UC researchers to present at international human-computer interaction conference

20 December 2011

University of Canterbury researchers have had three papers accepted for the 2012 ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing.

University of Canterbury researchers have had three papers accepted for the 2012 ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing.

The conference, which is known by the acronym ‘CHI’, has been held annually since 1982 and is considered the most prestigious conference in the field of human-computer interaction.

More than 1500 papers and notes were submitted for consideration for the conference and only 23 per cent of those were accepted. Papers are reviewed and selected by a group of highly-qualified professionals from around the world and making the final cut represents a significant accomplishment.

The three UC papers are on a new method to improve performance of scrolling devices, such as scroll-wheels, which is work with PhD student Philip Quinn; an analysis of command and menu systems and a new and improved interface called "CommandMaps", which is work with PhD student Joey Scarr; and improved algorithms for predicting upcoming user actions which can help users with tasks such as retrieving files and web pages.

Last year’s recipient of the Microsoft New Zealand Research Internship Award, Stephen Fitchett, has co-authored two of the papers that have been accepted.

“We are thrilled that our papers have been accepted by the CHI conference,” said Professor Andy Cockburn, head of the Human-Computer Interaction and Multi-Media research group in the department of Computer Science and Software Engineering at UC.

“This is a great validation of our research and a fantastic opportunity for a young researcher such as Stephen to take the next step in terms of presenting his work on the world stage.”

Microsoft New Zealand recently announced the renewal of its public private partnership with the University of Canterbury and NZi3 (New Zealand ICT Innovation Institute) for a second year, and has increased the length and number of Microsoft New Zealand Research Internship Awards on offer at the University.

“Microsoft New Zealand’s continued support of the University of Canterbury, NZi3, students and researchers is part of our aspiration to help New Zealand be as smart, connected and competitive as it can be on the world stage,” said Evan Blackman, Education Sector Manager for Microsoft NZ.

“We are committed to providing UC students with opportunities for work-related experiences as part of their undergraduate degree programme,” said UC Vice-Chancellor Dr Rod Carr.

“Successfully participating in internships with companies such as Microsoft and participating in globally-recognised conferences such as CHI is a means by which UC graduates can establish themselves as ready for the global marketplace where they will make their mark as future professionals.”

In addition to being accepted for CHI 2012, Stephen travelled to the UIST conference (User Interface Software Technology) in Santa Barbara, California, in October as part of his Microsoft NZ Research Internship Award.

This year’s Microsoft NZ Research Internship Award recipients will be hosted in Washington at the Redmond Research Lab. The lab hosts researchers from around the world including Cambridge, England; Beijing, China; and San Francisco, California who come to collaborate closely with teams and other researchers on site. The Microsoft New Zealand Research Internship Awards have also been extended to accommodate two successful UC applicants for three to six month internships.

Applications for the Microsoft NZ Research Internship Awards close on 31 January 2012.


For more information please contact:
Jacquie Walters
Public Relations Consultant
University of Canterbury
Ph 027 5030168

For more information about the Microsoft NZ Research Internship Awards please contact: 
Lisa-Marie Brooks
NZi3 Marketing, Events, Scholarships & Building
NZi3 – New Zealand ICT Innovation Institute
University of Canterbury
Ph 027 201 7792



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