L’Oreal Canada and UNESCO Post-Doc Award!

I am so super, super excited and honored to have been chosen as the 2015 recipient of the  L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science – NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship Supplement! It was an honor before to win an NSERC PDF, but to be recognized for my contributions to advancing women in science and my research interests is beyond amazing.

The winners of the L’Oreal Canada and L’Oreal-UNESCO awards (I am one of the only in pants!)!

The awards presentation was held in Ottawa, Ontario, at the French Embassy so I got to have my first visit to the nation’s capital (the National Gallery of Canada is fabulous!). Never did I imagine that I would get to go to an Embassy, so it was a real treat to meet and learn about the lives of diplomats and those who make decisions about funding at NSERC.

Art Deco and some fabulous marble!

Feels just like a Castle in France.

The press release, which also announces a fabulous new program from L’Oreal supporting women in science, can be found here.

The toys are in Toronto

Tee heheheh! I’m so excited to announce that I, along with my toys, were offered a joint Post Doctoral Fellowship in the DGP Lab (at the University of Toronto) and in the User Interface Group at Autodesk Research. This means that I get to work alongside some of the great HCI’ers including Daniel Wigdor, Tovi Grossman, and George Fitzmaurice on a daily basis. While I don’t know exactly what direction my research will take, I know that I am gunning for the integration of some fabulous hardware and software. Who knows, maybe I’ll get to use my glue gun again?

PS. Thanks to the great Ken Hinckley, some of you may be getting MobileHCI review requests from me this year.

Successful Defense and PhD Dissertation Details

Yippee! Last week, I was honored to have my thesis accepted by, and successfully defended in front of my examining committee (consisting of the wonderful and fabulous, Dr. Walter F. Bischof, Dr. Pierre Boulanger, Dr. Brian Maraj, Dr. Paul Dietz, and Dr. Ken Hinckley). My defense ended up being a lot of fun, with many jokes and lots of laughter!

As my thesis won’t be released until November/December, I wanted to post my (very wordy) abstract below in the mean time. I’m super excited to be finished my PhD and am eagerly looking forward to my post-U of A days!

Done and Printed!

Dissertation Abstract:

Although pens and paper are pervasive in the analog world, their digital counterparts, styli and tablets, have yet to achieve the same adoption or frequency of use. Digital styli should provide a natural, intuitive method to take notes, annotate, and sketch, but have yet to reach their full potential. There has been surprisingly little research focused on understanding why inking experiences differ so vastly between analog and digital media and amongst various styli themselves. To enrich our knowledge on the stylus experience, this thesis contributes a foundational understanding of the factors implicated in the varied experiences found within the stylus ecosystem today.

The thesis first reports on an exploratory study utilizing traditional pen and paper and tablets and styli that observed quantitative and behavioural data, in addition to preferential opinions, to understand current inking experiences. The exploration uncovered the significant impact latency, unintended touch, and stylus accuracy have on the user experience, whilst also determining the increasing importance of stylus and device aesthetics and stroke beautification. The observed behavioural adaptations and quantitative measurements dictated the direction of the research presented herein.

A systematic approach was then taken to gather a deeper understanding of device latency and stylus accuracy. A series of experiments garnered insight into latency and accuracy, examining the underlying elements that result in the lackluster experiences found today. The results underscored the importance of visual feedback, user expectations, and perceptual limitations on user performance and satisfaction. The proposed Latency Perception Model has provided a cohesive understanding of touch- and pen-based latency perception, and a solid foundation upon which future explorations of latency can occur.

The thesis also presents an in-depth exploration of unintended touch. The data collection and analysis underscored the importance of stylus information and the use of additional data sources for solving unintended touch. The behavioral observations reemphasized the importance of designing devices and interfaces that support natural, fluid interaction and suggested hardware and software advancements necessary in the future. The commentary on the interaction – rejection dichotomy should be of great value to developers of unintended touch solutions along with designers of next-generation interaction techniques and styli.

The thesis then concludes with a commentary on the areas of the stylus ecosystem that would benefit from increased attention and focus in the years to come and future technological advancements that could present interesting challenges in the future.

Graduation will soon be upon us!

Its now that wonderful time in my PhD life when I have finished writing my thesis, it has been passed on to the committee, and I are eagerly awaiting my defense! After many years of very hard work and some good planning on our part, my partner in crime (and life!!), Fraser, and I will receive our PhD degrees in November 2014! My thesis is a nice wrap up of all of the pen-based interaction that I have been publishing over the last year. I must say, I am super proud of myself. Fraser’s thesis is on gesture learning and I am super jealous that he gets to talk about LEGO and Disney’s Haunted Mansion in his dissertation!

We just couldn’t resist not getting Mickey Graduate Ears!

Back from Microsoft Research

So it has been a very busy year! I recently finished my time at Microsoft Research in Redmond, went on trips to Disneyland, Paris and Scotland / Ireland, helped with and attended my sister’s wedding, got engaged (!), passed my candidacy exam, and did a ton of research and paper writing! I’m now back in Edmonton and eager to finish up my thesis!

Sadly, due to the new Logo, this beauty is no longer 🙁

While in the US I discovered electronic paper cutters such as the Silhouette Cameo. Needless to say, I now have a new hobby.

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

Chihuly Glass Art, Washington

We’re Engaged (happened in Disneyland Paris)!!

Inside the Natural History Museum in Dublin, Ireland.