UMSI PhD student, faculty member recognized with 2014 CHI Best Paper awards

Rayoung Yang

Doctoral student Rayoung Yang and incoming assistant professor Silvia Lindtner were recognized at the ACM CHI Conference with Best Paper awards, which are given to the top one percent of accepted papers at the conference. The CHI Conference, held April 26-May 1 in Toronto, Ontario, is the premier international conference on Human-Computer Interaction.

Yang's paper, “Making Sustainability Sustainable: Challenges in the Design of Eco-Interaction Technologies,” was co-authored by Yang, UMSI Associate Professor of Information Mark Newman, and Jodi Forlizzi from Carnegie Mellon University. 

The paper looks at the benefits that smart phone devices can deliver in the control of home heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) systems. The authors examined user experiences with the Nest Learning Thermostat, a commercially available smart home device, and sought to incorporate those experiences with the design of future heating and cooling systems. 

Through a qualitative study that compared people’s interactions with conventional thermostats to interactions with the Nest, the authors found that the Nest impacted user patterns of HVAC control, but only for a while, and caused new problems in unrealized energy savings. From these results, the authors were able to create a set of design implications for control features and human-system interactions with the goal of saving energy. 

Yang will be presenting the paper to students in UMSI’s Research Experience for Undergraduates program on June 23 from 12-1pm in 1265 North Quad, 105 S. State St.


Silvia Lindtner

Lindtner’s paper, “Emerging Sites of HCI Innovation: Hackerspaces, Hardware Startups & Incubators,” was co-authored by Garnet Hertz and Paul Dourish from the Department of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine. She joins the UMSI faculty in September.

This paper discusses how do-it-yourself makers are turning visions of tangible and pervasive computing into products and provides insight into the social, material, and economic processes that guide this transition from prototypes to products. The authors demonstrated how DIY maker practices represent a broader interest in physical materials and the implications for HCI research that investigates materiality.

The authors also examined how hackerspaces and hardware startups are experimenting with new models of manufacturing and entrepreneurship, and argued that these maker practices can professionalize field functions in research and industry labs.

For more information about the papers and the CHI Conference, please visit the Best of Chi Web page here.


View a short video about Yang’s sustainability project.

Posted on June 5, 2014