There were no Mai Tais poolside. No fragrant leis. And no evening luaus. This year’s ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systemsthe premier international conference on Human-Computer Interaction, had been planned in beautiful Hawaii April 25-30. The COVID-19 situation changed everything, so the in-person component of the conference had to be cancelled.
Fortunately, some members of UBC’s Computer Science Department still had a lot to celebrate when all was said and done. An astounding 3,000 papers were received for consideration at CHI, and 758 papers were accepted after a stringent peer review process. Nine of those were from UBC Computer Science, plus four more papers came out of other UBC departments affiliated with the Design for People initiative.
Two of the UBC CS papers won best paper awards, earned by the top 1% of the submissions: one with Professor Karon MacLean and former UBC postdoc Sabrina Hauser, and one with Professor Joanna McGrenere. Another was awarded an honorable mention, given to the top 5%, with authors from many walks of UBC CS life: grad student Soheil Kianzad, undergraduate Yuxiang Huang, and faculty members Robert Xiao and Karon MacLean.
Joanna McGrenere was particularly busy, as she was also involved with the conference as Technical Program Chair (TPC) and had four papers accepted. Two other computer science faculty members also had CHI papers with their graduate students, namely Tamara Munzner and Dongwook Yoon.
Joanna said, “Given the size of the CHI community, that so many UBC papers were accepted, and that two best papers would go to researchers from the same university, let alone those from the same HCI group speaks volumes of the calibre of research here and our prominence in the international community.”
CHI – pronounced ‘kai’ – is a place where researchers and practitioners gather from across the world to discuss the latest in interactive technology. With 12 accepted papers in total, UBC ranked 15th out of 608 global institutions for the most publications at CHI 2020, an impressive feat. Through these standings at CHI, UBC is well-poised to continue advancing HCI at an international level, and to say Aloha to even more exciting outcomes.
The 9 accepted papers from UBC CS are:
- Capturing Experts’ Mental Models to Organize a Collection of Haptic Devices: Affordances Outweigh Attributes - Hasti Seifi (UBC CS alum), Michael Oppermann (UBC grad), Julia Bullard (UBC iSchool faculty), Karon E. MacLean (UBC CS faculty), Katherine J. Kuchenbecker
- Creating Augmented and Virtual Reality Applications: Current Practices, Challenges, and Opportunites - Narges Ashtari, Andrea Bunt (UBC CS alum), Joanna McGrenere (UBC CS faculty), Michael Nebeling, Parmit K. Chilana *Best Paper Award – top 1%*
- Data-driven Multi-level Segmentation of Image Editing Logs - Zipeng Liu (UBC CS grad), Zhicheng Liu, Tamara Munzner (UBC CS faculty)
- Designing an Eyes-Reduced Document Skimming App for Situational Impairments – Taslim Arefin Khan (UBC CS grad), Dongwook Yoon (UBC CS faculty), Joanna McGrenere (UBC CS faculty)
- Designing and Evaluating Calmer, a Device for Simulating Maternal Skin-to-Skin Holding for Premature Infants – Sabrina Hauser (UBC CS postdoc), Melinda J. Suto (UBC Medicine faculty), Liisa Holsti (UBC Medicine faculty), Manon Ranger (UBC Nursing faculty), Karon E. MacLean (UBC CS faculty) *Best Paper Award – top 1%*
- Is Your Time Well Spent? Reflecting on Knowledge Work More Holistically – Hayley Guillou (UBC CS grad), Kevin Chow (UBC CS grad), Thomas Fritz (UBC CS former faculty), Joanna McGrenere (UBC CS faculty)
- Learning Through Exploration: How Children, Adults, and Older Adults Interact with a New Feature-Rich Application – Shareen Mahmud (UBC CS grad), Jessalyn Alvina (UBC CS postdoc), Parmit K. Chilana, Andrea Bunt (UBC CS alum), Joanna McGrenere (UBC CS faculty)
- Phasking on Paper: Accessing a Continuum of PHysically Assisted SKetchING – Soheil Kianzad (UBC CS grad), Yuxiang Huang (UBC CS undergrad), Robert Xiao (UBC CS faculty), Karon E. MacLean (UBC CS faculty) *Honorable Mention – top 5%*
Supporting Software Developers' Focused Work on Window-Based Desktops – Jan Pilzer (UBC grad student), Raphael Rosenast, Andre N. Meyer, Elaine M. Huang, Thomas Fritz (UBC CS Adjunct Professor)