Lab News

Dr. Elizabeth Mynatt is going to join Northeastern University as the new Dean of the Khoury College of Computer Sciences! | December 10, 2021

We are so delighted to inform that our very own, Elizabeth Mynatt , is soon going to be begin her appointment as the new Dean of the Khoury College of Computer Sciences at Northeastern University in Boston, starting January 2022. We are excited to see her take over this prestigious role and wish her all the luck in her new journey! We also look forward to charting our shared future together with an ECL sister lab at Northeastern soon! Congrats Beth!

New AI Institute Builds Tech to Support Aging | August 4, 2021

A team of Georgia Tech researchers has won a five-year, $20 million grant from NSF to build intelligent systems that support aging. The grant’s co-PI is our very own Elizabeth Mynatt, director of the Institute for People and Technology (IPaT) at Georgia Tech—IPaT’s expertise in technology for “aging in place” will play a key role in the funded research program.
The award builds upon decades of work at Georgia Tech, both in artificial intelligence, and — through IPaT— understanding the technological needs of older adults. The new systems will be tested with Georgia families through existing programs, including the Emory-Georgia Tech Cognitive Empowerment Program, which is also currently the research focus for multiple projects in ECL.

New Communications of the ACM story | April 23, 2021

The ACM recently published an article on the importance of federally funded IT research and the long term economic impacts of this funding. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report, led by our very own Beth, traces the investments since the mid-1990s alongside the evolution IT innovations. And as noted in the article, "It's important to note this is not just about the past; it continues to be a great investment."

Congrats Jessica 2021 COC Graduate Student Award | April 23, 2021

Congrats to Jessica on her honorable mention Dissertation Award at the 30th annual College of Computing Awards.

Qualifier Success! | April 23, 2021

Congratulations to Toma and Nicole for passing their oral and written qualifiers! We are so proud of you both for passing this milestone in your PhD journey!

Jessica is recognized with the ischools Dissertation Award! Huge congratulations, Jessica! We are so proud! | February 26, 2021

Dr. Jessica Pater’s winning dissertation is titled Digital Self-Harm: Implications of Eating Disordered Behaviors Online. Here is what the Committee had to say:

The thesis addressed a significant and highly sensitive social problem, taking an intellectually rigorous approach that has widespread potential impact.

Reviewers commented that the thesis demonstrates careful scholarship, with a “clear engagement with previous literature” and a “systematic review, with excellent synthesis”. The method is highlighted as including “not one, but a set of case studies” that thoroughly develop and test the thesis’ hypothesis in a robust process.

The panel also noted that the research presented has value for the wider information science community now, and in the future: “there is a clear case that the thesis confirms, but also alters much of our existing theories on social impacts of information”, and “the ideas created and presented transcend the topic studied”.

Most importantly, the social applicability and benefit of the research are tangible, presenting a “compelling case” for both the research and the problem it addresses. Overall the thesis, in the words of one reviewer “is a clear example case for the vital value of information science for the global community”.

New CHI Paper on Understanding Clinician Assessment of Digital Self-Harm | February 12, 2021

Jessica and Beth have a new CHI paper on understanding how Clinicians assess for aspects of digital self-harm and their thoughts about the impacts of technology on the presentation of eating disorders. In this interview study they uncovered tensions related to clinician comfor and education into the (mis)use of technologies. They also explore the balancing of the positive and negative aspects of social media use with patients both prior to and post-clinical intervention. Finally, they also highlight the tensions of using social media within clinical practices and the use of social media data in the identification and treatment of patients with eating disorders. Click here to read the full paper. Congrats to Jess and Beth!

New CHI Paper on Empowering Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment | February 12, 2021

Tamara and Beth have a new CHI publication! The paper is focused on a study where they observed how ten dyads with an older adult with mild cognitive impairment and their care partners interacted with Google home over the course of ten weeks. A total of 3878 interactions were reviewed to better understand their experiences and survey data to understand individual preferences and priorities for automated assistance in the home. Click here to check out the paper. Congrats Tamara and Beth!!

New paper on proprioceptively displayed interfaces | January 15, 2021

Led by Dr. Clint Zeagler, this paper describes a between-participant study (104 participants) to determine how well users can locate e-textile interface discrete target touch points on the forearm without visual attention. We examine whether the addition of active touch embroidery and passive touch nubs (metal snaps with vibro-tactile stimulation) helps in locating input touch points accurately. They found that touch points towards the middle of the interface on the forearm were more difficult to touch accurately than at the ends. They also found that the addition of vibro-tactile stimulation aids in the accuracy of touch interactions by over 9% on average, and by almost 17% in the middle of the interface. Click here to read the paper. Congrats to Clint, Beth, and the rest of the team!

New Blog Post about User Research with Older Adults | January 8, 2021

Niharika recently published a new blog post about research within the lab with older adults. Pulling from her work on the Mild Cognitive Impairment project, she offers a list of ideas that might help user researchers who work with older adults. Great work Niharika!