Liang He Receives Bob Bandes Memorial Honorable Mention Teaching Award

Jon E. Froehlich Jun 14, 2021

Congratulations to Liang He for receiving the Bob Bandes Memorial Teaching Award (Honorable Mention). The award page provides excerpts from my nomination letter (repeated below):

I strongly recommend Liang He for the Bob Bandes Memorial Teaching Award. He has TA'd for me twice during the pandemic — both for studio-based courses that traditionally require specialized hardware and equipment. These are not typical CSE courses and are extraordinarily difficult to teach and TA for. Liang has worked tirelessly to adapt our physically-oriented lectures and coursework to online. He helped solder, prepare, and package over 50 hardware kits and worked with CSE staff to deliver them to students. This is a HUGE atypical effort for a CSE TA, especially given the short turnaround time of the quarters. Liang maintains a spirit of positivity and creative encouragement for the students and graciously shares his expertise and time.

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Froehlich Selected for Outstanding Faculty Award

Jon E. Froehlich Jun 07, 2021

I am honored and humbled to receive the 2021 College of Engineering Outstanding Faculty Award. It is truly a recognition of my students for their resilience, adaptability, and mutual support throughout the pandemic, of my spouse who is a wonderful co-parent and provides constant support (including building a teaching studio in our basement), of the UW CSE staff who provide the amazing infrastructure and services to teach our students, and of my Allen School, MHCID, College of Engineering, and UW DUB colleagues (staff and faculty) who all helped get through this unprecedented year. I am grateful to you all. 

The Allen School did a nice writeup here.

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Manaswi Saha Passes General Exam

Jon E. Froehlich May 28, 2021

Congratulations to Manaswi Saha for successfully passing her General Exam on "Designing Interactive Computational Tools for Understanding Urban Accessibility at Scale." Thanks to committee members Bill Howe, Jeff Heer, Bo Zhao, and Anat Caspi.

More pictures here.

A picture of Manaswi Saha's General Exam showing a slide that reads 'People and Infrastructure Problem: Socio-political Environmental Analysis' and states a research question: 'How do stakeholders assess urban accessibility and how do they make decisions?'

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Dhruv Jain Receives Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant

Jon E. Froehlich May 24, 2021

Congratulations to Makeability Lab PhD student Dhruv Jain on receiving the Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant for his PhD work on designing and studying sound sensing and feedback techniques for people who are d/Deaf and hard of hearing.

I also want to explicitly acknowledge and thank Microsoft and Microsoft Research, more specifically, for running a program to support those "who are underrepresented in the field of computing."

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Virtual Lab Hangout with!

Jon E. Froehlich Jan 21, 2021

Playing with the lab. Thanks Jesse for setting it up!

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Liang He Passes General Exam

Jon E. Froehlich Dec 18, 2020

Announcing Liang He, PhD Candidate! Liang He successfully passed his General Exam entitled Interactive Design Tools and Techniques for Augmented 3D Printable Behaviors. His talk and accompanying slides were beautifully designed and thoughtfully captured his vision for enabling designers and DIY makers to more easily prototype and fabricate interactive 3D printable forms.

Congrats Liang!

A screenshot of one of Liang He's general exam slides that says "My Research: Making 3D Printable Mechanical Behaviors" and enumerates benefits of his approach


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Dhruv Jain Passes General Exam

Jon E. Froehlich Dec 11, 2020

It's my pleasure to announce that Dhruv Jain passed his General Exam entitled Sound Sensing & Feedback Techniques for d/Deaf & Hard of Hearing Users: A Dissertation Proposal. His dissertation work was thoughtfully presented, well rehearsed, and even included two live demos (of HomeSound and of SoundWatch). Congrats DJ!

Thanks also to the wonderful committee, including co-chair Professor Findlater and fellow committee members Professors Mankoff, Ladner, Wobbrock, and Bigham—literally an all-star cast of HCI+accessibility experts.

You can download the slides here or watch the whole thing on YouTube!

A few screenshots of the talk (all but the presenter + interpreters had video off):

An image showing the introductory screen to the HomeSound demo

Image shows DJ holding an Android watch running the SoundWatch app, which has inferred that speech is inferring around him and shows this on the display


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Announcing Dr. Seokbin Kang

Jon E. Froehlich Nov 10, 2020

Announcing Dr. Seokbin Kang—Seokbin successfully defended his PhD dissertation entitled Augmented Reality Systems and USer Interaction Techniques for STEM Learning." Seokbin is my last UMD CS advisee and it was an enormous honor working with him.

Thanks also to the amazing commitee, which included Professors David Jacobs, Tamara Clegg, Huaishu Peng, and David Weintrop.


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SoundWatch Wins Best Artifact Award at ASSETS

Jon E. Froehlich Oct 29, 2020

Members of the newly launched UW CREATE accessibility center won all three top awards at ASSETS2020—the top publication venue in accessibility research—including Best Artifact for our SoundWatch work, Best Paper awarded to Professor Leah Findlater and her PhD student Lotus Zhang, Best Student Paper awarded to PhD student Megan Hofmann and colleagues (including her advisor and CREATE co-director Jennifer Mankoff). Congrats all!

Relatedly, Sarah McQuate wrote a lovely article on our SoundWatch work—check it out!



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Manaswi Saha Honored with Google PhD Fellowship

Jon E. Froehlich Oct 07, 2020

We are incredibly excited and proud of PhD student Manaswi Saha, who was just honored with the 2020 Google PhD Fellowship for her work on Project Sidewalk and urban accessibility. Congrats Manaswi on this well-deserved recognition for your important work.

An excerpt of the official blurb from the Allen School News website:

Saha, who is one of 53 students throughout the world to be selected for a Google Fellowship, will use those tools to fill an informational gap between citizens and the local government and stakeholders showing where improvements in sidewalks need to be made to make them accessible to all. 

“Since the beginning of my academic career, my research interests have been towards socially impactful projects. Public service, especially for underrepresented communities, runs in my family,” Saha said. “The driving force for the work I do stems from my role model, my father, who dedicated his life towards rural and agricultural development in India. His selfless efforts inspired me to explore how technology can be used for the betterment of society. With this goal in mind, I set out to do my Ph.D. with a focus on high-value social problems.”

Saha works with Froehlich in the Makeability Lab on one of its flagship ventures, Project Sidewalk. The project has two goals: to develop and study data collection methods for acquiring street-level accessibility information using crowdsourcing, machine learning, and online map imagery and to design and develop navigation and map tools for accessibility.

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