A wonderful research trip in the US from East to West.

A wonderful research trip from East to West

What a wonderful summer! I have spent two month traveling from East to West though the US visiting great research labs along the way. I thank all the researchers and their teams who invited me to come visit their labs. It was a pleasure meeting you and your colleagues. Thank you for your time discussing research ideas with me. It was a pleasure to talk about my research and get involved into discussions about our ongoing work. Thank you for sharing insights into your recent work and projects and that you shared your experience in research and teaching with me. Thank you for being wonderful hosts. It was a great summer. Thank you Andrew Kun (University of New Hampshire), Pattie Maes (MIT), Micha Pavel (Northeastern University), Mor Naaman (Cornell Tech), Nevenka Dimitrova (Philips Research), Tanzeem Choudhury (Cornell), Anind Dey, Pedja Klasnja (University of Michigan), Hari Sundaram (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign), Katie Siek (University of Indiana, Bloomington), Halley Profita (UC Boulder), Eric Hekler (Arizona State University), Donna Spruijt-Metz (University of Southern California), Ramesh Jain (UC Irvine), Gillian Hayes (UC Irvine), Yunan Chen (UC Irvine), Dick Bulterman, Andreas Girgensohn (FXPAL), Lynn Wilcox (FXPAL) and your wonderful students and colleagues!

Visiting FXPAL

At the end of this wonderful sabbatical I was spending time at FXPAL. For many years a wonderful research friendship connects me to this lab. Lynn Wilcox and Andreas Girgensohn are working several related field of multimedia as my own team. We know Dick Bulterman, the current  President and CEO, FXPAL for a long time from our previous research in multimedia authoring. It was a pleasure to meet all of them again. What is also very exciting that our PhD student Torben Wallbaum is an intern at FXPAL and working on a exciting topics. It was interesting to hear about their new work in the field of hypermeetings that support meetings with asynchronous attendance. Andreas Girgensohn recently presented the conceptual design of his work on „Hypermeeting: Supporting Asynchronous Meetings with Hypervideo“ at the ACM Multimedia 2015 conference in Brisbane. It was very interesting to see the system in action.

Visiting Gillian Hayes and Yunan Chen at UC Irvine

The way from Arizona to California led me to UC Irvine. What a great place for human computer interaction. I paid a short visit to the lab of human center computing. It was a pleasure to talk to Yunan Chen and Gillian Hayes at the School of Information and Computer Science and in the School of Education and School of Medicine at UC Irvine. and also spend some time with her phd students. I was giving talk in the lab on our research on pervasive health research. UCI is the place in which our good friend Prof. Ramesh Jain is working in the field of multimedia. It was a wonderful surprise to see how much HCI research is now present at UCI.




Visiting Ramesh Jain at UC Irvine

It has been a while since we all met Ramesh Jain, Donald Bren Professor in the Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at UCI Irvine. It was a pleasure the meet Ramesh and his team. Lela Jalali presented her interesting work on the Objective Self and also her work on „Complex asthma risk factor recognition from heterogeneous data streams.“, all about event detection in large unstructured data collections and sensor streams. It is very great to see how now so many research are dressing health related research questions. Hyungik Oh talked about his work on „An intelligent notification system using context from real-time personal activity monitoring.“ Thank you also Ramesh for the wonderful invitation to your house meeting family and your students on a lovely Californian summer evening.

Visiting Donna Spruijt-Metz at the University of Southern California

After a great week in Dagstuhl in June when we spend and intense week in discussing long-term health behavior change technologies it was a pleasure to meet Donna Spruijt-Metz who is Associate Professor for Preventive Medicine at the University of Southern California. We continued our discussions on meaningful moments and also the importance of a connection of understanding behavior change interventions and communicating them with digital devices and user interfaces. It will also be great to see the first results from her ongoing work on using pervasive technology to understand family habits and social environment in the context of obesity.

Visiting Eric Hekler at Arizona State University

Only a few after our Dagstuhl seminar I met Eric Hekler from the Arizona State University again in the summer heat of Phoenix. I remember that he warned me about the temperatures of Phoenix in August 😉 Anyway – it was very nice to meet him and his PhD students and talk about behavior change, not to talk about the great food! One pressing topic in the field is the understanding of meaningful moments for health. How to understand and detect moments in which we are available and receptive for health related interventions. Looking forward to see further research projects and publications in this field. We are working on our summary of the Dagstuhl report and initiate further events in the field.


Visiting UC Boulder

On the great trip from East to West I had the pleasure to visit UC Boulder. Katie Siek was so kind to introduce me to Shaun Kane and I had the pleasure to meet Swamy Anantharanayan as well als Halley Profita on my short visit in Boulder. Halley showed me prototype of her wonderful work on the award winning tactile display Flutter – a wonderful garment that is instrumented with a fashion-oriented wearable tactile display. Swamy Anantharanayan showed me the Human Centered Computing Lab and the interesting work and prototypes in the lab. It was very interesting to  own work on „crafting of personal health technologies“ and his thesis that is just about to be submitted.

Visiting Hari Sundaram at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Hari Sundaram is a professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. It was a pleasure meeting Hari whom I know for so many years now. It was a pleasure meeting him in his new environment at UIUC and also hear about his passion on enabling cooperative behavior adoption on a large scale and shaping social network behavior. Hari also introduced me to his colleagues and Phd students of the departments. Helen Wauck is a PhD student in the field of HCI who is working on video games to teach different aspects of spatial reasoning skills. Her advisor is Wai-tat Fu, a professor in the Department of Computer Science who is heading the Cognitive Computations and Social Dynamics lab. It was a nice surprise that Wai-Tat will be spending his coming sabbatical in spring 2016 actually in the neighborhood of Oldenburg. He will be a guest scholar at the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg (HWK), a foundation of the federal states of Bremen and Lower Saxony and the city of Delmenhorst and work together with my colleague Christian Freksa at the University of Bremen. It will be a pleasure to invite Wai-Tat also to Oldenburg and advise on the ongoing research project SOCIAL (facilitate spontaneous and informal communication in spatially distributed groups) funded by the DFG which Christian Freksa and I am currently running. It was also a pleasure to meet Karrie Karahalios who leads the Social Spaces group and her students John Lee and Hidy Kong. They provided my an overview of a very exciting recent research projects – looking forward to see it published.

Visiting Katie Siek at the University of Indiana Bloomington

After I met her a few times before and great events  looking into the future of pervasive health (such as the Dagstuhl Seminar on Life-long health behavior change technologies) it was a pleasure to meet her in her current research environment. Katie Siek is a Professor at the University of Indiana – Bloomington and a very active researcher in the field of pervasive health. It was a pleasure to also meet Sriraam Natarajan, who is working in the field of machine learning. Recently he is working on very interesting analysis of health data. On of the projects aim to predict events, such as risk to cardiovascular diseases, increase in coronary artery calcification levels, ER (emergency room) readmission etc. from longitudinal data using machine learning – very interesting. With Raquel Hill, who is a professor in Computer Science I discussed the notion of trust in computing systems. This relates to ongoing research in Oldenburg in in which my colleagues are studying the role of trust in automotive user interfaces. I also met Tanja Singh who involved in a research project on  with low socio-economic status. The check-in tree is very interesting and also very related to our work in CONTACT for connecting persons in palliative care with their loved one. Looking forward to the results of the studies and new prototypes. Thank you UI–Bloomington for this nice visit.



Visiting Pedja Klasnja at the University of Michigan

At the University of Michigan I met Pedja Klasnja, who is a professor of Information, School of Information and Assistant Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health. He is an active reseacher in the field of HCI and health. We recently  organized a Dagstuhl seminar on „Life-long health behavior change technology“ together. We used the time to talk about the follow up activities and commitments that came out of the workshop – so stay tuned. With Eytan Adar who is an Associate Professor of Information and Computer Science at the University of Michigan I talked  about large scale dating and the mechanisms to explore late data collections. We talked about the challenges of Information Visualization and Information Retrieval and our work in the field of  sophisticated visual interfaces and ranking methods to enable end-users in discovering knowledge hidden in multi-dimensional geospatial databases (UrbanExplorer, (video).

I was also giving a talk in the department and very interesting discussions on meaningful moments for digital interventions with Susan Murphy from the School of Public Health and Imbal (Billie) Nahum-Shani from the Institute for Social Research. A very interesting work my team will be looking into is the notion of how to run digital intervention studies. The work on micro-randomized trials is a very promising approach to run different kind of experimental conditions of mobile digital interventions to better learn about mobile health interventions. We will definitely look into it.