Tag Archives: visit

2014 Visit to National University of Public Service

Last week I visited the Hungarian National University of Public Service. I was there at the invitation of Zoltán Székely. Zoltán is a major in the Hungarian Police, a lawyer, and an instructor at the University. I met Zoltán through Bálint Kiss, who is my host at BME during my Fulbright scholarship in Hungary.

Zoltán Székely introduces the proposed “Application of Robotics for Enhanced Security” effort

Zoltán is leading an effort to make robots part of law enforcement work in Hungary, and beyond. He invited me to the kick-off meeting for this effort, where I gave a talk sharing some of our experiences at Project54. The Project54 effort at UNH addressed ubicomp in the law enforcement setting.

Zoltán has brought together a diverse and talented group of researchers and practitioners for this effort. I am looking forward to seeing the results of their efforts.

You can see pictures from my visit on Flickr. My favorite is this one of the beautiful University building where the meeting was held:

National University of Public Service, Budapest, Hungary

2014 Fulbright visit to Szeged

On Wednesday I joined Fulbright Hungary‘s Executive Director Károly Jókay, Director Emeritus Huba Brückner, and fellow Fulbrighters, on a visit to the University of Szeged. Fulbright Hungary is recruiting applicants for Fulbright scholarships from all corners of Hungary, and Wednesday they targeted Szeged.  Our visit was very enjoyable; it included ample time to talk to our hosts, as well as to see the beautiful town of Szeged. You can see photos from the visit on Flickr.

2014 visit to University College London

Last week I travelled to London to give a talk at University College London (UCL). My host was Duncan Brumby, who also recently visited us at UNH. My talk introduced our work on in-vehicle human-computer interaction, touching on subjects from Project54 to driving simulator-based experiments.

It was great to talk to Duncan again, and it was really nice to meet some of his colleagues, including Anna Cox, Paul Marshall, and Sandy Gould. Thanks to all for hosting me.

While my trip was brief, I did get a chance to also visit the British Museum. This is one of my favorite places in the world, and here’s a photo of my favorite artifact from the museum’s vast collection, the Rosetta Stone:

You can see more pictures from my trip on Flickr.




2014 Visit to Prezi

Prezi is a new presentation tool developed in Hungary. One of the distinguishing features of the tool is the use of zooming animation to engage the viewer. Yesterday, I visited the company to discuss a  collaboration exploring how people consume Prezis. My hosts were Prezi’s Lead UX Researcher László Laufer and his colleague Eszter Józsa.

László gave me a tour of the Prezi facility, which is truly impressive. I really liked the bright, open area in the picture above, where much of the development work is done. See more of my pictures of Prezi on Flickr.

My collaboration with Prezi is made possible by my Fulbright scholarship in Hungary. I will post updates on our progress in the coming months.

2014 Visit to University of Szeged

The home of the Research Group on Artificial Intelligence

Yesterday I visited the University of Szeged. I was there at the invitation of fellow Fulbrighter Mark Jelasity. Mark is a member of the Research Group on Artificial Intelligence. He and I met at a recent event organized by Fulbright Hungary, where Hungarian Fulbright scholars reported on their experiences in the USA.

The primary purpose of my visit was to give a talk at the Institute of Informatics; thanks to Peter Szabó for including my talk in the Institute’s seminar series. I was really excited, as this was the first time in my career that I gave a talk in Hungarian. For fun, here are the Hungarian title and abstract:

Szemkövetők használata autóvezetéses szimulációs kisérletekben

Absztrakt: A University of New Hampshire kutatói több mint egy évtizede foglalkoznak a járműveken belüli ember-gép interfészekkel. Ez az előadás először egy rövid áttekintést nyújt a rendőr járművekre tervezett Project54 rendszer fejlesztéséről és telepítéséről. A rendszer különböző modalitású felhasználói felületeket biztosít, beleértve a beszéd modalitást. A továbbiakban az előadás beszámol közelmúltban végzett autóvezetés-szimulációs kísérletekről, amelyekben a szimulátor és egy szemkövető adatai alapján becsültük a vezető kognitív terhelését, vezetési teljesítményét, és vizuális figyelmét a külső világra.

As part of the visit I had a chance to talk to Mark about his research (see Mark’s Google Scholar profile). Mark’s interest is in distributed learning, which might have fascinating applications in the automotive domain.

Szeged fish soup

My visit was also exciting on a personal level, as I was born in Szeged, and my family often travelled there during my childhood. I walked around the town a bit to reminisce, and Mark treated me to an excellent lunch of fish soup.

See pictures from my trip on Flickr.

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 Volpe visit

Today I visited Volpe, The National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, MA. My host was Mary Stearns, Chief of Surface Transportation Human Factors at Volpe.

During my visit I had a chance to experience two very interesting simulators. The first one was a train engine simulator, the second a Boeing 737 simulator – see pictures below.

As part of the visit I also gave a presentation about our work at UNH on Project54 and on exploring in-vehicle HMI.

See more pictures on Flickr.


Visit to Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety

Last month I had a chance to visit the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety in Hopkinton, MA. My host was Bill Horrey, senior research scientist at the institute. I also had a chance to talk to Marvin Dainoff, Yulan Liang, Angela Garabet, and a number of other researchers.

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 [1]), as well as the technical details of running a simulator lab. You can see a few more pictures about my visit on Flickr.



[1] William J. Horrey, Yulan Liang, Michael L. Lee, Mark E. Howard, Clare Anderson, Michael S. Shreeve, Conor O’Brien, Charles A. Czeisler, “The Long Road Home: Driving Performance and Ocular Measurements of Drowsiness Following Night Shift-Work,” Driving Assessment 2013

Lee Slezak visit

At the end of March we hosted Lee Slezak in our lab. Lee is Vehicle Systems and Testing Manager in DOE’s Vehicle Technology Program.

As part of the visit Lee saw our driving simulator lab, and we had a chance to discuss with him a number of projects, including work on a UNH ECE senior project that deals with personal navigation devices. Following this, Lee introduced us to the work of DOE’s Vehicle Technology Program. Three points from the presentation really resonated with me:

  1. Interoperability is a problem. As we have found in our work on in-vehicle devices for police cruisers (Project54) [1], and as many UNH ECE students find in working at UNH’s IOL, many devices are not designed with interoperability in mind. This is also true of the different devices people use to charge batteries in vehicles.
  2. Simulation can help focus R&D efforts. Our work on augmented reality personal navigation devices is a good example of using (driving) simulation to explore the value of an idea that is not yet technologically feasible (at least not with a reasonable price tag) [2]. DOE explores a number of technologies in simulation before committing to developing and testing hardware.
  3. Green racing can move automotive technology forward. Innovations used in car racing used to be transferable to consumer vehicles. This is almost never the case any more. Green racing is trying to change this: the green technologies that can win races can also provide improvements for everyday vehicles.

Here’s a photo of Lee discussing his ideas with us in the lab. For more photos see Flickr.

So, thanks Lee for taking the time to visit – it was a valuable and it was fun. I would also like to thank Kristin Bennett and Jan Nisbet for making Lee’s visit possible.



[1] Andrew L. Kun, W. Thomas Miller, III and William H. Lenharth, “Computers in police cruisers,” IEEE Pervasive Computing, Vol. 3, Issue 4, pp.: 34 – 41, Oct.-Dec. 2004

[2] Zeljko Medenica, Andrew L. Kun, Tim Paek, Oskar Palinko, “Augmented Reality vs. Street Views: A Driving Simulator Study Comparing Two Emerging Navigation Aids,” MobileHCI 2011

Bryan Reimer visit to UNH

It was my great pleasure to host Bryan Reimer at UNH. Bryan is Research Scientist at the MIT Age Lab as well as Associate Director of the New England University Transportation Center. His research focuses on the measurement and understanding of human behavior in dynamic environments, such as in cars.

Bryan spent time in the Project54 lab discussing various aspects of driving simulator and field studies. He then gave a thought-provoking talk reviewing results from multiple studies exploring driver workload and distraction. I expecially enjoyed his discussion of physiological measures that can be used to estimate workload. E.g. Bryan has found that heart rate is a robust estimate of workload and is often more useful than the often-used measure of heart rate variability. Bryan also discussed work on validating driving simulator results through field studies. His data indicate that driving simulator results can be used to predict relative changes in workload measures under different situations in real-life driving. However, the actual values of the measures collected in simulator and field studies often differ significantly.

For more pictures visit Flickr.