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Joe Stuteville

Last modified: Thursday, March 15, 2007

Informatics students take on the world at human-computer design contest

March 15, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Seventeen graduate students from the Indiana University School of Informatics know the way to San Jose -- and that is where they are headed to compete against other student teams in an international design contest.

Five School of Informatics teams have been selected to attend CHI 2007, April 28-May 3, at San Jose, Calif. They are among a field of 12 teams chosen to demonstrate problem-solving and design skills. It's an unprecedented number of IU teams in the annual contest, which has been dominated with top-place finishes by the School of Informatics in recent years.

Erik Stolterman

Erik Stolterman

"This is an exceptional honor for our students, and there's no doubt it reflects strongly on what our school has to offer in the realm of education and research opportunities," said Erik Stolterman, professor of informatics and director of the school's Human-Computer Interaction Design program.

HCID is a branch of informatics that studies and supports the design and development of humanly usable and socially acceptable information technologies. The goal of this field is to shape new media and tools to solve problems, enhance communication and support learning.

The competition challenged student teams to design a service to promote and encourage the use of public transportation.

The IU team projects and members are --

RiRi: Assisting Indian Bus Conductors in Madras (Chennai) -- A proposed device that bus conductors can use to better determine routes in traffic patterns. Christian Beck, Arvind Ashok and Nick Quagliara.

EventStream -- A system designed to help out-of-town business people using public transportation to travel to conferences. Aaron Houssian, Pornsuree Jamsri, Pin Sym Foong, Vincent Diaz and Adam Huse (IU Department of Kinesiology).

Celerometer and Idling Reminder: Persuasive Technology for School Bus Eco-driving -- A feedback system to encourage more fuel-efficient driving habits among school-bus drivers. Tyler Pace, David Roedel and Shruti Ramalingam.

Facebook Ride Connect -- A tool integrating the social networking site Facebook to assist transportation for people attending specific events. John Booher, Balakrishna Chennupati, Nina Onesti and David Royer.

Meaningful Elderly Mobility -- An system to encourage ride-sharing among residents in continuing care retirement communities throughout the United States. Will Odom, Meng Li and Scott Jensen (Informatics-Department of Computer Science).

School of Informatics faculty members also will participate in CHI 2007. Stolterman; Eli Blevis, assistant professor of informatics and cognitive science; and Youn-Kyung Lim, assistant professor of informatics, will host the workshop, "Supporting Design Studio Culture in HCI." The event includes HCID experts from different countries.

Blevis also will present an extensive paper, "Sustainable Interaction Design: Invention and Disposal, Renewal and Reuse." Inspired by several important authors, Blevis writes that sustainability can be defined to include aspects of the environment, public health, social equality and justice, as well as other conditions and choices about humanity and the biosphere.

The IU School of Informatics offers graduate programs in human-computer interaction design at its Bloomington and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campuses. Information about the programs is available at and

More information about CHI 2007 can be found at