Distinguished Lecture Series at St Andrews, Scotland, 6th November 2008.
|lecture 1:||Whose Computer Is It Anyway?||slides 2up (1.1Mb) slides 6up (494Kb)|
|lecture 2:||The Great Escape||slides 2up (1.3Mb) slides 6up (502Kb)|
|lecture 3:||Connected, but Under Control? Big, but Brainy?||slides 2up (1.6Mb) slides 6up (922Kb)|
Three talks about aspects of Human–Computer Interaction
Whose Computer Is It Anyway?
Computers only exist because they do things for people.
In that sense there is no computation that is not to some extent directly or indirectly part of human–computer interaction. Sometimes the computer is so buried in automatic systems that this human connection can be ignored, but for the majority of computer systems that today's students are likely to be working on during their careers, the impacts on the user are at the heart of what it means to be effective. For most of the current generation of computer users, the image of using a computer is will be centred around the graphical user interface of windows and icons, and the metaphorical 'desktop' set upon a real desktop somewhere.
In this first lecture I will discuss some of the well known, and less known origins of the graphical interface and also the now established methods of design and evaluation, supporting software architectures, and techniques for formal analysis.
The Great Escape
Increasingly the computer is escaping both the office desktop and the desktop interface.
For half the world's population in China, the Indian subcontinent and Africa, it is likely that their primary, and maybe only, means of accessing the global world of information and computation will be through a phone. In our own homes we interact with computers in the kitchen living room and even bathroom, and even when we feel we are in the contained world of a traditional desktop computer sitting on a desktop, still the computation spills out across the internet. Computation has no physical bounds and human interaction with information and computation is dispersed throughout our world and our lives.
In this second lecture we will see how research in human-computer interaction is addressing these challenges in areas such as mobile interfaces, ubiquitous computing and social networking.
Connected, but Under Control? Big, but Brainy?
Our academic work, our social life, even our personal memories live not only in our computers, but out in the 'cloud'. And out there the whole web of human information is becoming linked data, semantically defined and interconnected. This same web has the information capacity and the computational power of a human brain, and yet often seems more like a giant haystack than an intelligent aid.
In this last lecture I will present some of the work I have been personally involved with that seeks to extract structure from informal human data and reason in a more humane way using highly structured formal data. I will draw on both academic and commercial experience in constructing web interfaces that allow the strengths of human and computer intelligence to work together. We will see how personal ontologies could help computers help us, and perhaps soon to reason over the whole web ... just to help you order a pizza.
General Human-Computer Interaction
Two short articles about the development of scrollbars:
Ubiquity, user experience and the web
Loads of stuff at the Equator project web site.
Read more about FireFly ... a computer for every LED and the new medium of dgital light. But no papers yet
numbers and cognition
see also my various essays on imagination, rationality, etc.
The best references are:
Use it online at www.snipit.org
The project where the idea originated:
But note the observation that people wanted to bookmark portions of web pages was NOT part of the project aims. Although focus is important during research, it is also worth keeping an eye out for other things they sometimes end up being more significant than what you are looking for!
Snip!t is decribed in a number of papers including:
Personal ontologies and spreading activation
Alan Dix 8/11/2008