Recently I had the pleasure to help organize “Computer Science Day” as part of the University of Florida‘s Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) group’s week-long summer day camp they were hosting for local middle-school girls, sponsored by the Florida Museum of Natural History. The goal of the camp was to expose the girls to some of the awesome science going on here at UF, and, in addition to CISE, the girls got to visit Biology, Astronomy, Chemistry, and Engineering.
For CISE Day, I advised the CISE department’s student-run organization Women in Computer Science and Engineering (WiCSE) in organizing, structuring, and staffing the day’s events. We planned events such as lab demos, outdoor CS Unplugged activities, and hands-on coding with CodingBat and Scratch. The campers were engaged and positive throughout the day, and later, WiSE staffers told us that CISE day was the favorite day of many of the campers!
You can see more information about the event from the WiSE group here, and check out our CISE Department news item here.
We are pleased to announce that a new paper on the MTAGIC project has been accepted to the International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction! The paper, entitled “Children (and Adults) Benefit From Visual Feedback during Gesture Interaction on Mobile Touchscreen Devices,” is an extension of our IDC 2013 paper on visual feedback and gestural interaction for children and adults. The journal version examines more features and additional recognizers to uncover the effects of presence or absence of visual feedback during gestural interaction. Here is the abstract:
Surface gesture interaction styles used on mobile touchscreen devices often depend on the platform and application. Some applications show a visual trace of gesture input being made by the user, whereas others do not. Little work has been done examining the usability of visual feedback for surface gestures, especially for children. In this paper, we extend our previous work on an empirical study conducted with children, teens, and adults to explore characteristics of gesture interaction with and without visual feedback. We analyze 9 simple and 7 complex gesture features to determine whether differences exist between users of different age groups when completing surface gestures with and without visual feedback. We find that the gestures generated diverge significantly in ways that make them difficult to interpret by some recognizers. For example, users tend to make gestures with fewer strokes in the absence of visual feedback, and tend to make shorter, more compact gestures using straighter lines in the presence of visual feedback. In addition, users prefer to see visual feedback. Based on these findings, we present design recommendations for surface gesture interfaces for children, teens, and adults on mobile touchscreen devices. We recommend providing visual feedback, especially for children, wherever possible.
When this article is officially published, I’ll add a link, but until then, you can check out the preprint version.