Category Archives: Papers & Presentations

Nurit Kirshenbaum presents her work at ISS’18

Nurit Kirshenbaum presented her work on bendable interfaces at the 2018 ACM International Conference on Interactive Surfaces and Spaces in Tokyo! Her paper was titled Define, refine, and identify events in a bendable interface.

As we aspire to bring bendable interfaces closer to mainstream use, we need to resolve practical issues such as the event model for bend input. This work takes steps towards understanding the bend events space for a simplified 1DOF (Degree of Freedom) device. We suggest that a rich set of informative bend events can elevate application development for bendable devices. In this work, we describe the current state of event models for bendable devices, our suggested refined model, and the steps we are taking toward implementing an event system.

Nurit Kirshenbaum Presents Her Work at CHI Play in Melbourne

Congratulations to graduate student Nurit Kirshenbaum who presented her work on tangible interactive playing cards at CHI Play 2018 in Melbourne.


PEPA Deck: Bringing Interactivity to Playing Cards
Nurit Kirshenbaum and Scott Robertson

With the rise of computers and mobile devices, digital card games have gained popularity and market success, offering features that the classic paper cards cannot. We identify a possibility to fill a gap between paper and digital card games by creating a tangible interface of smart objects with embedded electronics that will garner the benefits of both existing modes. In this paper, we describe the Paper-like Entertainment Platform Agents (PEPA) deck, a conceptual system of tangible interactive cards that use bend gesture interaction as a form of input.


Scott Robertson Presents at Socio-Tech Futures

Scott Robertson presented a “provocation” at the Decennial “Socio-Tech Futures” Event of the Consortium for the Science of Socio-Technical Systems Research, June 2018, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. The event brought together alumni from over 10 years of summer workshops.

The Consortium for the Science of Sociotechnical Systems (CSST) is a NSF-supported research coordination network (Grant #1144934) supporting a community of academic and industry scholars who study sociotechnical systems.

Here is the provocation extended abstract:

What Happened? #Sociotech4Evil

Scott Robertson, Information and Computer Sciences, University of Hawaii
Trolling, Misuse, Propaganda, Weaponization, Politics

I have been studying social media and civic engagement for about ten years, which is more or less the lifespan of most social media platforms. I began with an optimistic and utopian perspective on the promise of these systems for broadening public discourse, engaging citizens, and encouraging participation. Over the ten years, this optimism has been tempered by reality, and ultimately soured completely by the overwhelming misuse of sociotechnical systems to mislead individuals and corrupt democratic discourse (#sociotech4evil?).  So, what happened and why were we so naïve (not everyone was, of course)?

Our research community is now at an ethical and moral crossroads comparable to the situation of social scientists after WWII. Some of the best research in social science came out of attempts to understand conformity, persuasion, obedience to authority, diffusion of responsibility, moral judgement, and other matters relevant to maintenance of a civil and just society after the world collapsed into chaos in the mid-20th century. At this moment we find ourselves at the edge of a sociotechnical abyss, where social media companies are struggling to understand how to adjust their tools, legislatures and courts are attempting to respond to widespread information manipulation, and citizens are coping with propaganda and troll campaigns that infiltrate their everyday social sphere. This will only get worse as indefatigable social AI systems based on machine learning are exposed to training in the black arts of propaganda and social manipulation proliferate.

Have we as sociotechnical researchers focused too much on technical matters and the promise of social media, thereby failing to anticipate the motives of bad actors and the vulnerabilities of individuals immersed in new media technologies? How can we now change course, and pick up the difficult task of convincing funding agencies and others that we are not only facing a technical challenge, but a social challenge as well? Those who use sociotechnical systems to bad ends are taking advantage of new social and cognitive phenomena that are poorly understood: fractured attention, liquid tribalism, pervasive commercialization of social life and consciousness, media hyper-personalization, digital identity management, social media anxiety, big data profiling for profit, social bots trained to harm, and so on. While there are researchers who concern themselves with maleficent use of social media, it is critical for the whole sociotechnical community to develop a coordinated approach to these phenomena and possibly adopt a practice of exploring “threat assessment” as part of every research paper and proposal.

Dr. Misa Maruyama at CSCW 2017

HICHI alumna, Dr. Misa Maruyama, presented her paper, “Social Watching a Civic Broadcast: Understanding the Effects of Positive Feedback and Other Users’ Opinions,” in February at the 20th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW ’17) in Portland, Oregon.

Abstract: “People increasingly turn to social media to augment their broadcast viewing experience with a parallel stream of information and opinion. Known as “social watching,” the practice of integrating broadcast media and social media has become routine for many citizens tracking live events and breaking news. In a controlled laboratory study, we examined how interactivity and exposure to social media opinions influence a sense of community, attitudes and discussion elaboration. The results suggest that receiving positive feedback to social media posts instills a psychological sense of community in the poster, and this feeling of connectedness is related to greater elaboration of the civic social media discussion. Secondly, the study found support for conformity effects. The third contribution of this work is a better understanding of how the valence of others’ social media posts and the user’s posting activity influences cognitive elaboration of social media discussions during social watching in civic contexts.”

Visiting Researcher Storm: Ravi, Sean, and Raghava

It’s winter so we should have a blizzard, but in Hawaii it seems to be a blizzard of visiting researchers. During the week of Jan. 9, the HICHI lab will be hosting:

  • Dr. Sean Goggins, Computer Science Department, University of Missouri
  • Dr. Raghava Rao Mukkamala, Centre for Business Data Analytics, Copenhagen Business School
  • Dr. Ravi Vatrapu, Centre for Business Data Analytics, Copenhagen Business School

Ravi was a postdoc in the HICHI lab, a researcher in the LILT lab, and a Ph.D. student of Dan Suthers in the CIS program.

We will be planning some socio-technical research for the coming year!

They are also giving talks as follows:

raviMonday, 1/9, 4:30, Hamilton 2K
Social Set Analysis: A Set Theoretical Approach to Big Data Analysis
Dr. Ravi Vatrapu


GogginsHeadShotThursday, 1/12, Noon, POST 318B (ICSpace)
Computational Intelligence Pipelines: Imagination and Reality
Dr. Sean Goggins



raghava1Thursday, 1/12, 4:30, POST 126
Multi-Dimensional Text Analytics: Concepts, Methods, Tools and Findings
Dr. Raghava Rao Mukkamala

Nurit’s Newest Publication!

IDC2016Nurit Kirshenbaum and Scott Robertson. 2016. Set&Motion: Tool for Authoring Interactive Stories with Sensors and Actuators. In Proceedings of the The 15th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (IDC ’16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 554-559. DOI:

Children participating in animatronic puppet show workshops are tasked with hands-on activities that exercise both creative and technical skills culminating in a unique learning experience. In this paper, we describe Set&Motion, an authoring tool that supports the creation of animatronic puppet shows. It supports capturing sound and describing the puppet’s animation for any animatronic show. In addition, users can create more complex story flows and allow viewers to interact with the show using sensors embedded in the puppet or its surroundings. It promotes the use of a state diagram to describe non-linear storylines, and may be useful for Computer Science education.