Research Projects

Our work tackles the scientific challenges that make it possible for everyday individuals and communities to create technology that improves accessibility and wellness, and sustainability. One of our primary application domains is revolutionizing the production and delivery of 3D printed assistive technology.  Our work combines computational approaches to making and data analytics. 

Recent Projects:

Lyme Disease’s Impact

An ongoing, and very personal thread of research that our group engages in (due to my own journey with Lyme Disease, which I occasionally blog about here) is research into the impacts of Lyme Disease and opportunities for helping to support patients with Lyme Disease. From a patient perspective, Lyme disease is as tough to …

Understanding gender equity in author order assignment

Academic success and promotion are heavily influenced by publication record. In many fields, including computer science, multi-author papers are the norm. Evidence from other fields shows that norms for ordering author names can influence the assignment of credit. We interviewed 38 students and faculty in human- computer interaction (HCI) and machine learning (ML) at two …

3D Printed Wireless Analytics

Wireless Analytics for 3D Printed Objects: Vikram Iyer, Justin Chan, Ian Culhane, Jennifer Mankoff, Shyam Gollakota UIST, Oct. 2018 [PDF] We created a wireless physical analytics system works with commonly available conductive plastic filaments. Our design can enable various data capture and wireless physical analytics capabilities for 3D printed objects, without the need for electronics. We …

Interactiles

The absence of tactile cues such as keys and buttons makes touchscreens difficult to navigate for people with visual impairments. Increasing tactile feedback and tangible interaction on touchscreens can improve their accessibility. However, prior solutions have either required hardware customization or provided limited functionality with static overlays. In addition, the investigation of tactile solutions for …

EDigs

Improving the information economy for tenants pre-lease signing.

Nonvisual Interaction Techniques at the Keyboard Surface

Rushil Khurana,Duncan McIsaac, Elliot Lockerman,Jennifer Mankoff Nonvisual Interaction Techniques at the Keyboard Surface, CHI 2018, To Appear Web user interfaces today leverage many common GUI design patterns, including navigation bars and menus (hierarchical structure), tabular content presentation, and scrolling. These visual-spatial cues enhance the interaction experience of sighted users. However, the linear nature of screen translation …

Picture of 3D models and a printout

Expressing and Reusing Design Intent in 3D Models

Megan K Hofmann, Gabriella Han, Scott E Hudson, Jennifer Mankoff. Greater Than the Sum of Its PARTs: Expressing and Reusing Design Intent in 3D Models CHI 2018, To Appear. With the increasing popularity of consumer-grade 3D printing, many people are creating, and even more using, objects shared on sites such as Thingiverse. However, our formative study …

The Tangible Desktop

Mark S. Baldwin, Gillian R. Hayes, Oliver L. Haimson, Jennifer Mankoff, Scott E. Hudson: The Tangible Desktop: A Multimodal Approach to Nonvisual Computing. TACCESS 10(3): 9:1-9:28 (2017) Audio-only interfaces, facilitated through text-to-speech screen reading software, have been the primary mode of computer interaction for blind and low-vision computer users for more than four decades. During this time, the advances that have made visual …

Examples of 3d printed objects that are robust to measurement uncertainty.

Uncertainty in Measurement

Kim, J., Guo, A., Yeh, T., Hudson, S. E., & Mankoff, J. (2017, June). Understanding Uncertainty in Measurement and Accommodating its Impact in 3D Modeling and Printing. In Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (pp. 1067-1078). ACM. 3D printing enables everyday users to augment objects around them with personalized adaptations. There has …

Making the field of computing more inclusive for people with disabilities

Lazar, J., Churchill, E. F., Grossman, T., Van der Veer, G., Palanque, P., Morris, J. S., & Mankoff, J. (2017). Making the field of computing more inclusive. Communications of the ACM, 60(3), 50-59. More accessible conferences, digital resources, and ACM SIGs will lead to greater participation by more people with disabilities. Improving conference and online material accessibility …

Volunteer AT Fabricators

Perry-Hill, J., Shi, P., Mankoff, J. & Ashbrook, D. Understanding Volunteer AT Fabricators: Opportunities and Challenges in DIY-AT for Others in e-NABLE. Accepted to CHI 2017 We present the results of a study of e-NABLE, a distributed, collaborative volunteer effort to design and fabricate upper-limb assistive technology devices for limb-different users. Informed by interviews with …

Tactile Interfaces to Appliances

Facade is a crowdsourced fabrication pipeline to automatically generate tactile interfaces to appliances for blind people.

Aversion to Typing Errors

Quantifying Aversion to Costly Typing Errors in Expert Mobile Text Entry Text entry is an increasingly important activity for mobile device users. As a result, increasing text entry speed of expert typists is an important design goal for physical and soft keyboards. Mathematical models that predict text entry speed can help with keyboard design and …

Modeling & Generating Routines

Leveraging Human Routine Models to Detect and Generate Human Behaviors An ability to detect behaviors that negatively impact people’s wellbeing and show people how they can correct those behaviors could enable technology that improves people’s lives. Existing supervised machine learning approaches to detect and generate such behaviors require lengthy and expensive data labeling by domain …

3D Printing with Embedded Textiles

Stretching the Bounds of 3D Printing with Embedded Textiles Textiles are an old and well developed technology that have many desirable characteristics. They can be easily folded, twisted, deformed, or cut; some can be stretched; many are soft. Textiles can maintain their shape when placed under tension and can even be engineered with variable stretching …

Watch-ya-doin

Watch-ya-doin is an innovative experienced based sampling framework for longitudinal data collection and analysis. Our system consists of a smartwatch and an android device working unobtrusively to track data. Our goal is to train on and recognize a specific activity over time. We use a simple wrist-worn accelerometer to predict eating behavior and other activities. These are inexpensive …

Shows someone placing a pen in a cap with two different types of adaptations.

Printable Adaptations

Reprise: A Design Tool for Specifying, Generating, and Customizing 3D Printable Adaptations on Everyday Objects Reprise is a tool for creating custom adaptive 3D printable designs for making it easier to manipulate everything from tools to zipper pulls. Reprise’s library is based on a survey of about 3,000 assistive technology and life hacks drawn from …

A teddy bear wearing a knit hat, scarf (with pocket) and sweater

A Knitting Machine Compiler

  Although industrial knitting machines can automatically produce a wide range of garments, they are programmed through onerous means such as pixel level image manipulation. This limits the potential for automation of knitted object design, re-use of object components, and narrows the audience able to design for these machines. Our contribution is a visual design …

Sketchup Interface with plugin for RapID being used to create a Tic Tac Toe board.

RapID — interactive RFID

RapID – A framework for fabricating low-latency interactive objects with RFID tags RFID tags can be used to add inexpensive, wireless, batteryless sensing to objects. However, quickly and accurately estimating the state of an RFID tag is difficult. In this work, we show how to achieve low-latency manipulation and movement sensing with off-the-shelf RFID tags …

Modeling Human Routines

Modeling and Understanding Human Routine Behavior Human routines are blueprints of behavior, which allow people to accomplish their purposeful repetitive tasks and activities. People express their routines through actions that they perform in the particular situations that triggered those actions. An ability to model routines and understand the situations in which they are likely to …

Threadsteading

  In work done collaboratively with Disney Research Pittsburgh and led by Gillian Smith of Northeastern we explored a multi-player game that can be embedded into a quilting and/or embroidery machine interface. Gameplay is constrained by the fact that only a single thread of fabric can be drawn over time. Players compete to ‘scout’ over a …

Diagram of FOCUS method for dynamic, cost-sensitive feature selection

Dynamic question ordering

In recent years, surveys have been shifting online, offering the possibility for adaptive questions, where later questions depend on responses to earlier questions. We present a general framework for dynamically ordering questions, based on previous responses, to engage respondents, improving survey completion and imputation of unknown items. Our work considers two scenarios for data collection …

3D printed attachments

Encore: 3D printed attachments What happens when you want to 3D print something that must interact with the real world? The Encore project makes it possible to 3D print objects that must attach to things in the real world. Encore provides an interface that, given an imported object and a chosen attachment method, visualizes metrics relating the goodness …

Helping Hands

Prosthetic limbs and assistive technology (AT) require customization and modification over time to effectively meet the needs of end users. Yet, this process is typically costly and, as a result, abandonment rates are very high. Rapid prototyping technologies such as 3D printing have begun to alleviate this issue by making it possible to inexpensively, and …

Layered Fabric Printing

A Layered Fabric 3D Printer for Soft Interactive Objects. Huaishu Peng, Jennifer Mankoff, Scott E. Hudson, James McCann. CHI ’15 Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 2015. In work done collaboratively with Disney Research and led by Disney Intern Huaishu Peng (of Cornell), we have begun to explore alternative material options for …

Infant Oxygen Monitoring

Improving healthcare decision making with better workflow and information flow.

Images from a variety of projects supporting green behavior

StepGreen

The goal of the Stepgreen project is to leverage Internet scale technologies to create opportunities for reduced energy consumption. The original vision of the project was to leverage existing online social networks to encourage individual change. Since then the project has broadened to include a number of other ideas. We have explored the impact of …

Stepgreen.org

The goal of the Stepgreen project is to leverage Internet scale technologies to create opportunities for reduced energy consumption. The original vision of the project was to leverage existing online social networks to encourage individual change. Since then the project has broadened to include a number of other ideas. We have explored the impact of demographics on …

Automatically tracking green actions

We believe that self-reporting is a limiting factor in the original vision of StepGreen.org, and this component of our research has begun to explore alternatives. For example, we showed that financial data can be used to extract footprint information [1], and in collaboration with researchers at Intel and University of Washington, we used a mobile device …

Exiting the cleanroom: On ecological validity and ubiquitous computing

Carter, Scott, Jennifer Mankoff, Scott R. Klemmer, and Tara Matthews. “Exiting the cleanroom: On ecological validity and ubiquitous computing.” Human–Computer Interaction 23, no. 1 (2008): 47-99. Over the past decade and a half, corporations and academies have invested considerable time and money in the realization of ubiquitous computing. Yet design approaches that yield ecologically valid understandings of …