Tag Archives: unh ece

2015 senior project ideas

Are you a UNH junior looking for an exciting senior project? Are you interested in driving research, and/or eye tracking research? Would you like to work publish your work at a conference (three recent senior projects resulted in publications: pupil diameter, navigation, driver authentication)? Would you like to design new interaction techniques, such as this LED-based augmented reality navigation aid:

If so, here is a list of ideas for 2015 senior projects:

  1. Collision warning systems. Collision warning systems issue auditory, visual, or multimodal warnings in the case of imminent collision. But, do drivers pay attention to these warnings? Do these systems reduce braking reaction time? These are some of the questions the senior project team will explore through driving simulator-based studies.
  2. Intelligent agent controller for automated vehicle. Automated vehicles are of great interest to the automotive industry. The senior project team will develop an intelligent agent to control a simulated vehicle. In future work the intelligent agent will be used in exploring HCI issues related to automated driving.
  3. Intelligent human-computer interaction that supports reengagement in driving. A central question in automated driving is: how will driver reengage in the driving task once the automation needs assistance? The senior project team will design strategies for alerting the driver, as well as methods to evaluate how fully the driver has reengaged in the driving task.
  4. Using Apple Siri while driving. With the support of Apple engineers we are setting up Siri in our driving simulator. The senior project team will design experiments to assess the safety of interacting with Siri while driving.
  5. Eye tracking for early detection of Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s disease is devastating. Early detection of the disease, and a subsequent early intervention, might improve the odds of successful treatment. The senior project team will explore the use of eye behavior and pupil diameter as measures for early detection.
  6. Comparing Prezi and slides. Prezi presentations are exciting. The senior project team will explore what the strengths and weaknesses of this presentation style when compared to traditional slide presentations.
  7. Your ideas. Do you have a senior project idea in the general areas of driving, and eye tracking? Let us know – send email to Andrew Kun.


UNH IRES: HCI summer student research experience in Germany

HCI Lab, Stuttgart

UNH ECE professor Tom Miller and I were recently awarded an NSF International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) grant. Our IRES grant will fund students conducting research at the University of Stuttgart in Germany.

Albrecht Schmidt

Under our NSF IRES grant, each summer between 2014 and 2017, three undergraduate and three graduate students  will conduct research for just under 9 weeks at the Human Computer Interaction (HCI) Lab of Professor Albrecht Schmidt at the University of Stuttgart. Professor Schmidt and his lab are among the world leaders in the field of HCI.

Student research will focus on two areas: in-vehicle speech interaction and speech interaction with public displays. For in-vehicle speech, students will relate the benefits and limitations of speech interaction with in-vehicle devices with real-world parameters, such as how well speech recognition works at any given moment. They will also work to identify why it is that talking to a passenger appears to reduce the probability of a crash, and how we might be able to use this new information to create safer in-vehicle speech interactions. Similarly, students will explore how speech interaction can allow smooth interaction with electronic public displays.

Stuttgart Palace Square (Stefan Fussan: https://www.flickr.com/photos/derfussi/)

Successful applicants will receive full financial support for participation, covering items such as airfare, room and board, health insurance, as well as a $500/week stipend. The total value of the financial package is approximately $8,500 for 9 weeks.

Details about the program, including applications instructions, are available here. Please note that this program is only available to US citizens and permanent residents. If you have questions please contact Andrew Kun (andrew dot kun at unh dot edu) or Tom Miller (tom dot miller at unh dot edu).

Duncan Brumby visit to UNH

In December 2013 Duncan Brumby visited UNH ECE. Duncan is a senior lecturer (assistant professor) at University College London (UCL). His research includes the exploration of how people interact with mobile devices. As part of this work Duncan is interested in in-vehicle interactions, which are also of interest to me.

Duncan gave a talk to my ECE 900 class, in which he discussed a number of studies that explored “interactions on the move.” I really liked the fact that Duncan not only presented results, but also addressed nuts-and-bolts issues of interest to graduate students, from how to find a research topic, to how to handle reviewer comments.

See more photos from the visit on Flickr.

2013 Liberty Mutual visit to UNH ECE

Yesterday I hosted four researchers from the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety: Bill Horrey, Yulan Liang, Angela Garabet, and Luci Simmons. This visit follows my recent visit to Liberty Mutual this summer.

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.

See pictures from the visit on Flickr.


2013 UNH ECE Graduate Student Research Poster Session – a brief review

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.


Tim April defends MS thesis

Tim April recently defended his MS thesis [1]. Tim’s topic of exploration was multitouch surfaces and how interactions with these surfaces might be improved with the use of tangible user interfaces. Here’s a picture from the defense (for more pictures see Flickr):

Tim is currently Security Researcher at Akamai Technologies.



[1] Tim April, “Comparing and Contrasting Manual Direct Touch Interaction with Tangible User Interfaces for Mapping Applications,” MS Thesis, University of New Hampshire, 2013

Fall 2013 Pervasive Computing Course

During the fall 2013 semester I will be teaching a course exploring the fundamentals of pervasive (or ubiquitous) computing. The course is listed as ECE 796/896 Spc Top/Pervasive Computing. This is the second time I’ll teach this course – the first time was in 2010.

Why pervasive computing?
We have entered the third era of modern computing. This era is defined by computing devices that are embedded in everyday objects and become part of everyday activities. These devices are also connected to other devices or networks in an effort to share or gather information.  Pervasive computing is a multidisciplinary field of study that explores the design and implementation of such embedded, networked computing devices. The field is young but it is developing fast and appears to have unstoppable momentum.

The course in a nutshell
The Pervasive Computing Fundamentals course has two major thrusts:

1. Lectures: Lectures introducing fundamental material from papers, a textbook edited by John Krumm, and close to 40 research videos. Topics covered will include system software for supporting percom, human-computer interaction in percom systems, privacy issues, context awareness, and location-based services.
2. Projects: Following a project requirements document, students (teams and individuals) will first select topics, with the guidance of the instructor. They will then prepare a proposal, complete the project, and report on it at the end of the semester through a written document and an oral presentation. Videos are encouraged.


Collaborative projects with Pratt Institute
Pratt Institute is one of the leading art, design and architecture schools in the US. Its Industrial Design Department is consistently ranked in the top 5 in the country. Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman is a multi-disciplinary designer and the founder of RPF Design Studio. She is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at Pratt. During the fall 2013 semester she will teach a junior studio on wearable technology for industrial design students. Rebeccah and I will help Pratt and UNH students form project teams. UNH students will primarily be responsible for the hardware and software development, while Pratt students will incorporate the hardware/software into wearable objects. Collaborating with Pratt students is not a requirement for UNH students, but it is highly encouraged (hopefully we can also go on a field trip to Pratt).

Two past projects
Here are two videos from 2010 to give you a taste for what a percom project might look like. Actually, if you collaborate with Pratt students, it’ll look even better – check out ID View 2012 for visuals of what you can expect.

Video 1: Data entry using handheld computers vs. paper

Video 2: Exploring group interaction with a multi-touch table

Who is this course for?
Students who will most benefit from the course are EE, CompE, CS and IT seniors and graduate students.

Organizational details
Class will meet MWF 4-5 PM. There will be an open lab in Morse 213 (ignore the lab time in the Time and Room Schedule).

For grading and such see the 2010 syllabus. The 2013 syllabus will be very similar.

Send me email.

Zeljko Medenica defends dissertation

Last November Zeljko Medenica defended his dissertation [1]. Zeljko explored new performance measures that can be used to characterize interactions with in-vehicle devices. The impetus for this work came from our work with personal navigation devices. Specifically, in work published in 2009 [2] we found fairly large differences in the time drivers spend looking at the road ahead (more for voice-only turn-by-turn directions, less when there’s also a map displayed). However, the commonly used driving performance measures (average variance of lane position and steering wheel angle) did not indicate differences between these conditions. We thought that driving might still be affected, and Zeljko’s work confirms this hypothesis.

Zeljko is now with Nuance, working with Garrett Weinberg. Garrett and Zeljko collaborated during Zeljko’s internships at MERL (where Garrett worked prior to joining Nuance) in 2009 and 2010.

I would like to thank Zeljko’s committee for all of their contributions: Paul GreenTim Paek, Tom Miller, and Nicholas Kirsch. Below is a photo of all of us after the defense. See more photos on Flickr.

Tim Paek (left), Zeljko Medenica, Andrew Kun, Tom Miller, Nicholas Kirsch, and Paul Green (on the laptop)



[1] Zeljko Medenica,  “Cross-Correlation Based Performance Measures for Characterizing the Influence of In-Vehicle Interfaces on Driving and Cognitive Workload,” Doctoral Dissertation, University of New Hampshire, 2012

[2] Andrew L. Kun, Tim Paek, Zeljko Medenica, Nemanja Memarovic, Oskar Palinko, “Glancing at Personal Navigation Devices Can Affect Driving: Experimental Results and Design Implications,” Automotive UI 2009

AutomotiveUI 2012 covered in local media


AutomotiveUI 2012 was covered in three excellent articles in local media in New Hampshire.

First, Paul Briand introduced the conference in a front-page article in the October 20 issue of the Portsmouth Herald. I am glad that Paul pointed out that this is a multi-disciplinary conference, and also that he included nice quotes from UNH researcher Oskar Palinko, who touched upon visual and cognitive distractions.

Next, UNH’s Beth Potier discussed our work in an excellent article in UNH Today. One of the highlights of Beth’s article for me was that she referenced two studies – our work on augmented reality published at MobileHCI 2011, and follow-on work being conducted by a team of UNH ECE seniors, as part of their senior project. Another highlight was this illustration by Bridget Finnegan:

Finally, Liz Markhlevskaya discussed the conference, and our work at UNH, in an article in the Foster’s Daily Democrat. I really like the fact that Liz clearly connected our work on deploying the Project54 system with our more recent driving simulator-based work.