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Past Seminars

The HCII Seminar Series has been a weekly tradition at CMU since 1990. Details of our seminars from 2014 to present, as well as many of their recordings, are available below. A few years ago, we held a year of special programming in celebration of the seminar's 25th anniversary.

Date Title Speaker Talk title and Abstract
Aesthetics of Intelligence: Designing User Experience for Systems of Smart Things
Lin-Lin Chen
Professor, Industrial and Commercial Design, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology
The vision of a smart environment, where invisible technologies seamlessly support people’s daily activities, is closer to becoming reality. After decades of research, smart things have become commonly available and are being adopted into people’s homes. Despite of the commercial optimism, several… Full Details
Instrumented and Connected: Designing Next-Generation Learning Experiences
Tovi Grossman
The history of computing is rich with examples of how computers, among their many purposes, serve as tools which enhance our ability to learn. As these computing technologies advance, so too do the ways in which we learn.   Today, we are moving faster than ever towards Weiser’s seminal vision… Full Details
Unlocking Data, Unlocking Interaction James Fogarty
Associate Professor, Computer Science & Engineering, University of Washington
The applications we create are framed by the tools we use to create them. On one hand, tools codify effective practice and empower design. On the other, that same codification eventually constrains design. My research examines new approaches to interactive systems in light of this tradeoff, often… Full Details
From Typing Without Looking to Communicating With the Eyes
Khai N Truong
Associate Professor, Computer Science Department, University of Toronto
Text entry is an important form of input regularly performed by computer users. However, there are many situations in which users might not be able to enter text using a physical QWERTY keyboard. One aspect of my research over the past 5 years has focused specifically on how to enable users to… Full Details
Architecting Interactivity: How Experiments in Architecture, Cybernetics & AI Poured the Foundations of Interaction Design
Molly Steenson
Associate Professor, School of Design, Carnegie Mellon University
Inspired by cybernetics and artificial intelligence researchers who modeled intelligence in hardware and software, architects in the 1960s and 70s applied computational practices to interfaces, rooms, buildings, and cities. In so doing, they began to build feedback, cognition and intelligence into… Full Details
Making "Making" Accessible
Amy Hurst
Associate Professor, Information Systems Department, UMBC
Assistive Technologies empower individuals to accomplish tasks they might not be able to do otherwise. Unfortunately, a large percentage of Assistive Technologies end up unused or abandoned, leaving people with solutions that are inappropriate for their needs. My students and I are working to help… Full Details
How UX Techniques Promote Simulation Software for Everyone Imran Riaz with guest Jared Pryor
Manager of User Experience, ANSYS Inc.
At ANSYS, we create simulation software that is a key component of the product development process, helping to validate the effectiveness of designs before they are built. Simulation techniques impact all types of products, from automobiles, to circuits, to pipes, to airplanes. ANSYS is working to… Full Details
HCII Postdoctoral Fellow Short Talks 3
Zhen Bai, Soniya Gadgil-Sharma, Hernisa Kacorri
Post-Doctoral Fellows, HCII, Carnegie Mellon University
Speaker: Zhen Bai Title: Fostering Curiosity Through Peer Support in Collaborative Science Learning Abstract: Curiosity is a key motivational factor in learning. This is, however, often neglected in many classrooms, especially larger and inner-city classrooms, which have instead… Full Details
Design at Large: Real-World, Large Scale, and Sometimes Disruptive
Scott Klemmer
Associate Professor, Cognitive Science and Computer Science & Engineering, UC San Diego
Over the past five years, my group—and probably many of you—have experienced a dramatically-increased ability to do Design at Large: creating research that is widely used by real people and learning a ton from the experience. One shift that happens when we move from designing artifacts in the lab… Full Details
Embodied Empathic Agents - Just What Tutoring Systems Need?
Ruth Aylett
Professor of Computer Science, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK
Embodied empathic agents are characters that, by their actions and behaviours, are able to show empathy (or not) for other characters; and/or characters that, by their appearance, situation, and behaviour, are able to trigger empathic reactions in the user. In this talk we discuss… Full Details
Social Capital as a Concept in Human-Computer Interaction - From Bowling Together to Friendsourcing Cliff Lampe
Associate Professor, University of Michigan School of Information
Social capital is a construct describing the resources one can draw from social network connections. This talk will describe social capital as a concept, and the ways it has been described, operationalized, and designed in HCI research. Using Paul Resnick’s classic “Bowling Together” article as a… Full Details
Post-Doc Short Talks 2
Michael Eagle, Swarup Kumar Sahoo, Ran Liu
Postdoctoral Researchers, Human-Computer Interaction Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
Speaker: Michael Eagle Title: Predicting Individual Differences for Learner Modeling in Intelligent Tutors from Previous Learner Activities Abstract: This study examines how accurately individual student differences in learning can be predicted from prior student learning… Full Details
Post-Doc Short Talks 1
Sangwon Bae, Joel Chan, Irene-Angelica Chounta
Postdoctoral Researchers, Human-Computer Interaction Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
Speaker: Joel Chan Title: Accelerating innovation with computational analogy: Challenges and new solutions Abstract: Ideas from research papers in a different domain can trigger creative breakthroughs. But most papers outside of one’s domain are not useful: the ones that trigger… Full Details
Instrumented and Connected: Designing Next-Generation Learning Experiences
Tovi Grossman
Distinguished Research Scientist, Autodesk
Today, we are moving faster than ever towards Weiser’s seminal vision of technology being woven into the fabric of our everyday lives. Not only have we adopted mobile, and more recently, wearable technologies, that we depend on almost every hour of our waking lives, there is an internet, and more… Full Details
Collaborative News: From “Narcotweets” to Journalism-as-a-Service
Andrés Monroy-Hernández
Affiliate Professor, University of Washington
How do people living in the midst of war use social media, and what can we learn from them to design the next generation of news technologies?  In this presentation, I start by narrating how residents of cities afflicted by the Mexican Drug War use social media to circumvent censorship imposed… Full Details
"Primordial", Ecological Design and the Nature of Things
Mickey McManus
Research Fellow, Office of the CTO, Autodesk
In his current research project, “Primordial," Mickey McManus and his team are exploring the impact on design when three inevitable technology trends converge. Often called the “Internet of Things,” pervasive computing is a game-changer that's on a collision course with two… Full Details
Special HCI Seminar: Finding Gender-Inclusiveness Software Issues in the Real World with GenderMag
Margaret Burnett
Distinguished Professor, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Oregon State University
Gender inclusiveness in computing settings is receiving a lot of attention, but one potentially critical factor has mostly been overlooked: software itself. To help close this gap, we recently created GenderMag, a systematic inspection method to enable software practitioners to evaluate their… Full Details
CANCELLED - HCII Seminar Series: Kellee Santiago

Confessions of a Design Therapist Norm Cox
Owner/Principal, Cox & Hall, LLC
In this lecture, Norm Cox will explore the early design roots of user interface, interaction and experience design, beginning with Xerox’s Star workstation designed at the famous Palo Alto Research Center. Drawing from his 34 years of consulting in user experience design, he will also share stories… Full Details
Interactive Visual Tools for Mining Large Graphs Polo Chau
Assistant Professor, School of Computational Science & Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
At the Polo Club of Data Science, we innovate at the intersection of HCI and Data Mining, combining the best from both worlds to synthesize scalable interactive tools for making sense of billion-scale graph data. I will present some of our latest works, including: (1) GLO-STIX, a… Full Details
Leading the Startup UX Uday Gajendar
Principal UX Designer (independent)
Let's imagine: You've happily graduated from CMU and just joined a startup as the lead (or maybe only!) designer. Nice! But you know you need to make quick impact for credibility and value to the product --and the company! But you’ve inherited a product lacking visual consistency or user-centered… Full Details
The Role of Cognitive Strategy in Human-Computer Interaction
Anthony Hornof
Associate Professor, Department of Computer and Information Science, University of Oregon
A fundamental challenge for the field of human-computer interaction (HCI) is to develop, identify and promote engineering approaches that can predict the usability and learnability of a user interface before it is built. Research in computational cognitive modeling aims to develop and… Full Details
Test Seminar James Bond
Her Majesty's Secret Agent
Think you have what it takes to become James Bond? This seminar will explain the process in which Her Majesty recruits James Bonde wannabes. Hail Britannia! We don't compare ourselves with other 3 letter agencies. 
A Computer Scientist's View of HCI, Systems and Theory Jason Hong
Associate Professor
This talk is actually two talks, one about research our team did in applying social psychology to cybersecurity, and another about the nature and role of theory in HCI and how it relates to systems and practice.   The research part of the talk looks at problems cybersecurity is facing, and… Full Details
HCII Seminar Series: Steven Dow
Steven Dow
Assistant Professor, Human-Computer Interaction Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
  A Research Journey from Telepresence to Design Theory to Social Computing Research, like life, often takes us in unexpected directions. This talk reflects on my research journey through HCI. It began nearly 20 years ago as a U. Iowa undergrad when I helped design the remote-operator… Full Details
From EHRs to Body-Worn Sensors: Finding Causes of Health and Disease Samantha Kleinberg
Assistant Professor, Computer Science, Stevens Institute of Technology
Massive amounts of medical data from electronic health records are now being mined by researchers, and can be used to improve care such as by finding factors affecting the recovery of patients in intensive care, or early risk factors for heart failure. However, patients are highly heterogeneous,… Full Details
Interacting with Personal Fabrication Machines Stefanie Mueller
PhD Student, Human Computer Interaction Lab, Hasso Plattner Institute
Even though considered a rapid prototyping tool, 3D printers are very slow. Many objects require several hours of printing time or even have to print overnight. One could argue that the way 3D printers are currently operated is similar to the batch processing of punched cards in the early days of… Full Details
Modeling Human Communication Dynamics Louis-Philippe Morency
Assistant Professor, Language Technology Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
Human face-to-face communication is a little like a dance, in that participants continuously adjust their behaviors based on verbal and nonverbal cues from the social context. Today's computers and interactive devices are still lacking many of these human-like abilities to hold fluid and natural… Full Details
Unlocking the Potential of Algorithms in Human Matters Min Kyung Lee
Research Scientist, Center for Machine Learning and Health, Carnegie Mellon University
Even beyond industrial domains such as production and operation management, algorithms increasingly act as mediators between people and the world around them, from curating Facebook walls to matching riders with Uber drivers to selecting top job candidates on LinkedIn. Yet despite their often-… Full Details
Playing with the Senses Heather Kelley
Assistant Teaching Professor, Entertainment Technology Center, Carnegie Mellon University
Widely-available digital games are usually limited to technologies that reach our sense of sight and sound.  Yet so much more is possible in the realm of expressive communication through playful interaction. In a review of some recent research-creation projects, we’ll explore the limitations… Full Details