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Californication: HCII 2015 and Stanford

Best Paper Award at HCII 2015

Best Paper Award at HCII 2015

We had a busy July at Crossworlds with several of our colleagues travelling to LA to attend the HCI International Conference. During the conference, our colleagues presented a total of six papers. They covered a broad range of topics including the perception of virtual agents, game based learning, and spatial cognition in virtual environments. On top of that, our colleagues Daniel Pietschmann, Benny Liebold, Peter Ohler, and Georg Valtin received a best paper award in the Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality devision with their paper “Development of a media-independent Stereoscopic Ability Test to assess individual ability to process stereoscopic media“. Well done!

Before the conference, Daniel Pietschmann and Benny Liebold had the chance to visit the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab (VHIL) at two days, which is directed by Jeremy Bailenson. There, they shared experiences from their own VR research and talked VR tech—and of course they could try out the virtual environments that were used in local research projects.


CrossWorlds@Summer School Human Factors in Berlin

Maria Wirzberger introducing her PhD project

Maria Wirzberger introducing her PhD project within a focus group

CrossWorlds member Maria Wirzberger attended the 2nd Summer School Human Factors in Berlin at July 24th. The one-day event has been organized by the Institute of Psychology and Ergonomics at TU Berlin and offered PhD students, working within various fields of human-machine interaction, the opportunity to gain feedback on their research.

Projects could be introduced either within conventional talks or in an interactive manner within focus groups. The latter gave the chance to discuss the current stage of work more broadly and get valuable input from the attending professors and fellows. Besides of strenghtening existing connections, new contacts were built up during the day and the exciting social event in the evening!


CrossWorlds members visited Summer School “Living with Media” in Cologne

Impressions from the final discussion

Impressions from the final discussion

CrossWorlds scientists Kevin Koban and Maria Barlag had the pleasure to work with some of the most important people in media research at the summer school “Living With Media” from July 19th to July 24th in Cologne. It has been organized by the Graduate School of the Human Sciences at University of Cologne in collaboration with the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at Michigan State University. Discussed topics ranged from potentials and limitations of serious games, interpersonal knowledge and interpersonal communication, to embodiment, identity and morality.

Leonard Reinecke talking about media use

Leonard Reinecke talking about media use

Besides of listening to exciting talks, each day workshops could be attended to gain deeper knowledge on different topics and additionally enhance experience in working and collaberating with people from all over the world. Within these workshops as well as the accompanying social events, we spent our time with fruitful discussions and in this vein had the chance to extend our research networks!


Annual DFG workshop of computer scientists in Dagstuhl

René, Benedikt and Tobias presenting their posters at Dagstuhl

René, Benedikt and Tobias presenting their posters at Dagstuhl

Once a year, members of DFG research training groups related to computer science meet at beautiful Dagstuhl castle, located in Saarland. For CrossWorlds, our colleagues Benedikt Etzold, René Schmidt and Tobias Höppner participated. Together with PhD students from 16 other research training groups, they looked forward to a rich programme of talks and workshops. The opening consisted of a fast-forward-session, providing each PhD student with a time slot of two minutes to introduce his or her project. Although this doesn’t seem much, for 70 participants even such a short introduction took its time. After this “appetizers” there was the chance to discuss interesting topics to a greater extent within the supportive poster session. Talks on the detection of malware and scientific visualizations completed the programme. Fortunately, enough time remained to get in touch with other PhD students working on similar topics. All in all, our colleagues can look back on three inspiring days!


CrossWorlds members at ICA 2015 in Puerto Rico

Daniel Pietschmann and Benny Liebold together with Michael Brill, a cooperating researcher from the University of Wuerzburg.

CrossWorlds members Benny Liebold, Daniel Pietschmann and Kevin Koban recently presented their research on presence and motor skill learning at the Annual Main Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA) in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Together, they presented four papers: Two were traditional presentations in the Computers and Technology and Game Studies divisions, the other two were interactive paper presentations (a mix between a powerpoint presentation and an additional poster session) in the Information Systems division.

With the slogan “Communication Across the Lifespan” the 5-day-conference hosted over 2000 papers in about 600 sessions with nearly 4000 authors.


ComforTable @ ITS 2014 Dresden

From 16th-19th of november the ACM conference for Interactive Tabletops and Surfaces (ITS) took place in Dresden. Besides the lectures the event included a poster & demo session, in which CrossWorlds members Michael Storz and Kalja Kanellopoulos presented their second tabletop ‘comforTable’.
One of the highlights of the conference was Joachim Sauter’s closing keynote. In his inspiring presentation the director of the renowned design agency ART+COM gave insights in their magnificent work with interactive surfaces and showed a number of best practice examples. Concerning the development of new technologies he emphasized: “If you work with technologies you can only predict the future if you work interdisciplinary. People have to be open to leave their fields and work together with others.” Furthermore Sauter stressed the narrative potential of interactive surfaces, linking interaction design to composition and poetry. Putting the importance of briefing and re-briefing during the process of technological development into focus, he pointed out: “All of our ideas are already in our minds. You just have to open the door.”

ComforTable @ITS2014 demo session


Crossworlds meets the ACM Symposium on Spatial User Interaction (SUI)

best paper

Best Paper: Coordinated 3D Interaction in Tablet- and HMD-Based Hybrid Virtual Environments by Jia Wang & Robert Lindemann (Worcester Polytechnic Institute)

Our Ph.D. Candidate Steve Erik Funke joined the symposium that last for two days (Oct 4-5). The ACM Symposium on Spatial User Interaction (SUI) was the second international symposium. It is an unique opportunity for industrial and academic researchers to exchange about the state-of-the-art spatial and 3D interaction research. This considersboth spatial input and output, with an emphasis on the issues around interaction between humans and systems.

We focused on the user interface challenges that appear when users interact in the space where the flat, two-dimensional, digital world meets the volumetric, physical, three-dimensional (3D) space we live in. We had an intensive exchange with industrial and academic researchers working in the area of spatial user interaction.

The keynote was given by Keynote by Prof. Ken Perlin, NYU Media Research Lab.
The second Keynote by Prof. Mark Bolas, ICT, LA followed immediately by ACM UIST 2014.

The sponsors were ACM, ACM SIGGRAPH, SIGCHI and the Interaction Design Foundation.


EASST’14 – Talk on Robots in Elder Care


Statue of Nicolaus Copernicus in Torun, Poland. (c) Bischof

CrossWorlds assistant researcher Andreas Bischof has been attending EASST’14, europe’s most important conference on science and technlogy studies (STS).

The European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST) has – like the field itself – geographical centres of gravitation in Britain, the Netherlands and Scandinavia. The organisation seeks to overcome this historic bias by allocating its bi-anual meetings in south and east european countries. The 2014 conference took place in Torun / Poland, Nicolaus Copernicus’ birth place! (Which is more than funny since Copernicus is the title hero of a very important study that kind of founded science and technology research, Thomas Kuhns »Copernican Revolution«.

Andreas’ talk was part of the panel »Governing Health Care Technologies«. Demographic ageing is widely seen as a “grand challenge”, and policy makers, industry, academic researchers, health care providers, and lobby groups have identified research and innovation as a promising response. In this context Andreas’ talk »Two Ways of Co-Constructing the User in Social Robotics« contributed to the discussion of practices of user-producer interactions in social robotics projects for elderly.

In particular he compared two projects implementing assistive robots in elder care in west european country. The question was how these projects integrated the elderly in the research & development of their robots. Crucial therefore are obviously user tests and the function of the thereby gathered data in the research process. The empirical research in the projects shows that institutional and political implications of the research shape the image of the user in such projects far more than actual user needs. Please have a look at the slides for details. For a more detailed insight see the German blog post from Andreas on his personal blog.


Thank you for a great conference!

This monday and tuesday, many months of preparation finally culminated in having our CrossWorlds 2014 conference on Theory, Development, & Evaluation of Social Technology at Chemnitz University. On these two days, over 60 participants enjoyed interesting talks on interdisciplinary topics concerning the boundaries of virtual and real social worlds and also shared engaging discussions with each other – both at the conference venue and at the social evening on monday.

On behalf of the whole CrossWorlds team, we thank all the presenters and participants for making our conference a huge success. We hope, you had a great time in Chemnitz and enjoyed the conference as much as we did. We’re already looking forward for our next conference in 2016.

Now, after the conference, we are especially interested in your feedback and comments. We will also post pictures and presentation slides in the coming days. So please, check back, soon.

Your CrossWorlds team

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Dagstuhl 2014

Quis, quid, quando, ubi, cur, quem ad modum, quibus adminiculis.

dagstuhl participantsNumerous participants of German Research Training Groups (RTG) met each other at the 8th Joint Workshop. The network meeting, funded by the German Research Foundation, took place on June
15 – 18 at Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz Center for Informatics.

To contribute to the chief task of Schloss Dagstuhl and the desiderata of computer science the RTGs emphasized “Interdisciplinary scientific working principles” which not only influence the attractor space of diverse computer scientific approaches and concepts, but also change the structure, formats and methods of computer science research programs, the academic conversion of related curricula, and the transfer-processes between theory and practice.

Student talks, cross-thematic seminars, student-professor and invited talks provided deeper insight into opportunities how to deal with the circumstances of the desiderata of an interdisciplinary computer science. In a formidable way the Joint Workshop demonstrated that coming events and analysis shall not be limited to “a review of the actual position of the discussion” of research in computer science, but also might have to address the self-commitment that could be a common vanishing point.