tablets, designers and researchers must consider new ways of collecting and using user data. The Cool Project helped define the key aspects we must now consider; these led to changes in the Contextual Design Method.

Karen will also share the focus of her research on women in technology at the iSchool . Currently through collaborating with many in the industry The Women in Tech Project presents a framework for what keeps women satisfied and successful. They have also developed a measure which is being honed. More research will be occurring as well as the creation of intervention games and techniques.

Bio: Karen Holtzblatt is the inventor of Contextual Inquiry and co-founder of InContext Design, which began in 1992 to use Contextual Design techniques to work with product teams to deliver market data and design solutions to clients across multiple industries. Her books, Contextual Design: Defining Customer Centered Systems, and Rapid Contextual Design, are used by companies and universities all over the world.

Karen is a member of the CHI Academy (awarded to significant contributors in the Computer Human Interaction Association) and in 2010 received CHI’s first Life Time Award for Practice for her impact on the field. She holds a doctorate in applied psychology from the University of Toronto.

09/22/2016 Elissa Redmiles
HCIL, University of Maryland, College Park

How I Learned to be Secure: a Census-Representative Survey of Security Advice Sources and Behavior

Abstract: Few users have a single, authoritative, source from whom they can request digital-security advice. Rather, digital- security skills are often learned haphazardly, as users filter through an overwhelming quantity of security advice. By understanding the factors that contribute to users' advice sources, beliefs, and security behaviors, we can help to pare down the quantity and improve the quality of advice provided to users, streamlining the process of learning key behaviors. In this work we rigorously investigated how users' security beliefs, knowledge, and demographics correlate with their sources of security advice, and how all these factors influence security behaviors. Using a carefully pre-tested, U.S.-census-representative survey of 526 users, we present an overview of the prevalence of respondents' advice sources, reasons for accepting and rejecting advice from those sources, and the impact of these sources and demographic factors on security behavior. We find evidence of a "digital divide" in security: the advice sources of users with higher skill levels and socioeconomic status dier from those with fewer resources. This digital security divide may add to the vulnerability of already disadvantaged users. We conclude with recommendations for combating the digital divide and improving the efficacy of digital-security advice.

Bio: Elissa Redmiles is a Ph.D. student in Computer Science at the University of Maryland. Her research focuses on usable security - the intersection between Cyber-security and Human Computer Interaction. Elissa was a 2015 Eric and Wendy Schmidt Data Science for Social Good Fellow at the University of Chicago. Prior to pursuing her Ph.D., she held Marketing Management and Software Engineering roles at IBM and completed her B.S. in Computer Science, cum laude, at the University of Maryland.

09/29/2016 Gregg Vanderheiden
Director, Trace R&D Center, University of Maryland, College Park

UMD’s New Trace Center; Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Abstract: The Trace R&D Center just landed on campus in the iSchool. Founded at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1971, it has for 45 years been a leader in Technology and Disability research, development, and policy. Trace Center developments are found in every modern operating system, US Automated Postal Stations, Amtrak Kiosks, DHS Airport kiosks, and ICT of all types. Trace guidelines and work were used as the foundation for IBM, Microsoft, Apple and other companies' access guidelines as well as key parts of the W3C's WCAG 1 and 2, and US Access Board’s 508/255 guidelines. A brief history of the Trace Center will be provided followed by an overview of the current programs, partners, and potential future directions. Opportunities to get involved will also be explored.

Bio: Dr. Vanderheiden has been active in the area of Technology and Disability for over 45 years. His early work was in Augmentative Communication, a term taken from his writings in the late 70’s. Starting in 1979, his focus shifted to personal computers and he worked inside Apple, Microsoft and IBM on increasing the accessibility and usability of their products. Apple included features in Apple IIe, gs, and MacOS and iOS. IBM and Microsoft licensed 9 features from Dr. Vanderheiden’s group for inclusion in DOS, OS/2, and Windows. Dr. Vanderheiden co-chaired and co-authored the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 1.0 and 2.0), worked with the Access Board on 255 and 508, and lead the effort to develop the EZ-Access package of cross-disability access features that are now built into Amtrak ticket machines, Automated Postal Stations, Homeland Security Passport Kiosks, and many other ITMs across the country. His current focus is on the development of a Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII).

10/06/2016 John Wilbanks,
Sage Bionetworks

Using Human Centered Design to Make Informed Consent Actually Inform

Abstract: TBD

Bio: TBD

10/13/2016 Fan Du
Catherine Plaisant
HCIL, University of Maryland, College Park

VIS 2016 practice talks

Title: EventAction: Visual Analytics for Temporal Event Sequence Recommendation
Abstract: Recommender systems are being widely used to assist people in making decisions, for example, recommending films to watch or books to buy. Despite its ubiquity, the problem of presenting the recommendations of temporal event sequences has not been studied. We propose EventAction, which to our knowledge, is the first attempt at a prescriptive analytics interface designed to present and explain recommendations of temporal event sequences. EventAction provides a visual analytics approach to (1) identify similar records, (2) explore potential outcomes, (3) review recommended temporal event sequences that might help achieve the users' goals, and (4) interactively assist users as they define a personalized action plan associated with a probability of success. Following the design study framework, we designed and deployed EventAction in the context of student advising and reported on the evaluation with a student review manager and three graduate students.

Title: Coping with Volume and Variety in Temporal Event Sequences: Strategies for Sharpening Analytic Focus
Abstract: The growing volume and variety of data presents both opportunities and challenges for visual analytics. Addressing these challenges is needed for big data to provide valuable insights and novel solutions for business, security, social media, and healthcare. In the case of temporal event sequence analytics it is the number of events in the data and variety of temporal sequence patterns that challenges users of visual analytic tools. This paper describes 15 strategies for sharpening analytic focus that analysts can use to reduce the data volume and pattern variety. Four groups of strategies are proposed: (1) extraction strategies, (2) temporal folding, (3) pattern simplification strategies, and (4) iterative strategies. For each strategy, we provide examples of the use and impact of this strategy on volume and/or variety. Examples are selected from 20 case studies gathered from either our own work, the literature, or based on email interviews with individuals who conducted the analyses and developers who observed analysts using the tools. Finally, we discuss how these strategies might be combined and report on the feedback from 10 senior event sequence analysts.

10/20/2016 Grant McKenzie,
University of Maryland, College Park


Abstract: TBD

Bio: TBD

10/27/2016 Greg Walsh,
University of Baltimore


Abstract: TBD

Bio: TBD

11/03/2016 John Dickerson, Computer Science, University of Maryland, College Park


Abstract: TBD

Bio: TBD

11/10/2016 Bill Kules, iSchool, University of Maryland, College Park

Presentation about issues of equity, diversity and inclusion into HCI and programming courses

Abstract: TBD

Bio: TBD

11/17/2016 Bilge Mutlu,
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Human-Centered Principles and Methods for Designing Robotic Technologies

Abstract: The increasing emergence of robotic technologies that serve as automated tools, assistants, and collaborators promises tremendous benefits in everyday settings from the home to manufacturing facilities. While these technologies promise interactions that can be highly complex and beneficial, their successful integration into the human environment ultimately requires these interactions to also be natural and intuitive. To achieve complex but intuitive interactions, designers and developers must simultaneously understand and address human and computational challenges. In this talk, I will present my group’s work on building human-centered guidelines, methods, and tools to address these challenges in order to facilitate the design of robotic technologies that are more effective, intuitive, acceptable, and even enjoyable through successful integration into the human environment. The first part of the talk will review a series of projects that will demonstrate how the marrying of knowledge about people and computational methods through a systematic design process can enable effective user interactions with social, assistive, and telepresence robots. The second part of the talk will cover ongoing work that provides designers and developers with tools to apply these guidelines to the development of real-world robotic technologies and that utilizes partnerships with domain experts and end users to ensure the successful integration of these technologies into everyday settings. The talk will conclude with a discussion of high-level design guidelines that can be drawn from this body of work.

Bio: Bilge Mutlu is an associate professor of computer science, psychology, and industrial engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He received his Ph.D. degree from Carnegie Mellon University's Human-Computer Interaction Institute in 2009. His background combines training in interaction design, human-computer interaction, and robotics with industry experience in product design and development. Dr. Mutlu is a former Fulbright Scholar and the recipient of the NSF CAREER award as well as several best paper awards and nominations, including HRI 2008, HRI 2009, HRI 2011, UbiComp 2013, IVA 2013, RSS 2013, HRI 2014, CHI 2015, and ASHA 2015. His research has been covered by national and international press including the NewScientist, MIT Technology Review, Discovery News, Science Nation, and Voice of America. He has served in the Steering Committee of the HRI Conference and the Editorial Board of IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, co-chairing the Program Committees for ROMAN 2016, HRI 2015, ROMAN 2015, and ICSR 2011, the Program Sub-committees on Design for CHI 2013 and CHI 2014, and the organizing committee for HRI 2017. More information on Dr. Mutlu and his research can be found at and

11/24/2016 No Brown Bag, Thanksgiving Break.
12/01/2016 Susan Winter,
University of Maryland, College Park


Abstract: TBD

Bio: TBD

12/08/2016 HCIL

HCIL Seasonal Cookie Exchange

To celebrate the end-of-year holidays, the HCIL will have a cookie exchange/get-together in the lab during the last HCIL brown bag of the semester. Cookie exchanges work by individuals bringing in small bags of cookies (e.g., five bags of chocolate chip cookies) and then selecting that number of other types of cookies (e.g., a bag of sugar cookies, oatmeal raisin, peanut blossoms, etc.) We encourage people to bring cookies in bags (5-6 bags of 5-6 cookies). However, even if you can’t bring in cookies, please still join us for this festive event!

Past Brown Bags

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