Toronto ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter Event

Bill Polson will be speaking about design patterns in computer graphics at BA 1210 on October 22. The talk begins at 7pm, but doors will open at 6:45.

BIO

Bill is currently on leave from Pixar, working on a book on Pipeline Design Patterns, which should be out in mid-2016. At Pixar, Bill was the Director of Industry Strategy, where he was responsible for Pixar’s relationship to the graphics industry. In this role he has shaped the product roadmaps of major graphics software vendors. He is the originator of Pixar’s OpenSubdiv effort, which is redefining how the industry handles high order geometry. Bill has had a number of management roles at Pixar, including Lead of Production Engineering, and Supervising Technical Director of Short Films. Prior to that Bill was a TD and software developer. Bill is active in SIGGRAPH, where he originated the popular new program SIGGRAPH Dailies!

TITLE

Pipeline Design Patterns

ABSTRACT

In his talk, Bill will use a simple example to illustrate the common problems of graphics pipelines: getting assets built (in lots of variations), getting them converted to optimized representations and aggregated into shots and levels, and generally carrying edits from modeling through to animation/gameplay and beyond to rendering/display. The talk will discuss the general shape of these problems and their solutions, and will propose some common vocabulary.

Hrvoje Benko to present at TUX

On October 13th, MaRS Discovery District will welcome Hrvoje Benko, who will be presenting at TUX. Lunch reception begins at 12:30pm in the Auditorium and the lecture at 1:00pm. Anyone interested in attending should RSVP via email with Grace Chen at gchen@dgp.toronto.edu.

BIO

Hrvoje Benko is a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research. He explores novel interactive computing technologies and their impact on human-computer interaction. In particular, his research interests include augmented reality, touch and gesture-based interfaces, depth sensing, and display technologies. He helped found and lead the Microsoft Touch Mouse project and he has extensively collaborated with the Surface Computing group at Microsoft. He has been active in the human-computer interaction field, authoring more than 50 scientific papers and journal articles, as well as serving as the General Chair (2014) and the Program Chair (2012) of the ACM Conference on User Interface Systems and Technology (UIST). For his publications, he received several best paper awards at both ACM UIST and ACM SIGCHI. Before joining Microsoft, he obtained his PhD at Columbia University. More detail can be found on his website:http://research.microsoft.com/~benko/.

Rorik Henrikson’s work featured in UofT news

PhD Candidate and DGP member Rorik Henrikson was recently featured in the U of T news, exploring his research. Adopting his early interest in stage, film and television planning, he created Storeoboard – his stereoscopic 3D storyboard software. Storeoboard was recently used by Canadian director and filmmaker Dylan Pearce in the planning of 40 Below and Falling, the first stereoscopic 3D romantic comedy.

You can read more about it here.

Prof. John Stasko of Georgia Tech visits DGP

Prof. John Stasko of Georgia Tech visited the DGP to talk about visual analytics and information/data visualization.

BIO

John Stasko is a Professor in the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is a widely published and internationally recognized researcher in the areas of information visualization and visual analytics, approaching each from a human-computer interaction perspective. His Information Interfaces Research Group develops ways to help people and organizations explore, analyze, and make sense of data in order to solve problems. Stasko has been Papers/Program Co-Chair for the IEEE InfoVis and the IEEE VAST Conferences, and has served on numerous journal editorial boards including ACM ToCHI, IEEE TVCG, and Information Visualization. In Fall 2013 he was General Chair for the IEEE VIS conference in Atlanta, the primary research meeting for the field of data visualization. Stasko is an IEEE Fellow and an ACM Distinguished Scientist, and in 2012 he received the IEEE VGTC Visualization Technical Achievement Award. He also is an Honorary Professor in the School of Computer Science at the Univ. of St. Andrews in Scotland.

TITLE

Reflections on Data Visualization (Some Things I’ve Learned Along the Way)

ABSTRACT

Everyone’s talking about data these days. People, organizations, and businesses are seeking better ways to analyze, understand, and communicate their data. While a variety of approaches can be taken to this challenge, my own research has focused on data visualization. In this talk, I’ll describe the particular advantages that visualization brings to data analysis beyond other techniques. Additionally, I’ll identify three key tenets for success in data visualization: understanding purpose, embracing interaction, and identifying value. To help support this premise, I will draw upon and illustrate a number of current research projects from my lab and I’ll recount a few anecdotes and experiences that  have helped to form my views.

Ben Lafreniere of the University of Saskatchewan visits DGP

Ben Lafreniere of the University of Saskatchewan visited the DGP to talk about rehearsal-based interfaces.

BIO

Ben Lafreniere is a Human-Computer Interaction researcher who specializes in the areas of learning and skill development with interactive systems, and the usability of feature-rich software. In 2014 he received a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo for his work on developing task-centric user interfaces. He is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Interaction lab at the University of Saskatchewan.

ABSTRACT

Rehearsal-based interfaces are designed to enable a smooth transition from novice to expert performance by making the novice user’s visually-guided actions a physical rehearsal of the expert’s feedback-free actions. While a number of examples of these interfaces have been developed, including Marking Menus and FastTap menus, there is little published data on how skill development happens in real use of these interfaces. In this talk I will describe two studies we conducted on skill development in rehearsal-based interfaces: one in a game that directly rewards rapid menu selections, and another in a drawing application that has no particular need for urgency. Our results show very different patterns of adoption in these two applications, and suggest that rehearsal of physical actions alone does not guarantee that users will adopt expert methods. I will also discuss insights into what affects use of expert methods by users, and the implications of our findings for how rehearsal-based techniques should be employed in practice. Finally, I will discuss ongoing research that builds on this work.

Prof. Sid Fels of UBC visits DGP

Professor Sid Fels from the ECE department at UBC, a DCS PhD alumnus, visited the DGP to talk about his work on the intersections between HCI, human anatomy, and forms of expression.

BIO

Sid has been in the department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of British Columbia since 1998. Sidney received his Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Computer Science at the University of Toronto in 1994 and 1990 respectively. He received his B.A.Sc. in Electrical Engineering at the University of Waterloo in 1988. He was recognized as a Distinguished University Scholar at UBC from 2004. He was a visiting researcher at ATR Media Integration & Communications Research Laboratories in Kyoto, Japan from 1996 to 1997. He also worked at Virtual Technologies Inc. in Palo Alto, CA. He is internationally known for his work in human-computer interaction, biomechanical modeling of human anatomy, and new interfaces for musical expression and interactive arts. He was a principal investigator on the Canadian Networks Centre of Excellence on Graphics, Animation and New Media (GRAND) from 2010-2014. He was the Director of the Media and Graphics Interdisciplinary Centre (MAGIC) from 2001-2012.

TITLE

Design for Human Experience and Expression: Research at MAGIC and the HCT Laboratory

ABSTRACT

Research at the Media and Graphics Interdisciplinary Centre (MAGIC; www.magic.ubc.ca) and the Human Communications Technology (HCT) laboratory (hct.ece.ubc.ca) has been targeting design for human experience and expression. In this presentation, I’€™ll start with a discussion of gesture-to-speech and voice explorations, including Glove-TalkII and the Digital Ventriloquized Actors (DIVAs). I’€™ll connect these to other explorations of the new interfaces for musical and visual expression that we have created.  I’€™ll then show some more work on new forms of personalized video viewing that we call the MyView system. MyView creates a new viewing experience though integrating human memory patterns into the navigation, browsing, annotation, authoring and sharing mechanisms. I will briefly discuss our work on modelling human anatomy (www.parametrichuman.org) and function, such as speaking, chewing, swallowing and breathing (www.magic.ubc.ca/OPAL.htm) with biomechanical models using our toolkit Artisynth (www.artisynth.org). This work is motivated by our quest to make a new vocal instrument that can be controlled by gesture. I’ll discuss some of the activities we have been doing on some new 3D displays: pCubee and Spheree. Finally, these investigations will be used to support a theory of designing for intimacy and discussions of perspectives on human computer interaction for new experiences and forms of expression.

Michael Bernstein of Stanford visits DGP

Prof. Michael Bernstein of Stanford visited the DGP to talk about his work in designing crowd-sourcing systems for experts.

Dr. Bernstein at DGP

BIO

Michael Bernstein is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University, where he co-directs the Human-Computer Interaction group and is a Robert N. Noyce Family Faculty Scholar. His research in human-computer interaction focuses on the design of crowdsourcing and social computing systems. This work has received Best Paper awards and nominations at premier venues in human-computer interaction and social computing (ACM UIST, ACM CHI, ACM CSCW, AAAI ISWSM). Michael has been recognized with the NSF CAREER award, as well as the George M. Sprowls Award for best doctoral thesis in Computer Science at MIT. He holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Computer Science from MIT, and a B.S. in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University.

TITLE

Crowdsourcing a Meeting of Minds

ABSTRACT

Crowdsourcing is an increasingly powerful method for combining amateurs’ efforts to recreate an expert’s abilities. However, across domains from design to engineering to art, few goals are truly the effort of just one person — even one expert. If we can now crowdsource simple tasks such as image labeling, how might we computationally coordinate many peoples’ abilities toward far more complex and interdependent goals? In this talk, I present computational systems for gathering and guiding crowds of experts — including professional programmers, designers, singers and artists. The resulting collectives tackle problems modularly and at scale, dynamically grow and shrink depending on task demands, and combine into larger organizations. I’ll demonstrate how computationally-enabled expert crowds can pursue goals such as designing new user experiences overnight, producing animated shorts in two days, and even pursuing novel research.