Mahmood Jasim was awarded a Computing for Common Good Fellowship – Congratulations, Mahmood!

Mahmood Jasim was awarded a Computing for Common Good Fellowship by UMass CICS to develop a tool for inclusive public input collection and analysis.

Mahmood Jasim and Professor Narges Mahyar will work with the town of Amherst officials to design and develop CommunityClick-virtual — an online collaborative tool that combines machine learning, data visualization, and citizensourcing technology for inclusive public input collection and analysis. The project will enable people from all social backgrounds to equitably share their opinions on civic issues and allow the town officials to make sense of large-scale public input to inform themselves prior to making critical policy decisions.

Welcome to our 8 new lab members who joined this Fall!

The HCI-VIS lab is delighted to welcome 8 new members this fall, including 2 post-docs: Mennatullah Hendawy and Zhiqiu Jiang and 6 PhD students: Hamza Elhamdadi, Aimen Gaba, Prateek Mantri, Mashrur Rashik, Mahsa Sahebdel Alamdari, and Zack While.

We will additionally be joined by Swapna Joshi, who will begin her Post-Doc in the Spring.

“Designing with Pictographs” to appear in TVCG

A new paper by lab members Alyx Burns, Dr. Cindy Xiong, and Dr. Narges Mahyar was accepted for publication in TVCG. The paper, titled “Designing with Pictographs: Envision Topics without Sacrificing Understanding,” examines the effects of replacing abstract shapes in traditional charts and graphs with pictograph arrays. They found that the pictographs had no impact on participant understanding, but impacted participants’ experience.

You can find a PDF of the paper on our website.

CommunityPulse received an Honorable Mention Award at DIS 2021 – Congrats Mahmood, Dr. Sarvghad, and Dr. Mahyar!

This past June, Mahmood Jasim, Enamul Hoque, Ali Sarvghad and Narges Mahyar’s paper titled “CommunityPulse: Facilitating Community Input Analysis by Surfacing Hidden Insights, Reflections, and Priorities” received an Honorable Mention Award at DIS 2021. Congratulations to all of the authors on this achievement!

You can find a PDF of the paper here.

Prof. Mahyar co-organized the Chart Question Answering Workshop at CVPR 2021

Alongside Daniel Haehn, Steven Franconeri, Jessica Hullman, Nikolaus Kriegeskorte, and Hanspeter Pfister, Professor Narges Mahyar co-organized the Chart Question Answering Workshop as a part of the 2021 Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition Conference that took place in June 2021. You can find more information on the workshop and a video of its proceedings at the workshop’s website:

RisingEMOTIONS accepted to C&C 2021 – Congratulations Mahmood & Prof. Mahyar!

RisingEMOTIONS accepted to ACM Creativity & Cognition 2021

Carolina Aragón, Mahmood Jasim and Narges Mahyar recently had their paper “RisingEMOTIONS: Bridging Art and Technology to Increase Public Engagement with Climate Change” accepted to ACM Creativity & Cognition 2021. It will appear at the conference in June. Congratulations to all on a job well done!

Paper Abstract: In response to the threat posed by sea-level rise, coastal cities must rapidly adapt and transform vulnerable areas to protect endangered communities. As such, raising awareness and engaging affected communities in planning for adaptation strategies is critical. However,in the US, public engagement with climate change is low, especially among underrepresented populations. To address this challenge,we designed and implemented RisingEMOTIONS, a site-specific collaborative art installation situated in East Boston that combines public art with digital technology. The installation depicts the impacts of sea-level rise by visualizing local projected flood levels and the public’s emotions toward this threat. The community’s engagement with our project demonstrated the potential for public art to create interest and raise awareness of climate change. We discuss the potential for continued growth in the way that digital tools and public art can support equitable resilience planning through increased public engagement.