News

HCII Celebrates Tiniest New Member

December 9, 2014

Jessica Hammer Baby Shower

The HCII and Entertainment Technology Center's students, faculty and staff gathered recently to mark the impending arrival of the departments' newest — and youngest — member. Assistant Professor of HCII and ETC Jessica Hammer, who specializes in the psychology of games, will soon welcome a daughter to her immediate family and the university's extended family. To celebrate, colleagues and students showered her with gifts and well wishes.

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Hong Receives HCII Career Development Fellowship

December 8, 2014

Jason Hong

HCII Associate Professor Jason Hong has been awarded the HCII Career Development Fellowship for his research accomplishments and contributions to both the HCII and the university.

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Think Outside the Box? Not So Fast.

December 3, 2014

Steven Dow, Joel Chan

Traditional thinking holds that great design concepts stem from sources distant from the original problem. Velcro, for example, came into being when civil engineer George de Mestral had to remove burrs from his dog's fur after a hunting trip and began a microscopic investigation into how they worked. A group of researchers in Carnegie Mellon's ProtoLab has found that thinking outside of the box isn't always the best strategy, though.

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Here's to Another 20 Years!

November 26, 2014

HCII20 banner

HCII Community Gathers to Celebrate Institute's 20th Anniversary

The HCII threw open its doors and welcomed more than 275 of its nearest and dearest back to campus Nov. 14–16 to celebrate the institute's 20th birthday. Students, alumni, current and former faculty, staff, and friends gathered for a weekend of celebration and scholarship to commemorate the institute's founding in 1994.

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Rosé Leads CMU Efforts in $1.6 Million Digital Learning Research Network

November 20, 2014

Carolyn Rose

Associate Professor of LTI and HCII Carolyn Rosé will lead Carnegie Mellon's contributions to the new Digital Learning Research Network (dLRN), a collaboration of 10 institutions across the nation funded by a $1.6 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Led by the Learning Innovation and Networked Knowledge (LINK) Lab at the University of Texas Arlington, the network will support researchers examining the effect of digital learning on

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Harrison Named Packard Fellow

November 19, 2014

Chris Harrison

HCII Assistant Professor Chris Harrison joined 17 of the nation's most innovative early career scientists and engineers as a recipient of a 2014 Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering.

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HCII Marks 20th Anniversary With Weekend Celebration

November 13, 2014

More than 250 faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute will gather this weekend to celebrate the institute's 20th anniversary at HCII20. The event kicks off on Friday, Nov. 14, with a day of workshops and tutorials ranging from Fabrication Techniques for HCI Prototyping to Intro to Game Design. Attendees will gather for a cocktail reception that evening in the institute's renovated lab space at 407 South Craig Street.

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Hong Leads Effort to Give Apps Privacy Grade

November 6, 2014

Smartphones wouldn't be so smart without their apps, yet many free apps pinpoint a user's location to deliver targeted ads or share contact lists with third parties without alerting the user. Which apps behave themselves and which don't? A new Carnegie Mellon University project, PrivacyGrade.org, can help sort them out.

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MHCI Students Top HackNC

November 3, 2014

One MHCI team won first place and another received an award at HackNC2014, a software and hardware hackathon at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that challenged participants to create big things in a small amount of time.

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MHCI Team Takes Honors in CMU iOS App Challenge

October 17, 2014

ProportionATE screen shot.

Everyone’s been in that situation: You go out for a meal with friends or co-workers and chaos arrives with the check. Someone pays too little, someone forgets to include tax and tip. And you end up stuck paying for way more than what you ate.

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Kittur, Rzeszotarski Win First Prize at 3 Rivers Venture Fair

October 8, 2014

Aniket Kittur

Assistant Professor Aniket Kittur and Ph.D. student Jeff Rzeszotarski won first prize at the 3 Rivers Venture Fair University Tech Showcase for their work on DataSquid, tangible data visualization software that the pair developed at the HCII and are commercializing as a startup.

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Decimal Game Helps Kids Get the Point

October 6, 2014

Decimal Point

Kids may not always want to do their math homework, but they can’t seem to put down video games like Minecraft or Angry Birds. A new project from researchers in Carnegie Mellon’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute attempts to harness the excitement middle school students feel for videogames and channel it into an opportunity to increase their math skills by developing educational games — a promising new research area that explores learning and motivational benefits.

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Koedinger To Lead NSF-Funded LearnSphere Project

October 1, 2014

Ken Koedinger

HCII Professor Ken Koedinger will lead a five-year, $5 million early implementation project sponsored by the National Science Foundation to improve educational outcomes and advance the science of learning by creating a large, distributed infrastructure called LearnSphere that will securely store data on how students learn.

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New HCII Director Is Ready To Get Started

September 12, 2014

Anind Dey

In the early 1970s in a small town near Vancouver, a young Anind Dey wrote his first computer program on a Timex Sinclair computer under the watchful eye of his older brother. It was just a word game, something where you had to guess the letter. But it started him down the path that would eventually lead from Canada to Pittsburgh, where he took the reins as Geschke chair and head of Carnegie Mellon University’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute this past June.

That journey didn’t happen overnight, though, and it certainly didn’t

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HCII Team Rocks Pretty Good Race

September 12, 2014

HCII racers

The HCII trounced the competition in this year’s School of Computer Science Coach Tomayko Pretty Good Race, held Friday, Sept. 5. Now in its 34th year, the 5K run and race-walk is an SCS tradition, pitting advisor against student. Faculty against staff. Department against department. But all in good fun.

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Hammer, Harrison Among WEF Young Scientists

September 10, 2014

Jessica Hammer, Chris Harrison

The HCII's Jessica Hammer and Chris Harrison were among 30 exceptional young scientists under the age of 40 recognized at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions, Sept. 10–12, in Tianjin, China.

This year’s Young Scientists were selected for their contributions to advancing the frontiers of science, engineering or technology in areas of high societal impact, the WEF said. At the Tianjin meeting, they engaged with business and political leaders to contribute their scientific perspective and deliver the most up-

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Myers Among Authors of “Most Influential” Paper

June 27, 2014

Brad Myers and Christopher Scaffidi

For the third year in a row, HCII Professor Brad Myers will be among the authors honored with the Most Influential Paper award from a decade ago at the IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC) July 28–Aug. 1 in Melbourne, Australia.

“It is just a coincidence that I’ve worked with a run of great students who all happened to submit great articles in consecutive years,” Myers said.

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Google Sponsors Research To Improve Effectiveness of Online Education

June 24, 2014

Google Focused Research Award

HCII faculty will play a large role in a new Google-sponsored initiative to unlock the educational potential of massive open online courses (MOOCs).

The multiyear program, made possible through a Google Focused Research Award, employs a variety of methods to improve MOOCs. The research plan includes development of techniques for automatically analyzing and providing feedback on student work; for creating social ties between learners; and for designing MOOCS that are effective for students with a variety of cultural backgrounds.

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Carnegie Mellon Creates Programming Library for Developing Interactive Web Pages in JavaScript

June 23, 2014

ConstraintJS

Human-Computer Interaction Institute researchers have collaborated with Adobe Research to create a new open-source JavaScript library that makes it easier for developers to create interactive Web applications.

The library, ConstraintJS, incorporates constraints that specify relationships between elements on interactive websites. Constraints can perform such tasks as automatically adjusting page elements as users interact with

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Carnegie Mellon Names Anind Dey Director of Human-Computer Interaction Institute

June 12, 2014

Anind Dey

Randal E. Bryant, dean of the Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science, has appointed Anind K. Dey as the new Charles M. Geschke Director of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII), where he has been a faculty member since 2005.

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