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.
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.
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.
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.
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: https://cqaw.github.io/
Together with Kumiyo Nakakoji, Prof. Mahyar organized ACM Creativity & Cognition 2021 Conference. Their goal was to create an exciting, inclusive and diverse paper track, and had some amazing sessions with great moderation & participation from the audience!
You can now access all the conference proceedings online here.
Together with Jane Fountain (School for Public Policy) and Ethan Zuckerman (School for Public Policy), Professors Narges Mahyar and Ali Sarvghad were awarded a UMass ADVANCE Collaborative Research Seed Grant from the UMass Amherst Institute of Diversity Sciences. More information on the grant is available in an article from the School for Public Policy.
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.
CommunityPulse to appear in DIS 2021 – Congratulations Mahmood Jasim, Prof. Sarvghad & Prof. Mahyar!
Recently, Mahmood Jasim, Enamul Hoque, Ali Sarvghad and Narges Mahyar had their paper “CommunityPulse: Facilitating Community Input Analysis by Surfacing Hidden Insights, Reflections, and Priorities” accepted to ACM Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) 2021. Congratulations to all involved!
Paper Abstract: Increased access to online engagement platforms has created a shift in civic practice, enabling civic leaders to broaden their outreach tocollect a larger number of community input, such as comments and ideas. However, sensemaking of such input remains a challenge dueto the unstructured nature of text comments and ambiguity of human language. Hence, community input is often left unanalyzed andunutilized in policymaking. To address this problem, we interviewed 14 civic leaders to understand their practices and requirements.We identified challenges around organizing the unstructured community input and surfacing community’s reflections beyond binarysentiments. Based on these insights, we built CommunityPulse, an interactive system that combines text analysis and visualization toscaffold different facets of community input. Our evaluation with another 15 experts suggests CommunityPulse’s efficacy in surfacingmultiple facets such as reflections, priorities, and hidden insights while reducing the required time, effort, and expertise for communityinput analysis.
Prof. Mahyar and Prof. Sarvghad (CICS) were awarded an ADVANCE Collaborative Research Seed Grant on “MAPPING INSTABILITY: The Effects of the Pandemic on the Civic Life of a Small Town” with their collaborator Pari Riahi (Department of Architecture). More information on the grant is available here.