Announcing the new Masters HCI+D program

Dec. 4, 2012

The dub sponsored Masters in Human-Computer Interaction and Design has arrived! Apply now and join the elite entering class in Autumn 2013. This unique interdisciplinary program was designed by the dub faculty and will be taught by dub faculty.

In this year-long, project-based curriculum students learn the latest tools and techniques in user experience and interface design, prototyping, and evaluation. Courses consist of both hands-on studios and cutting-edge lecture courses. The combination of theory and practice, with emphasis on making and doing, provides a dynamic, active and robust learning experience.

UW President Attends dub Retreat, Notes Importance

Apr. 27, 2012

Over 100 UW faculty, students, and industrial collaborators came out for the 4th annual dub retreat at the Waterfront Activities Center (WAC) today. The meeting included a celebration of awards, short research talks, and poster sessions. The excitement of the event was bolstered by the attendance of UW President Michael Young. President Young saw talks on topics that included the relevance of dub to Microsoft Research collaborations, the collaborative design with Boeing of concepts for the future flight deck, and World Lab, a new joint institute with Tsinghua University in China to apply human-centered technologies to solving worldwide problems in the areas of environment, health, and education. President Young's extensive remarks concluded “This is something that is really important to the university.”

Jill Palzkill Woelfer named 2012 recipient of the UW Graduate School Medal

Apr. 26, 2012

iSchool Ph.D. candidate and dub member, Jill Palzkill Woelfer, was named 2012 recipient of the University of Washington Graduate School Medal. This award recognizes Ph.D. students whose "academic expertise and social awareness are integrated in a way that demonstrates an exemplary commitment to the University and its larger community.” One winner is chosen annually. Jill Palzkill Woelfer’s commitment to helping homeless youth and her dissertation research about the use and access to technology by these young people, made her work stand out to the selection committee. She is currently on a Fulbright Student Award in Vancouver, B.C., where her research engages 200 homeless young people and collects data that include factors related to technology use, risk-taking behaviors, mental health, and music preferences.

Life is Sweeter with dub!

Feb. 27, 2012

In celebration of the ACM CSCW 2012 conference coming to Seattle (or at least the suburbs of Seattle -- yes, take that Bellevue!), dub sponsored a reception for our friends and colleagues from other institutions. Over 100 of the world's top HCI researchers showed that they also know how to have a good time!

Missed a dub seminar? Watch the video on our new Vimeo channel?

Feb. 27, 2012

We have been recording videos of the dub seminars for several months and have been putting them on our vimeo dub channel. Check it out at Make sure to subscribe to the designusebuild channel so you can keep up with what is going on in dub.

dub's Shwetak Patel Wins Sloan Research Fellowship

Feb. 15, 2012

dub's own Shwetak Patel was named a recipient of a 2012 Sloan Research Fellowship. Sloan Research Fellowships – among the most prestigious awards available to young scientists – emphasize individual creativity in the selection process.

Sidhant Gupta in Forbes “30 Under 30″

Dec. 19, 2011

Forbes highlights 30 superstars under the age of 30 in each of 12 fields: Art & Design, Energy, Entertainment, Finance, etc. In the “Technology” field, UC CSE and dub graduate student Sidhant Gupta is highlighted as “Developing new sensors and software for the home that conserve electricity, heat and gas.”

dub's Shwetak Patel Wins MacArthur "Genius" Award!

Sep. 19, 2011

Shwetak Patel, dub member and Assistant professor in CSE and EE, along with his collaborators has invented a series of sensor technology systems for home environments with the goal of saving energy and improving daily life through a broad range of applications. Patel is also exploring their potential for home security or elder care, as they serve the related function of sensing human activity and monitoring movement throughout a building's rooms. Patel is one of 22 honorees named as a 2011 MacArthur Fellow today. The five-year, $500,000 grant was awarded for "inventing low-cost, easy-to-deploy sensor systems that leverage existing infrastructures to enable users to track household energy consumption and to make the buildings we live in more responsive to our needs."

dub's Shwetak Patel Wins Microsoft Faculty Fellowship

Jul. 18, 2011

Each year since 2005, Microsoft Research has honored a small number of the world’s most innovative young faculty members as Microsoft Research Faculty Fellows. The 2011 class of Microsoft Research Faculty Fellows – announced today – includes dub's Shwetak Patel, Assistant Professor of CSE and EE at the University of Washington. Shwetak’s research concerns Human-Computer Interaction, Ubiquitous Computing, and User Interface Software and Technology. He is particularly interested in developing easy-to-deploy sensing technologies and approaches for activity recognition and energy monitoring applications.

dub makes another strong showing at CHI

May. 3, 2011

DUB will have another great year at CHI, with 35 of 57 papers accepted (61%) and 12 paper awards, including 4 best paper/note winners. This marks the fourth straight year of increased submissions from dub (from 2008: 30, 36, 45, 57) and dub's highest overall acceptance rate (from 2008: 53%, 50%, 38%, 61%). In addition, the University of Washington now has 10 best paper winners since CHI began issuing the awards in 2005, the most of any university.

Prof. James Landay inducted into CHI Academy

Mar. 4, 2011

James Landay is the Short-Dooley Professor of Computer Science & Engineering (CSE) at the University of Washington (UW). His research over the past two decades has included contributions in the areas of automated usability evaluation, demonstrational interfaces, ubiquitous computing, user interface design tools, and web design. As a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University, he began creating tools to support fluid user interface design and development through sketching. From 1997-2003, he was a professor at UC Berkeley, where he was tenured after creating a strong HCI research community and continuing to develop tools for non-programmers that explored the then novel design spaces of web site, pen and speech interaction. He moved to Seattle in 2003 to join the faculty in CSE at UW and to direct the Intel Research Seattle lablet, which focused under his leadership on technologies and applications of ubiquitous computing. He has continued his leadership in developing tools for designers, adding to his long list of publicly available design tools through the investigation of location-aware computing, activity-based computing and ubicomp in the home. He was a founding member of the cross-university DUB Group at UW, which under his leadership has quickly become an international power in HCI research. He is currently helping to establish an HCI research center at Microsoft Research Beijing. He has also had success in commercialization efforts. His research contributions and those of his current and former students are alone worthy of election into the CHI Academy. But James' most lasting legacy will be his outstanding ability to create communities of HCI researchers (Berkeley, Intel Research Seattle, Washington) with international prominence and lasting impact.

A link to the article is here:

Dub wins awards at CPDP privacy conference

Feb. 1, 2011

We won both the Multidisciplinary Privacy Award award and an honorable mention at the 2011 Computers, Privacy & Data Protection conference in Brussels, Belgium.

The CPDP multi-disciplinary award selects amongst papers published at any conference in 2010. Graduate students Alexei Czeskis, Iva Dermendjieva, and Hussein Yapit won the award for their work on balancing privacy and value tensions in mobile parenting technologies (published at SOUPS 2010 with co-authors Alan Borning, Batya Friedman, Brian Gill, and Tadayoshi Kohno). PhD Student Tamara Denning won an honorable mention for her work on analyzing human values and security for wireless implantable medical devices (published at CHI 2010 with co-authors Alan Borning, Batya Friedman, Brian Gill, Tadayoshi Kohno, and William Maisel).

Two dub projects recognized at 2011 WTIA Industry Achievement Awards

Jan. 14, 2011

Two dub research projects are two of three finalists in the “Government, Non-profit or Educational Sector” category of the 2011 Washington Technology Industry Association's Industry Achievement Awards.

OpenDataKit (ODK), led by a team of researchers that includes dub members Gaetano Borriello and Yaw Anokwa, and the Living Voters Guide, designed by dub members Alan Borning, Travis Kriplean and Jonathan Morgan have been recognized by the WTIA. The awards recognize Washington State companies, organizations and individuals who best demonstrate technology and service innovation and excellence.

Cross dub sustainability research cited in PTAC Report on "Designing a Digital Future"

Jan. 5, 2011

Research being carried out in dub by graduate and undergraduate students working with Professors Shwetak Patel, James Fogarty, and James Landay was highlighted as an important example of how technology can help improve our nation's energy use in a new report by the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PTAC) entitled "Designing a Digital Future: Federally Funded Research and Development in Networking and Information Technology", see page 19). The report cited dub research on creating low-cost, end-user installable sensors of electricity, gas, and water usage in homes and businesses. Used in conjunction with feeback interfaces this novel technology will give home and business owners a better handle on their resource usage and help them in taking actions to reduce. For more information, see the related project pages for the ubicomp lab and the ubigreen project.

Ko and Wobbrock win best paper at VL/HCC 2010

Oct. 4, 2010

Assistant Professors Andrew J. Ko and Jacob O. Wobbrock won the Best Paper Award at the IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing conference (VL/HCC), held in Madrid, Spain at the end of September. The paper presented a new approach to detecting name errors in web applications built with dynamically typed languages.

This was Professor Ko's fifth best paper award and Professor Wobbrock's sixth. The paper was selected among over 30 other papers and more than 100 submissions. Research at the conference generally concerns human aspects of software development.

Read the iSchool's news article for more details.

Dub welcomes new faculty member Cecilia Aragon

Oct. 4, 2010

Associate Professor Cecilia Aragon (HCDE) has joined dub faculty. Cecilia has been a Staff Scientist in the Computational Research Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory since 2005. She earned her PhD in Computer Science from UC Berkeley. Her current research focuses on scientist-computer interaction, a subfield of human-computer interaction, and she is interested in how social media and new methods of computer-mediated communication are changing scientific practice.

Cecilia arrived on campus in Fall 2010 and will start full time in Spring 2011. Her work in HCDE is supported by the eScience Institute at the UW. Cecilia is also adjunct faculty in Computer Science and Engineering and the Information School.

Read the HCDE news article for more details.

Four dub professors win NSF CAREER awards

Sep. 17, 2010

Four dub professors won NSF CAREER awards this year — the NSF's prestigious award in support of the most promising young faculty in their respective fields nationwide: Professors Andrew Ko, Charlotte Lee, Julie Kientz, and Jacob Wobbrock. The awards are for 4-5 years and will help support these young faculty members pursue their research interests and help establish them as premier researchers in their respective areas.

Read the iSchool's news article here and the HCDE news article here.

T. Scott Saponas named to MIT TR35

Sep. 1, 2010

Dub alum Scott Saponas has been named to this year’s Technology Review TR-35. “Since 1999, the editors of Technology Review have honored the young innovators whose inventions and research we find most exciting; today that collection is the TR35, a list of technologists and scientists, all under the age of 35. Their work –spanning medicine, computing, communications, electronics, nanotechnology, and more — is changing our world.”

“Fingers flicking through the air, T. Scott Saponas is rocking a solo in the video game Guitar Hero — without a guitar. A soft band around his forearm monitors the muscles moving his fingers and hand. The band hides a ring of six electrodes that pick up the weak electrical signals produced by active muscle tissue. The signals are relayed to a computer, which in turn controls the game …

"Saponas created the software as a graduate student at the University of Washington. Now working at Microsoft Research, he is interested in combining the muscle interface with other sensors, including accelerometers and gyroscopes, to provide additional precision.”

Read the TR-35 article here.

This follows last year's dub winners Shwetak Patel and Jeffrey Bigham (read about it here and here) and prior winners Merredith Morris, Desney Tan, Tapan Parikh, and Tadayoshi Kohno.

Dub Members' Conference Talks Streamed on the Web

May. 28, 2010

A number of recent talks by dub members have streamed on the web. Some recent highlights include:

CSE grad student Jon Froehlich's talk on Sensing Opportunities and Zero Effort Applications for Mobile Health Persuasion at Mobile Health 2010

Prof. James Landay's talk on Environmental Sustainability through Activity-based Computing at CompSust09

Zensi, Shwetak Patel’s Energy Monitoring Startup, Purchased by Belkin

Apr. 21, 2010

Zensi, an energy monitoring company based on technology developed by UW CSE professor Shwetak Patel and collaborators, has been purchased by Belkin. The technology includes single-point-of-attachment sensors for electrical power, water, and natural gas — a single sensor in a home or business uses signal processing and machine learning to identify sources and rates of consumption. According to Patel, this is just the beginning for using software to help consumers better conserve energy. “This puts UW on the map as a premier place for energy work,” says Patel.

Xconomy article, TechFlash article, Seattle Times article, CNET article, Belkin press release. UW CSE “Sustainability Sensing” research overview here.

UW students named Facebook, NSF Fellows

Apr. 14, 2010

Parmit Chilana, a PhD candidate at the UW's Information School, has been named one of Facebook's inaugural Graduate Fellows. Facebook launched the Fellowship program to recognize students who are solving challenges of internet technology and the social web. Chilna works in the area of human-computer interaction with Professors Andrew Ko and Jacob Wobbrock at the UW Information School. Read the full article at King5 News.

Additionally, Electrical Engineering PhD student Gabe Cohn has won a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. The NSF Fellowship provides three years of paid tuition and a $30,000 stipend among other benefits. Gabe works in the area of ubiquitous computing with CSE/EE Professor Shwetak Patel.

UW researchers look to reinvent the graphical user interface

Mar. 31, 2010

Across all the millions of different applications out there, there is one thing in common: They all display information on our monitors using pixels. And that's where the research of two University of Washington computer scientists [dub's Prof. James Fogarty & grad student Morgan Dixon] comes in. They have developed software that gives you customization by analyzing not the source code of different applications, but the pixels they display on your screen. The tool, called Prefab, can identify text, buttons, progress bars, sliders and many other graphical elements that we're used to seeing in user interfaces. It then can modify what is actually displayed on your monitor. Not only could you use Prefab to add iTunes buttons to Word, you could potentially mash a number of programs into one window with one user interface. Just like you use HTML to put text, photos, videos, Flash, JavaScript and many other elements on a Web page, you could use Prefab to customize ... well, everything.

Read more in the original blog post at the Seattle PI...

UW wins three Best Paper Awards at CHI2010

Mar. 1, 2010

UW has won three Best Paper Awards this year at CHI (given to the top 1% of submissions):

UW also has three additional Best Paper Nominees (given to the top 5% of submissions):

  • OneBusAway: Results from Providing Real-Time Arrival Information for Public Transit
    Brian Ferris, Kari Watkins, Alan Borning
  • How Power Users Help and Hinder Open Bug Reporting
    Andrew J. Ko, Parmit K. Chilana
  • The Design and Evaluation of an End-User-Deployable, Whole House, Contactless Power Consumption Sensor
    Shwetak N. Patel, Sidhant Gupta, Matthew S. Reynolds

Congratulations to all!

Voices from the Rwanda Tribunal: Genocide and Justice

Feb. 1, 2009

On Tuesday, January 29, 2009, a group of researchers at the University of Washington led by Professor Batya Friedman released "the initial component of a public system to provide authentication for an archive of video interviews with the prosecutors and other members of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Rwandan genocide."

Read more in the original article in the New York Times...

Dub welcomes five new UW faculty members

Sep. 10, 2008

Charlotte Lee (HCDE) earned a Ph.D. in information studies from UCLA and has underlying degrees in sociology; her focus is in cyber infrastructure and cooperative work. Charlotte comes to us from the University of California Irvine where she is currently employed as a Research Scientist. Charlotte will be joining us in Winter Quarter, 2009.   Julie Kientz (HCDE) has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She focuses on determining how novel computing applications can address important social issues and on evaluating them through long-term real world deployment studies using a balance of qualitative and quantitative methods.

  Shwetak N. Patel (CSE, EE) has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology. His areas of interest are HCI, Ubiquitous Computing, and User Interface Software and Technology. He develops easy-to-deploy sensing technologies and approaches for location and activity recognition applications.

Andrew J. Ko (iSchool, CSE adjunct) employs a mixture of social science methodology and technical prowess in the study and support of programmers as information workers in need of better tools, particularly for answering "why" questions. He received a Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction from Carnegie Mellon University in 2008.  

Sarah Kriz (HCDE) joins us from the Navy Center for Applied Research in Artificial Intelligence where she was a National Research Council Postdoctoral Associate. Her research focuses on human-robot interaction, cognitive design principles, experimental methods, and the interplay between cognitive and social influences. She received a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.


Dub students win two assistive technology awards

Jul. 16, 2008

Jeffrey P. Bigham (Computer Science) won the grand prize of the Imagine Cup's Interface Design Accessible Technology Award for his work on WebAnywhere, a web-based screen reader for the web.    Susumu Harada (Computer Science) won 2nd place in the NISH National Scholar Award for Workplace Innovation & Design for his work on VoiceDraw, a hands-free voice-based drawing program for people with motor impairments.

Lisa Nathan wins 2nd place in the graduate research competition at CHI 2008

Apr. 16, 2008

Lisa Nathan, a doctoral student in the Information School and dub, won 2nd place in the graduate student research competition at CHI 2008 for her dissertation work on human values, information technology and adaptation in 21st century America

MIT names 3 Dub researchers “TR35 Young Innovators

Oct. 11, 2007

Graduate student Tapan Parikh additionally won Humanitarian of the Year for his mobile tools for developing economies. Professor Tadayoshi Kohno was honored for his work in cryptographic systems security. Microsoft Research Scientist and UW Affiliate Professor Desney Tan was recognized for his work in brain-computer interfaces. 35 scientists and technologists across disciplines in academia and industry received the award.

UW LUTE presented with Diana Award for Communication Design

May. 15, 2007

Congratulations to the UW Laboratory for Usability Testing and Evaluation (the LUTE lab), which was recently presented with the Diana Award. The biannual ACM SIGDOC Diana Award is for long-term contribution to the field of communication design.

UW Welcomes New HCI Faculty

Mar. 11, 2007

Jacob O. Wobbrock (Information School, CSE adjunct) focuses on making mobile devices more accessible with new user interface technologies. He also works on simplified gesture recognition, improving target acquisition for people with motor impairments, analyzing and predicting input errors, and quantifying situational impairments. He received a Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction from Carnegie Mellon University in 2006.    James Fogarty (Computer Science) investigates solutions to the human obstacles surrounding widespread adoption of ubiquitous and intelligent computing technologies. He has recently tackled such topics as unobtrusive home activity recognition, privacy-sensitive location-based sensing, models of human interruptibility, and optimization-based display generation. He received his PhD in Human Computer Interaction from Carnegie Mellon University in 2006.