Dr. Gwizdka investigates eye-tracking for adaptive user interfaces

Ferguson, John  |  Jul 17, 2017

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Eye tracking
Jacek Gwizdka
Grants & Awards
Lockheed Martin
IX Lab
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Jacek Gwizdka
Image Caption: 
Dr. Jacek Gwizdka

School of Information Assistant Professor Jacek Gwizdka, a co-director of the iSchool’s Information eXperience (IX) Lab, is a principal investigator on a new project called “Eye-Tracking for Adaptive User Interfaces.” The project is being funded by Lockheed Martin Corporation.

The main goal of this three-year project is to improve user-system performance in systems with complex displays. Eye-tracking and facial expression detection technologies will be used to sense user cognitive and affective mental states and adapt the display or adjust the training procedures. The objective of adaptation is to improve the user’s situation awareness, reduce mental workload, and proactively provide relevant information. Dr. Gwizdka will supervise a graduate student who will assist in designing and conducting experiments in the IX lab to demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed approach. The resulting techniques should be applicable to environments with complex information, requiring sustained attention and tasks of long duration.

The iSchool’s Information eXperience Lab is a research facility dedicated to the study of human interaction with information across a wide range of digital formats and devices. The lab provides iSchool faculty, students, research collaborators and clients with a state-of-the-art facility in which to conduct research on broadly construed human-information interaction (HII) research topics, including effects of fundamental human capabilities on HII, evaluation of user interface and interaction design, usability, and all aspects of user experience.

Dr. Roy awarded $488K to help veterans become librarians

Ferguson, John  |  May 04, 2017

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a picture of loriene roy
Loriene Roy
Veterans
Libraries
Grants & Awards

Texas iSchool Professor Loriene Roy has received a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to help U.S. veterans become librarians.

In partnership with San José State University and the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, Dr. Roy will use the $488,501 IMLS grant to conduct a three-year project titled “Reaching Those Who Served: Recruiting and Preparing Military Veterans for Careers in Librarianship.”

The project aims to answer two research questions:

  • How do military veterans choose careers in librarianship and information studies?
  • What are effective strategies to recruit veterans into LIS graduate programs?

Jobs in the information fields share characteristics of a number of “hot jobs” for military veterans, Dr. Roy said. Such careers include IT specialist, math or science teacher and civilian public servant.

Based on the findings of their research, she and her partners will develop guidelines and strategies for recruiting veterans to library and information science master’s programs, among related initiatives. The project will also provide scholarships for 12 military veterans to attend LIS master’s programs.

“Reaching Those Who Served” was one of 14 projects selected from a field of 58 applications.

The project builds on Dr. Roy’s earlier work with organizations such as the Austin-based nonprofit group SongwritingWith:Soldiers. In 2014 she received a one-year, $50,000 grant from IMLS to plan for “Reaching Those Who Served.”

“We’re thrilled to be able to extend our understanding of how libraries work with military veterans,” Dr. Roy said. “This time we are admitting veterans into master’s programs and studying approaches to recruiting veterans into the information professions.”

For more information, contact Dr. Roy at loriene@ischool.utexas.edu.

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through a 3-year (2017-2020) grant {RE-96-17-0018-17].

Dr. Xie boosting older adults' eHealth skills

Ferguson, John  |  Mar 08, 2017

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Bo Xie
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Dr. Bo Xie
Bo Xie
Grants & Awards

Associate Professor Bo Xie is working on a project that will help older adults use the Internet to make informed choices about health and medicine.

Dr. Xie received a $426,127 grant from the NIH’s National Institute on Aging for the study, which is titled “Boosting Older Adults’ Cognition by Training Real-World eHealth Skills.”

“Older adults face a range of medical decisions,” Dr. Xie said. “The Internet has the potential to meet their needs for a diverse range of health information.”

However, age-related declines in attention, memory and reasoning can make it challenging for the elderly to take full advantage of online resources, she said. Older people also tend to be less familiar with new technology.

To help them overcome these obstacles, Dr. Xie is collaborating with older adults to develop a three-month curriculum that incorporates problem sets and activities that relate to their everyday life decisions.

“There is a dire need for intervention that can improve older adults’ ability to obtain and evaluate online health information and strengthen cognitive processes that are key to daily health-related behaviors,” she said.

Dr. Xie is principal investigator of the project, which began in September 2016 and is scheduled to end in May 2018.

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