Seminars & Colloquia

Ana Villanueva

Purdue University

"Interdisciplinary Human-Computer Interaction Education for Everyone"

Wednesday February 23, 2022 09:30 AM
Location: 3211, EB2 NCSU Centennial Campus
Zoom Meeting Info
(Visitor parking instructions)


Abstract: One of the most enjoyable aspects of teaching Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is its interdisciplinarity. HCI, which provides a user-centered approach to system design, aligns with my teaching philosophy of project-based learning. Hands-on projects provide valuable feedback during the iterative design process and enables designers to keep, add, or discard features of a system to provide a good user experience. This process is also valid when designing learning content, whether it spans computational thinking concepts, physical computing, or design and fabrication. Another benefit to project-based learning is its methodology, by which students learn by actively engaging in real-world and personally meaningful projects. When students create projects based on personal interests, they work through evocative artifacts as primary expressions. For instance, I have had students design and create smart houses, alert systems, robot pets, and Minecraft-like voxel world games, among other projects. These students came from different backgrounds (e.g., electrical engineering, computer science, mechanical engineering), transition from typical coursework to applied HCI projects and are able to enter industry jobs or to jumpstart graduate school life. In this talk, I will expand upon my project-based teaching philosophy and give a brief demonstration of a Ubiquitous Computing class.
Short Bio: Ana Villanueva is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Convergence Design Lab at Purdue University under the supervision of Professor Karthik Ramani. Her research intersects HCI and the learning sciences. Her focus is on designing interactive systems that are conducive to collaborative learning experiences for project-based classrooms and makerspaces. Augmented reality (AR), which superimposes virtual information on the physical world, can be a great tool to provide students with learning content. Her work has embedded AR technologies into interactive systems to deliver instructional content, provide real-time aid from instructors, and facilitate interactions between instructors and students. The publications from this work have been published at journals and the prestigious Computer-Human Interaction (CHI) conference, which is the #1 ranked conference in the field. This conference is regularly sponsored and attended by companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft.

Host: Sarah Heckman, CSC

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