Team:Wellesley HCI/Notebook/OritNotebook


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Wellesley HCI iGEM Team: Orit's Notebook

Orit's Notebook

Welcome to my notebook! I am the Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Media Arts and Sciences at Wellesley College. I also direct the Wellesley College Human-Computer Interaction Lab. For daily updates on my work and lab events, find me on Twitter at @oshaer

My research area is human-computer interaction (HCI), an interdisciplinary field that is at the intersection of computer-science, design, and psychology. My research focuses on emerging human-computer interaction techniques, in particular, I study emerging interaction styles such as multi-touch, tabletop, and gesture based interaction. 

These interaction styles share important commonality: leveraging users' existing knowledge and skills of interaction with the real non-digital world such as naive physics, spatial, social and motor skills. Drawing upon users' pre-existing real-world knowledge and skills, these interaction styles offer a more natural, intuitive, and accessible form of interaction that reduces the mental effort required to learn and operate a computational system. 

While emerging interaction styles has been applied to a broad range of application domains including problem solving, education, and entertainment, little research has been devoted to investigating the application of emerging human-computer interaction styles to scientific inquiry and discovery. My research focuses on developing next generation user interfaces that empower learners and scientists by facilitating collaborative and effective exploration of vast amount of heterogeneous data. Check out our current research projects

 iGEM 2012 is my second endeavor into the exciting world of Synthetic Biology. Last year, I co-instructed together with Doug Densmore, Traci Haddock and Swapnil Bhatia a collaborative BU-Wellesley team that integrated computational and experimental work. This year, I co-instruct with Consuelo Valdes our Wellesley team, which focuses on applying Human-computer interaction technology and methodologies to the development of software tools for synthetic biology.

Our team is diverse in so many ways. For example, members of our team major in: Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, Biology, Media Arts and Sciences, and Economics. This diversity brought new and refreshing perspectives to the discussion, allowing us to think, rethink, refine, and implement our ideas. 

This has been a summer filled with intellectual energy, curiosity, creativity, and pure fun. I look forward to meeting the iGEM community at the Jamboree.