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Forschungskolloquium SS 2010


Mondays, starting April 19, 2010


TEL Auditorium 1 and 2 (20th floor), Ernst-Reuter-Platz 7, 10587 Berlin

This research colloquium is a weekly event with various invited speakers. It is open to anyone who is interested in the general area of usability and human-computer interaction. Researchers in this area will present overviews of their work. The colloquium is organized by Deutsche Telekom Laboratories. If you have any questions, please contact Hamed Ketabdar, Shiva Sundaram or Sebastian Möller

Please contact us if you want your email to be added to our colloquium mailing list.

Colloquium Talks
This talk will be 30-40 minutes

Student Project: Evaluation of the Joy of Use Button

Malte Volger

he Joy of Use Button was developed in a previous study project to provide a tool for immediate registration of Joy of Use experiences during human computer interaction. The button offers the user a smiley scale and ten categories to specify how joy of use was caused. Our project group's goal was to empirically validate the Joy of Use Button by comparing it with established measures like the Attrakdiff questionnaire. After suitable tasks to elicit joy of use had been identified in a pretest, the main experiment was conducted in order to determine the validity of the Joy Of Use Button. In this talk, the experimental procedure and results of our work will be presented and discussed.
Altogether the talk will take around 30 minutes.

HOST: Robert Schleicher
TITLE: Analyzing user interaction with web-based geospatial systems

SPEAKER: Jens Ingensand

In recent years web-based geospatial systems have been created for different purposes such as way-finding systems, online atlases and collaborative systems.
In order to accommodate the fact that an increasing number of people have access to geospatial data and technology, research has begun to focus on the impact and the utilization of such systems. However to the best of our knowledge no formal research framework currently exists that allows for analyzing the interaction of real-world users with such systems and that takes into account the spatial nature of these systems. Furthermore few studies regarding the usability of web-based geospatial systems have been conducted and most of these studies were set up in artificial lab-environments with few mostly poorly described test-users.
We have conducted three case studies where real-world users interact with three web-based geospatial systems. The important findings of those studies were that there are noticeable gender differences regarding spatial navigation, that user satisfaction appears to be biased by the user's previous experience with geographic information technologies and that the type of the input device used (e.g. mouse or touchpad) has a considerable influence on task-completion time and user satisfaction. The above results indicate that the user's demographic parameters and background have a significant effect on the user's spatial interaction strategies, performance and satisfaction.
To further fuel research on usability aspects of web-based geospatial systems, we provide the necessary tools and methods for conducting remote- and laboratory based testing of such systems.

Born: 13.10.1977
Nationality: German
Current position: Lecturer and assistant at the GIS-lab, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland
MSc in Applied Informatics With a Major in Interaction Design, Chalmers, University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden MSc in Human and Economic Geography, University of Gothenburg, Sweden Dr. és sciences (PhD) Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland 

HOST: Christine Kühnel



Amir Mehmood

Hamed Ketabdar and Shiva Sundaram
Please notice: The talk starts at 10:30!
Please notice: The talk takes place in room Sputnik, 17th floor, Ernst-Reuter-Platz 7

Properties of Probabilistic Front-Ends for ASR

SPEAKER: Florian Metze

Recent work has firmly (re-)established probabilistic features such as Multi-Layer-Perceptron (MLP) or Bottle-Neck (BN) features as part of state-of-the-art automatic speech recognition (ASR) pre-processing, with implications for many other audio processing applications. BN features in particular combine well with existing MFCC or PLP features, and improvements over highly tuned baseline systems are surprisingly easy to achieve. In this talk, we present our version of a BN enhanced ASR front-end, and provide analysis of the differences with respect to word accuracy, search space, decoding speed, and signal normalization. On two different tasks, we study speaker dependency of the resulting features, and show how BN features compensate for gender differences even better then Vocal Tract Length Normalization, an established base-line algorithm.

Florian Metze is an Assistant Research Professor at Carnegie Mellon University's Language Technology Institute and interACT, with a focus on large vocabulary automatic speech recognition (ASR). He has previously worked at the Universität Karlsruhe (TH) and Deutsche Telekom Laboratories (T-Labs), in the broad area of „intuitive usability“. During his career, he was responsible for several research efforts, for example „FAME“ (EU FP5, Facilitating Agents for Multi-cultural Exchange) and led the RT-04S „Meeting“ speech-to-text evaluation for distant speech.
His work focused on using phonological insights for ASR by relying on “articulatory features”, which would allow to adapt acoustic models better to speakers, speaking style, or new languages, than today. These techniques are also useful for vocabulary-free search. He also works on devising algorithms to train acoustic models particularly suited for room acoustics, to increase the number of situations speech recognition can be used in, by using multiple microphones not only during testing, but also during training of a speech recognizer. Other areas of interest include extracting meta data from speech for extracting useful side information, and the integration of speech recognition with other knowledge sources, and the usability of systems including speech as a modality, and human robot communication. He has published over 50 papers in peer-reviewed conferences and journals, and regularly serves as a reviewer for several journals, conferences, and workshops.

HOST: Tim Polzehl
Please notice: The talk starts at 2:30 sharp!

The Design, Implementation and Evaluation of an Interactive Meeting Room

SPEAKER: Peter Brandl

The emergence of interactive surfaces like digital tabletops and whiteboards has pointed to new possibilities of using display technology for interaction and collaboration. The display technology is constantly improving in quality and new ways to interact with large surfaces are explored. In future, displays will increasingly be embedded in everyday furniture, such as the tables in a meeting room. Moreover, surfaces will have the ability to communicate amongst each-other. The range of emerging technologies and applications could enable more natural and human centered interfaces so that interacting with digital surfaces and content becomes more fluent and intuitive. However, we learned through our past research that current technological solutions that enable content creation and sharing during group discussion meetings are often cumbersome to use, and are commonly abandoned for traditional paper-based tools. Thus, the focus is on creating natural systems and interfaces that help users accessing and practically using the potential of emerging digital systems. In this talk, a novel interactive meeting room that combines traditional interfaces with digital media will be presented. Our design solution integrates Anoto‘s digital pens, tabletops, wall displays, and personal laptop computers to support group interaction through both digital and ink-based media.

Peter Brandl is a Research Associate at the Media Interaction Lab (MIL) and a PhD candidate at the Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences. He received a master’s degree in Media Technology and Design from the Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences Hagenberg in 2003. His core areas of expertise are computer graphics and human-computer interaction. He is interested in designing natural and multimodal interfaces and exploring emerging technologies. He worked as a researcher for the Austrian FFG funded project “Office Of Tomorrow” and is currently part of the Austrian Research Center NiCE. Coming from the Ars Electronica Futurelab, his other interests are interactive live performances and installations. His projects include collaborations with research institutes such as Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories (MERL) as well as internationally featured live performances. His current focus is on exploring innovative interaction techniques and emerging digital surface technologies in the coentext of living and work spaces. Additionally, he works on the integration of traditional media like real paper to bridge the gap between the analogue and the digital world.
web: mi-lab.org/about/people/cv-peter-brandl

HOST: Fabian Hemmert
TITLE: Biocultures: An Emerging Paradigm

SPEAKER: Lennard J. Davis

Lennard Davis will speak on the interconnections between science, medicine, technology, and culture, arguing that to separate these categories, as has been historically done, is no longer possible. The 19th century division between the humanities and the sciences has led to a blockage in knowledge and production of information that now needs to be remedied by a recombining of these discourses.  In the process of discussing this reformation, he will explore disability studies which is a natural intellectual and political venue for the reintegration process.

Lennard J. Davis is Professor in School of Arts and
Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he had also served as Head. In addition, he is Professor of Disability and Human Development in the School of Applied Health Sciences of the University of Illinois at Chicago, as well as Professor of Medical Education in the College of Medicine. He is also director of Project Biocultures a think-tank devoted to issues around the intersection of culture, medicine, disability, biotechnology, and the biosphere. His works on disability include Enforcing Normalcy: Disability, Deafness, and the Body (Verso, 1995), The Disability Studies Reader (Routledge, 1996), My Sense of Silence (University of Illinois Press, 2000). His current interests include disability-related issues; literary and cultural theory; genetics, race, identity; and biocultural issues.

Tom  Bieling

Please notice: The talk starts at 2:30 pm sharp!

Finding Patterns in Dialogue Data

SPEAKER: Dr. Maria Wolters

Users are a heterogeneous and unpredictable bunch. In this talk, we will use unsupervised machine learning algorithms and statistical analysis to find and characterise patterns of variation. We will look at two examples: interactions between older and younger users and a simulated spoken dialogue system, where different dialogue strategies were tested and interactions between younger users and a simulated SDS where users' reaction to errors were tested. In both cases, we found two main groups of users, but the size and shape of the resulting clusters varied. We conjecture that for older users, it makes more sense to study extreme cases in order to explore the necessary design range, while for younger users, prototypical users can be identified and used for scenario design. This is joint work with Kallirroi Georgila, Johanna Moore, Sarah MacPherson, Florian Goedde, Klaus-Peter Engelbrecht, and Sebastian Moeller.

Maria Wolters holds a Dr phil in Communication Research and Phonetics and a Diplom in Computer Science from the University of Bonn. She has worked as a lecturer at the University of Bonn, a development engineer at Rhetorical Systems, Edinburgh, and a research assistant at the University of Newcastle and Queen Margaret University. She is currently a senior research fellow at the Centre for Speech Technology Research, University of Edinburgh.

HOST: Florian Gödde

Please notice: The talk takes place in room Consillium, Ernst-Reuter-Platz 7


SPEAKER: Jamie Zigelbaum

HOST: Fabian Hammert
TITLE: Novel interfaces for mobile interactions

Katrin Wolf

I am a new Ph.D. student in the Human-Centric-Communication Program at the Technical University (TU) Berlin in collaboration with the T-Labs Berlin.
My research focuses on novel interaction techniques and interface concepts - especially those that enable mobile devices to interact in everyday scenarios (mobile communication, multitask situation, collaborative work, museum guidance, smart living, etc.).
In the colloquium I will present two of my projects in this field:

EMIKA was a project to develop a location based multimedia guide for the Jewish Museum Berlin in cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences Berlin. A PDA presented location based museum content. Animations, videos, pictures, and audio files augment the exhibits to enrich the experience of the museum visit and to enlarge the educational benefit.

FOOGUE – an ongoing Ph.D. project at the HITLab NZ – is an eyes-free interface that utilizes spatial audio and gesture input. Foogue does not require visual attention and hence does not divert visual attention from the task at hand. Foogue has two modes, which are designed to fit the usage patterns of mobile users. For user input we designed a gesture language build of a limited number of simple but also easy to differentiate gesture elements.

Sebastian Möller
Please notice: The talk starts at 3 pm

TITLE: Good Vibrations  – Vibroakustische Produktgestaltung

SPEAKER: Dr.-Ing. Ercan Altinsoy

In den meisten praktischen Fällen, in denen sich Hören ereignet, nimmt der Mensch nun aber bekanntermaßen nicht ausschließlich akustische Signale wahr. Während wir hören, sehen, fühlen, riechen und schmecken wir – wir sind multimodale Empfänger.
Schall wird im Alltag gewöhnlich von Körperschwingungen erzeugt. Viele dieser Schwingungen werden von uns sowohl auditiv als auch taktil wahrgenommen. Typische Beispiele hierfür sind Lebenssituationen wie Autofahren, Bohren oder Spielen eines Instruments. Daher haben kreuzmodale Informationen einen beträchtlichen Einfluss auf die Frage, wie wir bei oder nach Produktbenutzung die Qualität z.B. eines Autos, eines Staubsaugers oder eines Mixers einschätzen. So können z.B. durchaus zwei Modalitäten kombiniert werden, und der dann resultierte multimodale Wahrnehmungsgegenstand kann entweder ein schwaches, ein starkes oder ein gänzlich qualitativ neues Perzept werden. Vor diesem Hintergrund stehen folgende Fragen im Raum: Wie gewichtet unser Gehirn die Angebote, die von unterschiedlichen Sinnen stammen, um einen endgültigen Wahrnehmungsgegenstand zu bilden? Oder, mit  anderen Worten: Was sind die relativen Beiträge von unterschiedlichen Sinnesmodalitäten auf ein multimodales Perzept? Kann ein Perzept, das allein auf einer Modalität beruht, durch ein gleichzeitiges Angebot einer weiteren Sinnesmodalität beeinflusst werden?
Bei der Entwicklung von modernen Systemen, braucht man u.a. ein besseres Verständnis über die audiotaktile Integration und Interaktion.

Ercan Altinsoy studierte Maschinenbau an der TU Istanbul mit dem Schwerpunkt „Schwingungslehre und Maschinenakustik“. Im Anschluss seines Studiums promovierte er zum Thema „auditaktile Interaktion in virtuellen Umgebungen“ am Institut für Kommunikationsakustik an der Ruhr-Universität Bochum bei Prof. Blauert. Nach der Promotion arbeitete er als Akustik-Consultant bei HEAD acoustics GmbH. Seit 2006 leitet er die Arbeitsgruppe „Audiotaktile Interaktion“ und hält die Vorlesungen „Virtuelle Realität“, „Psychoakustik“ und die „Fahrzeugakustik“ an dem Lehrstuhl für Kommunikationsakustik der TU Dresden.

Christine Kühnel
TITLE: Be-greifbare Interaktionen mit Digitalen Medien

SPEAKER: Dr. Heidi Schelhowe

Mit den Interaktionsmöglichkeiten jenseits von Tastatur, Maus und Bildschirm sind neue Versprechungen für die Nutzung von Digitalen Medien für das Lernen verbunden. Können wir mit „Tangible Interfaces“ oder „Embodied Interaction“, mit einem  greifbaren und körperlich erfahrbaren Umgang mit Computeranwendungen mehr Sinnlichkeit in den Lernalltag bringen, die fortschreitende Zeichenhaftigkeit von Welt mit konkreter sinnlicher Erfahrung versöhnen?
Durch den Blick auf das Medium selbst und seine Rolle in diesem Prozess, so das Plädoyer des Beitrags, kann dies gelingen.  Dazu möchte ich Beispiele aus unserer Arbeit an der Universität Bremen vorstellen: Die Entwicklung des EDUWEAR-Toolkit im Rahmen eines europäischen Projekts und unsere Workshopangebote unter dem Titel „TechKreativ“. Methoden, NutzerInnen im Entwicklungsprozess zu beteiligen, sollen  ebenfalls diskutiert werden.

Dr. Heidi Schelhowe ist Professorin für Digitale Medien in der Bildung in der Informatik an der Universität Bremen. Sie hat nach einem ersten Studium der Germanistik und Katholischen Theologie Informatik studiert und mit dem Diplom abgeschlossen. Promoviert hat sie in der Informatik zum Thema „Das Medium aus der Maschine“.  Mit ihrer interdisziplinär zusammengesetzten Forschungsgruppe an der Universität Bremen entwickelt sie Hardware und Software für Bildungskontexte, gestaltet Lernumgebungen aus pädagogisch-didaktischer Sicht und betreibt empirische Forschung/Evaluation im Bereich Bildung und Digitale Medien. Heidi Schelhowe ist Mitglied im Technologiezentrum Informatik der Universität Bremen (TZI). Siehe auch: www.dimeb.de

HOST: Gesche Joost
TITLE: Imaginary Interfaces

SPEAKER: Sean Gustafson

Screen-less devices allow for the smallest form factor and thus the maximum mobility. However, current screen-less devices do not support any sort of spatial interaction (such as pointing) because, seemingly, there is nothing to point at. We challenge this notion and with a series of studies investigate the question: to what extent can users interact spatially with a user interface that exists only in their imagination? To test this question we developed a gesture sensing device that determined the position of both hands in front of the user. Users define the origin of an imaginary interaction plane with an L-shaped posture of their non-dominant hand and interact in the resulting space with their other. We found that users can exploit their visual short-term memory to, at least in part, replace the feedback conventionally displayed on a screen. In this talk I will present the details of this research and our vision of Imaginary Interfaces, a new style of mobile interaction where all visual "feedback" takes place in the user's imagination.

Sean Gustafson is a PhD student at the Human-Computer Interaction Lab of the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany. His main research interest is in understanding the fundamentals of new interaction paradigms, particularly gestural and eyes-free use of portable technology. Sean holds bachelor and master's degrees in Computer Science from the University of Manitoba in Canada. Before pursuing a career in research he was an embedded systems developer specializing in medical devices.

HOST: Michael Rohs
TITLE: What do we need to know about disability in order to design differently?

SPEAKER: Tom Shakespeare

This talk will introduce the disability studies approach, in the context of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Disability studies is a multi-disciplinary field comprising social science, bioethics and the humanities.
Disentangling the barriers strand from the minority group strand offers different options for addressing the disadvantage experienced by people with disabilities - or should that be "disabled people"? Underlying this debate are ideas about normality, a concept which Lennard Davis has suggested only came to prominence in the early nineteenth century with Quetelet's concept of L'Homme Moyen. How does the concept of Universal Design fit within different options for conceptualising disability as a political phenomenon? Can design help us rethink disability, in terms of environments, services and technologies which empower and include, rather than disable and exclude? Or should we forget all that, and concentrate on making disability sexy?

Dr Tom Shakespeare trained in sociology at Cambridge University and has researched and taught at the Universities of Sunderland, Leeds and Newcastle. As well as research and publications in disability studies, he has contributed to debates in bioethics and science communications.
His books include "The Sexual Politics of Disability" (Cassell 1996), "Genetic Politics" (Clarion 2002), "Disability rights and wrongs" (Routledge 2006), "Arguing about Disability" (Routledge 2009). He was instrumental in creating the public engagement programme of Newcastle's Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Institute (PEALS), and subsequently played a role in the Beacon of Public Engagement project at Newcastle and Durham University. From 2004-2010, he was a member of Arts Council England, having participated in the UK disability arts movement since the early 1990s. He currently works for the World Health Organization, in Geneva.

HOST: Tom Bieling
TITLE: Design meets Disability

SPEAKER: Graham Pullin

Design is becoming more inclusive in the welcome participation of disabled people - but another group are often conspicuous by their absence in disability-related design: designers! The multidisciplinary teams involved are often exclusively clinical and technical, whereas the sensibilities as well as the skills of art-school trained designers would enrich the mix. For example, radical but sensitive interaction design could make a contribution to the everyday lives of people with complex communication needs. Six Speaking Chairs from the author's own research will be introduced, which explores more expressive tone of voice from speech technology. Subtle Subtitles by Calum Pringle uses speech recognition software to support people with dysarthric speech.

Graham Pullin was a senior interaction designer and studio head at IDEO London, where his clients included Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Intel. He is now Course Director of Digital Interaction Design (formerly Interactive Media Design) at the University of Dundee. He is author of Design meets disability published by The MIT Press, which argues that more radical design sensibilities could be invaluable in disability-related design.

HOST: Tom Bieling
TITLE: human sized research

SPEAKER: Prof. Dr. Tuuli Mattelmaki

I first introduce the new Aalto University and the current situation of design research in it. Then I will describe the approaches developed within design research including experience design and empathic design, design probes and co-design. Through examples and cases, such as the Ageing at work-project, I aim to draw a picture of what is valuable in human sized research.

Tuuli Mattelmäki is a senior researcher at Aalto University School of Art and Design. Her background is in industrial design and she is specialized in developing explorative methods for user-centered design. Her doctoral thesis Design Probes was published in 2006. Her publications include articles about probes, empathic design, co-design and design for user experience. Currently she is involved in Aalto Service Factory’s activities in various research projects related to service design.

HOST: Tom Bieling
TITLE: Three Approaches towards Design Epistemology

SPEAKER: Leif Östman

In this presentation I will offer three different approaches towards design knowledge, as ways of describing what good design knowledge is. First of all we have the truth oriented approach, trying to determine and define which the logical rules for deciding what count as true knowledge. This is normally based on philosophy and logic and a central concept is validity. This is typical for scientific aspects of knowledge. We also have a second tradition called sociology of science. This is an empirical tradition, criticizing the truth oriented approaches and presenting evidence of how knowledge is generated in reality. By means of sociology of science we can determine what counts as good design in a historical analysis, and which aspects had a major impact and what counts as good knowledge. I here relate to the ideas by Pierre Bourdieu. Thirdly, I think we must accept that design and design knowledge is about values and that it is important to distinguish what is good knowledge in future projects. The designer must know what good knowledge is, implicating that a practical design epistemology must include a normative aspect. Designers support their thinking by some kind of reasoning. We call it design theory in a more elaborated form. It is some kind of expression of ideas, values, methods and other influencing aspects. In many cases designers construct these theories afterwards as they see what they design. In design research it seems necessary that teachers and researchers articulate what is going on in design processes. Knowledge must be explicated and open to scrutiny; otherwise they remain private or mysterious.
The pragmatist philosopher John Dewey didn’t see theory as the ultimate goal of research, but rather progress. Democracy, human joy and fulfillment are central goals in Dewey’s philosophy, where problem setting is central and the explorative application of tools constitute the basis for knowledge development. Thus a pragmatist design epistemology is not about defining and describing expressions of knowledge, but about the experimental improvement and the development of new tools, and reasoning about what are important problems, why they are important but also analysis and criticism of existing tools, methods, aims and inherent value assumptions.


LEIF ERIK ÖSTMAN, Tekn.D, architect SAFA
Diplomingenjör. Fakultät Architektur, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule, Aachen 1987.

Teknologie doctor (PhD) (Prof. J. Lundequist, Design Methodology): School of Architecture, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.
Thesis: A Pragmatist Theory of Design – The Impact of Pragmatist Philosophy of John Dewey on Architecture and Design.

Practicing architect 1987-1996, mainly in Finland, design of schools, new housing areas and leisure facilities and plans.

Since 1996 Principal lecturer at Novia, University of Applied Sciences, Vasa, teaching building design, urban planning and project management.

Research interests: design epistemology, design theory, design competitions and pragmatist philosophy.

Recent research papers:
Fuller and Dewey on Knowledge Policy (Nordic Pragmatist Network conference 2010, Uppsala) Learning to See (Conference on design competitions 2010, Copenhagen) Pragmatisk och social kunskapskompetens som riktlinje för bedömning av examensarbeten (Conference on methodology, 2010, Hämeenlinna).

HOST: Rosan Chow

TITLE: A Basis for Understanding, Supporting and Innovating for Differing Design Practices, especially BIG ones

SPEAKER: Gilbert Cockton

In this talk, I will distinguish Design Situations based on the types of choice that are knowingly made in good faith, and the connections that are explicitly formed between choice types. I will argue that all Design Situations are valid from a design research perspective, although all present challenges, and some may lead to unacceptable compromises in some design contexts. I will illustrate Design Situations comprising two, three and four distinct types of choice, and demonstrate how infinite possibilities for connections soon arise. I will then introduce six meta-principles for designing. Three simple meta-principles can be readily derived from choice theory fundamentals. Three more complex meta-principles follow from ethical and structural interactions between choice types.  I will next show how meta-principles for designing can be combined with Design Situations to create a framework that pin points the work achieved by specific design and evaluation approaches. Given a commitment to a Design Situation as a set of explicit choice types and explicit connections between these (and also connections to connections), then meta-principles for designing can indicate  (combinable) functions for design and evaluation approaches. A framework of approaches is minimally complete for a Design Situation if every choice type and connection is supported by at least one approach for all relevant meta-principles. However, to be robust, a framework must provide several approaches for each function for each choice type/connection, to let design teams select and adapt approaches that are appropriate for the resources and values of specific design contexts. I will illustrate how existing well known design and evaluation approaches support different meta-principles for some Design Situations. I will also draw attention to gaps in existing frameworks, and present attempts to fill several gaps through the development of worth-integrating approaches within my BIG Design framework. Rather than centring on a single choice type as a determining success factor for design innovation, BIG Design is balanced, integrative and generous. I will close by comparing BIG design to ‘X-Centred’ approaches in design, where X may be human, user, value(s), worth, technology, client, market or similar candidates for being the answer to everything in design innovation. By constructing designing as connecting, rather than crafting, conceiving, creating or centring, BIG design encourages flexible response across a range of design contexts.

Gilbert Cockton is a Professor in Northumbria University’s internationally renowned School of Design. His research interests focus on garnering and exploiting human insights for design and evaluation. Gilbert has a strong interdisciplinary background, with a Cambridge MA and PGCE in History and Education (first class honours) and a PhD in Computer Science from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. He has maintained his interest in the humanities and human sciences throughout his careers in technology and design. He believes that to answer simple answers to hard problems, we must hard questions that cut through superficial complexities to fundamental underlying constructs. These constructs can then be mixed and matched in infinite ways, creating new opportunities for design and evaluation approaches that support the complexity of connections needed for successful innovation in a world that is becoming ever more demanding and discerning. Gilbert delights in softening up boundaries between academic disciplines, research and practice, public and private sectors, arts and sciences, creativity and rigour, and theory and practice. His career has mixed blue skies and applied research, education from primary schools to PhDs, business support, professional practice, invention, consultancy and training, and a few years of part-time childcare. He has held leadership roles at regional, national and international levels, including vice-chair of the regional board that created CODEWORKS, chair of the British Interaction group (2001-4), vice-chair of IFIP’s international technical committee on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), and 2003 co-chair of the world’s largest annual HCI conference (ACM CHI). He is currently scientific co-ordinator for a 25 country European network on design and evaluation methods. Since 1985, he has published almost 190 scientific and professional papers, books, features, reports and articles, delivered over 110 invited presentations (including keynotes in 7 countries), supervised or examined over 50 research students, and managed research and enterprise projects with a total value exceeding £6.6m. 

HOST: Fabian Hemmert

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