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May 12 2014

BiD Seminar 5/13 - Pecha Kucha Event!

Please join us Tuesday for the final installment of the Spring Berkeley Institute of Design Weekly Seminar. This week, we will be having a Pecha Kucha (20 slides x 20 seconds) event, featuring 4 speakers from EECS, Education, Health, and ME.

5/13/2014, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab 354/360 HMMB (directions)
BiD lunch seminars are sponsored by Yahoo!

For those of you who can't, we're planning to continue archiving our talks on our YouTube channel, which you can find here.

Physically Correct Rendering of Pacioli's Rhombicuboctahedron
Carlo H. Sequin, Professor of EECS and Raymond Shiau
A polyhedral object made from glass plates and half-filled with water appears in a painting of Pacioli (1495). It looks beautiful, but is physically incorrect. We study what a correct rendering would look like.

Engineering Learning: Cross-Community Design, Development, and Implementation of Engineering Design Challenges at a Science Center
Jennifer Wang, PhD in Engineering Education (SESAME)
How can we design for authentic engineering learning in tinkering/maker spaces, and how do learners engage in engineering design in these spaces?

Biofeedback system to develop creativity
Victor Villalobos, PhD candidate Health, B.S. Sc Psychology
Biofeedback systems, cognitive and psychodynamic techniques can help to develop creativity in others and ourselves.

Sustainability of 3D printing
Jeremy Faludi, PhD candidate ME
Is 3D printing a green technology, and if so, what is or isn't green about it?

May 05 2014

BiD Seminar 5/6 - Ranjitha Kumar on Data and web designers

Please join us Tuesday for the next installment of the Berkeley Institute of Design Weekly Seminar, featuring Ranjitha Kumar from Apropose and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

5/6/2014, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab 354/360 HMMB (directions)
BiD lunch seminars are sponsored by Yahoo!

For those of you who can't, we're planning to continue archiving our talks on our YouTube channel, which you can find here.

Title: Data & web designers

Abstract: De gustibus non est disputandum, the Latin proverb goes: there’s no accounting for taste. But good taste---and good design---are increasingly important in an economy where web presence and value are inexorably intertwined. Every website comprises hundreds of distinct design decisions, all of which must work together to create a cohesive interface and a coherent visual style.

At Apropose, we believe that the key to better design is data. For almost any imaginable design problem, the web contains hundreds of relevant artifacts that can help content creators better frame their requirements, understand the space of possible solutions, and borrow useful implementation details.

In this talk, I'll preview the design analytics platform we're building at Apropose, share some of the lessons we've learned, and show that with data, it is possible to account for taste.

Bio: Ranjitha is Apropose's Chief Scientist, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She holds BS and PhD degrees in Computer Science from Stanford University, where her research on data-driven design won awards and accolades in both the human-computer interaction and machine learning communities.

Apr 28 2014

BiD Seminar 4/29 - Derrick Coetzee demos the Oculus Rift

Please join us Tuesday for the next installment of the Berkeley Institute of Design Weekly Seminar, featuring Derrick Coetzee from EECS at UC Berkeley.

4/29/2014, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab 354/360 HMMB (directions)
BiD lunch seminars are sponsored by Yahoo!

For those of you who can't, we're planning to continue archiving our talks on our YouTube channel, which you can find here.

Title: Demoing the Oculus Rift

The Oculus Rift, created by a startup in Irvine, has been generating a lot of buzz in the gaming community, and raked in the awards at CES 2014. Compared to the previous generation of Virtual Reality head-mounted displays (HMD), the Rift developer kits I'm showing have a dramatically increased field of view, improved headtracking using sensor fusion, and reduced latency.

But it's hard to understand just what kind of experience this all adds up to until you've got it on your head. You can learn more about it and see a picture here:


Bio: Derrick Coetzee is a 5th year graduate student in computer science at UC Berkeley who has done work in three unrelated areas: automated build systems, the SEJITS framework for efficient runtime generation of parallel code from restricted Python programs, and online education software. He has a Bachelors in mathematics and a Masters in computer science from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has broad interests in computer science subfields including programming languages, HCI, security, software engineering, and graphics. In his free time, he is an amateur photographer, tutor, and Wikipedia administrator.

Apr 20 2014

BiD Seminar 4/22 - Ed Cutrell on MOOCs in the Developing World: Lessons from India

Please join us Tuesday for the next education installment of the Berkeley Institute of Design Weekly Seminar, featuring Ed Cutrell from Microsoft Research India.

4/22/2014, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab 354/360 HMMB (directions)
BiD lunch seminars are sponsored by Yahoo!

For those of you who can't, we're planning to continue archiving our talks on our YouTube channel, which you can find here.

Title: MOOCs in the Developing World: Lessons from India

Abstract: From initiatives like One Laptop per Child (OLPC) to massive open online courses (MOOCs), students in the developing world are frequently cited as being among the most important beneficiaries of educational technology. However, these technical systems often fall far short of their promised impact, usually because project managers and designers do not take into account the unique constraints in infrastructure or the existing milieu of human and institutional capacity. In this talk, I will start by sharing some successes, failures, and lessons learned by our group and others in deploying educational technologies in India over the last 10 years. Then I will discuss the implications for MOOCs, including an initiative called Massively Empowered Classroom (MEC) that leverages existing teachers and classrooms in tandem with online educational content. I will synthesize our experiences into a set of recommendations for ensuring that the future of online education is inclusive of marginalized groups throughout the world.

Bio: Ed Cutrell manages the Technology for Emerging Markets (TEM) group at Microsoft Research India. TEM is a multidisciplinary group that strives to study, design, build, and evaluate technologies and systems that are useful for people living in underserved rural and urban communities. The goal of this work is to understand how people in the world's poor and developing communities interact with information technologies and to invent new ways for technology to meet their needs and aspirations. Ed has been working in the field of human-computer interaction (HCI) since 2000; he is trained in cognitive neuropsychology, with a PhD from the University of Oregon.

Apr 11 2014

BiD Seminar 4/15: Chinmay Kulkarni on Learning Better, and Creating Better Learners in MOOCs

Please join us Tuesday for the education installment of the Berkeley Institute of Design Weekly Seminar, featuring Chinmay Kulkarni from the Stanford HCI Group.

4/15/2014, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab 354/360 HMMB (directions)
BiD lunch seminars are sponsored by Yahoo!

For those of you who can't, we're planning to continue archiving our talks on our YouTube channel, which you can find here.

Title: "Learning Better, and Creating Better Learners in MOOCs"

Abstract: Massive online classrooms bring together students from around the world in one connected classroom. Is it possible to teach the millions of students in an online class as well as the students in a traditional, physical classroom? And is it possible to teach them better? I believe this is possible, and that the key to this answer lies in the network of peers in these courses. Students in online classrooms, with their unparalleled diversity and geographical spread, may well comprise the greatest collection of peers imaginable.

Leveraging this peer group will require building software that scaffolds students and builds expertise as they interact, and is designed for the new classroom environment that has widely varying participation and motivation. This talk will describe two systems I've helped design that embody these principles. The first is a peer-review system that is widely deployed on the coursera platform, and enables students to see the different viewpoints of their peers and reflect on them. The second, talkabout, is a system that organizes small group discussions in massive classes. Around 3000 students have used talkabout to discuss topics ranging from prejudice to organizational theory. Talkabout discussions leverage the diversity in the classroom: in one course, the median six-person discussion group had students from four different countries. These techniques and others point toward a future where peers and networks are core elements of tomorrow's classroom.

Bio: Chinmay Kulkarni is a Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University, focusing on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). He is advised by Professor Scott Klemmer and Professor Michael Bernstein.

Apr 04 2014

No BiD seminar 4/8 - Join us for paper reading party instead!

Please join us in reviewing papers for UIST and others. Come get some early feedback on your papers, or come if you can help read and provide feedback on papers - the more the merrier!

Mar 28 2014

BiD Seminar 4/1 - Michael Cohen on Video Gaming for Power System Education

Keywords: gaming, renewable energy, complex systems, education

Please join us Tuesday for the next installment of the Berkeley Institute of Design Weekly Seminar, featuring Michael Cohen from Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley.

4/1/2014, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab 354/360 HMMB (directions)
BiD lunch seminars are sponsored by Yahoo!

For those of you who can't, we're planning to continue archiving our talks on our YouTube channel, which you can find here.

Title: Video Gaming for Power System Education

Abstract: Climate change, scarcity of resources and other environmental concerns are driving a world-wide migration to cleaner, more sustainable sources of electricity such as wind and solar power. Unfortunately, these less-predictable, intermittent resources are being added to the fringes of a vast, interconnected power grid that was designed with central, dispatchable generation in mind. The challenge of "renewables integration" -- keeping the grid stable and affordable as we migrate to cleaner energy sources -- has become urgent, yet is little understood by the general public. This is problematic as the transition could be slowed or blocked on the technical side by a lack of power engineering talent, and on the political side by a hostile or misinformed public.

Taking as our inspiration successful "edutainment" simulation video games such as the SimCity series and Civilization, we are responding to this challenge by creating a PC and tablet game that enables players to design, operate and grow their own power grids. Players will tackle real-world challenges such as meeting California’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) while keeping costs under control, or keeping Japan’s power system as stable as possible in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake. This experience will better equip them to engage in political discussions on energy systems, and for some it will provide motivation to pursue a related field of study or employment.

This work is in the early stages; I will present some background and motivation, briefly demo the current game prototype, discuss plans for further development and assessment, and welcome your feedback on all of the above!

Bio: Michael Cohen is a 4th year PhD student in the Energy and Resources Group at Berkeley. His research is focused on "renewables integration", using computer models to understand how the growth in intermittent energy sources such as rooftop solar power will affect the electric grid. Prior to matriculating at Berkeley, Michael held positions as a technology coordinator at a Boys & Girls Club in Boston, a software trainer at Brown University, a software engineer at a web application startup, and a business analyst at EnerNOC, an energy management company. He holds an MS in Energy and Resources from Berkeley and a BA in Psychology from Brandeis University.

Mar 14 2014

BiD Seminar 3/18 - Lydia Chilton on Cascade - Crowdsourced Taxonomy Creation

Please join us Tuesday for the next installment of the Berkeley Institute of Design Weekly Seminar, featuring Lydia Chilton from University of Washington.

3/18/2014, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab 354/360 HMMB (directions)
BiD lunch seminars are sponsored by Yahoo!

For those of you who can't, we're planning to continue archiving our talks on our YouTube channel, which you can find here.

Title: Cascade - Crowdsourced Taxonomy Creation

Abstract: Crowdsourcing is great at getting large numbers of people to collaborate, but mostly for tasks that parallelize easily such as labeling thousands of images. A challenge in this space is to use the crowd to get global insights when each contributor only sees a small subset of information. I present two systems that do this.

(1) Cascade is a crowd algorithm that takes in dataset and outputs a taxonomy of that data, thus offering a global overview of the dataset. Cascade runs on MTurk and is a traditional crowdsourcing system. In contrast, (2) Frenzy is a platform for community-sourcing. We have used it for groups of friends to organize photo albums and for coding data, but our major application is to allow the CSCW 2013 and CHI 2014 program committees to use the expertise of all the members to create conference sessions out of the accepted papers.

I will talk about the difference between crowdsourcing and community-sourcing, the lessons I have learned from deploying both types of systems, and say why I think community-sourcing is the future.

Bio: I am a 5th year PhD student at University of Washington advised by Dan Weld and James Landay. My vision is to make humans smarter by building interfaces that connect us. Particularly, I want to make interfaces enabling groups to collectively arrive at high-level insights that they cannot individually reach. In order to achieve this we must be able to design systems to manage large groups, teach each other, organize information, and incentivize collective action.

Mar 07 2014

BiD Seminar 3/11 - Mira Dontcheva on Lowering the Barriers to Learning Complex Visual Design Tools

Please join us Tuesday for the next installment of the Berkeley Institute of Design Weekly Seminar, featuring Mira Dontcheva from Adobe Systems.

Tuesday, 3/11/2014, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab 354/360 HMM (directions)
BiD lunch seminars are sponsored by Yahoo!

For those of you who can't, we're planning to continue archiving our talks on our YouTube channel, which you can find here.

Title: Lowering the Barriers to Learning Complex Visual Design Tools

Abstract: In the past learning how to use complex visual design software, such as Adobe Photoshop, involved taking classes and reading books. In contrast, today's photographers and visual designers are more likely to learn how to use software opportunistically, as they need to adjust a photo, create a family album, or design a website. Together with my collaborators I have been developing and studying a variety of techniques for making it easier to learn new visual design and computational photography skills. In this talk I will describe our research on instructional design, video tutorials, and games and discuss the challenges and opportunities for learning in the context of visual design tools.

Bio: Mira Dontcheva is a Senior Research Scientist at Adobe Research. Mira's research focuses on instructional design, creativity support tools, and information visualization. Since joining Adobe, Mira has been learning about designers and developers and building new tools to support their information needs. In 2010 Mira published her first edited book - No Code Required: Giving Users Tools to Transform the Web. Mira completed her PhD at the University of Washington in 2008. She was an undergraduate at the University of Michigan and completed her BSE in computer engineering in 2000.


Mar 02 2014

BiD Seminar 3/4 - Grad Student Lightning Talks

Please join us Tuesday for the next installment of the Berkeley Institute of Design Weekly Seminar. This week we have ~10min lightning presentations from our very own grad students.

Facebook event

3/4/2014, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab 354/360 HMMB (directions)
BiD lunch seminars are sponsored by Yahoo!

For those of you who can't, we're planning to continue archiving our talks on our YouTube channel, which you can find here

1. Laura Devendorf on Technologies for Artistic Research
3rd year PhD in School of Information
Designing technologies for art making that go beyond making pretty things and customization and discussing why it matters.

2. Tim Campbell on Fabsense: sharing physical skills
1st year PhD in Computer Science
Watch as computer scientist build things with their hands, track activity, and share projects online!

3. Amy Pavel on Skimmable Presentation Videos
1st year PhD in Computer Science
Making it easier for users to browse and skim long presentation videos (class room lectures, TED talks, seminars, etc)

4. Cesar Torres on Dynamic Design for Digital Fabrication
1st year PhD in Computer Science
Challenging the kitsch - evaluating the creation process and perception of bespoke artifacts.

5. Drew Sabelhaus on The SUPER Ball: A Modular Tensegrity Robot for Space Exploration
2nd year PhD in Mechanical Engineering, Grad intern at NASA Ames
How to build a tumbleweed robot? Mechanical Design, Control Strategies, and fun with NASA.

Feb 22 2014

Special BiD Seminar Monday, 2/24 at 4pm - Sean Follmer on Designing Material Interfaces: Redefining Interaction through Programmable Materials

Please join us for a special Monday installment of the Berkeley Institute of Design Seminar, featuring Sean Follmer from the MIT Media Lab.

2/24/2014, 4pm - 5pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab 354/360 HMMB (directions)
BiD lunch seminars are sponsored by Yahoo!

For those of you who can't, we're planning to continue archiving our talks on our YouTube channel, which you can find here.
Title: Designing Material Interfaces: Redefining Interaction through Programmable Materials

Keywords: Shape-Changing interfaces, Deformable Interfaces, Actuation, Shape Sensing

Abstract: Product design is experiencing a fundamental transition: computation is embedded throughout our environment, from smart thermostats to fitness trackers, and these interactive devices are converging into ever more complex gadgets with countless features. However, designers lack the tools to support all of these new features gracefully in a single interface. My research considers the importance of form in Interaction Design, and questions the dominance of the screen and the pixel as a solution to this problem of convergence.

In my talk, I will describe how my research in human-computer interaction design envisions a world in which devices physically adapt to fit the context of their use. I believe that shape-changing and deformable interfaces can address the lack of physical affordances in today’s interactive products. My work maps out a conceptual space of Dynamic Affordances, describes new interactions with shape changing interfaces motivated by the careful study of users today and expert designers working with physical materials, and begins to evaluate how these new interfaces and devices can help users. In order to prototype these interactions I develop technologies for programming material properties (stiffness, shape, color, etc.) and embedded shape sensing, taking inspiration from fields like Soft Robotics, Material Science, and flexible electronics.

Bio: Sean Follmer is a PhD student in the Tangible Media Group at the MIT Media Lab under Prof. Hiroshi Ishii. His research looks at how we can apply shape-changing and deformable interfaces to address the lack of physical affordances in today’s interactive products. He received a S.M. in Media Arts and Sciences from the MIT Media Lab in 2011. He holds a BS in Engineering, Product Design from Stanford University. His work has been awarded 2 Best paper awards at ACM UIST and a best paper honorable mention at ACM CHI.

Feb 22 2014

BiD Seminar 2/25 - Carlo Séquin and Michelle Galemmo on Designing and Developing LEGO Knots

Please join us Tuesday for the next installment of the Berkeley Institute of Design Weekly Seminar, featuring our own Carlo Sequin and Michelle Galemmo from UC Berkeley.

2/25/2014, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab 354/360 HMMB directions
BiD lunch seminars are sponsored by Yahoo!

For those of you who can't, we're planning to continue archiving our talks on our YouTube channel, which you can find here

Title: Designing and Developing LEGO Knots

We present the design and prototype construction of a small set of snap-together parts that permit constructing sculpture maquettes in the form of prismatic extrusions along certain modular space curves. This allows the formation of open-ended structures such as “Interaction2” by Henk van Putten and the “Coriolis” series by Bruce Beasley, or closed-loop sweeps like van Putten’s “Borsalino” or Paul Bloch’s “Symmetrical Enigma” and simple knot shapes. The parts are designed so that they can be readily fabricated on inexpensive rapid-prototyping machines and so that they mesh with the LEGO® DUPLO parts. The most recent work extends this concept to "TRIA-TUBES"; these are similar modular blocks with a triangular cross section.

Carlo H. Séquin:
Originally a physicist, Carlo has been a professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley since 1977. For the last 30 years he has been interested in computer graphics, geometric modeling, and computer-aided design tools for circuit designers, architects, and for mechanical engineers.

Since the mid 1990s, he has also collaborated with some artists, and has created several designs for geometric sculptures. For these activities he has coined the terms: "Aesthetic Engineering" and "Artistic Geometry."

Since his official retirement in July 2013, he now can devote even more time to these pursuits; he shares these activities with undergraduate researchers. He is also on the program committee for the Jacobs Design Innovation Institute, for which construction will start within a few months.

Michelle Galemmo
A current UC Berkeley Sophomore, Michelle is double majoring in Cognitive Science and Practice of Art, and minoring in CS and Global Poverty and Practice. She is excited to be working on her first research project with Carlo Sequin, combining her love of CS and art.

Feb 15 2014

BiD Seminar 2/18 - Nemil Dalal on "Democratizing 3D Printing"

Please join us for the next installment of the Berkeley Institute of Design Weekly Seminar featuring Nemil Dalal from dreamforge.

Tuesday, 2/18/2014, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab 354/360 HMMB (directions)
BiD lunch seminars are sponsored by Yahoo!

For those of you who can't, we're planning to continue archiving our talks on our YouTube channel, which you can find here.

Title: Democratizing 3D Printing

Abstract: 3d printing hardware is currently undergoing a substantial transformation from an expensive, boutique technology for professionals to a cheaper and more generally available "prosumer" technology. The software infrastructure for interacting with 3d printing systems has, however, not kept pace with these developments and most existing software for 3d content creation and sharing is difficult to use for these new users. We will discuss core challenges and opportunities in the space today in 3d content creation, 3d content sharing, and other assistive 3d technologies.

Bio: Nemil is the founder and lead engineer of Dreamforge with a special interest in the usability of 3D modeling systems. Earlier in his career, he was a product manager at Wildfire Interactive, and previously worked in stints at Oliver Wyman, the Gates Foundation, and the World Bank. Nemil has a BS in Electrical Engineering and MBA from Stanford. Dreamforge is a YCombinator startup.

Feb 07 2014

BiD Seminar, MONDAY 2/10 - Antti Oulasvirta on Computational User Interface Design

Be sure to join us this Monday (not Tuesday this week) for the next installment of the Berkeley Institute of Design Weekly Seminar, featuring Antti Oulasvirta from the Max Planck Institute for Informatics.

2/10/2014, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab 354/360 HMMB (directions)
BiD lunch seminars are sponsored by Yahoo!

For those of you who can't, we're planning to continue archiving our talks on our YouTube channel, which you can find here.

Title: Computational User Interface Design

Abstract: Search spaces in user interface design often grow too large to be explored manually. Let us consider the case of designing a menu, one of the most commonly used user interface. The number of possible designs for a menu with only 20 items is 20!=2432902008176640000 -- more than there are stars in the observable universe. Our group investigates computational methods for interface design. Automatic solutions to well-known, recurring design problems allows a designer to focus on truly novel aspects of design. The basis of this work is quantitative predictive models of interaction combined with computational methods for searching the optimal design. Instead of generating and trying out one or only a few instances at a time, the designer defines optimization goals, assumptions about the user and use, and sets constraints, and the computer explores the best designs. We develop design tools that allow a designer interact with an optimizer while editing a user interface. This approach allows rapid exploration of millions of user interface designs as part of design process. Research results for keyboards, menu systems, and gestural interfaces are presented as case examples.

Bio: Antti Oulasvirta is a cognitive scientist leading the Human-Computer Interaction group at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics and the Cluster of Excellence on Multimodal Computing and Interaction in Germany. In March 2014, he is starting as an Associate Professor in Aalto University in Finland.

Jan 31 2014

BiD Seminar 2/4 - Liz Gerber on "Crowds, Computers, and Creativity: The Future of Design"

Please join us Tuesday for the next installment of the Berkeley Institute of Design Weekly Seminar, featuring Liz Gerber from Northwestern University.

2/4/2014, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab 354/360 HMMB (directions)
BiD lunch seminars are sponsored by Yahoo!

For those of you who can't, we're planning to continue archiving our talks on our YouTube channel, which you can find here.

Title: Crowds, Computers, and Creativity: The Future of Design

Abstract: How can we use technology to produce better designers?

Innovative design is critical to our economic and social prosperity. Yet acquiring the required resources is especially difficult for novice designers, who lack access and skills. Technology has the potential to change this. I present two projects. First, I present efforts to train and connect novice designers through an online community of practice. Second, I present my latest research on crowdfunding and tools to support the exchange of resources critical for implementing ideas. I discuss implications for the practice of design and design of technology.

Bio: Liz Gerber is the Junior Breed Professor of Design at the Segal Design Institute at Northwestern’s School of Engineering and School of Communication. Her area of expertise is design and human computer interaction, particularly how collective intelligence supports designers. Currently, Liz is examining and designing tools to support the contemporary phenomena of crowdfunding and crowdsourcing. She has published in a number of peer-reviewed outlets including Transactions on Computer Human Interactions, Design Studies, and Organization Science. She is the founder of Design for America, an award-winning network of civic innovators using design to solve challenges in their local community, featured in outlets including Fast Company and Oprah. She received her doctoral and master’s degrees in Management Science and Engineering and Product Design from Stanford University.

Jan 23 2014

BiD Seminar 1/28, 12pm - Mélodie Vidal on Natural Eye-based Interfaces

Please join us Tuesday for the next installment of the Berkeley Institute of Design Weekly Seminar, Spring Edition, featuring Mélodie Vidal, PhD Student at Lancaster University.

Tuesday, 1/28/2014, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab 354/360 HMMB (directions)
BiD lunch seminars are sponsored by Yahoo!

For those of you who can't make the talk, we're continuing to archive our talks on our YouTube channel, which you can find here.

Title: Natural eye-based interfaces

Keywords: eye tracking, interaction design, ubiquitous computing

Abstract: Our eyes constantly indicate what we are interested in and are a remote pointer of our attention. They are accurate, fast, and hold a lot of information about what we are doing. For these reasons, eye tracking is an interesting modality for human-computer interaction. There has been much research on the use of the eyes to control interfaces. However, our eyes are our primary sensor to understand the world around us and are not naturally used as means of control. Eye-based interfaces can thus feel frustrating, uncomfortable, or counter-intuitive. Which information can we harvest from the eyes without disrupting the sensory process? I will cover the tools necessary to perform eye tracking, then detail ways and strategies to create spontaneous and seamless eye-based interfaces.

Bio [ web: http://www.melodie-vidal.eu/ ] Mélodie Vidal is a 4th year PhD student in Human-Computer Interactions at Lancaster University, UK. Her research focuses on the use of eye movements to create natural and seamless interactive experiences. She recently spent 7 months at Nokia working on wearable computing interfaces. Mélodie holds a Masters of Artificial Intelligence and a degree in Software Engineering from INSA Toulouse, France.

Dec 13 2013

BiD Seminar 12/17 - Camillia Matuk on Designing curriculum-integrated technologies that scaffold and assess science inquiry learning

Please join us Tuesday for the next installment of the Berkeley Institute of Design Weekly Seminar, featuring Camillia Matuk from School of Education at Berkeley.

12/17/2013, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab 354/360 HMMB (directions)
BiD lunch seminars are sponsored by Yahoo!

For those of you who can't, we're planning to continue archiving our talks on our YouTube channel, which you can find here.

Title: Designing curriculum-integrated technologies that scaffold and assess science inquiry learning

Abstract: How can technology help people manage the complexity of inquiry-based learning and instruction? Students building explanations must distinguish among various often conflicting ideas. Teachers planning instruction and guidance must monitor their diverse students’ understanding. Designers creating curriculum require finer-grained information on students’ learning than can be found in typical pre and post tests. This presentation describes tools integrated into the Web-based Inquiry Science Environment (WISE) to both scaffold and capture students’ developing understanding.

By breaking down the processes of generating, monitoring, exchanging, and distinguishing ideas, these tools support students writing scientific explanations, while generating logs to inform teachers and researchers of their progress. I describe how, through classroom trials and iterative design, these tools allow systematic investigation into how students engage both with information and with each other. I discuss implications of such technology innovations for understanding the role of scaffolds in inquiry science, for guiding teachers’ instruction, and for revealing a more nuanced picture of students’ learning.

Bio: Camillia Matuk is a postdoc in the Technology Enhanced Learning in Science Center, directed by Marcia Linn at the University of California, Berkeley. She is also a part-time lecturer in the Graduate School of Education, where she teaches cognition and technology courses for graduate students (SESAME, EMST) and for preservice teachers in mathematics and science (MACSME), and in multicultural urban secondary English (MUSE). As a postdoc, Camillia helps manage two multi-year NSF-funded projects (VISUAL and CLASS) focused on developing and researching technology-enhanced curricula and tools for middle and high school science inquiry. She also co-leads annual professional development activities around integrating technology into inquiry-based science instruction, and with the goal of building a collaborative design community among teachers, researchers, and developers.

Camillia has a PhD in the Learning Sciences from Northwestern University, an MSc in Biomedical Communications from the University of Toronto, and a BSc in Biological Sciences from the University of Windsor. Previously, she was a biomedical illustrator at InVIVO in Toronto. For more information, please visit https://sites.google.com/site/cfmatuk/.

Dec 08 2013

BiD Seminar 12/10 - Christian Holz from Yahoo! on 3D from 2D touch

Join us this Tuesday for the next installment of the Berkeley Institute of Design Weekly Seminar, featuring Christian Holz from Yahoo!.

12/10/2013, 12pm - 1pm [fbevent]
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab 354/360 HMMB (directions)
BiD lunch seminars are sponsored by Yahoo!

For those of you who can't, we're planning to continue archiving our talks on our YouTube channel, which you can find here

Title: 3D from 2D touch

Abstract: In this talk, I show how to enable mobile devices to sense 3D information about the space above them from just the touch input they observe. I present a series of touchscreen devices that capture users' fingerprints upon touch, from which they conclude 3D information. Just like camera-based 3D tracking systems provide the opportunity for more natural and expressive interaction, deriving such information from touch provides similar benefits. While camera-based systems require a certain distance between sensor and tracked objects, however, touchscreens sense information directly on their surface, which allows them to remain thin--the form factor that has allowed such devices to achieve mobility and mass-adoption in the first place. I demonstrate that reconstructing 3D information from touch enables devices to increase their input accuracy by a factor of three compared to current devices and I show that fingerprint-sensing touchscreens solve a long-standing challenge in HCI: biometric user identification. I conclude by discussing how the same approach scales to much larger surfaces, such as smart rooms, and how 3D reconstruction from touch enables us to sense users and objects in 3D just by analyzing the imprints they leave on a floor.

Bio: Christian Holz is a research scientist in human-computer interaction at at Yahoo Labs. His research focuses on creating novel devices that leverage touch input to reconstruct information about the world. Christian received his PhD from Hasso Plattner Institute at University of Potsdam, Germany, has worked at Microsoft Research and Autodesk Research and was a visiting researcher at Columbia University.

Dec 02 2013

BID Seminar 12/3 - Zach Pardos on Towards scalable remediation in a MOOC: Performance prediction in 6.002x: Circuit design

Please join us Tuesday for the next education installment of the Berkeley Institute of Design Weekly Seminar, featuring Zach Pardos from Berkeley MOOC Lab.

12/3/2013, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab 354/360 HMMB (directions)
BiD lunch seminars are sponsored by Yahoo!

For those of you who can't, we're planning to continue archiving our talks on our YouTube channel, which you can find here.

Title: Towards scalable remediation in a MOOC: Performance prediction in 6.002x: Circuit design

Abstract: The richness of pedagogical content on the edX platform and granularity of tracking logs provides an opportunity to make inferences about the efficacy of content and thereby guide individual students down a more efficient path through the course. In this talk I will discuss lessons learned in the first step towards this goal; assessing student knowledge and performance prediction in the inaugural edX course; 6.002x: circuit design. Implication for resource recommendation and cohort creation will be discussed.

Bio: Zachary Pardos is an Assistant Professor at UC Berkeley in a joint position between the School of Information and Graduate School of Education. He earned his PhD in Computer Science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in the Tutor Research Group in 2012. Funded by a National Science Foundation Fellowship (GK-12) he spent extensive time on the front lines of K-12 education working with teachers and students to integrate educational technology into the curriculum as an assessment tool to be used formatively. He has received numerous academic awards and honors for extensions of his thesis work on “Predictive Models of Learning” including a top prize applying his educational analytics in the 2010 KDD Cup, an international machine learning competition on predicting student performance within an intelligent tutoring system. Pardos comes to Berkeley from MIT, where he spent the past year studying massively open online courses.

Nov 25 2013

BiD seminar 11/26 - Christophe Canales on Nanotechnology

It's Thanksgiving week, but we're going to continue our proud Tuesday tradition this week, as well. Thanks, as always, to Yahoo! for providing us a delicious lunch!

26 November, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab, 354/360 HMMB (directions)

Title: Two different scopes of nanotechnology: from high precision nano-manipulators in Switzerland to water filters in Kenya

Abstract: At first glance, water filters for rural Kenyan families might not seem to have much in common with nano-manipulators used by research scientists, however they are actually both concrete applications of nanotechnology. LifeStraw, from Vestergaard Frandsen, is an innovative water filter aimed to provide clean drinking water for people in the developing world. This filter based on the use of a nano-porous polymer membrane is an example of how technology can be used to solve global challenges. The miBot is a mobile micro-robot, initially developed at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, to allow nanotechnology researchers to manipulate and characterize nano-scale objects under a microscope. Following the interest of several laboratories for the first prototypes, a start-up called Imina technologies has been created in order to commercialize the miBot. This talk will go through some of the challenges faced when designing and bringing to market these two products. The objective is to go through a wide range of “real life” product design experiences which could benefit anyone interested in commercializing his own hardware idea.

Bio: Christophe Canales has been working as a mechanical engineer for Vestergaard Frandsen SA, designing water filters for the developing world. Prior to this experience, he co-founded Imina Technologies, a start-up commercializing nano-manipulators, which he developed while working as a research engineer at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne. Christophe holds a M.S. in mechanical engineering and design from the University of Technology of Belfort Montbéliard, France. He achieved part of his studies at the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea.

Nov 15 2013

BiD Seminar 11/19 - Daniel Wigdor from University of Toronto on Zero-Latency Interfaces: Why We Care, How We're Building Them

Please join us Tuesday for the next installment of the Berkeley Institute of Design Weekly Seminar, featuring Daniel Wigdor from the University of Toronto.

11/19/2013, 12pm - 1pm [fbevent]
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab 354/360 HMMB (directions)
BiD lunch seminars are sponsored by Yahoo!

For those of you who can't, we're planning to continue archiving our talks on our YouTube channel, which you can find here.

Title: Zero-Latency Interfaces: Why We Care, How We're Building Them

Abstract: Latency is a scourge which has long plagued interactive computing. In this talk, I will describe how my team at the University of Toronto and Tactual Labs have been working to banish it once and for all. First, by studying human perception of latency, and discovering that traditional "good enough" measures are two-orders of magnitude worse than previously thought. Second, by developing all-new touch sensing technology, capable of sub-millisecond response times. Third, by recognizing that traditional interactive computing architectures intended to enable good software engineering create Moore's-law proof bottlenecks. Fourth, by re-architecting modern hardware and operating systems to overcome these bottlenecks, while leaving the developer experience unchanged for application designers. From these and other innovations, we hope to banish latency once and for all, to finally provide truly zero-latency interaction experiences.

Bio: Daniel Wigdor is an assistant professor of computer science and co-director of the Dynamic Graphics Project at the University of Toronto. His research is in the area of human-computer interaction, with major focuses on the architecture of highly-performant UI's, on development methods for ubiquitous computing, and on post-WIMP interaction methods. Before joining the faculty at U of T in 2011, Daniel was a researcher at Microsoft Research, the user experience architect of the Microsoft Surface Table, and a company-wide expert in Natural User Interfaces. Simultaneously, he served as an affiliate assistant professor in both the Department of Computer Science & Engineering and the Information School at the University of Washington. Prior to 2008, he was a fellow at the Initiative in Innovative Computing at Harvard University, and conducted research as part of the DiamondSpace project at Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs. He is also the co-founder of Iota Wireless, a startup dedicated to the commercialization of his research in mobile-phone gestural interaction, and Tactual Labs, a startup dedicated to the commercialization of his research in high-performance, low-latency user input.

Nov 07 2013

BiD Lunch Seminar 11/12 - Derrick Coetzee on Designing and evaluating software for effectively leveraging communities in massive online classes

Please join us Tuesday for the next education installment of the Berkeley Institute of Design Weekly Seminar, featuring Derrick Coetzee from Berkeley MOOC Lab.

11/12/2013, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab 354/360 HMMB (directions)
BiD lunch seminars are sponsored by Yahoo!

For those of you who can't, we're planning to continue archiving our talks on our YouTube channel, which you can find here : http://www.youtube.com/bidlab

Title: Designing and evaluating software for effectively leveraging communities in massive online classes

Abstract: Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs), free open courses involving thousands of students, are a popular emerging trend in online education, with providers like edX, Coursera, and Udacity running dozens of successful courses. Because faculty and staff cannot afford to directly consult with such a large body of students, and courses cannot be fully automated, scalable and affordable mechanisms are needed that exploit the online community itself to support the course. Although basic question-answer forums are already widely deployed in MOOCs and some feature simple peer grading, designing and evaluating new software mechanisms that leverage the community and have real positive impact on student outcomes remains a challenging problem. In this talk we discuss a few mechanisms we've evaluated so far, metrics for evaluation, design principles, and some promising mechanisms we plan to explore in the future.

Bio: Derrick Coetzee is a 5th year graduate student in computer science at UC Berkeley who has done work in three unrelated areas: automated build systems, the SEJITS framework for efficient runtime generation of parallel code from restricted Python programs, and online education software. He has a Bachelors in mathematics and a Masters in computer science from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has broad interests in computer science subfields including programming languages, HCI, security, software engineering, and graphics. In his free time, he is an amateur photographer, tutor, and Wikipedia administrator.

Nov 03 2013

BiD Lunch Seminar 11/5 - Ani Adhikari on Bluescreen Teaching: Communication in the MOOC World

Please join us Tuesday for the next education installment of the Berkeley Institute of Design Weekly Seminar, featuring our very own Ani Adhikari from the Berkeley Statistics Department.

5 Nov, 12pm - 1pm [fbevent]
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab, 354/360 HMMB (directions)
BiD lunch seminars are sponsored by Yahoo!

For those of you who can't, we're planning to continue archiving our talks on our YouTube channel, which you can find here

Title: Bluescreen Teaching: Communication in the MOOC World

Speaker: Ani Adhikari, Senior Lecturer, Department of Statistics

Abstract: Faced with the prospect of teaching tens of thousands of students all over the world, I found myself oscillating between two extremes: "I'll have no idea who I'm teaching," and "I'll spend all my time talking to them." The reality turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. This talk will describe my experience communicating with students in Stat 2X, the MOOC that I taught in Spring 2013. I'll focus on the instructor's role in the discussion forum, and how it raises fundamental questions about what it means to "teach" such a course.

Seminar participants are encouraged to take a quick look the goals of Stat 2X:

Bio: Ani Adhikari, Senior Lecturer in Statistics at UC Berkeley, has received the Distinguished Teaching Award at Berkeley and the Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching at Stanford University. While her research interests are centered on applications of statistics in the natural sciences, her primary focus has always been on teaching and mentoring students. She teaches courses at all levels and has a particular affinity for teaching statistics to students who have little mathematical preparation. She received her undergraduate degree from the Indian Statistical Institute, and her Ph.D. in Statistics from Berkeley.

Oct 27 2013

BiD Lunch Seminar 10/29 - Dan Garcia on Transforming K-12 Computer Science: The Beauty and Joy of Computing (BJC)

Please join us TUESDAY for the next installment of the Berkeley Institute of Design Weekly Seminar, featuring our very own Dan Garcia from the Berkeley EECS Department.

29 October, 12pm - 1pm [fbevent]
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab, 354/360 HMMB
BiD lunch seminars are sponsored by Yahoo!

<< This talk will be followed with a 15-minute talk explaining upcoming composting & other improvements to recycling & waste in BID.>>

For those of you who can't, we're planning to continue archiving our talks on our YouTube channel, which you can find here : http://www.youtube.com/bidlab

Talk Title
Transforming K-12 Computer Science: The Beauty and Joy of Computing (BJC) Senior Lecturer SOE Dan Garcia [EECS, UC Berkeley]

BJC was chosen as one of the initial pilots for a new, upcoming non-majors "Advanced Placement Computer Science: Principles" course to broaden participation in computing to traditionally underrepresented groups. The goal of the "CS10K" effort is to prepare 10,000 new high school CS teachers to teach the AP course by 2016. We were funded from the US National Science Foundation to provide summer workshops for 100 HS teachers. This talk will introduce the AP CS Principles framework, our BJC course, the engaging Snap! (Build Your Own Blocks, based on Scratch) development environment, and some of the exciting things we are doing in the Computer Science Education group at UC Berkeley to move the needle and broaden participation in computing.

Professional bio
Dr. Dan Garcia is a Senior Lecturer with Security Of Employment (SOE = "tenured" teaching faculty) in the Computer Science Division of the EECS Department at the University of California, Berkeley, and joined the faculty in the fall of 2000. Dan received his PhD and MS in Computer Science from UC Berkeley in 2000 and 1995, and dual BS degrees in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT in 1990. He has won all four of the department's teaching awards, and holds the record for the highest teaching effectiveness ratings (6.7/7) in the history of the dept's intro courses. He was chosen as an ACM Distinguished Educator in 2012.

Oct 20 2013

BiD Seminar 10/22 - Wendy Ju on the Mechanical Ottoman (and other interactive furnishings)

Please remember join us for the next exciting installment of the Berkeley Institute of Design Weekly Seminar, featuring Wendy Ju from the Stanford University Center for Design Research.

22 October, 12pm - 1pm [fbevent]
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab, 354/360 HMMB (directions)
BiD lunch seminars are sponsored by Yahoo!

For those of you who can't, we're planning to continue archiving our talks on our YouTube channel, which you can find here.

Title: The Mechanical Ottoman (and other interactive furnishings)

Abstract: Physical motions, gestures and behaviors can be critically important in design—of cars, of robots, of doors and windows—and autonomous motion is increasingly being incorporated into objects, as cheaper controllers and batteries enable products that can lock-unlock, open-close, pan-tilt, wave, hide—act on their own.

How, then, can we help designers to understand, think through and evaluate interactions that are both embodied and context-specific? In this talk, I will show work in progress on a series of design improvisation experiments with mechanical ottomans, interactive drawers, and roving trashcans, and discuss the implications of this work to the design of physical interactions and interactive products at large.

Bio: Wendy Ju is Executive Director of Interaction Design Research at Stanford University's Center for Design Research. She is also an Assistant Professor in the Graduate Design Program at California College of the Arts. She recently completed a stint at UC Berkeley coordinating cross-campus design activities at the Cal Design Lab, and launched the College of Environmental Design's first ever Design Frontiers Workshops. Since receiving her PhD from Stanford in 2008, Wendy has been innovating curriculum at the intersection of technology, design and the arts. At CDR, Wendy aims to increase awareness and appreciation for the role of Design Research and to make the Bay Area the epicenter for design intellectualism and discourse.

Oct 10 2013

BiD Seminar 10/15 - Sunny Consolvo on Using Personal Displays to Support Awareness & Behavior Change

Next up on the Berkeley Institute of Design Weekly Seminar, we are joined by Sunny Consolvo from Google, so we hope you can join us!

15 October, 12pm - 1pm [fbevent]
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab, 354/360 HMMB
BiD lunch seminars are sponsored by Yahoo!

For those of you who can't, we're planning to continue archiving our talks on our YouTube channel, which you can find here : http://www.youtube.com/bidlab

Title: Using Personal Displays to Support Awareness & Behavior Change

Abstract: From the screens on laptops, tablets, and mobile phones to dynamic displays on jewelry and personal accessories, people have personal displays with them essentially everywhere they go. Because they see those displays so often as part of their normal routines, we have the opportunity to use part of those displays to communicate information to people to help increase their awareness about elements of daily life such as their behaviors or the hidden aspects of the technologies that they use. In this talk, I'll highlight the design and evaluation of two projects that take advantage of personal displays that people are already carrying: the UbiFit system for mobile phones to encourage participation in regular and varied physical activity and the Wi-Fi Privacy Ticker for laptops to raise awareness of data exposures that can occur when using 802.11 wireless networks (Wi-Fi).

Bio: Sunny Consolvo is a User Experience Researcher at Google in the Security group where she spends most of her time working on usable security for consumers. She has previously worked as a Principal UX Researcher at Amazon and was a Research Scientist at Intel Labs Seattle for nearly 10 years. While at Intel, she investigated how to use technology to encourage health & wellness - particularly physical activity and healthy sleep behaviors -- and to help people be more aware of the privacy implications of sensing and inference systems. Sunny has also investigated privacy implications of location-enhanced technologies and developed technologies to help elders age in place. Sunny received her Ph.D. in Information Science. She is an Affiliate Assistant Professor in UW's HCDE department and iSchool.

Oct 07 2013

BiD Seminar 10/8 - Pablo Paredes on Stress Management for the Masses

Reminder that tomorrow we will have our very own Pablo Paredes presenting at the BiD weekly seminar series, so we hope you all can join us! For those of you who can't, we're planning to continue archiving our talks on our YouTube channel, which you can find here : http://www.youtube.com/bidlab

8 October, 12pm - 1pm [fbevent]
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab, 354/360 HMMB
BiD lunch seminars are sponsored by Yahoo!

TITLE: UnDoStress - Stress Management for the Masses

TALK ABSTRACT: This talk will be comprised of two topics aimed at designing a complete (sensing and intervention) stress management system. First, I present an approach to stress measurement that we call "Sensing without Sensors" being developed in collaboration with Prof. John Canny and David Sun at the Berkeley Institute of Design at UC Berkeley. We are motivated by the need to have less invasive, easier to adopt, technologies that help gather stress information from users. We hope that by extracting data from widely used computer peripherals and mobile devices, we will be able to reach a large audience. I will present the results of our research with computer mice. We use mouse trajectories to characterize a mechanical model of the arm and we model muscle stiffness, which is in turn affected by stress. We can detect stress with an accuracy close to 80%. The second project focuses on the use of technology for the design and delivery of stress management interventions and long-term development of constructive coping strategies. This work was developed in collaboration with Mary Czerwinsky, Ran Gillad-Bachrach, Asta Roseway and Kael Rowan at Microsoft Research. We introduce a novel design approach that uses popular (sticky) web app mechanics to create interventions that resemble psychological therapeutic approaches. We present results of a four week longitudinal experiment that show that users did learn constructive coping mechanisms over time and reduced stress and depression traits.

BIO: Pablo Paredes is a fourth year Computer Science PhD student at UC Berkeley. His research intersects the fields of pervasive health, affective computing, data mining and behavior change. He is interested the use of technology to help people reach their potential by maximizing their constructive emotions and behaviors and reducing destructive ones. During the past two summers he has had internships at Google and Microsoft Research where he studied topics related with behavior change and stress management. Prior to joining UC Berkeley he worked as a senior strategic manager for Intel and Telefonica, taught engineering classes in universities in Ecuador and created his own technology startup company. His passion is to play music, and he has played in various amateur and semi-professional rock bands for the past 20 years.

Oct 01 2013

BiD Seminar 1 October - Brad Miller on CS188 Autograding (MOOCLab)

UPDATE: The power outage last night does not affect the seminar - the seminar is still on!

The UC Berkeley MOOCLab's mission is to better inform MOOC development and practice by supporting MOOC-based research into technology-enhanced education. The MOOCLab both supports the research and promotes reducing results to practice in the tools and training offered to instructors and students. The MOOCLab speaker series will feature speakers at the intersection of learning sciences, technology, and online education, including some whose work is supported by the MOOCLab.

The BiD lab is pleased to host MOOCLab speakers on the first Tuesday of every month this semester. We're kicking it off with Brad Miller and a talk about CS188 Autograding. Yahoo! is generously providing lunch for this event. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday 1 October, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab, 354/360 HMMB

Title: "Do Try This At Home: CS188 Autograding"

Abstract: In this talk, we will describe the motivation, design and realization of the autograder used for the Pacman programming projects in CS188 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence. The CS188 autograder makes the entire test suite used to determine grades publicly available to the students. The autograder gives students modular feedback throughout their implementation process and reinforces the generality of the underlying algorithms by providing smaller, abstract tests cases to allow for debugging that is independent of the larger Pacman codebase. Originally developed in Spring 2013, the autograder is in its second semester of local use at Berkeley as well as broader use in the CS188.1x mooc on edX and through use of the Pacman programming projects at many other institutions for their local classes.

Sep 23 2013

BiD Seminar 9/24 - UIST Practice Talks

24 September 2013, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab, 354/360 HMMB

This week we are preparing some of our students for UIST, the ACM conference on User Interface Software and Technology. We got 4 full papers accepted this year. Authors will have around 15 minutes to talk at the conference, so we'll hopefully be able to practice all 4 talks. This seminar will likely run a little bit longer than previous ones so that we have time for comments.

Valkyrie Savage
Sauron : Embedded Single-Camera Sensing of Printed Interactive Devices
3D printers enable designers and makers to rapidly produce working models of future products or complete projects. Today these physical prototypes are mostly passive. Our research goal is to enable designers to turn models produced on commodity 3D printers into interactive objects with a minimum of required assembly or instrumentation. We present Sauron, an embedded machine vision-based system for sensing human input on physical controls like buttons, sliders, and joysticks. With Sauron, designers attach a single camera with integrated ring light to a printed prototype. This camera observes the interior portions of input components to determine their actuation and position. In many prototypes, input components may be occluded or outside the viewing frustum of a single camera. We introduce algorithms that generate internal geometry and calculate mirror placements to redirect input motion into the visible camera area. To investigate the space of designs that can be built with Sauron along with its limitations, we built prototype devices, evaluated the suitability of existing models for vision sensing, and performed an informal study with 3 CAD users. While our approach imposes some constraints on device design, results suggest that it is expressive and accessible enough to enable constructing a useful variety of devices.

Peggy Chi
DemoCut: Generating Concise Instructional Videos for Physical Demonstrations
Amateur instructional videos often show a single uninterrupted take of a recorded demonstration without any edits. While easy to produce, such videos are often too long as they include unnecessary or repetitive actions as well as mistakes. We introduce DemoCut, a semi-automatic video editing system that improves the quality of amateur instructional videos for physical tasks. DemoCut asks users to mark key moments in a recorded demonstration using a set of marker types derived from our formative study. Based on these markers, the system uses audio and video analysis to automatically organize the video into meaningful segments and apply appropriate video editing effects. To understand the effectiveness of DemoCut, we report a technical evaluation of seven video tutorials created with DemoCut. In a separate user evaluation, all eight participants successfully created a complete tutorial with a variety of video editing effects using our system.

Shiry Ginosar
Authoring Multi-Stage Code Examples with Editable Code Histories
Multi-stage code examples present multiple versions of a pro- gram where each stage increases the overall complexity of the code. In order to acquire strategies of program construction using a new language or API, programmers consult multi- stage code examples in books, tutorials and online videos. Authoring multi-stage code examples is currently a tedious process, as it involves keeping several stages of code synchro- nized in the face of edits and error corrections. We document these difficulties with a formative study examining how pro- grammers author multi-stage code examples. We then present an IDE extension that helps authors create multi-stage code examples by propagating changes (insertions, deletions and modifications) to multiple saved versions of their code. Our system adapts revision control algorithms to the specific task of evolving example code. An informal evaluation finds that taking snapshots of a program as it is being developed and editing these snapshots in hindsight help users in creating multi-stage code examples.

Steve Rubin
Content-Based Tools for Editing Audio Stories
Audio stories are an engaging form of communication that combine speech and music into compelling narratives. Existing audio editing tools force story producers to manipulate speech and music tracks via tedious, low-level waveform editing. In contrast, we present a set of tools that analyze the audio content of the speech and music and thereby allow producers to work at much higher level. Our tools address several challenges in creating audio stories, including (1) navigating and editing speech, (2) selecting appropriate music for the score, and (3) editing the music to complement the speech. Key features include a transcript-based speech editing tool that automatically propagates edits in the transcript text to the corresponding speech track; a music browser that supports searching based on emotion, tempo, key, or timbral similarity to other songs; and music retargeting tools that make it easy to combine sections of music with the speech. We have used our tools to create audio stories from a variety of raw speech sources, including scripted narratives, interviews and political speeches. Informal feedback from first-time users suggests that our tools are easy to learn and greatly facilitate the process of editing raw footage into a final story.

Sep 13 2013

NO SEMINAR 9/17 - Paper reading and review party instead

There will be a paper swap during the seminar slot on 9/17 (12-1pm) for folks that have papers that they are planning to submit to the CHI and other conferences. To those with papers, please bring a few copies of them in if you can, and to those without, if you could come out and help review, that would be fantastic!

Sep 10 2013

BID Seminar 9/10 - Autodesk's Karl D. D. Willis on 3D Printed Interactive Objects

10 September, 12pm - 1pm [fbevent]
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab, 354/360 HMMB

TITLE: More than Trinkets — 3D Printed Interactive Objects

ABSTRACT: 3D Printing is exploding into the mainstream. Most, however, are captivated by the fabrication process rather than the simple trinkets that get spat out. I am deeply interested in how we can 3D print more complex, functional, active, interactive, dynamic (and possibly edible and alive) objects in the future. I will present my recent work/research exploring 3D printed optic elements and hidden volumetric tags using see-through imaging.

BIO: I am a Principal Research Engineer at the Autodesk Consumer Group in San Francisco. I hold a Ph.D. in Computational Design from Carnegie Mellon University and most recently worked in the Interaction Group at Disney Research. http://www.karlddwillis.com/

May 28 2013

BiD Seminar 5/28 - Erin Bradner on Generating Design Alternatives

This will be our final BiD seminar of the semester. We certainly hope you will join us!

Tuesday May 28, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab
354/360 HMMB

When presented with a design problem, engineers, architects and visual-effects artists routinely generate multiple, competing design alternatives. Generating alternatives enables designers to explore the creative space along multiple parallel and orthogonal dimensions. This talk examines a design practice called multi-objective design optimization, also known as *Design Optioneering,* which uses parametric modeling, Pareto analysis and genetic algorithms to simultaneously generate and evaluate large sets of design alternatives. Dr. Bradner will present data from contextual observations of architects and engineers using multi-objective design optimization. She will situate her analysis within existing models of creative cognition and share her framework for interactivity within computational design.

Erin Bradner holds a B.S. in Cognitive Science and a PhD in Information & Computer Science from UC Irvine. Erin’s dissertation work focused on the effects of communication technology on interpersonal behaviors such as persuasion, deception and trust. She has published in academic journals and proceedings in the fields of Human-Computer Interaction and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work. Erin is currently a research scientist at Autodesk Inc . She has also been a User Research practitioner for over 15 years. Most recently, Erinmanaged user-experience projects across several of Autodesk's engineering and design products. She has researched topics ranging from the future of computer-aided design to how best to integrate marking menus into AutoCAD. Prior to Autodesk, Erin consulted for start-ups, such as the one that designed the first cloud storage in the nineties, and institutions such as IBM, Boeing and AT&T.

May 23 2013

BID won two awards at the Maker Faire this weekend!

BID had a great time at the Maker Faire this weekend. The event was a great success with many people coming by to contribute to our bridge and to interact with some of our projects. See photos here. We won an Educator's Choice Award as well as the prestigious Editor's Choice Blue Ribbon Award this year! This totals all our awards to 6 Education Awards and a new Editor's Choice Award!

May 21 2013

BiD Seminar 5/21 - Joshua Smith on Wireless Power Transfer

Tuesday May 21, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab
354/360 HMMB

Title: Wireless Power Transfer and RF Energy Harvesting : New Options for Systems Designers

Abstract: Wireless power is a capability that could change the design of systems such as implanted medical devices, smart structures, and consumer electronics. From Eniac to today, the energy efficiency of computing has improved by a factor of one trillion; this energy scaling trend is one of the key enablers for wireless power today.I will describe WISP, WARP, ABC, WREL, and FREED, systems my lab has developed in the course of exploring the space of wireless power techniques. WISP (Wireless Identification and Sensing Platform) is a platform for sensing and computing that is powered and read by standards-compliant UHF RFID readers. It has been used by researchers around the world for both "perpetual sensing" and RFID security research. Our WARP (Wireless Ambient Radio Power) system is able to operate low power sensor nodes using energy harvested from broadcast TV or cell phone signals. ABC (Ambient Backscatter Communication) combines ideas from WISP and WARP: like WARP, ABC sensor nodes are powered by ambient RF signals; like WISP, they communicate by reflecting preexisting RF signals, rather than generating their own.WISP, WARP, and ABC operate in the far field and have power budgets of tens of microwatts. WREL (Wireless Resonant Energy Link) and FREED (Free-range Resonant Electrical Energy Delivery, developed with Dr. Pramod Bonde of Yale School of Medicine) operate in the near field and provide tens of watts. The FREED system powers Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVADs), implanted heart pumps that today require a transcutaneous power cable. I will conclude by reflecting on changes to the design space enabled by these capabilities, and discussing future directions for RF-powered sensor and actuator systems.

Biography: Joshua R. Smith is an Associate Professor in the departments of Computer Science and Engineering and Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington, Seattle, where he leads the Sensor Systems research group. He is interested in all aspects of sensor systems: developing novel sensors, powering them wirelessly, communicating with them, and using them in applications such as biomedical electronics, robotics, and ubiquitous computing. He the thrust leader for Communications and Interface in the NSF Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering, and the theme leader for low power sensing and communication in the Intel Science and Technology Center for Pervasive Computing. He co-invented an electric field sensing system for suppressing unsafe airbag firing that is included in every Honda car. He is the editor of a book entitled “Wirelessly powered sensor systems and computational RFID” (Springer, 2013) that includes his work in this area as well as related work by other researchers. He received B.A. degrees in computer science and philosophy from Williams College, the M.A. degree in physics from Cambridge University, and the Ph.D. and S.M. degrees from the MIT Media Lab.

Video recording

May 14 2013

BiD Seminar 5/14 - Lora Oehlberg on Distributed Collaboration and the mKinect team on Kinect-based Physiotherapy

We'd love it if you could join us at our twofer in the BiD seminar tomorrow.

Tuesday May 14, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab
354/360 HMMB

Title: Revisiting Distributed Collaboration around Physical Representations: Digital Fabrication and Rubik's Cubes

Abstract: Lora is currently a Post-Doctoral researcher working with Wendy Mackay in the in|situ research group at INRIA Saclay. She will discuss her current research focus (see below) as well as general reflections on conducting research in France.

Through digital fabrication, designers and makers can rapidly create physical representations of their digital designs. When designers in remote locations collaborate with one another, they can not only discuss digital design representations, but also ground their conversation in locally-fabricated physical representations of their designs. What happens to collaboration when experts are able to create a local copy of the physical object under discussion? Does the experts' access to a local physical copy of the design help or hinder their ability to communicate? We conducted a study of pairs of expert and novice Rubik's cube solvers to look at how task performance and novice attention is affected by the remote expert's access to a physical representation. We also discuss planned sessions with expert-novice pairs of distributed digital fabricators.

Title: A Kinect-Based Physiotherapy Application

Abstract: Modern devices are integrating natural user interfaces (NUI) into their core structure through touchscreens, 3D depth measurement, voice recognition, and gesture recognition. The NUI’s allow users to interact with their electronic devices in a naturally intuitive manner that mimics their interaction with the physical world. Robust applications are needed to fully utilize the new demands and opportunities presented from such technologies. Because of the intuitive nature of NUI devices, there are openings to develop applications that directly interact with human activities. One such application is in remote physiotherapy, where patients use an application to perform and track progress in a specified physical therapy program. Our talk will outline automatic exercise creation software as well the exercise recognition software that patients/therapists can use to create and use custom rehabilitation regimens.

Video recording

May 10 2013

SPECIAL BID SEMINAR : Friday 5/10, 2:30pm - 4:00pm : James Landay on Balancing Design and Technology to Tackle Global Grand Challenges

Friday May 10, 2:30pm - 4:00pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab
354/360 HMMB

Balancing Design and Technology to Tackle Global Grand Challenges Abstract

There are many urgent problems facing the planet: a degrading environment, a healthcare system in crisis, and educational systems that are failing to produce creative, innovative thinkers to solve tomorrow’s problems. Technology influences behavior, and I believe when we balance it with revolutionary design, we can reduce a family’s energy and water use by 50%, double most people’s daily physical activity, and educate any child anywhere in the world to a level of proficiency on par with the planet’s best students. My research program tackles these grand challenges by using a new model of interdisciplinary research that takes a long view and encourages risk-taking and creativity. I will illustrate how we are addressing these grand challenges in our research by building systems that balance innovative user interfaces with novel activity inference technology. These systems have helped individuals stay fit, led families to be more sustainable in their everyday lives, and supported learners in acquiring second languages. I will also introduce the World Lab, a cross-cultural institute that embodies my balanced approach to attack the world’s biggest problems today, while preparing the technology and design leaders of tomorrow.


James Landay is the Short-Dooley Professor of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, specializing in human-computer interaction. He is the founder and co-director of the World Lab, a joint research and educational effort with Tsinghua University in Beijing. Prof. Landay is also the co-founder of the dub group at the University of Washington. From 2003 through 2006 he was also the Laboratory Director of Intel Labs Seattle, a university affiliated research lab exploring ubiquitous computing. His current research interests include Technology to Support Behavior Change, Demonstrational Interfaces, Mobile & Ubiquitous Computing, and User Interface Design Tools. He spent his 2009-2011 sabbatical at Microsoft Research Asia in Beijing, where he was also a Visiting Professor in the Computer Science Department of Tsinghua University.

Landay received his BS in EECS from UC Berkeley in 1990 and MS and PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in 1993 and 1996, respectively. His PhD dissertation was the first to demonstrate the use of sketching in user interface design tools. He was also the chief scientist and co-founder of NetRaker. In 1997 he joined the faculty in EECS at UC Berkeley, leaving as an Associate Professor in 2003. He was named to the ACM SIGCHI Academy in 2011. He currently serves on the NSF CISE Advisory Committee. More information can be found at www.cs.washington.edu/people/faculty/landay.

Video recording

May 07 2013

BiD Seminar 5/7 - Alean Daniel, LeapFrog

Tuesday May 7, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab
354/360 HMMB


Alean will be presenting on a number of topics including an overview of the product development process at LeapFrog, the educational aspect of their products, and the extra considerations necessary for producing toys and games for children aged 6 months to 8 years.


Alean Daniel is a mechanical engineer at LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc., developing toys and gaming systems. The end results are electronic toys and games that are sold in volumes of one to three million. He spent his last year as the mechanical lead on the newly announced LeapReader. He worries about many things, including meeting stringent product specs that prevent children from swallowing magnets and last minute trips to China.

Apr 30 2013

BiD Seminar 4/30 - Nivay Anandarajah on Developing A Mechanical Competence in Consumer Product Design

Tuesday April 30, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab
354/360 HMMB


Developing A Mechanical Competence in Consumer Product Design


Mechanical design is not just for mechanical engineers. The experience the consumer has with a product goes far beyond the individual technological components - the industrial design renders, the PCB layout, UI block diagram, the material data sheets, the nautilus gear. The experience lies in the elegant synthesis of all these components. That being said, any designer who dreams to take a product from a sketch to the shelf must have a base level of competence in each of these fields. I would like to share a few industry tips I've learned in mechanical design that should help engineers refine their focus and help non engineers make more holistic decisions in their tangential fields. Technical topics include 3D modeling, DFM, DFA, mechanism design, analysis, material selection, cost reduction, vendor hand off, & assembly ramp up. Broader topics include getting a job, project management, client communication, interdisciplinary communication, troubleshooting within a timeline. I'd like to gauge what your interest levels are and dive into detail/case studies where appropriate.

Nivay Anandarajah Bio

I'm a proud Cal Alumni. I graduated from the school of Mechanical Engineering for both my M.S. (2009) and B.S (2008) focusing on design. I've been working at Alloy Product Development for the past 3.5 years - a small design consultancy that helps products go from blue sky to production. My industry portfolio ranges from high end digital cameras, to tablet PCs, to mechanized iPhone cases. My current role is the lead mechanical design architect for two Beats by Dre Headphones. The major contributions I make to the design include developing the 3D geometry, sourcing the appropriate materials, prototyping, and traveling to Asia for vendor support. Outside of my current job, I've dabbled in various other elements of design including mechatronics, graphics, UI, web, educational curriculum and fine art.

Apr 25 2013

Come see us at the Maker Faire, May 18-19!

See us at Maker Faire!
BiD will be at the Bay Area Maker Faire again in San Mateo on May 18-19. Join us as we brainstorm, sketch, prototype, design, and build one massive bridge in a crowdsourcing manner. Kids and adults are encouraged to contribute to the bridge. We will reuse recycled materials including cardboard, foam, posterboard, plastic bottles, glue, and tape. Additionally, we will demo current research projects from the lab. http://makerfaire.com/makers/crowd-powered-bridge-design-and-research-projects/

Apr 23 2013

BiD Seminar 4/23 - Mark Fuge on Design Informatics

Tuesday April 23, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab
354/360 HMMB


Design Informatics: Leveraging Crowds to Create Better Designs


What makes a particular design good? How do we make new designs better? My line of research attempts to answer those questions by using data-driven techniques to study large sets of human generated designs – an approach I refer to as Design Informatics. I intend to demonstrate how probabilistic inference over large databases of designs can extract why certain designs are better than others and shed light on the principles or processes that are used to construct new designs.

This approach is motivated by the rich and growing area of crowd-based design, in which Open Innovation and Crowd-sourcing are providing large amounts of human-generated design data. I argue that this domain is uniquely positioned to be studied using Design Informatics, and will present a few projects in that vein. Specifically, I'll present work on automatically inferring what makes a set of designs creative, as well as an analysis of design methods from HCDConnect.org and an analysis of design challenges from OpenIDEO.com.


Mark Fuge is a Ph.D. Student in Mechanical Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley, where he is a member of the Berkeley Expert System Technologies Lab and the Berkeley Institute of Design, working under Dr. Alice Agogino. His research lies at the intersection of Mechanical Engineering Design, Machine Learning, and Open Innovation; an area he refers to as "Design Informatics." He holds a B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University where he worked under Dr. Burak Kara. He has conducted research in optimization, 3D sketching interfaces, augmented reality, design metaphors, and creativity support tools.

Apr 22 2013

Dissertation talk: Speech-enabled Systems for Language Learning

Monday April 22, 11am - 12pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab
354/360 HMMB

Title: Speech-enabled Systems for Language Learning

Speaker: Anuj Tewari

Advisor: Professor John Canny


Levels of literacy and the variance in them, continue to be a problem in the world. These problems are ubiquitous in the sense that they change form from developing to developed regions, but do not seize to exist. For example, while teacher absenteeism is a fairly large problem in the developing world, student motivation can pose challenges in the developed world. Prior research has demonstrated that games can serve as an efficient medium in bridging these literacy gaps, generating student motivation (or engagement) not just in short term but also in the long term. This dissertation is dedicated to the investigation and application of spoken language technology to language acquisition contexts in the developed world. We explore the broader research question in two major contexts.

Firstly, lack of proper English pronunciations is a major problem for immigrant population in developed countries like U.S. This poses various problems, including a barrier to entry into mainstream society. Therefore, the first part of the dissertation involves exploration of speech technologies merged with activity-based and arcade-based games to do pronunciation feedback for Hispanic children. This also involves using linguistic theory to determine computational criteria for intelligibility in speech and computational adaptations to reflect them. We also present results from a 3-month long evaluation of this system.

Secondly, a large body of research has shown that the literacy gap between children is well-established before formal schooling begins, and predicts academic performance throughout primary, middle and secondary school. Therefore, in the second part of the dissertation we explore natural interactions for preschoolers that would engage them in game-like activities that involve short follow-up conversations. We explore the design and implementation of a conversational agent called Spot, that acts as a question-answering companion for preschool children. We present a month long study with 20 preschoolers with some insight on the potential, efficiency and usage of such a system. We end with a discussion on computational complexities in building Spot, and rules that it uses to work around speech recognition and natural language understanding errors.

Video recording

Apr 16 2013

BiD Seminar 4/16 - Morgan Ames on One Laptop Per Child

Tuesday April 16, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab
354/360 HMMB

One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) represents one of the largest experiments in laptop-driven learning currently underway. Since its founding in 2005, OLPC has been promoting their custom-designed "XO" laptops as a solution for learning and economic growth in the developing world. Almost three million of these laptops are in use - 85% of them in Latin America - and the project has inspired other initiatives in both education and low-cost computing.

The little green and white XO laptop has become a focal point for diverse and sometimes contradictory discourses about children, technology, education, and development, bringing unlikely groups into conversation around this charismatic object. OLPC and the educational philosophy that inspired it, constructionism, both hailing from the MIT Media Lab, frame themselves as a radical break from unchanging educational tradition. I first explore what the laptops developers intended it to do through a reading of literature about the laptop and the features of the laptop itself. I then compare these intentions with what the laptop is actually doing in a small but well-supported project of 9000 laptops in Paraguay, based on six months of ethnographic fieldwork.

In the process, I examine the role that a utopian framing plays in evangelizing OLPC and in making the XO laptop a charismatic object on one hand, and limiting its integration into the messy realities of day-to-day use on the other. In closely examining the ideas built into OLPC's laptops and the ways in which children actually use the machines, my research sheds light on the complicated and often contentious debate over the symbolic and actual role of technology in childhood, education, and development.

Morgan G. Ames draws on training in anthropology, communication, and computer science to research the ways we make sense of new technologies in our everyday lives. She is finishing her PhD in Stanford University's Department of Communication in spring 2013 and is a former National Science Foundation graduate fellow.

Morgan's current research focuses on the role of mythology in the design and use of technology. She is investigating the social meanings of the One Laptop Per Child project, tracing its intellectual history at MIT and assessing its deployments across the Americas. She spent six months in 2010 conducting ethnographic fieldwork in Paraguay, and is also involved with OLPC research initiatives in Perú, Uruguay, Haiti, Australia, and Birmingham, Alabama.

Morgan has also explored what drives college students to multitask on their smartphones, how middle- and working-class families with young children use media and communications technologies (with the support of Nokia Research), and what motivates people to tag pictures (with the support of Yahoo! Research). She has also collaborated with researchers at Google and Intel.

Morgan's doctoral work was advised by Professor Fred Turner at Stanford, and she also completed the requirements for a PhD minor in computer science from UC Berkeley in spring 2004 and a Master's degree in information science from UC Berkeley in spring 2006.

Apr 09 2013

BiD Seminar 4/9 - Eric Eslinger on Everybody should learn to program computers, especially teachers

Now that we've all unburied ourselves from the paper deadline, we're happy to present exciting speakers for the remainder of the semester! Please join us tomorrow for lunch and discussion.

Tuesday April 9, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab
354/360 HMMB


Everybody should learn to program computers, especially teachers.


We will investigate modern tools for teaching programming to novices, notably App Inventor for the Android platform as an example of blocks-based programming. The talk will include an introduction and overview of App Inventor and an in-depth analysis of how it can be used in the classroom as a new expressive medium for students to use to experiment with and demonstrate their knowledge of the physical and mathematical world. A diversion into the land of Computational Thinking will give rise to questions such as: Who should learn to program? Where should we teach programming?

Answering those rather rhetorical questions with Everybody and Everywhere, we'll return to the premise of the talk. The case will be made that this (still) novel literacy provides a great chance for future STEM educators to experience the difficulty of approaching a domain that requires often radically different modes of thinking and problem solving from their areas of expertise. We'll end up where we began: revisiting the ideas embedded in App Inventor and thinking about how it can be used to engage novices authentic acts of creation.


Eric Eslinger received his B.S. in interdisciplinary Physical Science in 1998 at Michigan State University, with an eye toward becoming a high school science teacher. The school that hired him to teach noticed that he could program, so he was hired to teach computer programming to pretty much the entire school. This gave him pause, so he went off to grad school in order to think about how one ought to go about teaching computer science for all. At UC Berkeley, he received an M.S. in Computer Science and a Ph.D in Science and Mathematics Education at UC Berkeley under the supervision of Barbara White. Eric’s research focuses on understanding how technology can help students engage in problem-based and inquiry learning and creatively express their ideas in those math and science classrooms. Eric was an Assistant Professor of Science Education at the University of Delaware for five years before returning to UC Berkeley as a Lecturer in the Cognition and Development department.

Mar 21 2013

SPECIAL BiD Seminar 3/21 - Dimitris Papanikolaou on Cloudcommuting

Thursday March 21, 10am - 12pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab
354/360 HMMB

Title: Cloudcommuting: Games, Interaction, and Learning

Who: Dimitris Papanikolaou, Doctoral candidate Harvard Graduate School of Design

Abstract: This talk will discuss the design, process, and results of two experimental workshops with mid- and high-school students that introduced the theory, underlying technologies, and operational challenges of intelligent Mobility on Demand (MoD) systems while providing a platform for creativity and expression. MoD systems use networks of parking stations and shared fleets of vehicles (bikes, scooters, cars) allowing users to make point-to-point trips on demand. Students brainstormed ideas of how to use sensors, communication networks, microcontrollers, incentive mechanisms, and interaction design to identify full/empty stations and incentivize users to rebalance vehicles through rewards/penalties. Furthermore they tested those ideas by collaboratively designing, prototyping, and playing an interactive board game implementing these technologies. The broader questions that students explored were: how can we create coordinated behavior from self-interested players? How should players decide to maximize their payoffs? How can we effectively communicate payoffs to the players? How and when can the game reach a sustainable equilibrium? What other smart urban systems can we design by applying similar concepts? The workshop is normally designed for graduate level students at the MIT Media Lab and it was the first time that was offered in secondary level education.

Bio: Dimitris is a researcher, designer and creative technologist, passionate about inventing tools, methods, and educational frameworks to improve how people create, live, and collaborate. Currently a doctoral candidate at Harvard Graduate School of Design, he previously worked and studied at the MIT Media Lab where he developed with his teammates Mobility on Demand, an intelligent electric vehicle sharing system that incentivizes users to rebalance the fleet, claimed by TIME magazine as the best automotive invention of 2007 and winner of the 100K Buckminster Fuller Challenge award in 2009. Earlier, at the MIT Design Computation Group, he developed tools and methods to help designers understand which 3D CAD models can be fabricated and assembled in real life and how difficult their assembly sequence will be. His awarded research by the MIT Transportation Program has been part of peer-reviewed conferences such as the International Conference on Complex Systems and the International System Dynamics Conference; exhibitions such as the Ecological Urbanism at Harvard and the ICSID World Design Congress in Singapore; and books such as Reinventing the Automobile from the MIT Press, Infrastructure Sustainability and Design from Routledge, and Interdisciplinary Design from ACTAR. Dimitris teaches courses and workshops at Harvard and MIT on smart urban systems, DIY product development, and computational design. He has organized conferences such as Writing Cities in collaboration with Harvard, MIT and the London School of Economics; co-curated exhibitions such as Made in Greece Plus at the Boston Museum of Science; organized lectures such as FWD Talks at Harvard; and served as scientific committee in conferences such as the Open Hardware Summit in New York and in innovation competitions such as Innovate Salone in Africa. He holds two M.Sc. degrees in Media Arts and Sciences and Architecture from MIT as a Fulbright Scholar, and a Diploma in Architectural Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens in Greece.

Mar 19 2013

BiD Seminar 3/19 - Dan Russell on Teaching 153K+ Students at a Time

Hot on the heels of our last awesome speaker is a special guest from Google.

Tuesday March 19, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab
354/360 HMMB

Speaker: Dan Russell, Google

Title: Teaching 153K+ students at a time: The PowerSearchingWithGoogle.com story

Abstract: MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) have become incredibly popular in just the past 12 months. Many MOOCs have had more that 100K students register for their courses. Is this the future of online education? Or is it yet-another passing fancy in the educational technology parade? In the past 9 months we have run three MOOCs with more than 280K registrants. I'll talk about what MOOCs are, how they're actually run, the social community of learners that are essential for making MOOCs succeed, and what seems to work (and not work) in MOOCs. Along the way, I'll talk a bit about how people seem to actually learn how to search... and do sensemaking as a task.

Bio: Daniel Russell is the Űber Tech Lead for Search Quality and User Happiness in Mountain View. He earned his PhD in computer science, specializing in Artificial Intelligence until he realized that magnifying human intelligence was his real passion. Twenty years ago he foreswore AI in favor of HI, and enjoys teaching, learning, running and music, preferably all in one day. His MOOCs have helped students become much more effective online searchers.

Mar 12 2013

BiD Seminar 3/12 : Mike Hanson on Big Data in your Pocket: The Ubiquitous Computing Challenge

Tuesday March 13, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab
354/360 HMMB

Big Data in your Pocket: The Ubiquitous Computing Challenge

Ubiquitous computing is now a reality: over a billion users carry high-performance, network-enabled computers with them all day, every day. Smartphones and tablets have overtaken desktop computers, and will likely dominate the next decade of user-centric computing.

We now find ourselves facing a new challenge: how do we use the petabytes of data streaming through the global internet to produce results that are intimate, useful, and relevant. This requires the synthesis of big data techniques - data mining, collaborative filtering, natural language processing - with the practice of user-centric design.


Michael Hanson is currently incubating a new mobile technology venture at Greylock Partners, a Silicon Valley venture firm. Until very recently, he was the principal engineer of Mozilla Labs, an arm of the Mozilla Foundation, the non-profit organization that produces Firefox. At Mozilla, he led the Internet Identity project, starting the Mozilla Persona initiative, and initiated the HTML5 Apps project, which allows full-featured, native-feeling apps to be written using HTML5 technologies.

Prior to that, he was a founder and chief architect of Reactivity, a networking technology firm that was acquired by Cisco in 2007; the founder of Jux2, winner of the Metasearch Engine of the Year prize for 2005; and a research scientist in Apple's Advanced Technology Group, where he developed the Sherlock search client for MacOS 8.5 and developed one of the first web application servers. He holds a BS and MS from Stanford University's Computer Science department.

Video recording

Feb 26 2013

BiD Seminar 2/26 : Garnet Hertz on How Critical Making Is Done

Our last seminar of February will feature Garnet Hertz. Hope to see you all on Tuesday!

Tuesday February 26, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab
354/360 HMMB


How Critical Making is Done


Critical Making can be thought of as an exploration of how hands-on productive work ‐ making ‐ can supplement and extend critical reflection on technology and society. It works to blend and extend the fields of design, contemporary art, DIY/craft and technological development. It also can be thought of as an appeal to the electronic DIY maker movement to be critically engaged with culture, history and society: after learning to use a 3D printer, making an LED blink or using an Arduino, then what?

This talk gives an overview of how Hertz (UC Irvine / Art Center) edited and produced "Critical Making" - a handmade series of ten booklets with 70 contributors that explores critically engaged maker culture. After highlighting the publishing project, DIY practice will be extended as a methodology for revealing and unpacking infrastructures that normally exist as concealed blackbox systems.

Hertz then proposes that the concept of reflective design (Sengers et. al, 2005), can be ported into a four step design process for critical making by: 1. identifying core metaphors of a field, 2. recognizing what the metaphors exclude or marginalize, 3. invert the metaphor to bring the marginalized to the center, and 4. build a new alternative that embodies the inversion. As a physical artifact, the critically made thing has a tangible legibility, with the potential to act as a boundary object between different users and communities.


Garnet Hertz is a maker, builder, theorist, artist whose work explores themes of technological progress, creativity, innovation and interdisciplinarity. Hertz is Artist in Residence and Research Scientist in Informatics at UC Irvine and is also faculty in the Media Design Program at Art Center College of Design. He has a Ph.D. in Visual Studies from University of California, Irvine.

He has shown his work at several notable international venues in thirteen countries including SIGGRAPH, Ars Electronica, and DEAF and was awarded the prestigious 2008 Oscar Signorini Award in robotic art. He is founder and director of Dorkbot SoCal, a monthly Los Angeles-based lecture series on DIY culture, electronic art and design. His research is widely cited in academic publications, and popular press on his work has disseminated through 25 countries including The New York Times, Wired, The Washington Post, NPR, USA Today, NBC, CBS, TV Tokyo and CNN Headline News. More info: conceptlab.com

Video recording

Feb 19 2013

BiD Seminar 2/19 : James Pierce on Electric Materiality and (Inter)Active Technology

After the long weekend (thanks, Presidents!), we are going to be continuing the BiD Seminar as usual on Tuesday at 12pm. This week we're welcoming one of Eric Paulos's PhD students from CMU who is visiting Berkeley for the semester.

Tuesday February 19, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab
354/360 HMMB


Electric materiality and (inter)active technology


In the last century our cities, our things and our everyday interactions have become electrified. Increasingly, the everyday things that surround us are interactive things that rely upon electric power to operate. How can we characterize these new forms of interactive materiality, from the perspective of design and the perspective of use? I'll present a selection of projects related to themes of interactivity, electricity and consumption in everyday life, and possibly a few other projects as well.


James Pierce is PhD student in Human-Computer Interaction at Carnegie University. His current title is apparently Visiting PhD student at UC Berkeley. Some keywords associated with James' research are: design theory, interaction design, interactive materiality, energy, sustainability, and everyday practice. James has a website that is relatively up to date: jamesjpierce.com.

Video recording

Feb 12 2013

BiD Seminar 2/12 : Mark Oehlberg of the CITRIS Invention Lab

This week's BiD seminar will feature the lab manager of the brand new Invention Lab space in the basement of Sutardja Dai. He's spent some time working at Tech Shop previous to this, and he's in general been thinking about design and execution.

Tuesday February 12, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab
354/360 HMMB

Mark manages the CITRIS Invention lab, a rapid prototyping workspace at UC Berkeley. Invention lab members are helped by Mark in safely realizing their ideas using the prototyping machines in the Invention lab which include, but are not limited to: 3D printers, vinyl cutters, a laser cutter and engraver, electronic sensors, actuators, microcontrollers, hand tools, electronics measurement tools, and soldering stations. He has helped many local makers realize their vision as an employee of the Tech Shop, a local member-based do it yourself workshop. Projects he has worked on include automated home watering systems, embedded custom home theatre systems, laser stabilization circuitry for applied optics research, muscle stimulators for patients with Bell's Palsy, and artificial retina's for patients suffering from retinitis pigmentosa or age related macular degeneration.

Invetion lab

Video recording

Feb 05 2013

BiD Seminar 2/5 : Joe Edelman on Real World Engagement Tech (co-presented by BCNM) (SPECIAL LOCATION)

We are very excited to have Joe Edelman coming to talk with us this week. We've reserved a larger room to fit all the interested people, but we will still have lunch. Hope to see some new faces!

Tuesday February 5, 12pm - 1pm
340 Moffit (the BCNM commons)


Real world engagement tech - tricks and techniques for the game designers, new urbanists, and locative artists.


Joe Edelman has been lucky. He worked on the precursor to Kinect at Interval Research, on community algorithms at Couchsurfing, on collaborative filtering at MIT, on crowd choreography with Improv Everywhere, and on real world games with Come Out and Play. His gets to speak at gigs like GDC, FooCamp, and SXSW. Couchsurfing has organized 11M positive experiences between strangers and 600K close friendships. He will continue to use tech to create community, build friendships, and bring people together in the real world.


Some of us are in our pajamas, busy creating the next paradigm in public space. What tools are we using? Is there an art to getting strangers to interact, and is that art different in social locative software or real world game design than it was in urban planning? Of all the stranger-stranger apps and real world game design platforms out there, which are toys and which may form the new pedestrian layer for our cities? I'll talk for 20 minutes about some stuff I've done and know about in this space, and then we'll rumble.

Jan 29 2013

BiD Seminar 1/29 : Evan Savage on Experiencing Data Ownership

We're really getting going with our first speaker of 2013 this week. Come one and all for discussion and lunch!

Tuesday January 29, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab
354/360 HMMB


Evan Savage


Experiencing Data Ownership


We are surrounded by personal data. Most of it ends up as digital exhaust to be mined by social networks and supermarkets alike. The tools of the mining trade - Excel, R, pylab, MATLAB, Hadoop, etc. - are powerful but arcane. The objective of data mining - to produce massive insights from equally massive datasets - is not designed to address personal goals and motivations. In this Big Data-driven environment, we end up as passive producers rather than active producer-consumers of our own data.

I present datafist, an in-browser tool for visually exploring your data. Inspired by PureData, Max/MSP, and other visual programming environments, datafist aims to make data analysis more broadly accessible. I demonstrate datafist with a mixture of personal and local data, then use datafist to explore a pair of questions: what does true data ownership look like, and what role does data analysis have in achieving it?


Evan is an ex-Facebook software engineer whose passion lies somewhere in the nebulous intersection between personal data and experiential education. He currently hacks on projects in this intersection space in the vainglorious hope that their inherent awesomeness will lead to success.

Video recording

Dec 11 2012

BiD Seminar 12/11 - Threefer on Machine Learning, Creativity, and Robots

This week we have the fortune to have three speakers: two of the undergrads who have spent the semester working in our lab and one visiting scholar. Please join us for the final BiD Seminar of 2012!

Tuesday December 11, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab
354/360 HMMB

Speaker: Bud Peters

Title: Using Machine Learning to Recommend Design Methods

Abstract: We present a recommendation engine for designers that analyzes textual problem descriptions and then suggests appropriate design methods for solving them. Given two datasets, one containing the names of ~300 design methods and their associated descriptions, and another containing case studies of ~200 design problems, we train a statistical model for predicting defining characteristics of novel problem descriptions. Latent semantic analysis is used to understand the most salient features in both problem and method descriptions. Another statistical model, trained on a series of case studies, is then used to map problem descriptions to appropriate design methods. The tool can then parse the text of a problem description, classify it based on similar problems, and identify appropriate methods to use in solving it.

Speaker: Josh Stroud

Title: Bridging the Gap: Assessing Creativity using a Data-Based Framework

Abstract: Measuring the creativity of designs and ideas is crucial to comparing different methods of idea generation. Historically, there has been a divide between computable metrics, which are often based on arbitrary scoring systems, and human judgment metrics, which accurately reflect human opinion but rely on the expensive and subjective opinions of expert raters. This research bridges the gap by introducing a novel machine-learning framework that reliably computes a class of repeatable creativity metrics based on expert data. By combining a submodularity algorithm with a logistic regression model, we generalize existing variety metrics, accurately recovering several published variety metrics as special cases. A comparison-based design scoring system is also proposed to accurately train the model. When tasked with predicting which of two sets of concepts has greater variety, experiments show that our system matches several existing variety metrics to within 97% accuracy.

Speaker: Alex Reben

Title: Needy Robotics and Our Intimate Interrelationship with Technology

Abstract: This lecture will explore the ever blurring line between people and technology. Both the line that separates living beings from hardware and the line that separates thought from data. Some topics covered will include: Technological anthropomorphism and how we give technology living traits; Projection of ourselves and our emotions onto the inanimate; Control of technology over us and us over technology; Human curiosity as a catalyst for technology; Mischief and how misbehaving technology is often dealt with. These topics are analyzed through the lens of my work which acts as investigations into these ideas. The talk will include a premiere of a rough edit of a documentary film made by robots.

Bio: Alexander is an engineer by day and an artist by night. He has a background in robotics, interaction and tangible design. When not working on robots and novel interfaces, Alex creates and builds kinetic, robotic and interactive art. Work Alex has done has been shown at Ars Electronica, IDFA, EYEBEAM, The Whitney Biennial, and others. He has worked on robots for NASA, DOE and MIT. Alex’s investigations into art and science have been published in major proceedings and books. His work has been featured in news outlets such as New Scientist, Fast Company, BBC, CBC, Hack a Day and others, and he has spoken at well known venues including TED and several universities.

Dec 04 2012

BiD Seminar 12/4 : Jennifer Wolch on Alleys

This week we are having a special appearance by Jennifer Wolch, who is the dean of the College of Environmental Design.

Tuesday December 4, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab
354/360 HMMB

Alleys are enigmatic, neglected features of the urban fabric. This presentation explores the distribution, physical features, activity patterns, and resident perceptions of alleys in one major US city, Los Angeles, California, using an integrated mixed-methods strategy involving participatory research with community-based organizations, spatial analysis, physical audits and behavioral observation of alleys, and focus groups. Results show that most alleys in Los Angeles are underutilized and walkable, quiet, and clean, although they can be, and are often perceived as, dirty and unsafe. Alley density is greatest in park-poor, low-income Latino and African-American neighborhoods. Alleys represent unrealized community assets that could be transformed by urban planners and managers into ‘green infrastructure’ to simultaneously offer multiple ecological, economic, and social benefits—including urban walkability and mobility, play space and green cover, biodiversity conservation, and urban runoff infiltration—and thereby to contribute to a more sustainable urbanism.

Jennifer Wolch is a scholar of urban analysis and planning. Her past work focused on urban homelessness and the delivery of affordable housing and human services for poor people. She has also studied urban sprawl and alternative approaches to city-building such as smart growth and new urbanism. Her most recent work analyzes connections between city form, physical activity, and public health, and develops strategies to improve access to urban parks and recreational resources. The founding director of the University of Southern California's Center for Sustainable Cities, Wolch worked to promote sustainable metropolitan development through research, education, and policy outreach programs. She also headed the Green Vision Plan for 21st Century Southern California, a planning guide for habitat conservation, watershed health, and recreational open space.

Wolch has authored or co-authored over 125 academic journal articles and book chapters. She was also a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Study Center, and other prestigious honors.

Nov 27 2012

BiD Seminar 11/27 - Scott Carter on Show How : Tool Support for Expository Video

Tuesday November 27, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab
354/360 HMMB


ShowHow: Tool support for expository video


The ways in which we learn and share what we know with others are deeply entwined with the technologies that enable us to capture and share information. As face-to-face communication becomes supplemented with rich media––textual books, illustrations and photographs, audio, film and video, and more––the possibilities for knowledge transfer expand. In particular, one of the latest trends to emerge amidst the growth of Internet sharing and pervasive mobile devices is the mass creation of online expository videos.

In this talk I will discuss ShowHow, a collection of tools we are building at FXPAL to support expository video creation and access. Our goal is to help people both capture and disseminate tacit knowledge as well as markup and repurpose formal knowledge. We take our inspiration from past FXPAL projects in the domain of active reading to support an array of “active watching” activities, which are often driven by a well-defined goal and can including skimming, searching, cross-referencing or annotating.


Scott Carter is a Research Scientist at FX Palo Alto Laboratory, Inc. (FXPAL), where he primarily designs and develops novel mobile multimedia capture and access tools. He has a PhD in CS from UC Berkeley. In a past life he could be found shooting hoops in BiD (and sheepishly retreating to work on his thesis at his southwest corner desk when he inevitably broke something).

Nov 13 2012

BiD Seminar 11/13 - two-fer : Fu-Chung Huang on Correcting for Optical Aberrations Using Multilayer Displays and Valkyrie Savage with 3D printer training

Please join us at the BiD Seminar this week! We've got two events lined up. The first will be a practice talk for SIGGRAPH Asia, and the second will be a setup party so that everyone in the BiD community can use the 3D printer. If you want to get set up to use the 3D printer, bring along a laptop!

Tuesday November 13, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab
354/360 HMMB

Fu-Chung Huang is a Ph.D student in computer graphics at UC Berkeley working with Prof. Brian Barsky. Before working on the inverse problems for human eye, he worked on realtime rendering and facial animation.


Optical aberrations of the human eye are currently corrected using eyeglasses, contact lenses, or surgery. We describe a fourth option: modifying the composition of displayed content such that the perceived image appears in focus, after passing through an eye with known optical defects. Prior approaches synthesize pre-filtered images by deconvolving the content by the point spread function of the aberrated eye. Such methods have not led to practical applications, due to severely reduced contrast and ringing artifacts. We address these limitations by introducing multilayer pre-filtering, implemented using stacks of semi-transparent, light-emitting layers. By optimizing the layer positions and the partition of spatial frequencies between layers, contrast is improved and ringing artifacts are eliminated. We assess design constraints for multilayer displays; autostereoscopic light field displays are identified as a preferred, thin form factor architecture, allowing synthetic layers to be displaced in response to viewer movement and refractive errors. We assess the benefits of multilayer pre-filtering versus prior light field pre-distortion methods, showing pre-filtering works within the constraints of current display resolutions. We conclude by analyzing benefits and limitations using a prototype multilayer LCD.

Nov 06 2012

BiD Seminar 11/6 - Jay Silver on Some (World as) Creative Platforms I've Made and What People Have Done with Them

You're all invited to join us for this week's BiD Seminar, where we are having a guest who also enjoys eccentrically capitalizing the names of things.

Tuesday November 6, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab
354/360 HMMB


Jay Silver is the Maker Research Scientist at Intel Labs, and founder/director of JoyLabz. He has degrees from MIT Media Lab in Creative Toolkits, Cambridge in Computer Speech and Internet Technology, and Georgia Tech in Electrical Engineering. He teaches Yoga as well as Radical Design for Learning. He made MaKey MaKey and was on the Scratch Team. He's a pretty terrible academic, but he gets an A for effort.


Some (World as) Creative Platforms I've Made and What People Have Done with Them


I will tell a story about how I got interested in "World as Construction Kit", and some of the platforms I've made along the way, including MaKey MaKey. Think of it like a slide show of your cousin's recent trip to (world as) Creative Platformandia. - Why is Nature Awareness and Dumpster Diving so relevant to modern creativity? - How are computers good craft materials? - What are Drawdio, Singing Fingers, Color Code, MaKey MaKey, and what did people do with them in workshops and in the wild? - Okay and maybe I'll show one chart explaining what I mean by "World as Construction Kit"

Oct 30 2012

BiD Seminar 10/30 - Mary Czerwinski - SPECIAL LOCATION 290 HMMB

We have a senior researcher from Microsoft coming to share her time with us tomorrow for the seminar. Hope to see you all there!

Tuesday October 30, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab


Emotion Tracking for Memory, Health and Awareness


In this talk a novel system we designed that allows users to reflect upon their moods while doing desktop computing activities and other daily events will be described. We surveyed potential users of such a system to see what they remembered about their mood swings and behavioral patterns emotionally over time, and it was clear that they felt they did not have a good handle on this after even 48 hours. We then built AffectAura to help users track their moods, and tested our system on six users over a week of time. The results were promising. Users found interesting patterns in the data and gave us great feedback on how to evolve the user interface visualization for real time feedback on emotional reactions, mood swings and activities. Now we are building systems and applications that perform mood detection in real time using mobile technology. We are exploring novel user interface ideas to help users reflect on and manage their affective experiences. Many questions remain from our work on AffectAura, in terms of how useful a system like this would be over the long term and how valuable a mobile tracking system might be in real time (especially given the likelihood of misclassifications). In addition, we also are interested in user interface “intervention” styles that can be used when negative or disruptive emotions are detected, whether in a car, at the desktop, or while mobile. Finally, we feel there is a huge opportunity in the remote familial space, or in a close social network, where knowing about the emotional health of separated loved ones or close friends comes in to play. These new research areas are tightly coupled to privacy issues. A few examples of applications in some of these new areas will be presented.


Mary Czerwinski's research focuses primarily on emotion tracking, information worker task management, multitasking, and awareness systems for individuals and groups. Her background is in visual attention and multitasking. She holds a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Indiana University in Bloomington. Mary was awarded the ACM SIGCHI Lifetime Service Award, was inducted into the CHI Academy, and became an ACM Distinguished Scientist in 2010.

Oct 23 2012

BiD Seminar 10/23 - Reflections from UIST

Tuesday October 23, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab
354/360 HMMB

This week we're going to do a slightly different seminar; two weeks ago in Boston was ACM UIST, the premiere conference on User Interfaces Software and Technology. Some of the people from our lab got to go and present, and you may remember our practice talks some weeks ago. We were all inspired by the conference, and we wanted to bring some of our favorite things back to share with you, so we'll be presenting several papers:

  • KinÊtre: Animating the World with the Human Body
  • Printed Optics: 3D Printing of Embedded Optical Elements for Interactive Devices
  • Interactive Construction: Interactive Fabrication of Functional Mechanical Devices
  • Cliplets: Juxtaposing Still and Dynamic Imagery
  • DuploTrack: A Real-time System for Authoring and Guiding Duplo Block Assembly
  • Learning Design Patterns with Bayesian Grammar Induction
  • Real-time Captioning By Groups of Non-experts

Oct 16 2012

BiD Seminar 10/16 - Shaili Jain on Efficient Crowdsourcing Contests

Tuesday October 16, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab
354/360 HMMB


Efficient Crowdsourcing Contests


We present a new model of crowdsourcing, in which a principal seeks production of a single good from a number of potential producers within a limited time frame. There is a hard deadline, after which any good produced has no value to the principal. The output of each producer is a stochastic function of effort expended, which in light of the deadline, may warrant simultaneous production of multiple goods, despite there being no value for extra goods produced. This motivates crowdsourcing as a model of procurement. We address efficient execution of crowdsourcing from a social planner’s perspective, taking into account the value to the principal and the costs to producers (modeled as effort expenditure), while contending with self-interest on the part of all players. A solution to this problem involves an algorithmic aspect that determines an optimal effort level for each producer given the principal’s value, and an incentive mechanism that achieves implementation of the socially optimal policy in equilibrium. In contrast to popular “winner take all” contests, the efficient mechanism we propose involves a payment to every producer that expends non-zero effort in the efficient policy.

Joint work with Ruggiero Cavallo (Microsoft Research).


Shaili Jain is currently a postdoctoral associate at Yale University. She received her Ph.D. from Harvard University, advised by Prof. David Parkes. She is a recipient of an NSF-CRA Computing Innovations Fellowship, an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and an AT&T Labs Fellowship. She received her B.S. in Mathematics and B.S.E. in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, summa cum laude.

Oct 09 2012

BiD Seminar 10/9 - Celeste Roschuni on Communicating User Research

Tuesday October 9, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab
354/360 HMMB


Communicating User Research


Human-centered design has emerged as an important strategy in product and service design and development over the past forty years, as it has become recognized that understanding user needs is critical to product success. That understanding typically emerges through user research: the systematic study of the attitudes, behaviors, and desires of potential users. The impact of user research depends on its visibility and credibility to decision-makers. However, there are challenges to this visibility and credibility when there are organizational separations between those conducting the research and those involved in the product development. A specific team or company may conduct user research, and then pass what they learn to another team of industrial designers or engineers. Since the second team often neither conducts research activities nor participates in data analysis, they may not necessarily be aware of the research nor feel responsible to it. For that reason, the impact of user research in distributed human-centered design processes depends not only on how well researchers communicate the findings to other stakeholders in the design process, but also on how well they are able to convince those stakeholders of the relevance and importance of the research findings.

This talk will address this subject by drawing on in-situ interviews and workplace tours with fifteen expert user researchers and four design engineers, along with three case studies of effective communication in order to discuss effective communication techniques for user research results.


Celeste Roschuni recently received a PhD from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley, with a Designated Emphasis in New Media and minors in Qualitative Research Methods and Management of Technology. Ms. Roschuni received her M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley in 2009 with a concentration in design. She has over six years of professional experience as a Mechanical Design Engineer, and has consulted on Design Strategy for companies such as Clif Bar and Company. She has also taught New Product Development at the California College of the Arts and is teaching classes on New Product Development as well as communication at UC Berkeley this Fall. Her primary research interests are in design team communication, design methods, and the design process.

Sep 25 2012

BiD Seminar 9/25 - UIST Practice, week 2 : Valkyrie Savage, Peggy Chi, and Kenrick Kin

Please join us for week 2 of our UIST Practice talks: UIST is just a couple weeks away and we're hoping to show up in shining form!

Tuesday 25 September, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab
354/360 HMMB

Midas : Fabricating Custom Capacitive Touch Sensors to Prototype Interactive Objects

Valkyrie Savage

An increasing number of consumer products include user in- terfaces that rely on touch input. While digital fabrication techniques such as 3D printing make it easier to prototype the shape of custom devices, adding interactivity to such prototypes remains a challenge for most designers. We introduce Midas, a software and hardware toolkit to support the design, fabrication, and programming of flexible capacitive touch sensors for interactive objects. With Midas, designers first define the desired shape, layout, and type of touch sensitive areas in a sensor editor interface. >From this high-level specification, Midas automatically generates layout files with appropriate sensor pads and routed connections. These files are then used to fabricate sensors using digital fabrication processes, e.g. vinyl cutters and circuit board printers. Using step-by-step assembly instructions generated by Midas, designers connect these sensors to our microcontroller setup, which detects touch events. Once the prototype is assembled, designers can define interactivity for their sensors: Midas supports both record-and-replay actions for controlling existing local applications and WebSocket-based event output for controlling novel or remote applications. In a first-use study with three participants, users successfully prototyped media players. We also demonstrate how Midas can be used to create a number of touch-sensitive interfaces.

MixT: Automatic Generation of Step-by-Step Mixed Media Tutorials

Peggy Chi

Users of complex software applications often learn concepts and skills through step-by-step tutorials. Today, these tutorials are published in two dominant forms: static tutorials composed of images and text that are easy to scan, but cannot effectively describe dynamic interactions; and video tutorials that show all manipulations in detail, but are hard to navigate. We hypothesize that a mixed tutorial with static instructions and per-step videos can combine the benefits of both formats. We describe a comparative study of static, video, and mixed image manipulation tutorials with 12 participants and distill design guidelines for mixed tutorials. We present MixT, a system that automatically generates step-by-step mixed media tutorials from user demonstrations. MixT segments screencapture video into steps using logs of application commands and input events, applies video compositing techniques to focus on salient infor-mation, and highlights interactions through mouse trails. Informal evaluation suggests that automatically generated mixed media tutorials were as effective in helping users complete tasks as tutorials that were created manually.

Proton++: A Customizable Declarative Multitouch Framework

Kenrick Kin

Proton++ is a declarative multitouch framework that allows developers to describe multitouch gestures as regular expressions of touch event symbols. It builds on the Proton framework by allowing developers to incorporate custom touch attributes directly into the gesture description. These custom attributes increase the expressivity of the gestures, while preserving the benefits of Proton: automatic gesture matching, static analysis of conflict detection, and graphical gesture creation. We demonstrate Proton++’s flexibility with several examples: a direction attribute for describing trajectory, a pinch attribute for detecting when touches move towards one another, a touch area attribute for simulating pressure, an orientation attribute for selecting menu items, and a screen location attribute for simulating hand ID. We also use screen location to simulate user ID and enable simultaneous recognition of gestures by multiple users. In addition, we show how to incorporate timing into Proton++ gestures by reporting touch events at a regular time interval. Finally, we present a user study that suggests that users are roughly four times faster at interpreting gestures written using Proton++ than those written in procedural event-handling code commonly used today.

Sep 18 2012

BiD Seminar 9/18 - Conference Practice Talks by Steve Rubin and Nick Kong

It's UIST and InfoVis season, and we're hoping to get good feedback on our lab's conference presentations. We're doing practice talks this week and next week.

Tuesday September 18, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab
354/360 HMMB

Steve Rubin : 2nd year CS student working with Maneesh Agrawala in the VCL.

UnderScore: Musical Underlays for Audio Stories

Audio producers often use musical underlays to emphasize key moments in spoken content and give listeners time to reflect on what was said. Yet, creating such underlays is time-consuming as producers must carefully (1) mark an emphasis point in the speech (2) select music with the appropriate style, (3) align the music with the emphasis point, and (4) adjust dynamics to produce a harmonious composition. We present UnderScore, a set of semi-automated tools designed to facilitate the creation of such underlays. The producer simply marks an emphasis point in the speech and selects a music track. UnderScore automatically refines, aligns and adjusts the speech and music to generate a high-quality underlay. UnderScore allows producers to focus on the high-level design of the underlay; they can quickly try out a variety of music and test different points of emphasis in the story. Amateur producers, who may lack the time or skills necessary to author underlays, can quickly add music to their stories. An informal evaluation of UnderScore suggests that it can produce high-quality underlays for a variety of examples while significantly reducing the time and effort required of radio producers.

Nicholas Kong : 4th year CS student working with Maneesh Agrawala in the BiD Lab.

Graphical Overlays: Using Layered Elements to Aid Chart Reading

Reading a visualization can involve a number of tasks such as extracting, comparing or aggregating numerical values. Yet, most of the charts that are published in newspapers, reports, books, and on the Web only support a subset of these tasks. In this talk I will introduce graphical overlays -- visual elements that are layered onto charts to facilitate the lower-level perceptual and cognitive processes that viewers must perform to read a chart. We identify five main types of overlays that support these processes; the overlays can provide (1) reference structures such as gridlines, (2) highlights such as outlines around important marks, (3) redundant encodings such as numerical data labels, (4) summary statistics such as the mean or max and (5) annotations such as descriptive text for context. We then present an automated system that applies user-chosen graphical overlays to existing chart bitmaps.

Sep 11 2012

BiD Seminar 9/11 - Eric Paulos on Hybrid Assemblages, Environments, and Happenings

We are happy to welcome a shiny new Berkeley EECS professor to speak with us this week in our seminar. Please join us!

Tuesday September 11, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab
354/360 HMMB


Hybrid Assemblages, Environments, and Happenings: Technologies and Strategies for an Emerging Participatory Culture


This talk will present and critique a body of work evolving across several years of research at the intersection of computer science and participatory culture - namely Citizen Science. This talk will re-examine the emerging technologies and algorithmic approaches as well as the cultural practices surrounding sensor legibility, scaffolding strategies, motivation, and human relationships to participatory computing systems. We deconstruct our current perceptions of mobile technologies away from that of simply communication tools towards that of super-computer-radio-stations-with-sensors. By rethinking mobile sensing technologies, interactive and social experiences, and the architecture of such systems, we believe that important new computing platforms and practices will emerge around community engagement, civic participation, and collective action. Computing enabled Citizen Science is positioned to revolutionize new cooperative and collaborative approach to literacy, transparency, and problem solving. Through studies of several deployments across a range of landscapes - personal, infrastructural, community based, etc. and exploring a variety of interactive experiences, this talk will highlight specific strategies for engaging individuals and motivating them to participate in emerging Citizen Science efforts. Our work leverages the “cognitive surplus” of citizens across everyday landscapes and the opportunistic gaps for small moments of “micro-volunteering”. Throughout this work is a reframing of Citizen Science beyond simply a focus on data collection and towards an experience to promote curiosity, joy, wonderment, and “new ways of seeing” our world. More importantly, we believe that successfully designed Citizen Science projects can effect positive societal change and produce a more participatory and transparent democracy with improved understanding of our personal, environmental, and urban ecology.


Eric Paulos is the Director of the Living Environments Lab and an Assistant Professor in the Berkeley Center for New Media (BCNM) with a faculty appointment within the Electrical Engineering Computer Science Department at UC Berkeley. Previously, Eric held the Cooper-Siegel Associate Professor Chair in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University where he was faculty within the Human-Computer Interaction Institute with courtesy faculty appointments in the Robotics Institute and in the Entertainment Technology Center. Prior to CMU, Eric was Senior Research Scientist at Intel Research in Berkeley, California where he founded the Urban Atmospheres research group. His areas of expertise span a deep body of research territory in urban computing, sustainability, green design, environmental awareness, social telepresence, robotics, physical computing, interaction design, persuasive technologies, and intimate media. Eric received his PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UC Berkeley where he helped launch a new robotic industry by developing some of the first internet tele-operated robots including Space Browsing helium filled blimps and Personal Roving Presence devices (PRoPs). Eric is also the founder and director of the Experimental Interaction Unit and a frequent collaborator with Mark Pauline of Survival Research Laboratories.

Jun 05 2012

BiD Seminar 6/5 - Daniel Avrahami on Nomadic Smart Spaces

Title: Nomadic Smart Spaces Abstract: Smart spaces and tabletop computing have been important research areas in HCI for over two decades, expanding interaction modalities and allowing manipulation with and through physical objects. Smart spaces, however, require dedicated instrumented spaces, and tabletop computers, are large, often expensive, and are neither “personal” nor portable. In this talk I will describe the Nomadic Smart Spaces research effort that seeks to bring the benefits of smart spaces and surface computers to everyday computing devices. I will present two prototype systems that represent different approaches to achieving the nomadic smart spaces goal as well as results from a controlled experiment designed to inform the potential use of such systems. Bio: Daniel Avrahami is a Senior Researcher at Intel. He holds a Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction from the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, and a B.Sc. in Computer Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. Daniel is part of Intel’s PC Experience Planning, which he joined from Intel Research Seattle. His research interests include the use of machine perception for everyday computing devices, context-aware systems, in-vehicle perceptive systems, and the use of machine learning in the design of new communication tools.

May 29 2012

BiD Seminar 5/29 - Applications of Personal Digital Archives with Sudheendra Hangal

Applications of Personal Digital Archives

Millions of people are gathering long-term personal digital archives. We have been investigating how these archives may be used by consumers for their own benefit, by developing a system called Muse that works over email archives. For example, what tools can help people look back on the years or decades past, using these archives? We implemented several types of cues in Muse and report our findings. We also consider uses of Muse to support archivists and researchers who now often have access to the email archives of famous individuals, for example, as part of libraries' special collections.

Apart from reminiscence, I'll talk about two important personalization applications that can benefit by being aware of a user's digital archive. The first is web search, where we show that personalized search engines that index only a tiny fraction of the web (say, a few thousand domains) can achieve surprisingly good performance, comparable to personalized Google search over the entire web. The second is web browsing, where we connect personal archives to the browser. Our digital archive-aware browser constantly scans terms on the current web page, and inserts highlights and links to the terms that the user has encountered before. This browser is useful not only in personalizing busy web pages, but also in highlighting serendipitous connections. It makes realistic a powerful form of total recall.

A key feature of all these applications is that all data is analyzed on the user's behalf, and remains under his or her control, thus alleviating the privacy concerns with service providers aggregating and monetizing the personal data of consumers.

Sudheendra Hangal is a PhD student working on social computing and human computer interaction in Stanford's Mobisocial and HCI groups. Previously, he worked on creating new methods to make computer systems more reliable. Broadly, his thesis has been that hardware design can be improved by using many of the innovative ideas in the software engineering world, and software can be made more robust using the rigorous methods of hardware engineering.

May 23 2012

Eugene Eric Kim's talk posted on YouTube

For all who missed the great talk and discussion yesterday, it was recorded and is now available on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-U7tnXuFNHY

May 22 2012

BiD Seminar 5/22 : Revisiting Tools for Conviviality with Eugene Eric Kim

Join us for our weekly BiD Seminar, starting up again for the summer with an exciting talk from Eugene Eric Kim.

Tuesday, May 22, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab, 354/360 HMMB

Revisiting Tools for Conviviality

In 1973, Ivan Illich wrote the book, ''Tools for Conviviality,'' which described the importance of building tools that empowered the "average citizen." That book influenced many of the pioneers in personal computing, and it seems especially relevant in today's world of social media and ubiquitous mobile devices and connectivity. Nevertheless, there seems to be something important missing in the tools that are being developed today. What does it mean to create tools that make us more alive, more human? Eugene will lead an interactive discussion exploring some of these ideas.

Eugene Eric Kim is the co-founder of Groupaya, which helps facilitate collective change for a better world. He has developed collaborative strategies for a number of organizations, focusing especially on large-scale participation and collaborative learning. Past clients have included NASA, International Institute of Education, and the Wikimedia Foundation. He is also a thought leader in the collaborative tool space, focusing especially on wikis, digital identity, and usability, and he led computer pioneer Doug Engelbart's 2006 research project to explore next generation hyperdocument systems. For more on Eugene, visit his web site at http://eekim.com/ or follow him on Twitter at @eekim.

May 17 2012

Don't forget to stop by BID's booth at the Maker Faire this weekend!

BID will be at the Maker Faire this weekend, May 19-20 in San Mateo! Brainstorm, sketch, prototype, design, and build a massive bridge with other Makers. Also, interact with our lab's research projects. See http://makerfaire.com/pub/e/7553 for more details.

Apr 30 2012

BiD Seminar 5/1 : Put the Blame on VTR: Will Video, Audio, and Images Soon Replace Text?

Marti Hearst - Put the Blame on VTR: Will Video, Audio, and Images Soon Replace Text?
Tuesday, May 1, 12pm - 1pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab, 354/360 HMMB

Title: Put the Blame on VTR: Will Video, Audio, and Images Soon Replace Text?

Abstract: As an academic and an author of a 100,000 word book, it should come as no surprise that I love the written word. But a trend is a trend and it looks very likely that video, audio, and images are on track to largely replace the written word for the cultural "heavy lifting" in American society. In this talk I will discuss the technical advances that are already here and those that remain to be invented to advance this vision of the future, and lead a discussion of the positive and negative ramifications of this trend.

Bio: Marti Hearst is a professor in the School of Information with an affiliate appointment in the Computer Science Division. Dr. Hearst focuses on designing, building, and evaluating information access systems. She has designed several novel information visualization and text analysis techniques for this purpose, including TextTiling, TileBars, and the Cat-a-Cone.

Apr 15 2012

BiD Seminar 4/17 : CommunitySourcing: Engaging Local Crowds to Perform Expert Work Via Physical Kiosks

Kurtis Heimerl - CommunitySourcing: Engaging Local Crowds to Perform Expert Work Via Physical Kiosks Tuesday, April 17, 12pm - 1pm Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab, 354/360 HMMB (http://bid.berkeley.edu/directions)

Title: CommunitySourcing: Engaging Local Crowds to Perform Expert Work Via Physical Kiosks

Abstract: Online labor markets, such as Amazon's Mechanical Turk, have been used to crowdsource simple, short tasks like image labeling and transcription. However, expert knowledge is often lacking in such markets, making it impossible to complete certain classes of tasks. In this work we introduce an alternative mechanism for crowdsourcing tasks that require specialized knowledge or skill: communitysourcing --- the use of physical kiosks to elicit work from specific populations. We investigate the potential of communitysourcing by designing, implementing and evaluating Umati: the communitysourcing vending machine. Umati allows users to earn credits by performing tasks using a touchscreen attached to the machine. Physical rewards (in this case, snacks) are dispensed through traditional vending mechanics. We evaluated whether communitysourcing can accomplish expert work by using Umati to grade Computer Science exams. We placed Umati in a university Computer Science building, targeting students with grading tasks for snacks. Over one week, 328 unique users (302 of whom were students) completed 7771 tasks (7240 by students). 80% of users had never participated in a crowdsourcing market before. We found that Umati was able to grade exams with 2% higher accuracy (at the same price) or at 33% lower cost (at equivalent accuracy) than traditional single-expert grading. Mechanical Turk workers had no success grading the same exams. These results indicate that communitysourcing can successfully elicit high-quality expert work from specific communities.

Bio: Kurtis Heimerl is a 5th year PhD student at UC Berkeley in the TIER group. He is co-advised by Eric Brewer and Tapan Parikh. His work focuses on international development, cellular communications, and computer interfaces. His thesis is The Village Basestation, a low-power GSM cellular tower designed for rural areas and community ownership. He also works in crowdsourcing, as demonstrated by the work being presented, which recently won a best paper award at CHI.

Apr 11 2012

Special Event 5/2: Artist Talk with Walter Kim

Wednesday, May 2, 2012
12:00pm to 1:00 PM
BiD Lab, 354 Hearst Memorial Mining Building, UC Berkeley

Join us for lunch and conversation with artist Walter Kim. Kim’s work Modeling the Interaction of Light Between Diffuse Surfaces is currently on display in the Berkeley Center for New Media Commons. RSVP by April 30 to events.bcnm@berkeley.edu.

Modeling the Interaction of Light Between Diffuse Surfaces will be presented in two phases, using the screen as a platform for both research and presentation. During the first month, a half hour compilation of tracking shots will be screened as a precursor to Walter Kim’s work. Expect to see clips from films such as Touch of Evil, Boogie Nights, La Haine, and Nostalghia mixed in with many others. On February 3, these clips will make space for the premiere of Kim’s latest video, a new work produced specifically for the program. Using a Cornell Box (a test aimed at determining the accuracy of rendering software by comparing the rendered scene with an actual photograph of the same scene), this work tricks the viewers’ perception and resides on the edge of the virtual and the real. With a series of complex camera moves performed by a robotic arm, Kim delivers scenes that act as 3D renderings, when in fact they are not.

Walter Kim is an artist and engineer based in San Francisco. Walter comes from a background of theoretical mathematics but in recent years has been working in the field of robotics and digital media. He has worked in the creative media industry as a design engineer and technical director working on both software and industrial design projects involving human-computer interaction (HCI) for robotics and digital cinema. Walter has a Ph.D. in Mathematics from UC Berkeley and a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Chicago. He has been a post-doctoral fellow at Université Paris 13 and on faculty in the math department at the UC Irvine. Walter has also taught geometry in the architecture department at the California College of the Arts. Walter currently works at Ayasdi, a data visualization startup that originated out of the computational topology research group in Stanford University’s mathematics department.

Presented by Berkeley Center for New Media.

Apr 11 2012

BID will be at Cal Day on Saturday, April 21

Come talk to current students and learn more about the Berkeley Institute of Design on Cal Day, UC Berkeley's open house. We will be at 212 Cory Hall from 12-3pm.

Apr 05 2012

BID is heading to Maker Faire again!

The exhibition's title is Berkeley Institute of Design: Crowd-Powered Bridge Design and Research Projects. Come join us to brainstorm, sketch, prototype, design, and build a massive bridge to experience the power and challenge of crowdsourcing! Also, don’t miss out on interacting with our lab’s research projects! Last year, we received 5 Maker Education Awards! See more photos from our event last year.

See me at Maker Faire!

Mar 06 2012

BiD Seminar 3/6 : Power to the Peers: Authority of Source Effects for a Voice-based Agricultural Information Service in Rural India

Tapan Parikh - Power to the Peers: Authority of Source Effects for a Voice-based Agricultural Information Service in Rural India Tuesday, March 6 12:00 - 1:00pm Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab, 354/360 HMMB (http://bid.berkeley.edu/directions) Abstract: "Power to the Peers: Authority of Source Effects for a Voice-based Agricultural Information Service in Rural India" Neil Patel, Krishna Savani, Paresh Dave, Kapil Shah, Scott Klemmer and Tapan S. Parikh Online communities enable people to easily connect and share knowledge across geographies. Mobile phones can enable billions of new users in emerging countries to participate in these online communities. In India, where social hierarchy is important, users may over-value institutionally-recognized authorities relative to peer-sourced content. We tested this hypothesis through a controlled experiment of source authority effects on a voice-based agricultural information service for farmers in Gujarat, India. 277 farmers were sent seven agricultural tips via automated phone calls over a two-week period. The same seven tips were each voice-recorded by two university scientists and two peer farmers. Participants received a preview of the tip from a randomly assigned source via the automated call, and played the remainder of the tip by calling a dedicated phone number. Participants called the follow-up number significantly more often when the tip preview was recorded by a peer than a scientist. On the other hand, in interviews conducted both before and after the experiment, a majority of farmers maintained that they preferred receiving information from scientists. This stated preference may have been expressing the more socially acceptable response. We interpret our experimental results as a demonstration of the demand for peer-based agricultural information dissemination. We conclude with design implications for peer-to-peer information services for rural communities in India. Paper: http://www.stanford.edu/~neilp/pubs/ictd2012_patel.pdf Bio: Tapan Parikh is an Assistant Professor at the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley. Tapan's research interests include human-computer interaction (HCI), mobile computing, paper and voice UIs and information systems for microfinance, smallholder agriculture, global health and education. For more then 10 years, Tapan has been designing, developing and deploying information systems for community empowerment - initially in India, and now around the world. Tapan and his students have started several technology companies serving local communities, non-profits and the international development sector. He holds a Sc.B. degree in Molecular Modeling with Honors from Brown University, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from the University of Washington, where he won the William Chan Memorial award for his Ph.D. dissertation. Tapan has also received the NSF CAREER award, was named TR35 Humanitarian of the Year in 2007, and has won best paper awards at several HCI and CS conferences.

Feb 28 2012

BiD Seminar 2/28 : Visualizing Public Opinion

Ken Goldberg -- Visualizing Public Opinion Tuesday, February 28 12:00 - 1:00pm Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab, 354/360 HMMB (http://bid.berkeley.edu/directions)
Abstract: "Opinion is the medium between ignorance and knowledge." -- Plato
Opinion is notoriously ill-defined and subject to biases anduncertainty principles. On March 15 2010, the U.S. State Department launched Opinion Space, a visualization tool for world opinion developed by students and colleagues at the UC Berkeley Center for New Media. We use dimensionality reduction techniques to display the emerging diversity of viewpoints and collaborative scoring metrics to help the community highlight comments that are most insightful. The display is not based on geography or predetermined categories, but on similarity of opinion. I'll present the concepts behind the experiment, our experiences working with the State Dept, results so far, and next steps including integrating text analysis using Canonical Correlation Analysis (CCA). You can give it a try at: http://state.gov/opinionspace
Bio: Ken Goldberg is an inventor working at the intersection of art, robotics, and social media. At UC Berkeley, Ken teaches and supervises research in Robotics, Automation, and New Media. Ken was awarded dual degrees in Electrical Engineering and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania (1984) and MS and PhD degrees from Carnegie Mellon University (1990). He joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 1995 where he is craigslist Distinguished Professor of New Media. He is a Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, with secondary appointments in Electrical Engineering/Computer Science and the School of Information. Ken also has an appointment in the UC San Francisco Medical School's Department of Radiation Oncology. Ken has published over 150 peer-reviewed technical papers on algorithms for robotics, automation, and social information filtering; his inventions have been awarded eight US Patents. He is Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering (T-ASE), Co-Founder of the Berkeley Center for New Media, Co-Founder and CTO of Hybrid Wisdom Labs, Co-Founder of the Moxie Institute, and Founding Director of UC Berkeley's Art, Technology, and Culture Lecture Series. Ken's art installations, based on his research, have been exhibited internationally at venues such as the Whitney Biennial, Berkeley Art Museum, SF Contemporary Jewish Museum, Pompidou Center, Buenos Aires Biennial, and the ICC in Tokyo. Ken co-wrote three award-winning Sundance documentary films, "The Tribe", "Yelp", and "Connected: An Autoblogography of Love, Death, and Technology." His artwork is represented by the Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco. Ken was awarded the Presidential Faculty Fellowship in 1995 by President Clinton, the National Science Foundation Faculty Fellowship in 1994, the Joseph Engelberger Robotics Award in 2000, and elected IEEE Fellow in 2005. Ken lives in Mill Valley, California with his daughters and wife, filmmaker and Webby Awards founder Tiffany Shlain.

Feb 21 2012

BiD Seminar 2/21 : Designing New Futures for Higher Education

Catherine Cole --  Designing New Futures for Higher Education Tuesday, February 21 12:00 - 1:00pm Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab, 354/360 HMMB (http://bid.berkeley.edu/directions)
Abstract: There is a surfeit of big, conceptual questions facing the University of California, yet there is also a deficit of formats in which such questions can be discussed openly, critically, and with intellectual rigor. The UC’s future, whatever it is, will be brighter if envisioned with widespread, energetic participation by UC faculty, students, and staff. The UC has some of the best, brightest, and most innovative minds in the world. What would it mean for the campus community to be at the center of devising a new future for higher education? How might techniques from the world of design--such as charrettes and scenario planning--be used to help bring forth innovative, viable ideas to address the complex challenges facing America's preeminent public university?
Bio: Catherine Cole is a Professor in the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies and co-convener of the "Making UC Futures," a working group hosted by the Townsend Center. She is the author of Performing South Africa's Truth Commission: Stages of Transition and Ghana's Concert Party Theater.

Feb 14 2012

BiD Seminar 2/14 - Ephemerons, Anti-ergonomy, Perverse Engineering and Related Irrational Design

Please join us for this week's BiD Lab seminar:
Adrian Freed -- Ephemerons, Anti-ergonomy, Perverse Engineering and Related Irrational Design
Tuesday, February 14
12:00 - 1:00pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab, 354/360 HMMB

Abstract: A plausible design rationale for most instruments of interaction is so contentious or hard to find that we will look at the possibility that much design is inherently irrational: the results being non-optimal, maladapted and hypertelic technical objects. Using a mashup of Weber's tripartite classification of authority and Simondon's theory of technical objects we will explore and celebrate irrational design in a diverse range of objects and interactive systems including musical instruments, crowd-sourced engineering tools, candy wrappers, and bicycle racks.

Bio Adrian Freed is Research Director of UC Berkeley's Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT), Associated Researcher at the Topological Media Lab and the center for Technoculture, Art and Games at Concordia University. He has pioneered many new applications of mathematics, electronics and computer science to audio, music and media production tools including the earliest Graphical User Interfaces for digital sound editing, mixing and processing. His recent work is centered on agile development of interactive devices employing electrotextiles, conductive paper and other emerging materials.

Feb 07 2012

BiD Seminar Series 2/7: Collaboratively Crowdsourcing Workflows with Turkomatic && Shepherding the Crowd Yields Better Work

Björn Hartmann and Anand Kulkami Collaboratively Crowdsourcing Workflows with Turkomatic && Shepherding the Crowd Yields Better Work Tuesday, February 7 12:00 - 1:00pm Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab, 354/360 HMMB (http://bid.berkeley.edu/directions) TITLE: Collaboratively Crowdsourcing Workflows with Turkomatic ABSTRACT: Online crowdsourcing is difficult, requiring us to decompose complex tasks into sequences of simple tasks that individual agents can carry out. How can we use the crowd to make crowdsourcing easier? We present Turkomatic, a tool that recruits crowd agents to aid requesters in planning and solving complex jobs. Requesters can view the status of crowd-designed workflows in real time, intervene to change tasks and solutions, and request new solutions to subtasks from the crowd. These features lower the threshold for crowd employers to request complex work. Turkomatic’s collaborative approach enables us to crowdsource new and more complex types of tasks than ever before. TITLE: Shepherding the Crowd Yields Better Work ABSTRACT: Micro-task platforms provide massively parallel, on-demand labor. However, it can be difficult to reliably achieve high-quality work because online workers may behave irresponsibly, misunderstand the task, or lack necessary skills. This paper investigates whether timely, task-specific feedback helps crowd workers learn, persevere, and produce better results. We investigate this question through Shepherd, a feedback system for crowdsourced work. In a between-subjects study with three conditions, crowd workers wrote consumer reviews for six products they own. Participants in the None condition received no immediate feedback, consistent with most current crowdsourcing practices. Participants in the Self-assessment condition judged their own work. Participants in the External assessment condition received expert feedback. Self-assessment alone yielded better overall work than the None condition and helped workers improve over time. External assessment also yielded these benefits. Participants who received external assessment also revised their work more. We conclude by discussing interaction and infrastructure approaches for integrating real-time assessment into online work. BIO: Anand Kulkarni is a PhD candidate in the Department of IEOR at the University of California, Berkeley, and a co-founder of MobileWorks. Björn Hartmann is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley.

Jan 24 2012

BiD Seminar 1/24: Daniela Rosner -- The Material Practices of Collaboration

Daniela Rosner -- The Material Practices of Collaboration
Tuesday, January 24
12:00 - 1:00pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab, 354/360 HMMB

In this talk, I draw on a three-month bookbinding apprenticeship to examine how people’s coordination work is tightly bound up in material practices: the union of material arrangements and social relations. Through the construction of a book, I reveal how sensitivities to delicacy, flexibility and delay emerge through detailed engagements with the book, the binders and the workshop environment. From small adjustments of the hand, to the coordination and exchange of materials and tools, the accomplishment of each task rests on how digital and age-old resources are woven into everyday collaborative practice. This approach extends how computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW) frames and mobilizes the material to recognize materials as compositional elements, surfaces and flows. It also contributes to conversations on digital materiality by emphasizing the temporality of material practice. Thus, I use the bookbinding workshop as a resource for understanding the ways materials, techniques, and relationships are continually re-bound in a digital age.

Daniela is a design researcher investigating how digital technologies are woven into the production and consumption of the things we create. She combines a deep understanding of people derived from ethnographically-oriented fieldwork with insights into future technological states drawn from design and prototyping. Taken together, these approaches help reveal the social conditions and cultural values that shape and are shaped by digital technology. To date she has explored these issues in the work of handcraft, a domain seemingly meant as a retreat from modern technologies designed for efficiency, but one in which modern technologies, such as digital media, are still in active use. She recently taught a graduate interaction design studio at the California College of the Arts (CCA) and is currently completing her doctorate at UC Berkeley's School of Information. She holds a B.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design in Graphic Design and a M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Chicago.

Apr 27 2011

BiD Seminar 4/27: Tara Higgins & Francois Cadeau, Designing Learning Solutions at Google

Tara Higgins & Francois Cadeau -- Designing Learning Solutions at Google
Wednesday, April 27
12:00 - 1:00pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab, 354/360 HMMB (http://bid.berkeley.edu/directions)

Talk Description
Designing learning experiences for Googlers presents a unique set of challenges for instructional designers. Our team, GoogleEDU's Learning Labs, designs learning solutions for employees across Google. This talk will provide 3 perspectives on our work as instructional designers:
How learning fits within the organization
How our previous experiences led us to this role
Three examples of learning problems that our team is working to solve

Apr 13 2011

BiD Seminar 4/13: Ed H. Chi, Model-Driven Research in Social Computing

Ed H. Chi -- Model-Driven Research in Social Computing
Wednesday, April 13
12:00 - 1:00pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab, 354/360 HMMB (http://bid.berkeley.edu/directions)

Talk Abstract
Our research in Augmented Social Cognition is aimed at enhancing the ability of a group of people to remember, think, and reason. Our approach to creating this augmentation or enhancement is very much model-driven. Our system developments are informed by models such as information scent, sensemaking, information theory, probabilistic models, and more recently, evolutionary dynamic models. The drive to build models and theories for social computing research should further our understanding of how network science, behavioral economics, and evolutionary theories could explain how social systems work. These models have been used to understand a wide variety of user behaviors, from individuals interacting with a search system like MrTaggy.com to groups of people working on articles in Wikipedia. These models range in complexity from a simple set of assumptions to complex equations describing human and group behavior. In this talk, I will attempt to illustrate how a model-driven approach should help to illuminate the path forward for social computing.

Brief Bio
Ed H. Chi is a Research Scientist at Google. Until very recently, he was the Area Manager and a Principal Scientist at Palo Alto Research Center's Augmented Social Cognition Group. He led the group in understanding how Web2.0 and Social Computing systems help groups of people to remember, think and reason. Ed completed his three degrees (B.S., M.S., and Ph.D.) in 6.5 years from University of Minnesota, and has been doing research on user interface software systems since 1993. He has been featured and quoted in the press, including the Economist, Time Magazine, LA Times, and the Associated Press.

With 20 patents and over 90 research articles, his most well-known past project is the study of Information Scent --- understanding how users navigate and understand the Web and information environments. He also led a group of researchers at PARC to understand the underlying mechanisms in online social systems such as Wikipedia and social tagging sites. He has also worked on information visualization, computational molecular biology, ubicomp, and recommendation/search engines, and has won awards for both teaching and research. In his spare time, Ed is an avid Taekwondo martial artist, photographer, and snowboarder.

Apr 06 2011

BiD Seminar 4/6 -- Nic Ducheneaut, Massively multiplayer online games: a virtual social science laboratory?

Nic Ducheneaut -- Massively multiplayer online games: a virtual social science laboratory?
Wednesday, April 6
Presentation = 12:10 - 1:00pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab, 354/360 HMMB (http://bid.berkeley.edu/directions)

Talk Abstract
Virtual worlds and massively multiplayer games have now become so widespread that they replicate on a large scale important issues social scientists have studied for centuries. Unlike the physical world these online communities can be instrumented easily, which gives us the opportunity to observe a whole range of interesting variables reflecting the social dynamics of online groups. To illustrate how we could take advantage of this opportunity, I will present some highlights from a data set we collected about the social interactions of more than 200,000 players in World of Warcraft over four years in three countries (US, China, and Taiwan). I will also discuss some of the limitations of this "virtual social science lab" with concrete examples from recent projects.

Brief Bio
Nic is a senior scientist in the Computer Science Laboratory at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). He uses a combination of methods (including ethnographic observations, surveys, and data mining) to study and design systems to better support collaboration in online spaces, with a recent focus on 3D virtual worlds and massively multiplayer online games. He conducted the largest and longest (to date) study of social dynamics in World of Warcraft, collecting and analyzing data on the interactions between more than 200,000 characters over four years and uncovering fundamental properties of online social groups. He recently received (jointly with his colleague Nick Yee) a 3-year grant from IARPA to investigate possible links between the online behaviors of game players and their real-world socio-demographics (e.g. age, gender, personality).

Mar 19 2011

3/19 -- CSCW 2011 Workshop, "Tinkering, Crafts, and Inventive Leisure Practices"

BiD graduate student Lora Oehlberg co-chaired a workshop on "Tinkering, Crafts, and Inventive Leisure Practices" at CSCW 2011 in Hangzhou, China. The workshop advisory committee also included fellow BiD graduate student Daniela Rosner. Please read the proposal for additional information about the workshop.

Mar 10 2011

BiD Seminar 3/11 -- Jim Slotta, Sail Smart Space

Sail Smart Space - Jim Slotta, OISE - University of Toronto
BEST Lab Seminar at BID (Berkeley Institute of Design)
10:00 am, Friday, March 11

Our session will introduce a “smart classroom” construct that employs a range of emerging technologies (e.g., laptops, tablets, smartphones, interactive tabletops, and large format displays) to investigate a new model of collaborative inquiry within a knowledge community. Our research employs a powerful, flexible open source platform called SAIL Smart Space (S3), which in turn builds on the rich framework of SAIL (Scalable Architecture for Interactive Learning – see Slotta and Aleahmad, 2009). S3 allows these devices and displays to be integrated into the environment through a set of core underlying technologies: a portal that allows students to register, log in, and track their individual interactions and contributions; an intelligent agent framework that allows tracking of student interactions in real time (i.e., to react to the conditions that emerge within the class); a central database that houses the designed curriculums and the products of student interactions; and a visualization layer that controls how students see the information presented to them depending on the device (ie. laptop vs. handheld), and types of activity (ie. working in a group vs. working alone). This work has led to a new model for secondary science curriculum called "Knowledge COmmunity and Inquiry" (KCI).

Our presentation will highlight 3 elements of our research: 1) The current interation of this smart classroom infrastructure that is being used in a high school and a college setting; 2) Two examples of KCI curriculum already implemented using the S3 architecture; and 3) Two examples of innovative projects that are currently under development.

If you have not been to BID, here are the directions: http://bid.berkeley.edu/directions/

Mar 07 2011

BiD Seminar 3/9 -- Susan Wyche, Transnational Design: Exploring the Local and the Global in HCI

Susan Wyche -- Transnational Design: Exploring the Local and the Global in HCI
Wednesday, March 9
12:00 - 1:00pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab, 354/360 HMMB (http://bid.berkeley.edu/directions)

Talk Abstract:
Accelerated movements of technologies have generated an understanding of place and community that can no longer be considered in purely local terms. However, HCI research tends to focus on local, place-based scenarios, overlooking the new forms of interconnectedness resulting from flows of people and technology from one geographic location to another. In this talk I draw from prior and ongoing research projects to illustrate why technology use must be considered in a national context, but also a transnational context. First, I present the design and deployment of an application that supports Muslims' prayer practice. Findings from this project demonstrate how religious uses of technology reveal the interconnectedness of ICTs and the people who use them. Second, I present results from a study examining how professionals living and working in Nairobi, Kenya, use computers in their everyday lives. I describe the constraints participants encountered when using ICTs to communicate with co-workers in developed countries. Findings from this work demonstrate that ICT access is an issue not confined to developing countries, but one that also had local implications. Throughout this talk I discuss the design and methodological implications this work has for HCI research.

Brief Bio:
Susan Wyche is a Computing Innovation Fellow (CI Fellow) at Virginia Tech's Center for Human-Computer Interaction. Her research focuses on human-computer interaction, design and cultural studies of technology. In her dissertation, Wyche used religion as a lens to understand how alternative worldviews can inform design. She has explored how Muslims in Atlanta, Charismatic Pentecostals in São Paulo, and Protestant Christians in Nairobi, use mobile phones, computers, and the Internet to support their religious practices.

Prior to coming to VaTech, Wyche received her PhD in Human-Centered Computing from the Georgia Institute of Technology, her master's degree from Cornell University and her undergraduate degree in Industrial Design from Carnegie Mellon University. In addition to her academic pursuits, Wyche has professional design experience, most notably working at Libbey Inc. designing glassware and as a design researcher for S.C. Johnson Inc. She has also worked as a research intern at Microsoft Research, Cambridge (U.K.) and Intel Labs (Berkeley).

Mar 01 2011

BiD Seminar 3/2: Leila Takayama, "Interacting with and through personal robots"

Leila Takayama -- Interacting with and through personal robots
Wednesday, March 2
12:00 - 1:00pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab, 354/360 HMMB (http://bid.berkeley.edu/directions)

Talk Abstract
As robotic technologies become increasingly pervasive in homes, workplaces, and other everyday environments, there is an increasingly pressing need to understand how people make sense of personal robots, interact with them, and use them. While there is a wealth of lessons to be drawn from human-computer interaction to inform the design of personal robots, human-robot interaction also presents new research directions and design challenges that have yet to be explored in areas such as embodiment and agency.

Drawing from the philosophies of ubiquitous computing, I will frame two major design challenges in human-robot interaction: (1) making personal robots invisible-in-use and (2) engaging people in interactions with agentic personal robots. Fleshing out these challenges, I will present the results of several empirical studies that we have been conducting out in the field and back in the laboratory with a range of personal robots, including remote presence systems, entertainment robots, and human-size mobile manipulation platforms.

Brief Bio
Leila Takayama is a research scientist at Willow Garage, where she studies human-robot interaction. Her interests lie in the intersections of ubiquitous computing, embodied cognition, and personal robotics. Her work focuses upon the behavioral, cognitive, and social implications of technologies that influence one's own sense of agency by becoming invisible-in-use. It also focuses upon how people make sense of and interact with agentic objects.

Prior to joining Willow Garage, Leila completed her PhD at Stanford University in the Department of Communication. She also holds a PhD minor in Psychology from Stanford, an MA in Communication from Stanford, and BAs in Cognitive Science and Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. During her graduate studies, she also worked a research assistant at Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). Her PhD thesis, titled Throwing Voices: Investigating the Psychological Effects of the Spatial Location of Projects Voices, won the Nathan Maccoby dissertation award in 2008.


Feb 22 2011

BiD Seminar 2/23: Florian 'Floyd' Mueller, "Exertion Games"

Florian 'Floyd' Mueller -- Exertion Games
Wednesday, February 23
Lunch = 11:30 - 12:00, Presentation = 12:00 - 1:00pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab, 354/360 HMMB (http://bid.berkeley.edu/directions)

Talk Abstract
Can you jog with a friend who lives in London?
Is it possible to play a fair game of table tennis with 3 people?
How can you box with people on the other side of the world?

Florian ‘Floyd’ Mueller has explored “Sports over a Distance” as part of his research on “Exertion Games” – these are games that require physical effort from their players -­‐ marrying human-­computer interaction, computer games and networking advances. The results are 3 unique exertion games that support novel sports experiences for distributed participants.

In this talk, Floyd will present the design and the evaluation of these games that led to a new understanding of how to design interactive technology for an active human body.

Brief Bio
Originally from Germany, Florian 'Floyd' Mueller is a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at Stanford University, coming from the University of Melbourne, Australia. Prior to that, Floyd was a principal scientist at the Commonwealth and Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia, leading a research team of 12 staff on the future of "Connecting People", working with Australia's General Motors plant and one of the biggest hospitals in the country. Floyd's research past also includes Media Lab Europe (Ireland), Distance Lab (UK), MIT Media Lab (USA), FXPalo Alto Laboratories (USA) and Xerox Parc (USA). Floyd is also a Microsoft Research Asia Fellow and has worked at the Microsoft Beijing lab with the research teams developing Xbox's Kinect.

Floyd's work has resulting in over 60 publications, and was presented at the top conferences in the field of interaction design and computer games, including several best paper nominations. Some of the publications became the most cited papers in the field according to Google Scholar. Floyd's Exertion Games work has been shortlisted for the European Innovations Games Award (next to Nintendo's WiiFit), received honorary mentions from the Nokia Ubimedia Award, was commissioned by Wired's Nextfest, exhibited worldwide and attracted substantial international research funding. The exertion games were played by over 20,000 players across 3 continents and were featured on the BBC, ABC, Discovery Science Channel and Wired magazine.


Feb 13 2011

BiD Seminar 2/16: Jeffrey Bigham, "Heads in the Cloud: New Approaches for Access Technology"

Jeffrey Bigham -- Heads in the Cloud: New Approaches for Access Technology
Wednesday, February 16
12:00 - 1:00pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab, 354/360 HMMB (http://bid.berkeley.edu/directions)

Talk Abstract
Nearly real-time crowdsourcing has the potential to make intelligent interactive systems more useful by backing up fragile automatic technology with human intelligence. The past few decades have seen the development of wonderful new computing technology that serves as sensors onto an inaccessible world for people with disabilities - as examples, optical character recognition (OCR) makes printed text available to blind people, speech recognition makes spoken language available to deaf people, and way- finding systems help keep people with cognitive impairments on track. Despite advances, this intelligent technology remains both too prone to errors and too limited in the scope of problems it can reliably solve to address many of the problems faced by disabled people in their everyday lives.

In this talk, I'll discuss these issues in the context of VizWiz, a mobile application that we've created that lets blind people take a picture, speak a question, and have the crowd on Mechanical Turk answer it quickly. This system shows that nearly real-time crowdsourcing is possible, and demonstrates the investigative utility of the "deployable Wizard-of-Oz" prototypes that it enables.

Brief Bio
Jeffrey P. Bigham is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Rochester where he heads ROC HCI. His works spans Access Technology, Human Computation, and Intelligent User Interfaces. Professor Bigham received his Ph.D. in 2009 in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Washington under Dr. Richard E. Ladner, and his B.S.E. from Princeton in 2003. Jeffrey has received a number of awards for his work, including the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Award for Technology Collaboration, the MIT technology Review Top 35 Innovators Under 35 Award, and the UIST 2010 Best Paper Award.

Jan 17 2011

BiD Seminar 1/17 : Greg Niemeyer, L'elegance de la boucle fermée: Les jeux comme force culturelle do XXIème siècle

Greg Niemeyer - L'elegance de la boucle fermée: Les jeux comme force culturelle do XXIème siècle Tuesday, January 17th 1:10pm - 2:10pm Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab, 354/360 HMMB (http://bid.berkeley.edu/directions) L'elegance de la boucle fermée: Les jeux comme force culturelle do XXIème siècle Abstract: La manière de concevoir et de jouer aux jeux a pour effet de piéger le joueur dans un monde d’illusions ou de le libérer à travers l’imagination. Dans la conférence qu’il donnera au musée du jeu, Greg Niemeyer, professeur à l’Université de Californie à Berkeley, discutera quelles conceptions de jeu peuvent inspirer des effets libérarteurs parmi les joueurs. Quelles conceptions nourrissent l’engagement du joueur? Quelles conceptions de jeu ouvrent des chemins de renouvellement pour le joueur, et quelles conceptions de jeu achèvent un impact positif au-delà du jeu propre? Greg Niemeyer répond à ces questions en relation avec les jeux vidéo Pathways et Miasma, développés par son équipe, le Social Apps Lab. (from Google Translate) The elegance of the closed loop: Games as a cultural force do twenty-first century Abstract: How to design and play games has the effect of trapping player in a world of illusions or released through the imagination. In the lecture he will give the Museum of the game, Greg Niemeyer, professor at the University of California at Berkeley, will discuss what game design can inspire among the effects libérarteurs players. What designs feed the commitment of the player? What conceptions of play open paths to renewal the player, game design and what a positive finish beyond the game clean? Greg Niemeyer answers to these questions relationship with video games and Pathways Miasma, developed by the team, the Social Apps Lab. Bio: Greg Niemeyer Born in Switzerland in 1967, Greg Niemeyer studied Classics and Photography. He started working with new media when he arrived in the Bay Area in 1992 and he received his MFA from Stanford University in New Media in 1997. At the same time, he founded the Stanford University Digital Art Center, which he directed until 2001, when he was appointed at UC Berkeley as Assistant Professor for New Media. At UC Berkeley, he is involved in the development of the Center for New Media, focusing on the critical analysis of the impact of new media on human experiences. His creative work focuses on the mediation between humans as individuals and humans as a collective through technological means, and emphasizes playful responses to technology. His most recognized projects were Gravity (Cooper Union, NYC, 1997), PING (SFMOMA, 2001), Oxygen Flute, with Chris Chafe (SJMA, 2002), Organum (Pacific Film Archive, 2003), Ping 2.0 (Paris, La Villette Numerique, 2004), Organum Playtest (2005), and Good Morning Flowers (SFIFF 2006, Townhouse Gallery, Cairo, Egypt, 2006),and, with Joe McKay, the Balance Game (Cairo 2007, London, 2007). The Black Cloud (2008) was funded by the MacArthur Foundation to provide an alternate reality game and a social network for sensing air quality and taking actions to benefit indoor air quality. The project has evolved into a startup company under the name of Aclima Inc. A branch of the Black Cloud project is the Tomato Quintet (Machine Project, 2007, SJ01, 2010) which connects tomato ripening processes to music, music to people and people to the ripening process. Since 2008, Niemeyer has also developed, several mobile games related to foundational human cognitive skills in collaboration with the MIND Institute at UC Davis and with the Montreal Neurological Institute.

Nov 14 2010

BiD Seminar 11/16: Jina Huh, "Collaborative Help for Individualized Problems: Learning from the MythTV User Community and Diabetes Patient Support Groups"

Jina Huh: "Collaborative Help for Individualized Problems: Learning from the MythTV User Community and Diabetes Patient Support Groups"
Tuesday, November 16
Lunch = 11:30 - 12:00, Presentation = 12:00 - 1:00pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab, 354/360 HMMB (http://bid.berkeley.edu/directions)

Talk Abstract
As information technology increasingly becomes part of everyday life, new opportunities arise for collecting experiences and knowledge from people. Collaborative help can utilize that collective experience and knowledge to provide information on a variety of problem spaces such as end-user technical support or personal health. In this talk, I present my dissertation work on understanding and supporting collaborative help for individualized problems, grounded in two research sites: MythTV user community and diabetes patient support groups. Because each individual's problems were often unique, both sites served as excellent places to examine the problem. I will first present the challenges in supporting technical help for MythTV users with individualized system configurations, mainly around utilizing configuration information as a proxy to transfer knowledge. I then connect the findings to diabetes patient communities and discuss how configurations as knowledge translate into patient profiles as knowledge. I end with design implications for supporting collaborative help for individualized problems in both settings and future work on the possibilities of expanding the findings to other problem spaces.

Brief Bio
Jina Huh is currently a doctoral candidate at the School of Information, University of Michigan. She works with Mark Ackerman and Mark Newman. Her research interests include collaborative help, co-evolution of technology, personal information management, sustainable design, and largely integrating social science with technology design. She has a masters in HCI from Carnegie Mellon University, and a bachelors in film and multimedia from Korean National University of Arts.

Nov 08 2010

BiD Seminar 11/9: Tara Matthews, "Designing for the New Organizational Ecology Using Collaboration Personas"

Tara Matthews: "Designing for the New Organizational Ecology Using Collaboration Personas"
Tuesday, November 9
Lunch = 11:30 - 12:00, Presentation = 12:00 - 1:00pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab, 354/360 HMMB (http://bid.berkeley.edu/directions)

Talk Abstract
Modern organizations are moving away from work focused on stable teams. Team membership is now dynamic, as personnel change during a project. Workers are often members of multiple teams, with a shift towards volunteerism, supported by wikis, blogs and forums. Prior work has studied these changes from an organizational viewpoint. Instead, our field study examined the effects of these changes from the perspective of individual workers. We expected workers to be overburdened by contributing to multiple teams with shifting personnel and by providing voluntary labor to groups beyond their main projects. However we found these changes were not perceived as a huge additional workload. Instead, multi-teaming and volunteerism compensate for the new matrixed way of working, by addressing some of the challenges of dynamic teams. We provide detailed examples of how people used participation in other collaborations to address the needs of dynamic teams, such as recruiting and group maintenance. These results argue for a collaboration ecology where different types of collaboration interrelate and support each other. Building on these results we present a new approach to collaborative system design, Collaboration Personas, that provide rich characterizations of collaboration practices. We present detailed examples of our approach and contrast it with standard individualistic methods for designing collaborative tools, showing how it leads to very different implications for collaborative tool design.

Brief Bio
Tara Matthews is a Research Staff Member in the USER group at IBM Almaden Research Center. Dr. Matthews’ research focuses on understanding how people collaborate at work and on designing better support tools, drawing on her interests and expertise in awareness, visualization, evaluation, and CSCW. She has served on organizing and program committees for major HCI conferences. She holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley and is a BID alum.

Oct 30 2010

BiD Seminar 11/2: Daniela Rosner, "Materializing Value: Locating material skills in a digital age"

Daniela Rosner: "Materializing Value: Locating material skills in a digital age"
Tuesday, November 2
Lunch = 11:30 - 12:00, Presentation = 12:00 - 1:00pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab, 354/360 HMMB (http://bid.berkeley.edu/directions)

Talk Abstract
In design and HCI, productive activities are often considered goal-oriented. In this talk, I develop an alternative view through the examination of two popular handwork activities: knitting and bookbinding. These activities demonstrate shared qualities of intimacy, personal value, and embodied knowledge, but produce different narratives of artistry, authenticity and longevity. Through ethnographic research, design, and physical prototyping, I find material skills produce both functional and affective outcomes with and without digital tools. This analysis draws from cultural anthropology by combining a materialist account of production (in which objects have behavioral inscriptions) and a constructivist position (in which culture generates object behavior). I show how people and tools (digital and non-digital) are mutually refashioned through the production of value. I suggest new directions for design and HCI by describing the conditions that materialize value in the creation of artifacts.

Brief Bio
Daniela is a PhD student at the School of Information at UC Berkeley working with Prof. Kimiko Ryokai. Her research focuses on the interplay between technology, handcraft, and the creative communities around them. Before coming to Berkeley, Daniela worked at museums for three years, most recently at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, IL. In the museum environment, she developed interactive tools for the creative exploration of data. She holds a B.F.A in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design and a Masters in Computer Science from the University of Chicago.

Oct 25 2010

BiD Seminar 10/26: Colleen Lewis, "Interactions between a programming environment design and the user’s non-programming knowledge"

Colleen Lewis, "Interactions between a programming environment design and the user’s non-programming knowledge"
Tuesday, October 26
Lunch = 11:30 - 12:00, Presentation = 12:00 - 1:00pm
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab, 354/360 HMMB (http://bid.berkeley.edu/directions)

Talk Abstract
From the perspective of education research, Colleen Lewis’s work focuses on how the design of programming environments interacts with students’ non-programming knowledge. Colleen will discuss her prior work investigating what non-programming knowledge “is cued” in a programming environment and how it informs her dissertation work of what non-programming knowledge “can be cued”. An initial study examined what knowledge was cued by the Logo and Scratch programming environments and the implications for young students’ learning and efficacy. Colleen’s dissertation research considers the nature of non-programming knowledge that can be cued in a programming environment to serve as a resource for learning.

Brief Bio
Colleen is a fourth year graduate student, pursuing her PhD in Education, and is co-advised by Andrea diSessa and Michael Clancy. She has her masters and bachelors from UC Berkeley in computer science and EECS respectively. Her research focuses on various cognitive, affective, and cultural factors in the study of computer science. Her current projects include (1) exploring opportunities for students to transfer non-programming knowledge when they learn computer programming, (2) examining outcomes from UC Berkeley’s restructuring of lower division computer science courses to deemphasize lecture, and (3) investigating the development of students’ interest in pursuing a computer science major.

Oct 18 2010

BiD Seminar 10/19: InfoViz Doubleheader

Tuesday, October 19
Presentations beginning at 11:30, along with lunch
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab, 354/360 HMMB (http://bid.berkeley.edu/directions)

Talk 1, 11:30 -- Nicholas Kong

Treemaps are space-filling visualizations that make efficient use of limited display space to depict large amounts of hierarchical data. Creating perceptually effective treemaps requires carefully managing a number of design parameters including the aspect ratio and luminance of rectangles. Moreover, treemaps encode values using area, which is known to be less accurate than judgments of other visual encodings, such as length. We conduct a series of controlled experiments aimed at producing a set of design guidelines for creating effective rectangular treemaps. We examine the effect of luminance and aspect ratio of area judgments. We then compare treemaps with bar chart displays and identify the data densities at which data length-encoded bar charts become less effective than area-encoded treemaps. Based on these results, we present a set of guidelines for the effective use of treemaps and suggest alternate approaches for treemap layout.

Nicholas Kong is a PhD student at UC Berkeley's Computer Science Division. He is advised by Maneesh Agrawala and his research interests span information visualization and human-computer interaction.

Talk 2, 12:00 -- Wesley Willett

In data analysis, stories are often implicit – analytic tasks like annotating data, collecting evidence, posing questions, and synthesizing findings often take on a narrative bent, especially in a collaborative setting. Our experiences building tools for collaborative visual analysis have illustrated these sorts of emergent narratives and are motivating our current work on supporting sharing and storytelling for data visualization. We will discuss tools we've constructed that allow participants to connect text comments and visualizations into larger narrative structures and share them via social media. We will also share findings, insights, and examples drawn from recent live deployments of these tools, and encourage discussion about how collaboration tools can better support storytelling as part of analysis practice.

Wesley Willett is a Ph.D. student at UC Berkeley's Department of Computer Science. He is part of the Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) and the Visualization Lab where he's advised by Maneesh Agrawala. Wes's research interests span information visualization, new media, and human computer interaction.

Oct 11 2010

BID Seminar 10/12: Ephrat Bitton, "Opinion Space 2.0"

Ephrat Bitton, "Opinion Space 2.0"
Tuesday, October 12
Lunch = 11:30- 12 p.m., Presentation = 12-1 p.m.
Berkeley Institute of Design (BiD) Lab, 354/360 HMMB (http://bid.berkeley.edu/directions)

Talk Abstract
The U.S. Department of State and UC Berkeley's Center for New Media are working together to explore new technologies that can solicit insightful ideas on U.S. foreign policy. Participatory culture thrives on the sharing of diverse opinions among large populations. However: 1) The amount of data can be overwhelming. News and blog sites often generate hundreds or thousands of comments. 2) Websites often attract people with like-minded viewpoints, which can reinforce biases and produce "cyberpolarization." 3) Thoughtful moderates are often shouted down by extremists.
Opinion Space 2.0 uses new data visualization models and statistical analysis to address these problems. Every participant represents a "point of view" on a visual opinion map. This map is not based on geography or predetermined categories, but on similarity of opinion; those who agree on basic issues are neighbors, and those who are far apart have agreed to disagree. The map is designed to 'depolarize' discussions by including all participants on a level playing field. You can instantly see where you stand in relation to other participants, and by reviewing their comments you help the community highlight the most insightful ideas. Opinion Space is a general tool that could potentially be used to collect and visualize user opinions on topics ranging from politics to parenting, from art to zoology.

Brief Bio
Ephrat Bitton is a 5th year doctoral candidate in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research and the Center for New Media at UC Berkeley. She is currently working with Professor Ken Goldberg in the Automation Sciences Laboratory on the design of a collaborative filtering model for comments in an online discussion forum that is both efficient and resistant to manipulation. She is also working with Professor Dorit Hochbaum on network flow models for analyzing large amounts of gene expression data. Her technical interests include algorithm design, combinatorial optimization, graph theory and mathematical modeling. Bitton was awarded the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in 2007.

May 11 2010

BID heads to Maker Faire

The BID team will participate in Maker Faire. Our exitibition is named as, Berkeley Institute of Design: Design a Treehouse.

See us at Maker Faire!

Nov 23 2009

Björn Hartmann Joins BiD Faculty

The Berkeley Institute of Design is excited to announce that Björn Hartmann has been appointed as an Assistant Professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. Björn received his PhD degree in Computer Science from Stanford University in 2009. His research in Human-Computer Interaction focuses on on the creation and evaluation of user interface design tools, end-user programming environments, and ubiquitous computing toolkits. He will be teaching CS160 with Professor Maneesh Agrawala in Spring 2010.

Sep 22 2009

Maneesh Agrawala has been named a MacArthur fellow

Maneesh Agrawala has been named a MacArthur fellow, one of 24 recipients chosen nationwide for the annual award. This award comes with a $500,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation of Chicago. Fellows can use the money any way they want over the next five years. Prof. Agrawala develops visual methods to help people to more easily sort through information. As a graduate student, he created an automated program that creates easy-to-decipher route maps that make it clear where to turn and which road to take. Later, he developed a system that creates simple assembly instructions - with three-dimensional views - for such things as furniture and toys. He said he may use the grant to explore how radio journalists use words and sound to produce rich, descriptive and compelling stories.

Feb 04 2009

BiD Design Clinics

The Berkeley Institute of Design will be hosting Design Clinics for Spring Semester 2009. The Design Clinics are a series of hands-on workshops where we invite people to lead sessions on skills that are important to have as a practicing designer.

The design clinics are mostly on Thursdays from 4-6 at the Berkeley Institute of Design. Some clinics are on Wednesdays due to scheduling conflicts with the presenters. Please see the schedule for more information.

January 29 - Brainstorming
February 4 - Typography & Graphic Design
February 12 – No Clinic, Open House
Febrary 19 – Sketching User Interfaces (w/ Bill Buxton)
February 26 – Leadership & Teamwork (w/ Ulrich Nettesheim, Passages Consulting)
*March 4 – Knitting and Crochet
*March 11 – Developing Scenarios
March 19 – Advanced Laser Cutter (w/ Mitch Heinrich & Mike Lin, Squid Labs)
March 26 – No Clinic, Spring Break
April 2 – Musical Instrument Design and Fabrication with Fabric (w/ Adrian Freed, Berkeley CNMAT)
*April 8 – Improv for Design
April 16 – Papercraft (Origami & Pop-up)
April 23 – Flex Programming
April 30 – TBA
May 7 – TBA

* Schedule Shift: Wednesday Clinics

Jun 19 2008

Best Paper Award at Persuasive 2008

Divya Ramachandran and John Canny brought home the Nokia Best Paper Award from the Persuasive 2008 conference held in Oulu, Finland for their paper "The Persuasive Power of Human-Machine Dialogue."

Feb 26 2008

BiD projects win 'innovations in learning' grants

Professor Greg Niemeyer's "Black Cloud" was awarded a $238,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation competition for innovations in learning using digital media.

Matthew Kam and Professor John Canny's work with MILLEE was also among the largest of the 17 grants from the Digital Media and Learning Competition.

Read the full Berkeley press release or the story in the Daily Californian.

May 27 2007

BiD teams compete at the Google Games (cont'd)

David Nguyen quoted in New York Times about BiD's participation in Google Games.

May 15 2007

BiD heads to India

Matthew Kam and David Nguyen will be heading to Mysore, India to do field research for the MILLEE project. They have started a blog to keep everyone updated with their experiences at http://bidtierindia.blogspot.com/.

Apr 30 2007

MultiView study wins CHI 2007 Best Paper Award

David Nguyen and John Canny's paper: MultiView: Improving Trust in Group Video Conferencing through Spatial Faithfulness was awarded a Best Paper Award at this year's CHI 2007 Human Factors in Computing Systems conference!

Apr 29 2007

BiD teams compete at the Google Games

Two teams composed of BiD members competed at the Google Games held April 28th in Mountain View. The event pitted teams from Berkeley and Stanford against each other in heated competition in Logic Puzzles, Nintendo Wii Olympics, and Lego Bridge-Building.

Team I'm an XL, consisting of Cap'n Wes Willett, Ryan "the world is a feisty oyster" Aipperspach, Jeff "scheme-ing polyglot" Heer, "Shoeless" Dave Nguyen, and Lora "hold 'em and fold 'em" Oehlberg, won first place in the Logic Puzzles, and took fourth place overall. Meanwhile, team BiD Razrs, consisting of Andy Carle, Jono Hey, Omar Khan, Ana Ramirez Chang, and David Sun, valiantly attempted to put Stanford in its place. Sadly, Stanford won overall, though the second place team "Fiat Ursi" proudly displayed their Cal pride. Unfortunately, this set of Cal grads had all migrated to Stanford for graduate school, so their points were tallied against their alma mater.

Lora was later quoted about our experiences in the San Jose Mercury News.

Apr 28 2007

BiD visualization research catches Tufte's eye

Visualization research on optimizing the presentation of data graphics, conducted by BiD members Jeffrey Heer and Maneesh Agrawala, recently caught the eye of famed visualization guru Edward Tufte, as posted on his blog. Scroll down for the April 27, 2007 entry.

Apr 28 2007

David Nguyen and John Canny bring CHI '07 Best Paper Award to BiD

David Nguyen and John Canny bring CHI '07 Best Paper Award to BiD

David Nguyen and John Canny bring a CHI '07 Best Paper Award to BiD in their paper titled "MultiView: Improving Trust in Group Video Conferencing through Spatial Faithfulness." Press Release.

May 04 2006

BiD's Vizster system used on CBS TV show "Numb3rs"

The Vizster system for visualizing online social networks, developed at BiD by Jeffrey Heer and danah boyd, was featured on the CBS crime drama Numb3rs. The show is about an FBI agent and his brother, a professor that uses various mathematical and algorithmic techniques to solve crimes. In the March 3, 2006 episode "Protest", social network analysis is used to "catch the bad guy". The Vizster visualization was used to illustrate the concept of social networks.

You can also download the clip (WMV, 4.7M).