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Mi2 Lab at CHI 2017

Professor Michael Nebeling, Postdoc Max Speicher, and incoming PhD student Brian Hall attended CHI 2017, adding to the strong presence of UMSI at the premier HCI conference this year in Denver, Colorado.

Michael participated in the HCI.Tools workshop with leading technical HCI researchers discussing the opportunities and challenges that come with systems and toolkits research. In preparation for the workshop, Michael put together a position paper, “Playing the Tricky Game of Toolkits Research”, in which he summarizes the challenges he faced when starting out as a new technical HCI researcher and the lessons he has learned over the years from his own research program as well as participating in program committees at ACM CHI and EICS.

Michael also presented his new paper, “XDBrowser 2.0: Semi-Automatic Generation of Cross-Device Interfaces”, which describes two studies informing the design of a next-generation web browser able to distribute existing web interfaces between two or more devices, including tablets, smartphones, and smartwatches. In his presentation, Michael started out by saying that he was actually hoping to build a new system that can automatically generate cross-device interfaces, but that he soon realized that more research was required, leading to the two new studies described in his paper. Michael also acknowledged the support from his former BSI/MSI students and research assistants, Andie Dumas, Annabel Weiner, and Licheng Zhu.

A particular highlight for the lab was Brian’s participation in the CHI Student Research Competition. The competition involved multiple stages starting out with poster presentations on Day 1. On Day 2, a smaller group of selected students invited to the next stage were given the opportunity to summarize their research to a larger audience in a formal presentation. Finally, the top 3 students selected by leading researchers in the HCI community were announced at the end of the CHI conference in front of everyone.

Brian presented the first study he carried out as part of his project on investigating usable and effective interfaces for controlling drones. We were very proud of Brian who was recently awarded the prestigious NSF fellowship and now successfully made it through all stages and finally placed third in the highly competitive CHI Student Research Competition in the undergraduate category. Congratulations! We are looking forward to having Brian join us this Fall!

Michael Nebeling Co-PI on ESSI Grant

My colleagues, Steve Oney and Sun Young Park, and I comprise one of four research teams chosen to receive a $200,000 pilot grant from the University of Michigan’s Exercise & Sport Science Initiative (ESSI). Launched in 2016, ESSI draws on the expertise of faculty from a wide range of disciplines across campus, Michigan Athletics and industry partners to optimize performance and health for people of all ages and abilities.

We proposed a plan to build a “data warehouse” that would enable recreational athletes, coaches and even fans to collect physical data from various sources, such as FitBits, smartwatches and phones in order to improve their performance. The Information Interaction Lab will play a key role in developing new interfaces and interaction techniques using augmented reality to empower those end-users.

Read more…

 

Brian Hall joining as PhD Student

We’re happy to announce that Brian Hall will be joining the UMSI PhD program and our research lab in September. He will be advised by Professors Michael Nebeling and Mark Ackerman. Brian is joining us from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. Brian brings significant experience working as a software developer and undergraduate researcher for several years. Most recently, he was visiting with Laura Dabbish in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at CMU. We’re really looking forward to him joining our lab and the UMSI community!

Max Speicher joining as Research Fellow

We’re happy to announce that Max Speicher has joined UMSI as a Research Fellow for his postdoctoral research in our lab. Max brings several years of industrial research experience and expertise in the AR/VR space with him. Most recently, he was working  at HoloBuilder. Max will participate in a U-M wide research initiative in AR/VR and help us establish the lab in that area. Stay tuned!

12-week paid master’s student research opportunities

Update: The lab is excited to have Erin McAweeney from the University of Washington Information School join us over the summer!

The Information Interaction Lab at the University of Michigan School of Information is offering projects in multi-device interaction as part of a

12-week paid summer research experience May 30-August 18, 2017 at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Are you interested in applying to a doctoral program or would you like to find out more about what PhD programs entail? Interested in a research career investigating such topics as the impact of libraries and archives, instructional technology, user experience, privacy and security and health informatics? 

The University of Michigan School of Information is hosting a 12-week intensive summer Research Experience for Master’s Students (REMS) from other iSchool master’s programs or schools of library and information science, May 30–August 18, 2017.

Come develop your research skills with world-renowned faculty and in leading institutions on the U-M campus. The students selected for 2017 will engage in a variety of research projects and receive close mentorship as they investigate key issues in information science with UMSI faculty or practitioners. The REMS program supplements the experience in the research project with a broad range of educational and social activities that create a community of scholars among participating students. Students completing the program will be eligible to apply for funding to attend a conference to present their research project.

For descriptions of the research projects, as well as information on eligibility and the application process, please visit https://www.si.umich.edu/research/research-experiences-masters-students. Note that both current and graduating domestic students are eligible. Applications will be accepted until February 15, 2017

Participant benefits

·  Participation in an original research project with leading U-M faculty, libraries and archives on campus, and graduate students

·  Develop research skills through one-on-one mentoring and instruction on research

·  In-depth orientation on research in the information sciences and the responsible conduct in research and scholarship and weekly educational seminars

·  Potential for funding to attend a conference to present findings

·  $10,000 stipend

Top priority will be given to applicants from underrepresented populations in graduate programs and/or from schools with limited research opportunities.

For more information contact: UMSI-REMS@umich.edu.

This project is funded by a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services RE-01-15-0086-15 and the University of Michigan Rackham Graduate School, Faculty Allies for Diversity Program.

Winter 2017 Comerica Hackathons

Update: We’ve changed the format by doing 2 hackathons: one leading to a paper prototype and the other leading to a digital prototype. We’ve decided on two consecutive Thursdays: March 30 and April 6.

Our lab will host and run weekly 3-hour hackathons in collaboration with Comerica‘s UX team. Their team is setting us a design challenge around improving the mobile banking experience. The hackathons will be led by Professor Michael Nebeling and his team from the Information Interaction Lab at UMSI, and will provide BSI and MSI students an opportunity to apply and deepen their interaction design skills.

The hackathons will start in mid-January 2017, and will stretch over a period of 8-9 weeks. There will be plenty of opportunity to engage with Comerica’s growing UX team, and we are also planning a larger final presentation to Comerica (which may include a sponsored trip) at the end of the project.

We are currently looking for students that are interested in participating in these hackathons. We require that students are committed to this project and are prepared to volunteer 3 hours of UX design and research work in our lab and 1-2 hours of homework per week. We also make it a requirement that students already have a basic understanding of interaction design, HCI principles and methods, which can be demonstrated based on successful completion of our SI 482 and SI 582 interaction design courses, or significant project work completed in the context of external projects and internships.

Please send an email directly to Professor Nebeling at nebeling@umich.edu to express your interest and find out more. We will be accepting 10-15 students into this project.

First Semester Done

Photo from our last hackathon in December, showing a number of students involved in the lab, picture taken with Kinect Photo

Fall 2016 was our first semester at UMSI, and a number of things happened:

  • set up our new lab space
  • purchased an initial set of wearable, mobile, and stationary devices: five 4K displays, a number of smartwatches, mobile phones, Kinects, portable projector, Surface Book and Surface Studio (pre-order)
  • got our lab’s logo designed
  • primarily worked on interfaces to support our lab activities, but also initial research

Our projects included:

  • lab backend and platform that manages devices and users in the lab
  • lab dashboard, an ambient interface pulling together information on all kinds of lab activities
  • Slack and Trello integrations
  • Alexa voice interfaces for the lab
  • Kinect gesture, voice and multimodal interfaces for the lab based on Kinect Analysis
  • sketching and note-taking interfaces
  • continued our research on the XDBrowser project:
    • support for semi-automatic distribution (upcoming CHI’17 paper)
    • round smartwatch interface
    • projector-based interface
    • in-car interface

Other activities included:

  • presented research overview at MISC seminar
  • taught SI 482 Interaction Design Studio
  • organized weekly hackathons for interested students
  • held cross-device tutorial at the International Conference on Surfaces and Space (ISS’16)

Fall 2016 Weekly Hackathons

Our lab will have weekly hackathons on Thursdays, 3pm-6pm.

Our hackathons will be completed in 3 hours (they are still “real” hackathons, we’re just faster 😛). We will start with introductions and goals—what’s the goal you want to accomplish over the next 3 hours? Goals do not have to be “researchy” and lab-related, they can be personal goals as well (e.g., implement functionality X, design usability study for project Y, or finish assignment for course Z). Sometimes a hackathon may be dedicated to a particular goal relevant to the lab. But even then, you may come and choose to contribute to that goal or work on your own. The main thing is to come together as a group and feel productive working towards the announced goal, be it individually or in teams.

Important note: these hackathons, although organized by the Information Interaction Lab, are not restricted to lab members. We encourage everyone who is affiliated with UMSI (faculty, staff, students) and interested to join us and have some fun (plus getting some work done, too!).

If it’s going to be your first hackathon, please contact us to let us know you’ll be attending and find out about the exact location.

New HCI lab at Michigan!

We’re starting a new HCI lab at the University of Michigan School of Information: the Michigan Information Interaction Lab.

Kicking off with seven research assistants, five Master’s and two Bachlor’s students, as well as a number of student volunteers, the lab is directed by Professor Michael Nebeling and is conducting research in the areas of human-computer interaction, interface engineering, ubiquitous computing, and crowdsourcing.

We’ll start our teaching with two interaction design courses, SI 482 in the Fall and SI 582 in the Winter term 2016/2017. But we’ll soon offer new HCI courses related to our research interests.

We’re actively looking for Postdocs, PhD students, interns, and volunteers to join our team. Find out more about open positions in our lab.

We have an open lab policy, and interested faculty, staff, and students are always welcome to join our lab activities, including weekly hackathons, monthly open lab demo days, regular research standups, semester-long reading groups, preliminary research experience and independent study projects, etc. Just talk to us!