I’m happy to announce that our CHI’16 Late Breaking Work entitled ReWear: Early Explorations of a Modular Wearable Construction Kit for Young Children was just honored with a Best Paper Award given to only four of the 647 submissions (0.6%). This was a terrific team effort involving contributions from five students, including two undergraduates and one high school student and led by Majeed Kazimitabaar.
With the recent Seattle and Newberg launch of Project Sidewalk, we have been getting a lot of media attention. Here are a few articles so far (many more to come!):
Newberg streets second in nation to be studied with new accessibility metric (The Newberg Graphic, April 2019)
Seattle's got terrible sidewalks. You can help fix them. (Crosscut, April 2019)
Our rock star ugrad researcher, Aileen Zeng, presented a poster on our successful Washington DC deployment of Project Sidewalk at the Allen School's Women’s Research Day.It's exciting times for crowdsourcing sidewalk accessibility, we just deployed into two more cities--both in the Pacific Northwest: Newberg, OR and Seattle, WA.
The Makeability Lab and the UbiComp Lab hosted students from Northwest High School. The high school students were all taking an Internet of Things (IoT course), which focuses not just on building IoT technology but the societal implications. For example, students are asked to consider: How can this technology help us achieve a more just and equitable world? How will we be able to ensure that these devices improve our quality of life without imprisoning us? What ethics or code of conduct should guide the IoT?Venkatesh spoke about his research supporting blind programmers, Manaswi spoke about Project Sidewalk and urban accessibility visualizations, and Dhruv spoke about his work on sound awareness tools for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Congratulations to Majeed Kazemitabaar who successfully defended his MS thesis entitled "MakerWear: A Tangible Construction Kit for Young Children to Create Interactive Wearables" on Aug 4, 2017 and just submitted the final thesis today. Woohoo! Majeed now plans to return to Iran and work at a startup. We wish him all the best!
We were just notified that MakerWear received the Best Paper award at CHI2017 (top 1% of all submissions at CHI). The conference received over 2400 submissions and 24 were chosen for Best paper (97 were chosen for Honorable Mention). Congrats to lead student Majeed Kazemitibaar and the whole MakerWear team!
This is the first full research publication from Froehlich's NSF CAREER award.
I'm excited to announce that our group just received an NSF CAREER Award to develop and study new interfaces, techniques, and tools to enable young children (ages 5-10) to program, build, and use their own interactive wearables. I've been working on this project since about the time I arrived at UMD, and I'm so happy that it is now funded. Lab member (and MS student) Majeed Kazemitabaar has been absolutely critical in the past few years to making this project what it is today. Our first paper on this work will be published at CHI2017. Hope to see you there!
See also this UMIACS news release.