Follow INIT Lab for recent news!

I will no longer be updating this blog with recent news. Instead, to hear about the latest in my students’ research, follow the INIT Lab website!

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INIT Lab research now funded by NSF!

I am thrilled to announce that I have recently been awarded an NSF CAREER (short for: Faculty Early Career Development Program) grant in the IIS Division entitled “Natural User Interfaces for Children.” This grant will fund my lab’s research over the next 5 years, and form the foundation of my long-term research agenda, on natural interactions for children, ranging from touchscreen interaction, whole-body interaction, and multimodal interaction. Keep an eye on the INIT Lab website for updates!

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Class project videos for “User Experience Design” now online.

I taught the course “User Experience Design” for the second time in Fall 2015 (previously titled “Interaction Design“). In this course, students work with industry clients to create interactive prototypes of design concepts to meet some need of the client’s. Typically this is a new mobile app, enhancements to their existing mobile apps, or some new web feature. We start with user research, go through brainstorming and ideation, wireframing, low-fi and hi-fi prototyping, and think alouds. This semester, we had five great local clients from Gainesville and around Florida: ImmersedGames, ONE.UF, Royal Bank of Canada (Orlando office), Sportody, and Trendy Entertainment.

Check out the final video sketches produced by the 15 student group projects here (shared with permission). Currently this course is offered every fall. The course is in final stages of approval for a course number, so stay tuned!

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MTAGIC IJCCI article now available online.

In a previous post, we announced our International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction article “Children (and Adults) Benefit From Visual Feedback during Gesture Interaction on Mobile Touchscreen Devices” was accepted for publication. Quite a long while later, we’re pleased that the definitive version is finally available online here. Please cite this version wherever applicable.

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Two workshop papers accepted at IDC 2015!

My lab has had two papers accepted to workshops at the upcoming ACM Interaction Design and Children conference, to be held later this month in Boston, MA. The first paper is for the Innovations in Interaction Design and Learning workshop, and reports what we’ve learned on the MTAGIC project so far regarding using HCI principles to design effective educational technology. See the paper here.

The other is for the Every Child a Coder? Research Challenges for a 5-18 Programming Curriculum workshop, and is a paper first-authored by my Ph.D. student Jeremiah Blanchard on his vision for open research challenges in transitioning students from blocks-based to “real” programming languages. His co-advisor and my colleague Christina Gardner-McCune is also an author. You can read the paper here.

We’re looking forward to the conference!

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INTERACT 2015 paper accepted on detecting child users from touch input.

My colleagues, Radu-Daniel Vatavu and Quincy Brown, and I, have combined our efforts on exploring touch interaction for children on a paper which has been accepted to the INTERACT 2015 conference! The paper, titled “Child or Adult? Inferring Smartphone Users’ Age Group from Touch Measurements Alone,” showed the results of our experiments to classify whether a user is a young child (ages 3 to 6) or an adult from properties of their touch input alone. Radu used his dataset of 3 to 6 year olds and supplemented with our MTAGIC dataset. The abstract is as follows:

We present a technique that classifies users’ age group, i.e., child or adult, from touch coordinates captured on touch-screen devices. Our technique delivered 86.5% accuracy (user-independent) on a dataset of 119 participants (89 children ages 3 to 6) when classifying each touch event one at a time and up to 99% accuracy when using a window of 7+ consecutive touches. Our results establish that it is possible to reliably classify a smartphone user on the fly as a child or an adult with high accuracy using only basic data about their touches, and will inform new, automatically adaptive interfaces for touch-screen devices.

You can download the camera-ready version of the paper here. Radu will be presenting our work at INTERACT, which will be held in Bamberg, Germany, in September. I’ll post the talk when available!

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Videos of student game projects from Spring 2015!

I just posted the final game presentations for students in my Spring 2015 offering of CAP4053 “Artificial Intelligence for Computer Games.” In this class, students learn about game design, game development, user interfaces for games, and how to effectively incorporate AI techniques to make games more fun and challenging to the player.

You can check out the three new video presentations here (shared with permission of the student groups). This course is offered every spring.

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