Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing Conference 2007 Doctoral Consortium: September 22-26, 2007 in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho

Project: Research project

Project Details


This is funding to support a doctoral consortium (workshop) for about 12 promising graduate students, along with distinguished research faculty, which will take place in conjunction with the 2007 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC07), to be held September 22-26 in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and sponsored by the IEEE Computer Society. Interactive computer software now permeates many individuals' working lives, and people are increasingly relying on computing and information systems for leisure and home activities as well. As a result, end users now expect considerable flexibility and control in their interactions with computer software. For many, it is no longer sufficient to consume the packaged software and scripted tasks developed by the professional software industry; they now must produce their own computational solutions to a wide variety of problems, including spreadsheet models, web sites, educational media and simulations, automated business procedures, and scientific visualizations. But in order to produce such software, even for domain-specific problems, end users must acquire the conceptual models and skills of computational thinking. Thus, the focus of this year's VL/HCC doctoral consortium, the fifth to be funded by NSF in this series, is to look beyond surface-level interactions with computers to consider an area of fundamental information power: computational problem solving. Participants will explore how varying communication media, representations, and problem-solving support affect end users' willingness and ability to access, manipulate, and program solutions to their work or everyday problems. What are the special needs of disadvantaged populations? How can computational problem-solving tools and devices be designed to meet these needs? The workshop will bring together and build community among young researchers working on different aspects of these problems from the perspectives of diverse fields including computer science, the social sciences, and education. It will guide the work of these new researchers by providing an opportunity for experts in the research field (as well as their peers) to give them advice, in that student participants will make formal presentations of their work during the workshop and will receive feedback from the faculty panel. The feedback is geared to helping students understand and articulate how their work is positioned relative to other human-computer interaction research, whether their topics are adequately focused for thesis research projects, whether their methods are correctly chosen and applied, and whether their results are appropriately analyzed and presented. A 2-page extended abstract of each participant's work will be published in the conference proceedings. The PI expects that most of the students supported by this award will come from U.S. universities, but that as in past years, due to the highly international make-up of the research community, a few non-U.S. students may be invited to participate as well. Broader Impacts: The workshop will help shape ongoing and future research projects aimed at alleviating a pressing problem of relevance to a great many people within our society. This event will promote discovery and learning, by encouraging the student researchers to explore a difficult and challenging open problem, through involvement of a panel of well-known researchers whose task is to provide constructive feedback, and through inclusion of other conference participants who will also learn from and provide additional feedback to the students and to each other. Members of the organizing committee will engage in a personal recruitment process through academic connections, in an effort to encourage participation by students in non-technology departments as well as from minority institutions.

Effective start/end date7/1/0712/31/08


  • National Science Foundation: $17,220.00
  • National Science Foundation: $17,220.00


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