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School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering

Friday Seminars

We hold a regular program of seminars related to Human Computer Interaction Design, at 1pm on Fridays. We invite a range of external and internal speakers to discuss a broad range of work.

Full details of our upcoming program can be found below. If you'd like to attend any of our scheduled seminars, or wish to receive notifications about our future events, please contact

We always welcome new faces and ideas, so if you would like to join us to give a seminar, please contact us to provide us with some details and we'll be happy to discuss this further with you.

We hope to see you soon!

Spring 2017

Seminar Details:

Friday 20th January 2017, 1pm - 2pm in AG08: Ernesto Priego (City University)

Friday 27th January 2017, 1pm - 2pm in AG10: Sandra Trullemans (Vrje Universiteit, Brussels)

Friday 3rd February, 1pm - 2pm in A108: Jordan Tewell (City University)

Friday 17th February, 1pm - 2pm in A109: Simone Stumpf (City University)

Friday, 24th February, 1pm - 2pm in A214: Andy McFarlane (City University)

Friday, 17th March, 1pm - 2pm in AG08: Jason Webber (British Library)

Friday, 24th March, 1pm - 2pm in AG08: Leif Azzopardi (University of Strathclyde)

Friday, 31st March, 1pm - 2pm, in Room A108: Stephann Makri and Carol Butler (City University)

Friday, 7th April, 1pm - 2pm in AG08: Carina Westling (Kings College London)

Friday, 28th April, 1pm - 2pm in AG08: Geraldine Fitzpatrick & Petr Slovak (Vienna University of Technology & UCL)

Friday, 12th May, 1pm - 2pm in AG03: Charles Perin (City University - GiCentre)

Friday, 2nd June, 1pm - 2pm in AG08: Rahel Bailie (Scroll LLP)

Friday, 9th June, 1pm - 2pm in A109: Wendy Moyle (Griffin University, Australia)

Friday, 23rd June, 12pm - 1pm in AG11: Aisling O'Kane (UCL)

Friday, 30th June, 1pm - 2pm in A108: Joanna Hare (University of West of England)

Friday, 28th July, 1pm - 2pm in A109: Julie Doyle (CASALA and the Netwell Centre, Dundalk Institute of Technology)

Friday 20th January 2017: 1pm - 2pm in Room AG08

Title: "Graphic Medicine’ - Using Comics Within the Mental Health Domain"

Ernesto Priego, City University Centre for HCID


Recent literature suggests that a growing number of comics are being published on health-related topics, including aspects of mental health and social care (Williams 2012; Czerwiec et al 2015; Priego and Farthing 2016) and that comics are increasingly being used in higher education settings as information resources.

Fairly recently, researchers have also turned to comics creation to disseminate research findings. These researchers argue that comics (print and/or online publications) can lead to a wider adoption of research and enhance educational practices, widen public engagement, and improve the possibilities for research to influence public policy.

This seminar will present insights from qualitative analysis of data collected from comics creators and disseminators, and will explore the wider context of comics production and distribution (with a focus on 'Graphic Medicine' or health-related comics).  In order to contextualize this exploration of  'Graphic Medicine', the seminar will also provide an introduction to non-fiction comics research, and conclude with reflections on what the study and use of comics can contribute to Medical Humanities and Human Computer Interaction Design research.

Friday 27th January 2017: 1pm - 2pm in Room AG10

Title: "Informing the Design of PIM Tools in Cross-Media Information Spaces"

Sandra Trullemans, Vrje Universiteit, Brussels


The research area of Personal Information Management (PIM) studies how people keep, organise and re-find personal information such as digital and paper documents or photos. In addition, researchers explored the design of tools to make these PIM activities easier for the user. While there is a significant amount of research informing the design of PIM tools for digital media, much less is known about the design space of PIM tools for so-called cross-media information spaces where physical information carriers such as paper documents are unified with digital media. In order to enable the design of PIM tools for cross-media information spaces, we first have to track the position of physical artefacts together with some metadata such as the last used date or in which task the document is used. In addition, an information architecture needs to be defined for storing the state of the complex cross-media information space. Finally, cross-media PIM tools can be designed for the digital and physical information space and enable the seamless transition between these spaces. We will show examples of cross-media PIM tools in these different information spaces.

About the speaker:

Sandra Trullemans is a PhD student in the Web & Information Systems Engineering (WISE) Laboratory at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel under the guidance of Prof. Beat Signer. Her PhD is funded by the Agency of Innovation and Technology of Flanders. She owns a Bachelor in Management Sciences with a specialisation on work psychology. Sandra gained her Master of Science in Applied Sciences and Engineering: Applied Computer Science degree in 2013 with greatest distinction. She further received the award for the best Master's thesis and excellent final grades of the Engineering Faculty by the society of Brussels engineers. The combination of psychology and engineering in her education enables Sandra to take a user-centric approach to the design of interactive systems in the domain of Personal Cross-Media Information Management. Her other fields of interest include end-user development, pen-based Interaction, tangible interfaces and human-information interaction. Finally, Sandra is a teaching assistant for courses dealing with next generation user interfaces and information visualisation.

Friday 3rd February: 1pm - 2pm, in A108:

Title: A Temperature Display for Conveying Affective Feedback

Jordan Tewell, City University


Previous research has investigated whether temperature can augment a range of media including music, images and video. This seminar will describe the first experiment to investigate whether temperature can augment emotion conveyed by text messages. A challenge in prior work has been ensuring users can discern different thermal signals. An improved technique for thermal feedback that uses an array of three thermal stimulators will be presented. I will demonstrate that the Thermal Array Display (TAD) increases users’ ability to identify temperatures within a narrower range, compared to using a single thermal stimulator. While text messages dominate valence in the absence of context for temperature, the TAD consistently conveys arousal, and can enhance arousal of text messages, especially those that are emotionally neutral. Potential applications of augmenting text with temperature will be discussed.

About the speaker:

Jordan is a PhD Student at City, University of London and is conducting research within the Centre for Human Computer Interaction Design. He received his Masters (2012) from Carnegie Mellon University, in Entertainment Technology. Before moving to the UK, he worked in Japan and was involved with client projects with NEC and GL Associates in Korea. He was a Visiting Researcher for the ERATO Design UI Project in Tokyo and for Keio University. Since coming to London, he has also worked for several early stage startups, including a collaboration with the Mugaritz restaurant in Spain. His current research focuses on multi-modal communication using gustation, olfaction, mechanoreception, and thermoception and is studying their effects on human emotion and user behaviour.

Friday 17th February: 1pm - 2pm in A109:

Working Title: Smart Heating Systems and the FREEDOM project

Simone Stumpf, City University


Smart heating systems that try to optimise user comfort based on complex models of user preferences and other factors are becoming more popular in recent years. In this talk I will describe our work in the FREEDOM project, led by PassivSystems Ltd and funded by Western Power Distribution Wales & West Utilities. I will describe the current state of the art in HCI relating to smart heating systems and present the results of a study to investigate user controls and user interface explanations. I will briefly review further work on this project and potential future work in smart heating system in vernal.

About the speaker:

Simone Stumpf received a PhD in Computer Science in 2001 and a BSc in Computer Science with Cognitive Science in 1996, both from University College London. She is currently a Senior Lecturer at City University London, and co-directs the Centre for HCI Design. Previously, she conducted research at Oregon State University, USA, and University College London, UK. Her research centres on end-user interactions with intelligent systems, end-user development and personal information management. Dr Stumpf also has industrial experience as a User Experience Architect.

Friday 24th February: 1pm - 2pm in A214:

Title: Visual Analysis of Dyslexia on Search

Andy MacFarlane, City University


A key problem in the field of search interfaces is dyslexic users interaction with the UI. Dyslexia is a widespread specific learning difficult (SpLD) (10% of any population is estimated to have this cognitive disability) which is under researched in the field of information retrieval. The focus here is an analysis of the User Interface (UI) for search, using visual analytical methods on eye tracking data to examine the difference between control and dyslexic searchers. We use a number of visual analytic methods including path similarity analysis (PSA) and clustering of time intervals to demonstrate both similarities and differences between the user groups. Observations of videos are used to augment the visualizations. Results demonstrate a clear difference between the user groups, and a clear memory effect on the user of search interfaces is shown – this is a key contribution of this talk. We examine the results using of theories of dyslexia, contributing also to the field of dyslexia and search.

Joint work with: Areej Al-Wabil, Gennady Andrienko, Natalia Andrienko, George Buchanan

About the speaker:

Andy is a Reader in the Department of Computer Science at City University, and is a member of the Centre for HCI Design. He got his PhD in Information Science from the same University under the supervision of Prof Robertson and Dr J.A. McCann (now at Imperial College London). His research interests currently focus on a number of areas including disabilities and Information Retrieval (dyslexia in particular), Image Retrieval, AI techniques for Information Retrieval and Filtering, and Open Source Software Development.

Friday 17th February: 1pm - 2pm in AG08:

Title: The UK Web Archive

Jason Webber, The British Library


The UK Web Archive, on behalf of all the UK Legal Deposit libraries, has been collecting selective UK websites  since 2005 and ALL UK websites since 2013. This talk will outline the opportunities as well as many of the challenges of attempting to collect, store and give access to such a large collection. It will also demonstrate some practical ways of using the collection.

About the speaker:

Jason is the Web Archiving Engagement Manager at The British Library where he   encourages increased public use of the archive. Jason also looks for and manages partnerships and collaborations on projects using the web archives. Jason has previously worked on digital projects at the Museum of London and Natural History Museum. and @ukwebarchive (twitter)

Friday, 31st March, 1pm - 2pm, Room A108:

Title: Understanding Information Interaction, Informing Design

Stephann Makri and Carol Butler, City University


Understanding how people interact with information in a variety of digital and physical environments can identify gaps in for support for existing user needs and behaviour that HCI design might fill - through evolutionary or revolutionary design. Stephann Makri and Carol Butler will present two examples of information interaction research with this aim.

First, Stephann will discuss a study on information encountering conducted by Shermaine Waugh, which entailed a naturalistic observation of people browsing physical libraries. The study highlighted an information-seeking encountering tension - which on one hand entices people towards the relatively high-risk, high-reward activity of exploring new information avenues discovered serendipitously and, on the other, draws them back towards the relative safety of goal-directed information-seeking. Stephann will discuss a number of factors that contribute to this tension and some design suggestions for mitigating it.

Then, Carol will discuss her research with the British Library on how digital publishing technologies and social platforms are used to mediate interactions between authors and readers. She will critique the design of existing tools that support these interactions and discuss her approach for better understanding how these environments are used to communicate; to what end; and how this may impact the traditional view of the role of author and reader.

About the speakers:

Stephann is a Senior Lecturer in Human-Computer Interaction at City, University of London and self-proclaimed 'prince of serendip.' His research focuses on how people interact with digital information and, in particular, on how people encounter information serendipitously and how we can design technology to better support this. His work has featured widely in the media, including in the Sunday Times, BBC and ABC Radio and Readers Digest. For more information visit

Carol is a first year PhD research student in Human-Computer Interaction, working on a collaborative doctoral project at City University and The British Library. Her focus is to investigate how technology is used currently, and may be used in the future, to support the co-construction of textual meaning through interaction between readers, and between reader and author. Her research aims to help guide future collection policies and service design at the British Library.

Friday 24th March: 1pm, in AG08:

Title: Usor Economicus – Modelling Search Interaction using Economics

Leif Azzopardi, University of Strathclyde


In this talk, I will describe my efforts in trying to understanding how people interact with search systems and how this has resulted in the development of several economics model of search and search behaviour. These models assume an Economic User (i.e. Usor Economicus), one who inevitably does that by which s/he may obtain the greatest amount of information and knowledge, with the smallest quantity of effort.

In this talk, I will first provide an overview of the typically Interactive Information Retrieval process. Then I will introduce an economic model of search, which is derived from production theory. I will show how the model enables us to generate compelling, intuitive and crucially testable hypotheses about the search behaviour of users. They provide insights into how we can manipulate the system and the interface in order to change the behaviour of users.

In a series of user experiments, I show how well the models characterise, predict and explain observed behaviours (and where they fall down). I believe the models, not only, provide a concise and compact representation of search and search behaviour, but also provides a strong theoretical basis for future research into Interactive Information Retrieval. Furthermore, these economic models can be developed for all sorts of human computer interactions, and so are likely to provide many more insights into how people use systems and how we should design such systems.

This talk is based on the following papers:

“The economics of interaction”, ACM SIGIR 2011, see:

“How query cost affects search behavior” with Diane Kelly & Kathy Brennan at ACM SIGIR 2013, see:

“Modeling Interaction with Economic Models of Search” which received an Honorable Mention at ACM SIGIR 2014, see:

“An analysis of Theories of search and search behaviour” with Guido Zuccon at  ACM ICTIR 2015, see:

“An analysis of the Cost and Benefit of Search Interactions” with Guido Zuccon, at ACM ICTIR 2016, see

About the speaker:

Dr. Leif Azzopardi is a Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow within Department of Computer and Information Science. Prior to this he was a Senior Lecturer at the University of Glasgow within the School of Computing Science. His latest research focuses on using Optimal Foraging Theory and Economic Theory to model the interaction between users and information retrieval systems.

Central to his research is the theoretical development of statistical language models for Information Retrieval, where his research interests include:(i) Models for the retrieval of documents, sentences, experts and other information objects,(ii) Probabilistic models of user interaction and the simulation of users for evaluation,
(iii) economic models of information interaction, specifically how cognitive load and effort affect interaction and performance with search systems,
(iv) Methods for text and data mining of large scale/big data collections,
(v) Methods which assess the impact of search technology on society in application areas such as, search engine bias and the accessibility of E-Government information.

He received his Ph.D. in Computing Science from the University of Paisley in 2006, and he received a First Class Honours Degree in Information Science from the University of Newcastle, Australia, 2001.

Friday 7th April: 1pm, in AG08

Title: Interaction Design and the Postdigital Sublime

Carina Westling, Kings College London / The Nimbus Group


Emerging social and digital media environments in the present and recent past call for an interrogation of interactive system narratives and a critique of the imaginations of purity and rationality that remain associated with digital technology. To interrogate user-participant behaviours, which include a seemingly bewildering range of diversity that includes many transgressive behaviours, the postdigital sublime and a delinquent system aesthetic that extends, rather than narrows, interactive experience, can serve as a framework for both theoretical and practical research into experience design.

About the speaker:

Carina Westling received a PhD in 2016 from the University of Sussex. Her past and present research includes working with Punchdrunk theatre company as a researching designer, ongoing research collaborations with national and international neuroscientists, bioengineers and HCI researchers into embodied participant behaviours to investigate how people respond to states of engagement, boredom and frustration, and an artistic research practice as Creative Director at the Nimbus Group.

Friday, 28th April, 1pm in AG08:

Geraldine Fitzpatrick & Petr Slovak (Vienna University of Technology & UCL)

Title: We are Social: Social Interaction & Social-Emotional Competencies


In this seminar we will discuss two different strands of research broadly connected to us ‘being social beings’. In the first strand, we use the Give&Take project as an example to explore how a focus on peer interaction and mutual social support might provide an alternative to more functional monitoring-based approaches to technology support for older people. In the second strand, we go back to basics, recognizing that many of the social interaction technologies we build often presume a basic set of social emotional (SE) competencies; but we have little knowledge about how to scaffold or support learning of these competencies with technology. These questions become all the more important as HCI turns towards designing for well-being, where decades of research position SE competencies---such as self control, perseverance, or empathy---as basic requirements for a happy and fulfilling life. We explore the key challenges involved in developing SE competencies, and how technology could meaningfully help address these, capturing this in a conceptual framework based on Schön’s notion of reflective practicum.

About the speakers:

Geraldine Fitzpatrick is Professor of Technology Design and Assessment at TU Wien (Vienna University of Technology) where she leads the Human Computer Interaction Group and the Institute of Design and Assessment of Technology. She was previously Director of the Interact Lab at the Uni of Sussex, User Experience consultant at Sapient London, and Snr Researcher at DSTC/Center for Online Health in Australia. Her research is at the intersection of social and computer sciences, with a particular interest in technology support in everyday contexts for collaboration, health and well-being, community building and active engagement for older people. She sits on various advisory boards, and serves in editorial and program committee/chair roles in various CSCW/HCI/health related venues. She is also an ACM Distinguished Scientist and an ACM Distinguished Speaker.

Petr Slovak is a Visiting Research Fellow at UCL Interaction Centre and Honorary Fellow at the Evidence Based Practice Unit at UCL, both as part of a Schroedinger Fellowship funded by Austrian Academy of Sciences. He holds a PhD in HCI, as well as a BSc in psychology and BSc&MSc in computer science. His research is at the intersection of HCI, Prevention Science, and Educational Psychology, focussing on understanding how technology can meaningfully support the development of social emotional skills in educational and therapeutic settings. As part of this work, Petr has developed collaborations with multiple organisations including Committee for Children (largest social-emotional learning program in the US), Microsoft Research Redmond, Cornell University, University of California Santa Cruz and others.

Friday, 12th May, 1pm, in AG03

Title: It's not just about staring at pretty pictures: small, manipulable and slow data visualization

Charles Perin, City, University of London - GiCentre


In the era of big data, data mining, and machine learning, visualization is becoming an afterthought. It is increasingly seen as a way of creating pretty pictures for business purposes and marketing, not as a "scientific" method for exploring and making sense of data. In this talk, I will discuss the role of information visualization to make sense of data and the importance of giving people a sense of control by making data manipulable, playful, slow, and engaging. I will also argue that before tackling big data challenges, one needs to master small data. Manipulable data visualizations are a way of increasing people's data literacy and visualization literacy, thus a way of including (everyday) people in modern societal, political, and economic data-driven discourses.

About the speaker:

I am a Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at City, University of London and part of the giCentre research group, since January 2017. I conduct research at the intersection of information visualization and human computer interaction. I am particularly interested in designing and studying new interactions for visualizations and in understanding how people may make use of and interact with visualizations in their everyday lives. Before joining City, I was a Post-doc at University of Calgary. I obtained my PhD on Direct Manipulation for Information Visualization, at Université Paris Sud-XI in 2014.

Friday, 2nd June, 1pm , in AG08

Title: How Structured Content Supports Better UX

Rahel Bailie, Scroll LLP


The move toward an "intelligent content" model - rich semantics and structural awareness - promotes content that is discoverable, reusable, reconfigurable, and adaptable. This way of creating and managing content works from the inside out: by helping machines understand both content and context, the content also contributes to user delight as it becomes possible to deliver personalised, more contextual content.

About the speaker:

Content strategy geek. Works with brands to manage content as business assets. Supporter of standards, schemas, and semantic content. Member of OASIS (LW-DITA SC). CKO at Scroll LLP, organiser of the Content, Seriously meetup, Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication, lecturer in the Content Strategy Master's Program at FH-Joanneum. Working on third industry book.,

Friday, 9th June, 1pm - 2pm in A109

  • Title: Measurement of engagement and improvement of social connection through telepresence

Wendy Moyle, Griffin University, Brisbane, Australia


Dementia is currently the leading cause of disability in Australians aged 65 years or older, and the second leading cause of death in this country. The greatest threat to quality of life for people with dementia are the behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD), which include apathy, agitation, aggression, depression, and hallucinations. Apathy, for example diminishes the amount and reciprocity of interactions between people with dementia and their partners and about one third of dementia costs relate to managing BPSD. A strong means of preventing and slowing BPSD is positive and meaningful engagement with others.  Telepresence robots may be useful in aged and dementia care as a means of engaging older people in meaningful activities. However, the measurement of engagement of older people with dementia is challenging because of their reduced displays of emotion.

This presentation will present the social robotics laboratory at Griffith University, Australia, the opportunities for co-design within the laboratory, and the development and testing of scales that aim to measure the response of a person with dementia to a robot.

About the speaker:

Professor Wendy Moyle is a Registered Nurse and Program Director in the Menzies Health Institute Qld based at Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. Her research focus is non-pharmacological interventions, in particular socially assistive robotics and their effect on reducing the Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD) and improving quality of life for people with dementia and their family carers.  She works with several international agencies/universities on the development of new technologies and has achieved several awards in recognition of her research, including two International Women’s Day Awards. Her research features widely in the media with 12 television appearances to date, and over 100 radio and social media interviews.

Friday, 23rd June, 12pm, in AG11

Title: How Mobile Healthcare Technologies are Actually Used (and Hacked) in the Wild

Aisling O'Kane, UCL


Adults make choices regarding the technology they use to self-manage their health and wellbeing, and these technologies are often adopted, used and abused in ways that researchers, manufacturers, and clinicians have not accounted for. This talk will give an overview of human-computer interaction research on the situated use of mobile technologies in people’s everyday (and sometimes messy) lives. Accounting for individual choices adults make will be discussed in relation to understanding the use of these devices in the context in which they are actually used, supporting choices through end user customisation, and the emerging trend towards Do-It-Yourself open-source technology innovation that is outpacing healthcare researchers and manufacturers.  Examples will be given from research on Type 1 diabetes devices and apps, hearing loss technologies, baby monitoring technologies, and wearables and apps for fitness.

About the speaker:

Dr. Aisling O'Kane is a research fellow at University College London, examining the hacking culture around Type 1 diabetes devices supported by the EPSRC Doctoral Prize Postdoctoral Fellowship. Her research interests are in how personal health and wellbeing devices are actually used and abused by people in their everyday lives.



Friday, 30th June, 1pm, in A108

Title: Designing the Complete User Experience: the Role of Physicality in Prototyping

Joanna Hare, University of West of England


During this seminar Dr. Jo Hare will present the area of her research which focuses on the role of physical interactive prototypes in the design of physical, digital and service design projects. Human-centred design and understanding the user experience are crucial to the success of a product or service, and the prototype is an essential tool in receiving user feedback and critically assessing your design. Jo will present examples of prototypes from industry projects and her PhD ('Physicality in the Design and Development of Computer Embedded Products'). Low-fidelity prototyping approaches and techniques for user trials will help you integrate findings from this research into your projects.

About the speaker:

Jo is a product & service designer with 15 years of professional experience in industry & academia. She has worked on a range of projects as a Senior User-Centred Designer at PDR, an international centre for design and research; projects included medical devices, baby products, kitchen appliances and banking. Jo has over 15 Journal and conference publications and is currently co-writing a book with Prof. Alan Dix (Birmingham University) and Prof. Steve Gill (Cardiff Metropolitan University). The book centred on the research council funded DEPtH: Designing for Physicality project. Jo has recently joined the University of the West of England as a Service and Product Design lecturer, where she focuses on the human-centred design process for the broader role of design within product, service and digital projects. Specific interests include prototype fidelity, user experience, design process, service design and industrial collaboration.

Friday, 28th July, 1pm  in A109

Title: Digital Technologies to Support Older Adults Self-Managing Health and Wellbeing – Experiences, Challenges and Lessons Learned

Julie Doyle (CASALA and the Netwell Centre, Dundalk Institute of Technology)


Globally, human populations are ageing and as a result there has been an elevated interest in understanding the factors that may support the maintenance of independent living and quality of life of older adults. Smart homes have significant potential to enhance the lives of older adults, extending the period of healthy ageing, through monitoring wellbeing, detecting decline and applying interventions to prevent or slow down this decline. It is also recognized that empowering individuals to self-manage their own health and wellbeing will result in more cost-effective healthcare systems, improved health outcomes and will encourage healthy individuals to remain that way.

This talk discusses findings from a number of ongoing studies carried out by the NetwellCASALA research centre examining the design and evaluation of health and wellness technologies for older adults. From sophisticated smart homes collecting longitudinal behavioural data, to tablet applications, the attitudes of older adults and their care networks towards technologies, self-management, and various data visualisations will be discussed.

About the Speaker:

Julie Doyle’s research is in the field of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) with a focus on health and wellness technologies for use by older adults, their carers and healthcare professionals. In her current position as Research Fellow at NetwellCASALA, Julie leads HCI research that crosses the fields of ambient assisted living, falls prevention, emotional wellbeing and chronic disease management. Julie is a Principal Investigator on a number of EU projects, including the H2020 project ProACT, examining integrated care for older people with multiple chronic conditions. She is also PI on a project examining how technology can support older adults transitioning from hospital to home, including how such technology and the resulting data can be used by healthcare professionals in practice, that involves partners including the Health Service Executive of Ireland and Fujitsu. Julie oversees all user-centred application design and development at NetwellCASALA. Her current research is examining (1) the effectiveness of various types of feedback to convey health and wellbeing information to older adults, (2) behaviour change techniques to encourage self-management and (3) measuring the effectiveness and impact of such technologies in practice.

Autumn 2016


Friday 2nd December, 1pm - 2pm in A108: Andy MacFarlane, City University

Friday 25th November, 1pm - 2pm in A108: Dominic Pates, City University

Friday 28th October, 1pm - 2pm in A108: Claire Llewellyn (University of Edinburgh)

Friday 21st October, 1pm - 2pm in A107: Sander Münster (Dresden University)

Friday 7th October, 1pm - 2pm in A109: Adrian Bussone

Seminar Details

Friday 2nd December 2016

Title: "Designing and Evaluating an Image Search Retrieval Interface for Creative Professionals: Two Studies" Andy MacFarlane, City University


The amount of images available online has increased significantly but the choices offered by image retrieval systems have not kept pace, especially those targeted at creative professionals who need to search for images as part of their work task. We describe the design of a ‘high density’ image search interface and two studies that were undertaken to evaluate the design. The first study followed an experimental set-up and quantitatively compared the use by non-experts of a high density interface with a traditional image search interface; the second study involved a qualitative approach with creative professionals who gave feedback on the high density interface design. Our results show that creative professional viewed the interface favourably precisely because they were able to get a quick overview. Our work holds important lessons for the design of image search interfaces and how to evaluate them.

About the speaker:

Andy is a Reader in the Department of Computer Science at City University, and is a member of the Centre for HCI Design. He got his PhD in Information Science from the same University under the supervision of Prof Robertson and Dr J.A. McCann (now at Imperial College London). His research interests currently focus on a number of areas including disabilities and Information Retrieval (dyslexia in particular), Image Retrieval, AI techniques for Information Retrieval and Filtering, and Open Source Software Development.

Friday 25th November 2016

Title: "Towards Wireless Collaboration" Dominic Pates, City University


Most university staff and students bring their own mobile digital devices into the learning space. Typically, the physical infrastructure doesn't enable either group to easily make use of the affordances of such devices beyond connecting to available wifi networks. This can result in effects such as usage in group contexts being profoundly personal rather than social, or the raising of barriers to passing around content at the point of engagement with it. Mobile devices therefore tend not to be used collaboratively in the face-to-face context.

In this seminar, I will present investigations conducted so far at City towards bringing wireless collaboration technologies to the university's learning spaces, and the challenges faced in doing so. Participants will have an opportunity to try out a technology currently being piloted in SMCSE Civil Engineering that facilitates wireless projection of an iPad in undergraduate teaching labs, and will be invited to contribute to possible use cases for such technologies.

About the speaker:

Dom is an Educational Technologist with City's Learning Enhancement and Development (LEaD) department, where he supports SMCSE academics in their pedagogical uses of educational technologies and contributes to institutional projects around learning spaces. He has presented a case study on City's work in learning spaces innovations at an international conference and in a peer-reviewed journal, and has been in pursuit of a wireless collaboration solution for City since joining in 2014. Other conference or event topics presented on have included mobile learning, incorporating blogs into teaching, and use of Creative Commons in the classroom. He gained an MA in Digital Media from Sussex University in 2013, with a dissertation titled '198 Ways to Keep the Internet Open'. Prior to working in educational technology, he spent several years as both an English language and an IT teacher, and has taught in both the UK and in Japan.

Friday 28th October 2016

Title: "If Brexit Means Brexit, What Does #brexit Mean?" Claire Llewellyn, University of Edinburgh


In reference to the UK-EU referendum Theresa May has frequently stated that ‘Brexit means Brexit’. Here we look at how the UK-EU referendum has been discussed within the social media site Twitter and in particular how the use of #brexit has changed over time.

In general, while interesting insights can be generated using social media data, the limitations of these non-representative and often partial data sources are increasingly being recognized. Here we introduce a unique longitudinal research design, employing multiple collection methods, developed for the study of Twitter responses.

Hashtag use is not static; groups discussing a specific topic can change the hashtags they use and the meaning of an individual hashtag can change over time. When specific groups use hashtags it is not uncommon for an opposing group to appropriate the hashtags and use them in a subversive way. We are therefore investigating how the use of #brexit has changed over the twelve months between September 2015 and August 2016.

About the speaker:

Clare Llewellyn is a researcher within the Neuropolitics Research Lab of the School of Social and Political Science at the University of Edinburgh. In this work she is analysing the social media reaction to the 2016 UK-EU referendum.

She is also a PhD student at the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh studying user generated content on the internet. This includes how to analyse and filter content in order to present useful and appropriate information. In general her interests are in digital libraries, open data, computational linguistics, text analysis, data and text mining. She previously worked as part of the Advance Technical Research group at JSTOR, an online journal archive, and as part of the digital library research group at the University of Liverpool.

Friday 21st October 2016

Title: "Using Digital 3D Reconstruction Methods for Visual Humanities Research and Education" Sander Münster, Dresden University of Technology


Digital visual humanities subsume a wide scope of research approaches dealing with the investigation of complex visual information to answer research interests from humanities by using ICT as, for example, digital 3D reconstruction methods. Technological backgrounds, project opportunities, as well as methodological considerations for application are widely discussed in literature. In contrast, it is a still ongoing challenge will be to disseminate these techniques within a wider scientific community and establish them in disciplines’ academic cultures. With this background, many research activities at my department during the last years are proposed to support that dissemination process. This is done by (1) investigating scenarios and practices for an employment of digital visualization methods and approaches for scientific research, (2) identifying requirements and recommendations for digital tools, and (3) developing and evaluating how to learn and teach the use of digital visualization methods and, in particular, digital 3D reconstruction techniques in visual humanities. Within the seminar I’ll present and discuss some preliminary results as well as research perspectives emerging from our former and ongoing research projects. Moreover, I would be happy to learn about your research subjects within a brief interactive workshop.

About the speaker:

Sander Münster is Head of the Department of Media Design and Media Production in the Media Center of Dresden University of Technology

Friday 7th October 2016

Title: "It Feels Like I'm Managing Myself: HIV+ People Tracking Their Own Personal Health Information" Adrian Bussone, City University


Nearly 37 million people live with HIV globally and recent advances in medicine have transformed HIV to a chronic disease, if managed.

Previous research in Personal Health Informatics has investigated how people self-manage other chronic conditions, such as diabetes, by tracking and reflecting on their health information but there is little knowledge of how people do so for complex and socially stigmatized diseases like HIV. A better understanding of their specialized needs could lead to the development of more appropriate tools to self-manage their condition. Our paper introduces an iterative process model of Personal Health Informatics. We then describe the results of an empirical study involving HIV+ adults aimed at understanding their issues, concerns and actions in each of the stages of this process model. We provide implications for the design of personal informatics tools and open research directions that can lead to better self-management for people living with HIV.

Spring 2016


Friday 27th May, 1pm - 2pm in AG03: Sarah Wiseman (Goldsmiths)

Title: Fixing the Number Entry Problem: From Human to Design

Friday 27th May, 11am - 12pm in AG11: Adrian Bussone

Title: Personal Health Informatics

Friday 20th May, 1pm - 2pm in AG04: Fernando Loizides (University of Wolverhampton)

Title: Investigating Patent Examination Using Eye-Tracking

Wednesday 20th April, 12pm - 1pm in A109: Daniel Holliday

Title: User Trust in Intelligent Systems

Friday 15th April, 1pm - 2pm in A108: Jennifer Horkoff (Cass#Patent_Exams_Eye_Tracki Business School)

Title: Support for Creativity and Reasoning in Early Requirements Engineering

Friday 15th April, 12:30pm - 1pm in A108: Tracey Booth

Title: Crossed Wires: Investigating the Problems of End-User Developers in a Physical Computing Task

Seminar Details

Friday 27th May 2016

Title: Fixing the Number Entry Problem: From Human to Design


Number entry is a pervasive task, from entering phone numbers to bidding for items on eBay. Despite the fact we do this task daily, we still make errors. Usually we can recover from this and it becomes nothing more than a frustration, but larger, more catastrophic errors are due to the same causes. In this seminar I will analyse the entire (seemingly tiny) process of number entry, and present my research exploring the causes and possible solutions for number entry. If nothing else, you’ll learn something strange about calculators and telephones.


Sarah is a research and teaching fellow at Goldsmiths, University of London where she teaches web programming, databases and HCI related subjects. Recent research has involved working on technology within immersive theatre performances, specifically looking at haptic and multi modal interactions. Her PhD and subsequent post doctoral work has focussed on understanding the task of number entry, both from a design and cognitive perspective. This has been largely motivated by problems within the medical domain where number entry error can, and does, cause serious harm to patients.

Friday 27th May 2016

Title: Personal Health Informatics


HIV affects nearly 37 million people worldwide, but recent advances in medicine have changed the lives of those living with this disease so that they can now expect to live a normal life span, if properly managed. Personal Health Informatics – the act of tracking and reflecting on personal health information – has been shown to help people living with other chronic diseases self-manage their condition. However, researchers have largely focused on developing tools to support the capture of information, particularly paying attention to people living with less complex and stigmatized diseases than HIV.  This presentation will provide a background on Personal Informatics, introduce a process model for PI, and then describe the results of a qualitative research study focused on the needs and actions of HIV+ adults in the Personal Health Informatics process are detailed.

Friday 20th May 2016

Title: Investigating Patent Examination Using Eye-Tracking


Searching for information in the digital domain can be a daunting task. The problems faced by information seekers have evolved through the years due to digitisation and communication technology advancements. We no longer have the problem of locating enough information, but suffer from the opposite problem of information overload; namely, having too much information to have to go through. One domain which requires particular attention to the way information seekers triage documents is that of patent searching in which successful triage is task and business critical. We read daily of the billions of pounds in law suits between large companies due to patent infringement. So the questions arise: What is going on? How do these patents come to be? In this talk we will investigate to a high level of granularity, how patent applications are examined to reveal some interesting, albeit worrying, findings.


I am Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Computer Science at the School of Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Wolverhampton, UK. I also hold an honorary Fellowship at the Cyprus Interaction lab, Cyprus University of Technology. My main area of research lies in Information Interaction, HCI and Digital Libraries, focusing on Information Seeking, Information Architecture and User Experience, with a special interest on user interfaces. I have a computer science background, which I combine with my digital library research to investigate how systems can be enhanced by state of the art technologies. I have published work in international journals and conferences which have been submitted to the UK REF exercise, taken part in EU funded as well as national funded projects, edited books and proceedings and successfully secured personal EU and national funding, based on proposals I have written. I am currently writing proposals for the Horizon 2020 programme among other EU initiatives.

I have extensive experience in user study design and facilitation using cutting edge technologies, eliciting user requirements and performing systems evaluation, both within industry and academia. I also have applied development experience, with one of my mobile applications winning the digital championship social impact award and several other applications I managed being commercialised. Some of the entities I collaborate with or worked for on projects include the European Patent Office, Microsoft, Nokia, Department for Education UK, Cyprus Broadcasting Channel and the Federal Department of Antiquities.

Wednesday 20th April 2016

Title: User Trust in Intelligent Systems


Intelligent systems, such as email spam filters, recommender systems and smart homes, are designed to assist users in a range of tasks. They learn from user’s input and modify their behavior accordingly to better suit the needs of users. Issues of trust arise, as intelligent systems typically violate fundamental usability principles. Trust is a significant factor in the adoption of new systems. Existing research considers trust as a single quantitative post-task measure. However, trust is a multi-faceted and dynamic attitude of the user towards the system and changes over time with repeated interactions.

The aim of Daniel’s PhD is to gain a greater comprehension of how and why user trust in intelligent systems changes over time, devising an approach to measure this and understanding the mechanisms that can be used to engender trust. In his transfer seminar, Daniel will report a case study, in which participants were presented with an intelligent system that either offered explanations for its actions or did not. This study employed a combination of repeated quantitative and qualitative measures to examine how trust, and the factors of trust, in an intelligent system evolved over time.

Friday 15th April 2016

Title: Support for Creativity and Reasoning in Early Requirements Engineering


The discovery of system requirements in the early stages of Software Engineering comes with a series of challenges: how to understand, reason, and select over a space of possible requirements? How to manage and reason over requirements uncertainty? How to ensure that the requirement space is sufficiently creative, supporting system and business innovation? In this talk, I summarize past and current efforts to address these questions, focusing on methods and tools for interactive reasoning and creativity support for Early Requirements Engineering. I outline future work, including an emphasis on empirical evaluation.


Dr. Jennifer Horkoff is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Cass Business School, City University, London. She is the holder of a two-year Marie Sklodowska Curie Intra-European Fellowships for career development (IEF), working under the supervision of Prof. Neil Maiden. She is also a holder of a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Postdoctoral Fellowship. Jennifer received her PhD in Computer Science from the University of Toronto, under the supervision of Prof. Eric Yu. She spent 2.5 years at the University of Trento, Italy, as part of the Lucretius: Foundations for Software Evolution project, working with Prof. John Mylopoulos and colleagues. She has been an author or co-author of more than 20 papers in peer-reviewed journals, conferences, or workshops.

Her research interests lie in enhancing the use of conceptual modeling for requirements engineering and business analysis, focusing on creativity, interactive analysis, uncertainty, scalability, and the application of RE-inspired conceptual modeling to business intelligence. Jennifer is on the program committee of several international conferences, including RE, REFSQ, and CAiSE, has been on the organizing committee of RE, REFSQ, and PoEM, and has been a (co-)organizer of several workshops, including iStar, RIGiM, and MReBA.

Friday 15th April 2016

Title: Crossed Wires: Investigating the Problems of End-User Developers in a Physical Computing Task


This talk will preview the 20-minute presentation at CHI 2016, based on the above paper by Tracey Booth, Simone Stumpf, Jon Bird, Sara Jones. Considerable research has focused on the problems that end users face when programming software, in order to help them overcome their difficulties, but there is little research into the problems that arise in physical computing when end users construct circuits and program them. In an empirical study, we observed end-user developers as they connected a temperature sensor to an Arduino microcontroller and visualized its readings using LEDs. We investigated how many problems participants encountered, the problem locations, and whether they were overcome. We show that most fatal faults were due to incorrect circuit construction, and that often problems were wrongly diagnosed as program bugs. Whereas there are development environments that help end users create and debug software, there is currently little analogous support for physical computing tasks. Our work is a first step towards building appropriate tools that support end-user developers in overcoming obstacles when constructing physical computing artifacts.

Winter 2015 / 2016


Friday 4th December, 1pm - 2pm in A109: Weng-Keen Wong (Oregon State University)

Title: Accounting for Observer Variability in Citizen Science Biodiversity Monitoring Projects

Friday 20th November, 1pm - 2pm in A107: Stephann Makri

Title: Observing Serendipity in Digital Information Environments

Seminar Details

Friday 4th December 2015

Title: Accounting for Observer Variability in Citizen Science Biodiversity Monitoring Projects


Citizen Science is a paradigm in which volunteers from the general public participate in scientific studies. This paradigm is especially useful if the scope of the study is too broad to be performed by a limited number of trained scientists. Although citizen scientists can contribute large quantities of data to these studies, data quality is often a concern due to variability in the skills of volunteers.

The emergence of citizen science biodiversity monitoring projects, such as eBird and eButterfly, have enabled exciting directions in ecological research that were not previously possible. In these biodiversity monitoring projects, citizen scientists act as a large network of human sensors, recording observations of species to a centralized database, where they are used for ecological research such as species distribution modelling and reserve design.

This talk will first describe the eBird project, which is one of the largest and most successful citizen science projects in existence. I will then describe how species accumulation curves can be used as a data-driven measurement of participant ability. Finally, I will show how accounting for observer variability can improve predictive models built from citizen science data.


Weng-Keen Wong is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Oregon State University. He is currently a sabbatical visitor at the University of Edinburgh. He received his Ph.D. (2004) and M.S. (2001) in Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University and his B.Sc. (1997) from the University of British Columbia. After completing his Ph.D, he was a Postdoctoral Associate at the Center for Biomedical Informatics at the University of Pittsburgh. In 2005, he joined Oregon State University as an Assistant Professor. His current research areas are in data mining and machine learning, with specific interests in anomaly detection, time series classification and human-in-the-loop learning.

Friday 20th November 2015

Title: Observing Serendipity in Digital Information Environments


We often interact with digital information environments to find useful information. But sometimes useful information finds us unexpectedly, propelling us in new and exciting directions. We might come across information serendipitously when looking for information on something else, or when we are not looking for anything in particular. In previous studies, people have self-reported that they come across information serendipitously. However, there has been limited success in directly observing people doing so. To see if we could have more success, we conducted naturalistic observations of 45 users interacting with different types of digital information environments. Without priming them about serendipity, we asked the users to conduct self-chosen naturalistic information tasks, which varied from broad tasks such as browsing online news to narrow tasks such as finding a particular product to buy. We noted several examples where users either 1) stated they were looking for information on a particular topic or product and unexpectedly found useful/potentially useful information about something else or 2) unexpectedly found useful/potentially useful information when not looking for anything in particular. Our findings suggest that, with a carefully-considered approach, serendipity-related information interaction behaviour can be directly observed. Direct observation allows designers of digital information environments to better understand this behaviour and use this understanding to reason about ways of designing new or improving existing support for serendipity.

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.