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

Visiting Anind Dey at Carnegie Mellon University

It was a pleasure to visit Anind Dey and meet faculty and students from the from the HCI Institute at Carnegie Mellon. It was a pleasure to give two talks, one on „Interaction Design for Interactiver Personal Health“ as well as on our research in the field of „Pervasive Light Displays for Daily Acitivities“. It was a pleasure that – given the summer – such a nice audience attended the talks which was highly interacting and the interesting questions and discussions.

Grace Sangwon Bae introduced me into her work on tracking health behavior with sensors and its application in the field of alcohol abuse and but also in the field of congestive heart failure. Thank you for sharing these interesting results in this area. Adrian Defreitas showed me his very interesting work on Impromptu, an App and Service that contributes to the world of internet of things by easily retreiving and connecting to objects and services at a certain location. It was nice to meet Seungjun Kim again who also was at PervasiveHealth 2014 in Oldenburg. He showed my a very rich collection of his work in sensor augmentation, sensor data mining, qne quality of life technology. There are many connections of his work on interruptibility in the car to our work on the Automotive domain and in the field of ambient assisted living. Afsana Donab introduced me into her research on exploiting context for the application of time banking in neighborhoods and communities. Chris Harrison also had some time to chat about their recent work in gessture recognition and object touching that will be shown at UIST this year.

Visiting Tanzeem Choudhury at Cornell in Ithaca

Tanzeem Choudhury is leading the  People Aware Computing group at Cornell. It was very interesting to talk with her team. Hane Houng is post doc in the lab and also a visiting lecturer at the Human Computer Interaction group at University College London. I met Hane last year at PervasiveHealth 2014 which we organized Oldenburg. Marc Matthews is a Marie Curie post-doctoral fellow working in the field of mental health and tools supporting management of bipolar disorder. It was also a real pleasure to talk to Mashfiqui Rabbi, Saeed Abdullah, and Alex Adams about their recent projects.

I really like the group’s work on personal management of mental health. Their work on MyBehavior is about a smartphone app that delivers personalized health suggestions and will be presented at UbiComp 2015. Other projects involve BodyBeat novel mobile sensing system for capturing and recognizing non-speech body sounds was very interesting as well is the work in the field of food and plates. Thank you for sharing all of this with me.

Visiting Nevenka Dimitrova at Philips Research North America in Briarcliff Mano

I had the pleasure to meet Nevenka Dimotrova again, after all these years. Nevenka and me were active researchers in the ACM SIGMM community and working in the field of multimedia.  We did not meet sind probably about 10 years and it was a pleasure to see each other again.

Nevenka has moved into a great new field of genomics and the application of pattern recognition in genomic resources. Her current research activities are in bioinformatics and biomarker discovery and how to enable decision support systems for personalized medicine. Nevenka is leasing the team at Philips working on PAPAyA, for Platform for Personalized Analytics Applications „to help oncologists analyze, interpret, and interactively present data from next-generation sequencing instruments in order to prioritize treatment for cancer patients.“

It was also nice to talk to different people working in health related areas here at Philips such as Portia Taylor and Mladen Milosevic who focus in the area of personal health and mobile health technologies.. It was a real pleasure to talk and exchange!


Visiting Cornell Tech in NYC – Mor Naaman

A few days in THE CITY 🙂

I really enjoyed visiting Mor Naaman who is a professor at Cornell Tech and a good research friend from times back when my research work was more focused on personal media and social media context for automatically creating photo books and visiting ACM Multimedia. Mor’s work is focusing on understanding social media content and social media usage and interactions – very interesting. Over wonderful Korean food I joined the weekly group meeting and was invited to talk about recent research projects of Mor’s students. Thank you for sharing this with me!

Visiting the lab, I also had the opportunity to meet Shiri Azenkot and her students who were showing their ongoing work with us. It was a pleasure to see the recent projects in the field of accessibility as we were looking into vibro-tactile displays for the blind in previous work.

And, small world, I just met Lexing Xie, who is a Senior Lecturer / Fellow of Computer Science at Australian National University and we took the chance to chat and also took a quick selfie.


Visiting MIT Media Lab – FLUID Group of Pattie Maes

During my trip I also had the opportunity to visit the Fluid interfaces group at MIT Media Lab which is lead by Patties Maes. I was giving a talk on „Pervasive Light Displays“ and enjoyed the discussions and am thankful for the interesting questions that are also inspirations for our work. Roy Shilkrot, who has just completed his PhD at MIT Media Lab (congratulations again!), was so kind and presented ongoing interesting research projects of the group to me. Specifically his work on accessibility with FingerReader and EyeRing are very fascinating as accessibility for blind and visually impaired people is also a strong research topic at our lab. Roy also quickly introduced me to some of the other labs such that I had the chance to look at recent prototypes of the Tangible Media Group lab of Hiroshi Ishii.

It was also very interesting to talk to Nan Zhao from the Responsive Environments group of Joe Paradiso. As my group is working in the field of pervasive light displays her project on experimental lighting is very interesting and fascinating for us. Nan also showed me some more exciting ongoing work. I am looking forward to see here recent results and video online once it is presented at International Symposium on Wearable Computers (ISWC) later this year.

It was also great to meet a researcher I have not met for some years: Vivek Singh is now a Visiting Assistant Professor in Alex Pentland’s Social Media group. I remember him from 2009 when he was still a PhD student and received a best paper award for his work on Motivating contributors in social media networks at first SIGMM workshop on Social media which I co-organized in 2009. What a pleasure to meet him again and to talk about his ongoing work on behavioral informatics and the research group he started at an Assistant Professor at Rutgers University.


Visting Misha Pavel and Holly Jimison at Northeastern University

Just two weeks after Misha Pavel and I met at the Dagstuhl Seminar on Life-long health behavior change seminar, I visited him and his colleague Holly Jimison at Northeastern who are both faculty in College of Computer & Information Science and Bouvé College of Health Sciences. We met with their colleague Stephen Intille and several students of the lab. We spent some time discussion about the inspiring week in Dagstuhl with interdisciplinary researchers and what were the most exciting outcomes of this week. I was also giving a talk on „Multimodal Interfaces for Attention and Situation Awareness in Automotives“ and enjoyed the very lively discussion with the audience. Thank you for the great visit and also the nice dinner.


Visiting Andrew Kun – Automotive Research at the University of New Hampshire

It was a pleasure meeting Andrew Kun today who is an Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of New Hampshire. I was giving a talk about our recent research on Multimodal Interfaces for Situation Awareness and Attention in Automotives. I enjoyed seeing the lab and hear about on going research projects in Andrew’s lab. We will explore further options of working together in joint research and organizing scientific events. We also had an interesting discussions with Andrew’s colleague Dr. Brian Calder and Val Schmidt from the Center for Coastal & Ocean Mapping/Joint Hydrographic Center who attended the talk about the potential of our interfaces in the maritime domain. We had an interesting discussion about their research and a connection to HCI and our research in the field of Safe Automation of Maritime Systems – SAMS at the University of Oldenburg. Great visit and a wonderful host – thank you!

Dagstuhl Seminar – Life-long health behavior change technologies

The first week of my sabbatical leave was already faboulous and so inspiring. Together with  Eric Hekler  and Pedja Klasnja I was organizing a Dagstuhl seminar on „Life-long health behavior change technologies.“. It was such a fruitful work in which all participants enjoyed the great interdisciplinary discussions. Thank you for joining this event and I am looking forward to meeting some of the participants over the summer. We will have many follow-up activities coming in the next months.