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de la Chica and Dawe Accepted to CHI Student Research Competition


April 2007

Two Department of Computer Science PhD students -- Sebastian De La Chica and Melissa Dawe -- have been accepted to the CHI Student Research Competition to be held in San Jose, California, during the CHI 2007 conference. Sebastian and Melissa have both received a $500 travel award from CHI as part of their selection to this competition.

The CHI Student Research Competition provides a forum for only 10 graduate students selected from all applicants to share their research results, exchange ideas and improve their communication skills, while competing for prizes. Sponsored by Microsoft Research, the CHI competition is a branch of the ACM Student Research Competition which hosts similar competitions at other ACM conferences in different areas of computer science. The top three winners at CHI will receive cash prizes and go on to compete in the finals with winners from other ACM conferences.

Sebastian's research explores the design and evaluation of educational scaffolds to support students writing scientific explanations for natural disasters, focusing on human information interaction design and natural language processing. His work investigates how to generate educational summaries from collections of digital library resources, and how to use these summaries to design scaffolds to support sense-making activities. The educational summaries are generated by extending existing multi-document summarization techniques to capture educationally-relevant concepts and relationships between those concepts from online resources. Sebastian is advised by Professor Tamara Sumner.

Sebastian De La Chica photo
de la Chica

Melissa's research examined patterns of use and the adoption processes of assistive technologies for individuals with cognitive disabilities and their families. Melissa combined participatory design techniques with a technology probe study to design a PDA-based mobile phone that matched the specific abilities and needs of two young adults with cognitive disabilities. This research revealed the importance of designing for emotional and social support when creating assistive technologies. Melissa is advised by Professor Gerhard Fischer.

Melissa Dawe photo

Both Sebastian's and Melissa's work will be highlighted and evaluated during a poster session throughout the duration of the CHI conference. If selected for the final round of the competition, they will present their research during a special presentation and question/answer period at CHI 2007. We wish Sebastian and Melissa good luck at CHI!

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Department of Computer Science
College of Engineering and Applied Science
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May 5, 2012 (13:46)