Iowa State computer students showcase technology and creativity

AMES, Iowa -- Mandella Connors is searching for proof that virtual reality can relieve workplace stress. Dongheng Li has developed a reliable, low-cost system to track a computer user's eye movements. And Brian Mila is working to make computers wearable.

These and other graduate students in Iowa State University's Human Computer Interaction program will present and demonstrate their ideas for modern computing during the program's HCI Forum: Designing Interaction 2005. Their research uses Iowa State's Virtual Reality Applications Center and mixes cutting-edge technology with individual creativity.

The forum will be from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, April 15, in Hoover and Howe halls on the Iowa State University campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Ben Shneiderman, a distinguished researcher at the University of Maryland and an award-winning author, will give the forum's keynote address based on his 2002 award-winning book, "Leonardo's Laptop: Human Needs and the New Computing Technologies." The book shifts the focus from what computers can do to what users can do. The book also investigates the computer's potential to support creativity and conflict resolution.

"We are really excited about this event," said James Oliver, the director of graduate education for Iowa State's Human Computer Interaction program. "The HCI Forum will be an excellent opportunity for people outside of HCI to see what it is that we do here and the innovative research going on."

HCI Forum: Designing Interaction 2005 schedule

  • 1 p.m., keynote address, Ben Shneiderman, Hoover Hall Auditorium
  • 2 p.m., reception and book signing, Hoover Hall Lobby
  • 2:30, student presentations, Skywalk between Hoover and Howe halls
  • 4 p.m., student demonstration of "Assisted Living 2," a computer program that allows dancers wearing sensors to interact with virtual props, graphics and each other, Howe Hall Auditorium
  • 4:30, closing remarks and announcement of student contest winners, Howe Hall Auditorium

For more information see the Forum Web site,