As part of the visit, Bill gave a talk to my ECE 900 class. He discussed the wide variety of research performed at his institute, with an emphasis on the vehicle-related work that he is involved in. As part of this work Bill and colleagues conduct studies on a test track with an instrumented vehicle, which they brought along:
After the talk Tom Miller and I had a chance to show our visitors our driving simulator lab and discuss a host of research issues. It was fun – thanks Bill, Yulan, Angela and Luci.
Bicycles are cool Marco Dozza explores the use of bicycles and has a fleet of instrumented bikes. I really liked the elegance of his approach.
We can use technology to warn pedestrians (even when they have headphones)
Toru Hagiwara and Hidekatsu Hamaoka discussed research on protecting pedestrians in crosswalks. I can relate to this: ever since I started walking with kids, I’m sorely aware of the dangers of crosswalks.
We need a variety of data sources Michael Manser, Sue Chrysler, John Lee and Linda Boyle gave presentations on a variety of data sources they’ve used: from laboratory studies to naturalistic driving data. They all agree that there’s a need to combine results from different data sources in order to find solutions to human factors problems. I was really impressed with John Lee’s discussion of the use of Twitter to understand traffic.
Panel discussions can be informative…
… when you have a skilled moderator (Don Fisher) and engaged participants (the presenters listed above). Don’s theme for the discussion (the 3 Cs): our data should be comprehensive and complementary, but it is sometimes also contradictory. The discussion brought up ideas such as:
there’s a need for standardization (see Paul Green‘s work on SAE J2944 );
Linda Boyle points out that there’s a fourth C: confusion;
Sue Chrysler points out that discussions about data often focus on the “how?” (how can we collect, process, interpret data?). But we need to first resolve the “why?” and “what?” questions. I really appreciated this comment, as it is the central point I make in my ECE 900 course.
Thanks to FHWA’s David Yang for hosting the workshop – it was informative and fun. See my pictures from the workshop on Flickr.
 Paul Green, “Standard Definitions for Driving Measures and Statistics: Overview and Status of Recommended Practice J2944,” AutomotiveUI 2013
At the end of October I was in Eindhoven for AutomotiveUI 2013. The conference was hosted by Jacques Terken, who along with his team did a splendid job: from the technical content, to the venue, to the banquet, and the invited demonstrations, everything was of high quality and ran smoothly. Thanks Jacques and colleagues!
The conference started with workshops, including our CLW 2013. The workshop was sponsored by Microsoft Research and it brought together over 30 participants. In addition to six contributed talks, the workshop featured two invited speakers. The keynote lecture was given by Klaus Bengler who discussed challenges with cooperative driving. Tuhin Diptiman discussed the implications of the 2013 NHTSA visual manual guidelines on the design of in-vehicle interfaces. Thanks Klaus and Tuhin for your engaging presentations! See pictures from CLW on Flickr.
The main conference included talks, posters and demos. Our group was productive: we had one talk and three posters. One of the memorable moments of the conference was the invited demos. I had a chance to ride in a TNO car using Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control (CACC). See the video below (the driver and narrator is TNO researcher E. (Ellen) van Nunen – thanks Ellen!
During the 2012-2013 academic year I worked with a team of UNH ECE seniors to explore using an LED array as a low-cost heads-up display that would provide in-vehicle turn-by-turn navigation instructions. Our work will be published in the proceedings of AutomotiveUI 2013 . Here’s the video introducing the experiment.
The institute is truly impressive. First, as Marvin explained to me, this is an organization devoted to independent research. The institute is funded by Liberty Mutual, but sets its own agenda. The only “constraint” on this agenda is that the research has to be related to Liberty Mutual’s business. Given that this business covers areas from driving, to homes, to health care, this is hardly a constraint. Furthermore, the institute is committed to publishing its work in peer-reviewed publications. In fact, publications are the institute’s central measure of success. The institute has a hallway with three (!) whiteboards, where staff keep track of their publications for the year. Each year the goal is to fill all three boards by December.
The institute has a number of very interesting labs. Of course for me the most interesting one was the driving simulator lab (the instrumented vehicle is a very close second!). The simulator is made by Real Time Technologies and the lab also has a head-mounted eye tracker.
So thanks to Bill and colleagues for hosting me. I really enjoyed talking to them about some research problems (including their recent work on drowsy drivers ), as well as the technical details of running a simulator lab. You can see a few more pictures about my visit on Flickr.
This week I attended the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit, an annual event held at MSR Redmond. The 2013 event gathered over 400 faculty from around the world. I was honored to receive an invitation, as these invitations are competitive: MSR researchers recommend faculty to invite, and a committee at MSR selects a subset who receive invitations.
Below are some of my impressions from the event. But, before I go on, I first wanted to thank MSR researchers John Krumm, Ivan Tashev and Shamsi Iqbal for spending time with me at the summit. Thanks also to MSR’s Tim Paek, who has played a key role in a number of our studies at UNH.
Bill Gates inspires
Bill Gates was the opening keynote speaker. He discussed his work with the Gates Foundation and answered audience questions. One of the interesting things from the Q&A session was Bill’s proposed analogy that MOOCs are similar to recorded music: in the past there was much more live music, while today we primarily listen to recorded music. In the future live lectures might also become much less common and we might instead primarily listen to recorded lectures by the best lecturers. While this might sound scary to faculty, Bill points out that lectures are just one part of a faculty member’s education-related efforts. Others include work in labs, study sessions, and discussions.
MSR is a uniquely open industry lab
While MSR is only about 1% of Microsoft, it spends as much on computing research as the NSF. And most importantly, as Peter Lee, Corporate VP MSR, pointed out, MSR researchers publish, and in general conduct their work in an open fashion. MSR also sets its own course independently, even of Microsoft proper.
Microsoft supports women in computing
The Faculty Summit featured a session on best practices in promoting computing disciplines to women. One suggestion that stuck with me is that organizations (e.g. academic departments) should track their efforts and outcomes. Once you start tracking, and is creating a paper trail, things will start to change.
Moore’s law is almost dead (and will be by 2025) Doug Burger, Director of Client and Cloud Applications in Microsoft Research’s Extreme Computing Group, pointed out that we cannot keep increasing computational power by reducing transistor size, as our transistors are becoming atom-thin. There’s a need for new approaches. One possible direction is to customize hardware: e.g. if we only need 20 bits for a particular operation, why implement the logic with 32?
The Lab of Things is a great tool for ubicomp research
Are you planning a field experiment in which you expect to collect data from electronic devices in the home? Check out the Lab of Things (LoT), it’s really promising. It allows you to quickly deploy your system, monitor system activity from the cloud, and log data in the cloud. Here’s a video introducing the LoT:
Seattle and the surrounding area is beautiful
I really like Seattle, with the Space Needle, the lakes, the UW campus, Mount Rainier and all of the summer sunshine.
During the 2012-2013 academic year, I taught the UNH ECE Graduate Seminar (ECE 900), a course I first introduced in the fall of 2002. At the end of the two-semester sequence, students submitted a short research proposal. A new aspect of the course was the 2013 UNH ECE Graduate Student Research Poster Session. In this session students introduced their research proposal in a poster presentation.
The session started with a one-minute madness where students had 60 seconds to entice attendees to visit their posters. In attendance were many UNH ECE faculty, as well as staff and students from the IOL, the OISS, and UNH ECE. At the end of the session all in attendance (presenters and visitors) were asked to cast a vote for the best poster. With over 20 votes cast, Carol Perkins and Chris Chirgwin were tied for first. Carol works at the IOL and her poster introduced work on securing the nation’s power infrastructure. Chris works with John LaCourse and Paula McWilliam, and his poster introduced work on a force-sensing laryngoscope. Here are Carol and Chris with the winning posters:
You can see more photos from this event on Flickr.
Over 35 people from government, industry and academia attended CLW 2012.
For CLW 2012 the organizers made the decision to involve a large number of experts in the workshop, instead of only including contributions by authors responding to our CFP. Thus, the CLW 2012 program included three expert presentations, as well as a government-industry panel with four participants. Each of these expert participants discussed unique aspects of estimating and utilizing cognitive load for the design and deployment of in-vehicle human-machine interfaces.
The expert presentations were followed by a government-industry panel. Chris Monk (Human Factors Division Chief at NHTSA) presented the NHTSA perspective on cognitive load and HMI design. Jim Foley (Toyota Technical Center, USA) introduced the OEM perspective. Scott Pennock (QNX & ITU-T Focus Group on Driver Distraction) introduced issues related to standardization. Garrett Weinberg (Nuance) focused on issues related to voice user interfaces.
Following these presentations, and the accompanying lively discussions, workshop participants viewed eight posters.
Evaluation At the end of the workshop we asked participants to indicate their level of agreement with these four statements:
I found the workshop to be useful.
I enjoyedthe workshop.
I would attend a similar workshop at a future AutomotiveUI conference.
This workshop is the reasonI am attending AutomotiveUI 2011.
The responses of 13 participants are shown below (the workshop organizers in attendance did not complete the questionnaire). They indicate that the workshop was a success.
Since the conclusion of CLW 2012 co-organizers Peter Froehlich and Andrew Kun joined forces with Susanne Boll and Jim Foley to organize a workshop at CHI 2013 on automotive user interfaces. Also, a proposal for CLW 2013 at AutomotiveUI 2013 is in the works.
Thank you presenters and participants!
The organizers would like to extend our warmest appreciation to all of the presenters for the work that went into the expert presentations, the panel discussion, and the poster papers and presentations. We would also like to thank all of the workshop attendees for raising questions, discussing posters, and sharing their knowledge and expertise.
You can see more pictures from CLW 2012 on Flickr.
The report on the AutomotiveUI 2012 conference, co-authored by Linda Boyle, Bryan Reimer, Andreas Riener and me, was recently published by IEEE Pervasive Computing . The reference on this page points to my final version of the paper. You can also download the paper with the published layout directly from the IEEE here.