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HCIL Symposium - June 1-2, 2006

Registration Symposium Tutorials/Workshops Directions/Map

The 2006 Symposium was a great success with over 200 attendees and another 140 people joining tutorials and workshops.

HCIL’s 23rd Annual Symposium will highlight the cutting-edge research being conducted in the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory at the University of Maryland. The Symposium will take place Thursday, June 1st, followed by a day of tutorials and workshops Friday, June 2nd.

There will be a series of talks followed by demonstrations of all of the lab projects with time to meet and talk with researchers in an informal setting.

Notice: The Symposium will take place first this year on June 1st, followed by the Tutorials & Workshops on June 2nd.

Special Thanks to our Sponsors

The Hive Group Spotfire AOL

University of Maryland Sponsors:

Department of Computer, Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Institute for Advanced Computer Studies
Department of Computer Science
College of Information Studies
Institute for Systems Research
Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship


SYMPOSIUM - June 1, 2006
Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center

8:15am Sign-in and Coffee
9:00am WELCOME
Jenny Preece, Dean, College of Information Studies
Ben Bederson, Director of HCIL
  KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Ben Shneiderman
Creativity Support Tools: A Grand Challenge for HCI
  SESSION I — Visual Interfaces
Session Chair: Catherine Plaisant
  Improving the search experience by organizing Web search results with meaningful and stable categories
Bill Kules, Ben Shneiderman
  Supporting Literary Scholars with Data Mining and Visual Interfaces
James Rose, Catherine Plaisant, Matt Kirschenbaum, Martha Nell Smith
  Network Visualization to Support Exploration of Supreme Court Decision Patterns
Aleks Aris, Ben Shneiderman
  Balancing Systematic and Flexible Exploration of Social Networks
Adam Perer, Ben Shneiderman
  NetLens: Iterative Exploration of Content-Actor Network Data
Hyunmo Kang, Catherine Plaisant, Bongshin Lee, Cynthia Parr, Ben Bederson
  SESSION II - Public Access
Session Chair: Allison Druin
  When Children are Digital Librarians: Reader Response to the International Children's Digital Library (ICDL)
Sheri Massey, Ann Weeks, Allison Druin
  Children Sharing Stories with ICDL Communities: A Pilot Study in Mexico and Maryland
Anita Komlodi, Jenny Preece, Weimin Hou, Evan Golub, Aaron Clamage, Sabrina Liao, Philip Resnik, Allison Druin
  Collaborative Educational Technology to Enhance Grade School Field Trips
Gene Chipman, Allison Druin, Jerry Alan Fails, Mona Leigh Guha, Sante Simms
  The Promise and Perils of New Voting Technologies
Ben Bederson



1:30-3:30pm SESSION III — Interaction and Devices
Session Chair: Kent Norman
  Thumb Movement: Designing for One-Handed Use of Small Devices
Amy Karlson, Ben Bederson
  Eye Tracking as Implicit Feedback for Improving Search Results
Khoo Yit Phang, Doug Oard, François Guimbretière
  ModelCraft: Capturing Freehand Annotations and Edits on Physical Models
Hyun Young Song, François Guimbretière, Hod Lipson, Chang Hu
  A Pen-top Interface for Interactive Paper
Chunyuan Liao, François Guimbretière
  Hardware Support for Digital Document Navigation
Nick Chen, François Guimbretière, Liyang Sun, Mary Czerwinski, Gian Pangaro, Steve Bathiche
  Mobile Mapping, and Personal Travel History
Aaron Clamage, Ben Bederson, Catherine Plaisant

Projects will be demonstrated in the lobby of the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. No registration is required. All interfaces introduced during the symposium will be demonstrated. In addition to those projects presented, the following will also be included in the afternoon demonstrations:

Tangible Flags: Technology for Children's Field Trips
Gene Chipman, Jerry Fails, Mona Leigh Guha, Allison Druin

ICDL Communities
Anita Komlodi, Evan Golub, Jenny Preece, Allison Druin

Photomesa: Zoomable Image Browser and Management
Hyunmo Kang and Ben Bederson

Exploring Erotics in Emily Dickinson's Correspondence with Text Mining
James Rose, Greg Lord

Pattern Finding and Forecasting Interfaces for Time Series Data with TimeSearcher
Adal Simeone, Catherine Plaisant

Czech It Out: A System for Searching Czech Oral Histories
Doug Oard

Hyunmo Kang

TreePlus: Tree-based Graph Visualization
Bongshin Lee

CLiMB - Computational Linguistics for Metadata Building
Judith Klavans, Jimmy Lin

RouteLens: Mobile Mapping and Personal Driving History
Aaron Clamage, Ben Bederson, Catherine Plaisant

Piccolo: A Toolkit for Structured Graphics and Zoomable UI
Ben Bederson, Jesse Grosjean, Aaron Clamage


Comparing Choropleth Maps: A Pilot Study on the Usability of Multiple Small Maps
Benjamin Smith, Kent Norman

Search and Seizure: Individual Differences in Information Search
Walky Rivadeneira, Isaiah Harbison, Michael Dougherty, Kent Norman



TUTORIALS - June 2, 2006
CSIC Building

Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction - Evan Golub

Contact for more information

User interface design and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) has become increasingly important in recent years, and is the foundation of the activities of the HCIL. We will summarize the design, development, and evaluation of computer user interfaces. The goal is to shift the mindset of developers to thinking that the basic goal of software should be to serve people, and not the other way around.

This tutorial is suitable for people with no background in design or HCI. The following is a preliminary outline for the day:

  • Introduction to some general questions and thoughts (what does the area of HCI include? are all parts important to all developers?)
  • Understanding users and getting to know their tasks (not every user is the same, but how different are they? how do we determine tasks? do all users have the same tasks? how do we get to know how the users perform tasks?)
  • Designing with the user (there are several levels at which we can involve the user - which to use? when? why?)
  • Designing visual interfaces (how to make something interesting yet still usable)
  • Evaluating interfaces (what are some guidelines that are used? how can this be done rapidly? at a low cost?)

There will be two or three hands-on exercises to help us explore these topics. I think this is a great way to find out about the above topics but also a way to get to meet and talk with others who are interested in HCI. The Symposium and Open House on Thursday is also a great way to see a wide variety of ways in which these and other principles can be applied.

An Introduction to Usability Testing - Bill Killam
Contact for more information

This is an introductory tutorial on the topic of usability testing.  We will cover both management issues and practical issues of usability testing and discuss what usability testing is (and isn't).  In the module on management issues, we will focus on usability as it related to the organization.  We will discuss what makes a product usable, the origins of usability testing, and the relationship of usability testing to the broader area of Human Factors Engineering and other disciplines (e.g., marketing, design, development, and other types of testing).  We will discuss product development models that incorporate usability and discuss such topics as the timing of usability testing in the design and development cycle, how to plan for them, and what ROI there is for usability testing.  In the practical module, we will focus the mechanics doing usability testing. We will discuss the different types of testing (formative versus summative) as well as different protocols that can be used for usability tests (both user-based and non-user-based).  We will discuss how to develop a test including the test tasks, test length, participant selection and recruiting, data collection, and analysis.  Finally, we will be discussing testing with more advanced issues such as alternate and complimentary forms of usability testing (e.g., use of logs, performance data, and remote testing.  We will also discuss testing with users special populations such as users with disabilities, testing with older populations, and testing with kids.  The audience for this tutorial is usually a mixture of usability practitioners looking to expand their skills, other practitioners (designers, developers, testers, etc.) who may have usability testing interests or responsibilities, and management staff that may be considering incorporating usability into their organization.

WORKSHOPS - June 2, 2006
CSIC Building

The Usability and Security of Electronic Voting Systems - Ben Bederson

The 2000 presidential election was a catalyst for major election reform.  In response, Congress passed the Help America Vote Act of 2002 and many new voting systems were introduced, creating new challenges for election officials.  Only recently have we begun to understand the impact of these changes on voter experience. Ranging from paper ballot/optical scan systems to direct recording electronic systems (DREs), the usability of these different systems affects voter satisfaction, need for assistance, and voter accuracy. They also raise questions about voter security and verification. This workshop will present reflections from election officials and cutting edge research.

To participate, visit the voting workshop webpage. Limited to 50 attendees. Workshop is full.

Humans and the Semantic Web – Cynthia Parr

Though the semantic web is designed for machine readability, people still create, maintain, or use the ontologies that are required. This workshop will consider special issues in ontology visualization, survey existing editors and search interfaces, and identify gaps and new directions.  Researchers will present their work in short presentations, and hands-on opportunities will be available to those who bring notebook computers. Special focus will be on biological ontologies, but the expertise of the participants will inform the discussion.

To apply, please contact Cynthia Parr (, by May 1st, with a brief description of your background and reason for interest in the workshop. Workshop is full.

Universal Usability - Jonathan Lazar and Sarah Horton

Many governmental initiatives focus on providing universal access to technology for diverse user populations, but having access to technology doesn't help if the interfaces are hard to use. Universal usability is the study of making interfaces easy to use for all users, including young users, older users, economically disadvantaged users, and users with perceptual, motor, and cognitive impairments. Our goal for this workshop is to explore current trends in design and technology that help or hinder the development of universally usable interfaces. Specific topics that we hope to address include:

  • Collaborative design: Designing user interfaces that can be adapted by the user
  • Design methodology: Incorporating universal usability into the development process
  • Tools: Software and guidelines for achieving universal usability
  • Technologies: How technologies such as web applications and mobile devices affect universal usability
  • Policies: Government policy related to universal usability

Each workshop participant will be expected to make a short 5-10 minute presentation. To participate in this workshop, please send a one-page position paper to Sarah Horton (, by May 15th.

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