Friday, October 24, 2008

Future publication venues

I suspect researchers working on the broad sense of human-computer interaction or human-centered computing, including me, all once dreamed of having papers published in the CHI conference some day – a few of them have made this dream come to true, but most of them have not yet. Organized by ACM SIGCHI, the annual CHI conference is one of the top-tier conferences in the broad HCI field. Though ACM SIGCHI also hosts other conferences, THE CHI conference usually refers only to the conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. If a graduate student can put his or her name in the proceedings of the CHI conference as the first author of a full paper, I guess it should be not hard for him or her to find a satisfactory job in academia upon graduation.

MobileHCI is another annual conference where I hope to publish papers some day. The whole name of MobileHCI is the ACM Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services.  Hosted by ACM SIGCHI and ACM SIGMOBILE, it is generally considered the most prestigious in the field of mobile HCI. I am interested in and have been exploring how to leverage mobile technologies to empower communities, so this conference should be a good place to publish the research outcomes.

The ACM CSCW conference has been held biennially since 1986. It is a leading forum to discuss diverse topics, methods and technologies that support collaborative activities. Within the broad HCI field, I am more interested in designing systems to enhance social interaction and social outcomes (i.e. the social aspect), rather than exploring the individual use of systems (especially the traditional cognitive aspect). So this conference should also be appropriate for me.

Before closing this post, I would like to share these two links that I found VERY useful to those who work on the HCI field: this page shows a bunch of most important HCI conferences, and this one shows some most important HCI journals. Both of them link to tables of content and further detailed records.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Mr. Hao Jiang

Hao is one of the fourth year Ph.D. students in IST and one of my best friends. We both work at the CSCL, with different research lines though. I am glad getting to know more about him in the academic aspect after a tiny interview.

Currently Hao is doing research to explore the relation between social capital and information technology in community setttings. He is drafting a proposal for his dissertation and will be defensing it very soon.

Hao has attended the HCI Consortium (HCIC) as an invited student in February 2008 and volunteered in Design Interactive System (DIS) in 2006. In this incoming November, we both, as well as another two lab mates, will be volunteering in CSCW2008 that will be helding in the beautiful city San Diego. Hao has three papers published or in press, including a journal (Int. J. Technology Management) paper and two conference (CHASE2008, HCIC2008) papers. He also wrote a chapter on the digital case library for the second edition of Encyclopedia of Multimedia Technology and Networking (Idea Group Publishing).

Hao likes research very much, and is interested in many topics, especially social, psychological and educational issues, with regard to information technology. He tries to train himself "to be a knowledge user as well as a knowledge producer". To him, information technology is much more than instruments that assist human tasks; they can and indeed do fundamentally change human and the environment in which we live. That is why he thinks a certain degree of sociological awareness and knowledge is necesseary for him, as a scientific researcher, to address issues about technology, which I totally agree on. "However," He said, "so far, I am not well prepared for this long journey, so have a lot to learn."

Friday, October 3, 2008

Who is my advisor: academic life and career

My advisor John M. Carroll is one of the biggest names in the HCI field. He is actually a founder of this field.

Dr. Carroll received his B.A. degree in mathematics from Lehigh University and Ph.D. degree in psychology from Columbia University. When he was still a Ph.D. student, he published a paper in the world-widely well-known academic journal “Science”, which is a rare thing for a graduate student since the journal usually requires very high quality papers. This paper helped him get a research job in IBM upon graduation.

Dr. Carroll worked for the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center for around 18 years (1976-1994) and founded the User Interface Institute at IBM in 1984. During this period, he also did research work at MIT, Yale University, Columbia University, University of Twente, and Xerox Research Center Europe as a visiting scholar. It is kind of amazing that he worked with Noam Chomsky, the father of modern linguistics, at MIT in 1980-1981. However, this experience did not drive him to devote himself into linguistics research; instead, it made him clear that he would not like to be a linguist. Dr. Carroll joined the Department of Computer Science at Virginia Tech in 1994. He was a professor there for 10 years, including 5 years as the head of the department. He came to Penn State in 2003, where he directs the Center for Human-Computer Interaction and the Computer-Supported Collaboration and Learning (CSCL) lab.

Dr. Carroll has written or edited 15 books, published more than 400 articles, serves on 12 editorial and advisory boards, and is the editor-in-chief of the ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interactions. He has received both the Rigo Career Achievement Award and the CHI Lifetime Achievement Award from the ACM SIGDOC and SIGCHI respectively, received the Goldsmith Award from IEEE and the Silver Core Award from the IFIP. He is a Fellow of the ACM, IEEE, and Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

Dr. Carroll received a great renown in 1980’s for his theory of Minimalism in computer instruction, training and technical communication. He is also well-known for his later work in scenario-based design, community networking, participatory design, collaborative learning, and HCI theories.

In the last few years, Dr. Carroll taught graduate courses in “Theories and Frameworks for Human-Computer Interaction” and “Current Issues in HCI”, and upper level undergraduate courses “Usability Engineering” and “Community Informatics”.

* The image is from Jack's website