Sunday, December 1, 2013

Title: Leveraging Crowds to Inject Perception-oriented Feedback into the Visual Design Workflow
Speaker: Brian Bailey  (CS, University of Illinois) 
Date: Wednesday, December 4
Time: 12-1pm
Room: GHC 8102

There is rapidly growing interest in leveraging crowds as part of individual creative workflows. In this talk, I will describe the concept, implementation, and evaluation of Voyant, a system that leverages a non-expert crowd to generate perception-oriented feedback from a selected audience as part of the visual design workflow. The system generates feedback related to the elements seen in a design, the order in which elements are noticed, impressions formed when the design is first viewed, and interpretation of the design relative to guidelines in the domain and the user’s stated goals. An evaluation of the system showed that users were able to leverage the generated feedback to develop insight and discover previously unknown problems with their designs. This type of system has the potential to tighten feedback cycles in design practice and contributes to the growing movement of data-driven design methods. The talk will conclude by outlining intriguing pathways for future work and by highlighting some challenges of using crowds to build end-user applications.

Brian Bailey is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois, where he has been on the faculty since 2002. He conducts research and teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on user interface design and human-computer interaction. Dr. Bailey was a visiting researcher at Microsoft Research in 2008-2009. He earned a B.S. in Computer Science from Purdue University in 1993 and an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1997 and 2002, respectively. His research interests include creativity support tools, design studies, crowdsourcing, and attention management. He holds affiliate academic appointments in Human Factors, the Beckman Institute, and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Dr. Bailey received the NSF CAREER award in 2007. His research has been supported by the NSF, Microsoft, Google, and Ricoh Innovations.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Title: Using User Behavior to Evaluate the Quality of Crowd-Generated Content
Speaker: Jeff Rzeszotarski (Human Computer Interaction Institute) 
Date: Wednesday, November 20
Time: 12-1pm
Room: GHC 6501 

Users create, contribute, and disseminate an astonishing amount of information online. Yet, not all of it is valuable. While existing approaches can readily identify obvious quality problems in simple content, judging the quality of creative, complex, or subjective work remains a major challenge. In this talk I will describe a novel approach for understanding and evaluating the quality of user-generated content. Rather than look at the final products, I propose examining the way a person works as they create them. I will discuss my work developing predictive models and novel visualizations for the behavior of crowdworkers on Mechanical Turk and volunteers on Wikipedia as they generate content, and explore future applications of this approach towards helping users across the web create better content before they even press “submit”.

Jeff Rzeszotarski (rez-oh-tar-ski) is a 4th year PhD student in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. Advised by Dr. Aniket Kittur, his research focuses on crowdsourcing and social computing, studying techniques that support groups of people generating and consuming content online. His work has received a best paper award from ACM UIST and he is the recipient of a Microsoft Research Fellowship. Jeff holds a BA from Carleton College.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Title: Slow Search: Improving Information Retrieval by Including People in the Search Process
Speaker: Jaime Teevan (Microsoft Research) 
Date: Wednesday, October 23
Time: 12-1pm
Room: GHC 8102 

We live in a world where the pace of everything from communication to transportation is getting faster. In recent years a number of “slow movements” have emerged that advocate for reducing speed in exchange for increasing quality. These include the slow food movement, slow parenting, slow travel, and even slow science. We propose the concept of slow search, where search engines use additional time to provide a higher quality search experience than is possible given conventional time constraints. While additional time can be used to identify particularly relevant results within the existing search engine framework, it can also be used to create new search artifacts and enable previously unimaginable user experiences. This talk will focus on how search engines can make use of additional time to employ a resource that is inherently slow: other people. Using crowdsourcing and friendsourcing, I will highlight opportunities for search systems to support new search experiences with high quality result content that takes time to identify.

Jaime Teevan is a Senior Researcher in the Context, Learning, and User Experience for Search (CLUES) Group at Microsoft Research, and an Affiliate Assistant Professor in the Information School at the University of Washington. She studies how people use digital information, particularly as related to their social and temporal context, and builds tools to help better support these information interactions. Jaime was named a Technology Review (TR35) 2009 Young Innovator for her research on personalized search. She co-authored the first book on collaborative Web search, and was Chair of the Web Search and Data Mining (WSDM) 2012 conference. Jaime also edited a book on Personal Information Management (PIM), edited a special issue of Communications of the ACM on the topic, and organized workshops on PIM and query log analysis. She has published numerous technical papers, including several best papers, and received a Ph.D. and S.M. from MIT and a B.S. in Computer Science from Yale University.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Title: From the individual to the collective: Using the mental map as a tool for finding the city's "Public Image"
Speaker: Justin Cranshaw (CS, CMU)
Date: Wednesday, October 9
Time: 12-1pm
Room: GHC 6501 

All of us are uniquely imprinted by the places we go to and the experiences we have there. In a city, the total sum of these individual experiences of place contributes to the subjective and personal image we each hold in our minds of the city. This image, often called a mental map, shapes and colors how we perceive and interact with the people and places that surround us in an urban landscape. Viewed as a collection, the millions of individual mental maps of the city’s populous embody a wealth of stored local, cultural, and spatial knowledge that, if effectively harnessed, offers immense opportunities for improving how we live in and make sense of cities. 

In this talk, I will present recent research that uses social media as a window through which we can both peer into the individual mental maps of the populous and aggregate them into a collective “public image” of the city. I will discuss methods of algorithmically identifying certain aspects of such a public image, including how to identify organically defined city neighborhood boundaries. I will also discuss the design and initial exploration of a social website to encourage people to share mental maps by building their own personal city guides. Throughout I will touch on applications related to urban design, city governance, community development, local search, and more.

Justin Cranshaw is a School of Computer Science Ph.D. student at CMU in the Computation, Organizations and Society program. His research is in the emerging multi-disciplinary area of urban computing, which seeks to better understand and better engage with urban processes through new forms of ubiquitous and social computation. Justin is a 2013 Facebook Graduate Fellow in Human-Computer Interaction.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The crowd

Date: Wednesday, Sep 25
Time: 12-1pm
Room: GHC 6501 

Crowdsourcing and Aggregating Visual Design Critique 
Kurt Luther (Human Computer Interaction Institute)

Subjective critique provides a cornerstone for design education, guiding novice designers to improve their work and inculcating key principles and values. However, designers often struggle to find high-quality critique outside a firm or classroom, and current online feedback solutions are limited. We created a system called CrowdCrit which leverages paid crowdsourcing to generate and visualize high-quality visual design critique. To see how people would use CrowdCrit, we hosted a poster design contest where participants received crowd feedback between iterations.

Progress Update on Tiramisu Transit Research 
Aaron Steinfeld (The Robotics Institute)

In response to input from Tiramisu users and stakeholders, the team has introduced new crowd-oriented features and added new social computing functionality. These will allow the team to examine the impact of new user experiences during real world use. This talk will provide an overview of these changes and how they relate to the team's research efforts.

The Big Effects of Short-term Efforts: Catalysts for Community Engagement in Scientific Software
Erik Trainer (Institute for Software Institute)

Scientific progress relies crucially on software, yet in practice there are significant challenges to scientific software production and maintenance. We conducted a case study of a bioinformatics library called Biopython to investigate the promise of Summer of Code (SoC), a program originally developed by Google that pays students to work on open-source projects for the summer, for addressing these challenges. We find that SoC benefits students by engaging them with mentors and the community at large. SoC students learn how to contribute to open-source scientific software projects and how to apply their new software engineering skills in practice. We also find that SoC benefits the Biopython community by creating mentorship and communication networks that enable Biopython developers to more easily identify and implement users’ needs.

The Search and Use of Analogical Ideas in Crowd-sourced Innovation  
Lisa Yu (Human Computer Interaction Institute)

I will talk about a novel approach for re-presenting a problem in terms of its abstract structure, and then allowing people to use this structural representation to find analogies. I will also describe how analogical ideas can be used in a distributed innovation process: one crowd generates structural representations from the existing ideas and another crowd generates new idea using these representations.