UCLIC PhD Showcase 2022

On a balmy June morning, Room G01 @ 66-72 Gower Street, London W1, began to buzz with excitement. The occasion was the annual UCLIC PhD Showcase, and greetings, reunions and first meetings filled the venue. When the food arrived, the focus moved gently from each other onto the scrumptious platters of wraps, sandwiches, meze and crudites. Once fed and hydrated, staff and students got down to business.

Each student was given 5 minutes for their presentation, and 3 further minutes for Q&As.

First up, those presenting posters took the floor (or the screen, for hybrid presenters), followed by those with slide-decks, and finally, two demos of technology prototypes. The topics were wide-ranging and diverse, as expected from UCLIC postgraduates. The first presentation described an assessment of interventions to reduce unnecessary referrals to eye hospital services (presentation 1, see table below). We learnt about how VR can be used for rehabilitation (5), and as a platform for new forms of social connectedness (9). In the topic of how people use technology to relax and take breaks, we had presentations on social media recovery versus procrastination (2), as well as the use of gaming for post-work recovery (3). We explored methodologies for understanding people's relationships with technologies, including those with personal informatics applications (11), and how to map many different perspectives of controversial, even 'creepy' technologies (7). Potentially helping us to understand our own perspectives better, we were introduced to new digital tools to support the peer review process (6).

Alongside technology for social and relaxation purposes, we also explored technology to support information-processing and decision-making. We looked at research demonstrating the ability of conversational interfaces to support human discussion and decision-making (8), as well as research into making data visualisations more engaging and exciting (12). For tangible interactions, we explored the opportunity for data physicalisation through acoustophoresis (13), mid-air haptic technologies (4), and measuring human responses to them (18). On the topic of making information tactile, we watched demonstrations on new technologies for the visually impaired, including an information-dense braille reader (19) and an interactive pin display (20), offering both tactile and auditory feedback for the user. Away from the hands and to the rest of the body, we also explored the potential for multi-sensory textile experiences (14, 16), and for infra-red imaging to track physiological signals (15). Many questions focused on how these new technologies will be used, and who will need them. Answering these questions may be easier with new research into population forecasting for assistive technologies, also presented at the showcase (17).

After the presentations and during the breaks, we all discussed the diversity of ideas and research on display, over more food and drinks. Our questions often focused on the applications of these new technologies, demonstrating UCLIC's practical and impact-focused culture. Eventually, tea and coffee turned into beer and wine, and the party continued in the physical computing lab. The first of many in Summer 2022, since our 21st birthday celebrations will carry on with a series of events planned in June and July.

  1. "Assessment of Interventions for Reducing False Positive Referrals into the Hospital Eye Service: A Systematic Review" (poster), Presenter: Josie
  2. "Motivational and Situational Aspects of Active and Passive Social Media Breaks May Explain the Difference Between Recovery and Procrastination" (poster), Presenter: Elahi
  3. "Investigating the Impact of Digital Game Immersion on Post-work Recovery" (poster), Presenter: Jon
  4. "Visualization of Ultrasound Fields and Mid-Air Haptic Feedback" (poster), Presenter: Zak
  5. "Virtual Reality for the Rehabilitation of Hyperkinetic Movement Disorders" (poster), Presenter: Andreas
  6. "Let's Help Reviewer 2: Towards Building Better Digital Tools to Support the Peer Review Process" (poster), Presenter: Shiping
  7. "Technology Abjection: Three Coordinates to Navigate the Grey Area" (slides), Presenter: Ava
  8. "Designing Conversational User Interfaces to Support Human Cognition" (slides), Presenter: Leon
  9. "Supporting Social Connectedness in Virtual Environments Through Social Biofeedback" (slides), Presenter: Katherine
  10. "Just Do Not Quite Fit In: How People of Colour Participate in Online & Offline Climate Action" (slides), Presenter: Priscilla
  11. "How Personal Informatics Data Mediates Teens' Social and Emotional Learning" (slides), Presenter: Kyrill
  12. "Using Visual Embellishments in Aiding Design of Casual Audiences" (slides), Presenter: Muna
  13. "Acoustophoretic Data Physicalisation" (slides), Presenter: Lei
  14. 1"Design Digital Multisensory Textile Experiences" (slides), Presenter: Shu
  15. "Thermal Infrared Imaging Based Tracking of Physiological Signals" (slides), Presenter: Jitesh
  16. "Emotional Textile Through Multi-Sensory Interaction Design" (slides), Presenter: Jing
  17. "Forecasting Assistive Technology Need in Aging Populations" (slides), Presenter: Jamie
  18. "Predictive Model for Human Responses on Ultrasonic Mid-Air Haptics" (slides), Presenter: Zhouyang
  19. "Tacilia - A New Tactile Interface for Blind and Partially Sighted Learners" (demo), Presenter: Tigmanshu
  20. "An Accessible Interactive Pin Display for People Who Are Blind or Partially Sighted" (demo), Presenter: Albert