WORKSHOP: VL/HCC 2020 Graduate Consortium

Project: Research project

Project Details


This is funding to support a Graduate Consortium (workshop) for about 10 graduate students, approximately 5 from universities in the United States and 5 from foreign institutions, in order to broaden the horizons of the U.S. attendees), along with the PI and 2 other distinguished research faculty as mentors. The full-day event will take place on August 10 in conjunction with but preceding the 2020 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC), to be held virtually due to the current situation on August 12-14, and which is sponsored by the IEEE Computer Society. This year marks the 36th anniversary of the Symposium. Established in 1984, the mission of VL/HCC is to support the design, theory, application, and evaluation of computing technologies and languages for programming, modeling, and communicating, which are easier to learn, use, and understand by people. This includes research aimed at visual technology and text, and technology that uses sound, taste, virtual reality, and the Web. It also includes research on theories about the many media used toward this goal. VL/HCC occupies a unique niche among HCI and programming language conferences, in that it focuses specifically on how to help end users successfully develop and use software. More information about the Symposium may be found online at The PI and the members of the organizing committee will make special efforts to attract a diverse and interdisciplinary group of student participants to the Graduate Consortium, with special attention paid to recruitment of students from underrepresented institutions and women. To further increase diversity, no more than two student participants will be accepted from any given institution (and if two are accepted, then at least one of them must be from an under-represented group in STEM fields).

Recent advances in computing have led to continually deeper integration between computers and human society. People now swim in an 'ocean' of socio-technical systems that synthesize large numbers of contributing users with vast amounts of source code. Examples include social media systems, open source repositories, online marketplaces and massively multiplayer online games. Yet as the socio-technical systems in this sea have grown in complexity, they have become increasingly difficult for end users to understand and direct toward productive ends. The primary goal of this year's VL/HCC Graduate Consortium, the 18th to be funded by NSF in this series, is to stimulate graduate students' thinking about how to use tools and techniques in the early stages of problem solving such as problem definition and solution searching. In particular, what methods, models, diagrams, and tools can people leverage to create mental models of complex socio-technical systems that can be used to make design decisions and for collaboration? Effective approaches will bring users and software together in creative and productive ways that bear directly on the needs of modern society. The Graduate Consortium will help shape ongoing and future research projects aimed at alleviating a pressing problem of relevance to a great many people within our society. The student participants will make formal presentations of their work during the workshop and will receive constructive feedback from the faculty participants as well as from the other students. The feedback is geared to helping students understand and articulate how their work is positioned relative to other human-computer interaction research, whether their topics are adequately focused for thesis research projects, whether their methods are correctly chosen and applied, and whether the results are appropriately analyzed and presented. This event will therefore promote discovery and learning, while also building community among young researchers working from the perspectives of diverse fields including computer science, the social sciences, and education. A 2-page extended abstract of each student participant's work will be published in the conference proceedings.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Effective start/end date10/1/209/30/21


  • National Science Foundation: $1,355.00


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