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!