Study Shows Information Is Easier To Learn When Composed of Familiar Elements

August 19, 2015

Stock image of knowledge transfer

People have more difficulty recalling the string of letters BIC, IAJ, FKI, RSU and SAF than FBI, CIA, JFK, IRS and USA. The well-established reason is that the amount of information we can hold in our short-term or working memory is affected by whether the information can be "chunked" into larger units.

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HCII, Heinz Researchers Win SOUPS Privacy Award

August 17, 2015

SOUPS logo

Chances are you use the Internet nearly every day. But what do you really know about how the Internet works? And how does that knowledge affect your decisions about privacy and security? A team of researchers from the HCII and Carnegie Mellon's Heinz College won the Privacy Award at the recent Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS) for research that asks just those questions.

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HCII Team Earns Honorable Mention in Best Paper Competition

August 14, 2015

Best Paper Logo

A team of HCII researchers received an Honorable Mention award in the National Security Agency's (NSA) Third Annual Best Scientific Cybersecurity Paper Competition, which recognized the best scientific cybersecurity paper published in 2014. Papers were nominated between December 2014 and March 2015, and 50 nominations were received. Of those, three were selected for recognition — a winning paper and two honorable mentions.

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Hammer Earns Okawa Foundation Research Grant

August 10, 2015

Jessica Hammer

HCII Assistant Professor Jessica Hammer has received a 2015 Okawa Foundation Research Grant to support her research, "Games for Impact: A Full Pipeline Approach."

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LearnLab Summer School Provides Hands-On Learning Experience

July 31, 2015

LearnLab students

When Bill Buttlar, a professor and associate dean in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's (UIUC) College of Engineering, and his colleagues were charged with revamping their graduate program, they decided to attend Carnegie Mellon University's LearnLab Summer School.

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HCII Leads Charge in New Google-Funded Project

July 9, 2015

Anind Dey and Adrian deFreitas

Carnegie Mellon University is turning its campus into a living laboratory for a multi-university expedition to create a robust platform to enable Internet-connected sensors, gadgets and buildings to communicate with each other. And the HCII is taking a leading role.

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Baloonr Helps Teams Get Ideas Off the Ground

June 22, 2015

Amanda Greenberg and Noah Bornstein

Ask a roomful of kindergarteners if they're artists, and all of them will unanimously boom "YES!" Ask adults, though, and the story changes dramatically. Maybe one or two people assert their creativity, but everyone else looks awkwardly at the floor or each other. Somehow between kindergarten and adulthood, we lose the confidence that made us all feel like artists.

Noah Bornstein (CS'13) and co-founder Amanda Greenberg want to change all that through their start-up, Baloonr.

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HCII To Welcome New Faculty in August

June 10, 2015

Geoff Kaufman, Chinmay Kulkarni and John Stamper

The HCII will add three assistant professors to its world-class faculty in August, when Geoff Kaufman and Chinmay Kulkarni will join the community and John Stamper will transition from his systems scientist role.

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MHCI Students Work on Solutions for First Responders

June 3, 2015


A team of students in the Masters in Human-Computer Interaction program will spend the summer immersed in the world of firefighters, police officers and other first responders as part of their capstone project work at Draper Laboratory — a not-for-profit research and development lab focused on the design, development and deployment of advanced technological solutions for problems in security, space

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HCII Students Envision Next Big Startup Ideas

May 19, 2015

Winning project teams: Salt and Pepper, Locadora and Wander

Want to go to an awesome concert tonight but don't want to go alone? Or maybe you aspire to making your own gourmet meal but find cookbooks and online tutorials lack the hands-on training you need.

No need to worry. The HCII's Mobile Service Innovation (MSI) course has you covered.

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EDigs Helps Apartment Hunters Find the Perfect Rental

May 18, 2015

EDigs logo

A new online resource from Carnegie Mellon University researchers seeks to help people find the perfect rental property by using tools such as a machine learning algorithm that can estimate utility costs based not only on the housing unit itself but on the renter’s lifestyle.

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CHI2015: Pierce and Colleagues Offer Critical Take on "Critical Design"

May 8, 2015

James Pierce

To the casual reader, the fact that the term "critical design" is slipping into the HCI vernacular might not seem like a big deal. But HCII Ph.D. student James Pierce and his co-authors of "Expanding and Refining Design and Criticality in HCI" would argue differently. In fact, their paper received an Honorable Mention at the Association for Computing Machinery’s CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI2015

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CHI2015: Learning in the Real World Tops Learning From a Tablet

May 4, 2015

This image shows the Earth Shake game screen on the top, and children playing the game on the bottom.

You see it in headlines with more and more frequency: "Local School Provides Tablets for All Students." But though screen technologies are ubiquitous and certainly appealing for children, it's worth asking whether kids still need real-world experimentation with physical objects to enhance their learning. A group of HCII researchers recently demonstrated that the answer to that question is a resounding yes.

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MHCI Team Takes Second Place in CHI Student Design Competition

April 27, 2015

MHCI students standing in front of their Lantern poster at CHI.

A team of students in the Masters of Human Computer Interaction program took second place last week in the 13th annual CHI Student Design Competition.

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CHI2015: Apparition Harnesses the Crowd To Create Real-Time Prototyping

April 22, 2015

This image shows the prototype before and after crowd workers update it.

When designing anything — a new video game or the next-big-thing smartphone app — prototyping is key. It allows designers to quickly iterate and gather feedback, but the time it takes to create and update the prototype can be cripplingly slow. In an ideal world, prototypes would miraculously update themselves in the time it takes the designer to describe their ideas visually and verbally.

A pipe dream? No way.

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CHI2015: Social Microvolunteering Uses Facebook to Do Good

April 22, 2015

A photo posted to Facebook with questions from a visually impaired user.

Photos of food. Check-ins at the gym. Political rants and memes prominently featuring cats. They fill up newsfeeds on social media, to the extent that the good social media can do is often overlooked. But a group of researchers from the University of Rochester, Microsoft Research and Carnegie Mellon University recently set out to study how the power of social media could be harnessed to help people, particularly those with disabilities.

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CHI Preview: Carnegie Mellon, Disney Researchers Develop Acoustically Driven Controls for Handheld Devices

April 19, 2015

A doll made with Acoustruments technology responds when its stomach is poked.

As people find ever more inventive uses for smartphones, touchscreens sometimes fall short as control surfaces. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Disney Research have developed an inexpensive alternative — a toolbox of physical knobs, sliders and other mechanisms that can be readily added to any device.

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CHI Preview: HCII Researchers Unveil 3D Fabric Printing Technique

April 17, 2015

A small red bunny printed using layers of fabric.

Mention 3D printing, and most people will conjure up images of rough plastic items with hard surfaces and sharp angles. Warm and fuzzy doesn't often enter into the picture. But a team of researchers from Cornell, Carnegie Mellon and Disney Research has developed a 3D printing technology that might change that forever. Plus they're making those objects interactive.

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Forlizzi To Deliver Keynote at Persuasive Tech 2015

April 10, 2015

Jodi Forlizzi with deliver they keynote address at Persuasive Technology 2015.

HCII Professor Jodi Forlizzi will deliver the keynote address at Persuasive Technology 2015. Now in its 10th year, Persuasive Tech focuses on sharing the results of science-based inquiries into the roles various disciplines like design, psychology, sociology and technology play in creating systems that support behavior change through ethical means.

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SCS Rewards HCII Team for Research Excellence

March 24, 2015

Scott Hudson

Tinker Toys line the shelves of HCII Professor Scott Hudson's office, joined by electronic gadgets and gizmos of all kinds. A few felt teddy bears created on a 3D printer hang out on a couch. This is the office of a builder and inventor.

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