UW CSE MSR Summer Institute 2016
Expanding Accessibility Research
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Shiri Azenkot is an Assistant Professor at the Jacobs Institute at Cornell Tech and director of the Enhancing Ability Lab. Her research is in human-computer interaction and accessibility, with a focus on technology for blind and low vision people. She graduated from the University of Washington with a PhD in computer science in 2014.

Jeff Bigham is an assistant professor at CMU. He is a broad computer scientist who builds, deploys, and studies systems in the areas of real-time human computation, crowdsourcing, accessible computing, intelligent user interfaces, and natural language processing.

Sina Bahram is an accessibility consultant, researcher, and entrepreneur. He is the founder of Prime Access Consulting (PAC), an accessibility firm whose clients include high-tech startups, fortune 1000 companies, and both private and nationally-funded museums. Sina is also a doctoral candidate in computer science at North Carolina State University. His field of research is Human Computer Interaction (HCI) focusing on multi-modal approaches for eyes-free exploration of spatial information. As a recognized expert in accessibility, Sina enjoys collaborating with both colleagues in the field and individuals of diverse professions to devise innovative and user-centered solutions to difficult real-world problems. In 2012, Sina was recognized as a White House Champion of Change by President Barack Obama for his work enabling users with disabilities to succeed in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. In 2015, the international accessibility community recognized Sina as an Emerging Leader in Digital Accessibility at the annual Knowbility Community Heroes of Accessibility Awards. You can read more about Sina and his interests on his website (http://www.SinaBahram.com) and his blog (http://blog.SinaBahram.com). He is @SinaBahram on Twitter. Prime Access Consulting's homepage is at http://www.pac.bz.

Cynthia Bennett is a Ph.D. Student at University of Washington Human Centered Design and Engineering Department. Her research focuses on the accessibility of the technology design process itself. She works in the Human Centered Design and Engineering department in conjunction with Professor Richard Ladner who leads the MobileAccessibility lab in the University of Washington Computer Science and Engineering department.

Dan Bohus is a senior researcher at Microsoft Research. His work centers on the study and development of computational models for physically situated spoken language interaction and collaboration. The long term question that shapes his research agenda is how can we enable interactive systems to reason more deeply about their surroundings and seamlessly participate in open-world, multiparty dialog and collaboration with people?

Erin Brady is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human-Centered Computing in the School of Informatics & Computing at Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis. Her research focuses on the intersections of disability and social media, and finding innovative ways that data from crowds can be used to improve the accessibility of our physical and digital environments. She received her Ph.D. from the Computer Science Department at University of Rochester in 2015.

Maya Cakmak is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science & Engineering Department at the University of Washington, where she directs the Human-Centered Robotics lab. She received her PhD in Robotics from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2012, after which she spent a year as a post-doctoral research fellow at Willow Garage -- one of the most influential robotics companies. Her research interests are in human-robot interaction, end-user programming and, assistive robotics. Her work aims to develop robots that can be programmed and controlled by a diverse group of users with unique needs and preferences to do useful tasks.

Anat Caspi is the Director of The Taskar Center for Accessible Technology (TCAT). Caspi received her PhD in BioEngineering from the Joint Program in BioEngineering at University of California at Berkeley and UC San Francisco and her MS and BS in Computer Science from Stanford University. Her research interests are in the areas of computational biology, ubiquitous computing and bioinformatics. Before returning to academia, Caspi spent a decade in the medical and laboratory devices industry. She brings expertise in translational research and commercialization; with a track record of successful product releases, iterative prototyping and bringing instrumentation to clinical markets. Caspi is interested in exploring different ways in which collaborative commons and cooperation can challenge and transform the current economics of assistive technology and incentivize rapid development and deployment of access technologies and universally designed technology.

Yejin Choi has been an assistant professor at the Computer Science & Engineering Department of University of Washington since Fall 2014. Prior to then, she was an assistant professor at the Computer Science Department of Stony Brook University. She received her Ph.D. in Computer Science at Cornell University, and BS in Computer Science and Engineering at Seoul National University in Korea. She is a co-recepient of the Marr Prize (best paper award) at ICCV 2013.

Ed Cutrell is a senior researcher at Microsoft Research. His research focuses on HCI and technologies for and on behalf of marginalized, and underserved communities. He spent the past 6 years managing the Technology for Emerging Markets (TEM) group at Microsoft Research India, focusing on technologies and systems useful for people living in underserved rural and urban communities. Since returning to the US, his research now focuses on computing for disability, accessibility and inclusive design.

Alex Fiannaca is a PhD student in the Mobile Accessibility Lab and the Human Centered Robotics Lab at the University of Washington. His research broadly explores the design of communication technologies for people with severe motor impairments.

Leah Findlater is an Assistant Professor in the College of Information Studies and the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. A major thread of her work focuses on designing new mobile and wearable interfaces and interactions that are accessible to users with visual and motor impairments.

James Fogarty is an Associate Professor of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington and Director of the DUB Group, the University of Washington's cross-campus initiative advancing research and education in Human-Computer Interaction and Design. His broad research interests are in engineering interactive systems, often with a focus on the role of tools in developing, deploying, and evaluating new approaches to the human obstacles surrounding everyday adoption of ubiquitous computing and intelligent interaction.

Vicki Hanson is a Distinguished Professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and a Professor and Chair of Inclusive Technologies at the University of Dundee in Scotland. Throughout her career she has been involved in issues of accessibility at the Salk Institute for Biological Students, the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center and more more recently at RIT and Dundee. Specific interests are in accessibility for the deaf community and for older users. She is a Fellow of ACM, the British Computer Society, and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. She currently serves as the President of ACM.

Gillian Hayes is the Robert A. and Barbara L. Kleist Professor in Informatics in the School of Information and Computer Sciences and in the School of Education and School of Medicine at UC Irvine. Her research interests are in human-computer interaction, ubiquitous computing, assistive and educational technologies, and health informatics. She is also the Director of Technology Research at the Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders and the Faculty Director for Civic and Community Engagement at UCI.

Ari Holtzman is a recently entered graduate student at the University of Washington studying Natural Language Processing, advised by Yejin Choi. His beginning research is in the direction of conversational agents capable of adapting to new domains through interaction with a human participant. Ari is interested in using underlying goals of situated agents as a signal to train agents that are both efficient and pleasant to interact with.

Matt Huenerfauth is an associate professor at The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in the Golisano College of Computer and Information Sciences. He has secured over $2.5 million in external funding to support his research on computer technology to benefit people who are deaf or have low levels of written-language literacy, including a National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2008. He is serving as vice-chair of the ACM Special Interest Group on Accessible Computing (SIGACCESS), editor-in-chief of the ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing (TACCESS) journal, and program chair for the 2016 ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility (ASSETS).

Neel Joshi is Researcher in the Graphics Group at Microsoft Research. His research is in computer vision and graphics, focusing particularly on imaging and photography applications.

Adam Tauman Kalai is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research New England interested in Machine Learning, Algorithms, Crowdsourcing, and HCI. He received his BA (1996) from Harvard, and MA (1998) and PhD (2001) from CMU.

Shaun Kane is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Colorado Boulder. He directs the Superhuman Computing Lab. From 2011 to 2014, he was an assistant professor in the Department of Information Systems at UMBC. His primary research interests are accessible user interfaces and mobile human-computer interaction. My work explores ways to make mobile devices easier to use, especially for people with disabilities and people in distracting environments.

Julie A. Kientz is an Associate Professor in the department of Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington, with adjunct appointments in Computer Science & Engineering and the Information School. She directs the Computing for Healthy Living and Learning Lab and her primary research areas are in the fields of Human-Computer Interaction, Ubiquitous Computing, Health Informatics, and Accessibility. Dr. Kientzís research focuses on understanding and reducing the user burdens of interactive technologies for health and education through the design of future applications for individuals and families. She has designed, developed, and evaluated mobile, sensor, and social applications for helping individuals with sleep problems, parents of young children tracking developmental progress, individuals with visual impairments, and special education teachers working with children with autism. Her primary research methods involve human-centered design, technology development, and a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods.

Andrew J. Ko is an Associate Professor at the University of Washington Information School. His research focuses on interactions between people and code, spanning the areas of human-computer interaction, computing education, and software engineering. He received his Ph.D. at the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in 2008.

Pushmeet Kohli is the director of the Cognition group at Microsoft Research. Pushmeet's research revolves around Intelligent Systems and Computational Sciences, and he publishes in the fields of Machine Learning, Computer Vision, Information Retrieval, and Game Theory. His current research interests include 3D Reconstruction and Rendering, Probabilistic Programming, Interpretable and Verifiable Knowledge Representations from Deep Models. He is also interested in Conversation agents for Task completion, Machine learning systems for Healthcare and 3D rendering and interaction for augmented and virtual reality.

Raja Kushalnagar is a faculty member at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY. His research interests focus on the intersection of disability law, accessible technology, and human-computer interaction. He is focused on enhancing accessibility to multimedia content for deaf, hard of hearing, low vision and blind consumers. He has published several peer-reviewed publications in accessible technology, and at the intersection of disability and intellectual property law, and has received several grants related to accessible computing. He can be reached at raja.kushalnagar@gmail.com.

Richard E. Ladner is a Professor in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington. He focuses on accessibility research with an emphasis on technologies for deaf, blind, low-vision, and deaf-blind people. Much of his recent work has been in the design, development, and evaluation of smartphone based technologies for these groups. He is the Principal Investigator for the NSF-funded projects AccessComputing and AccessCS10K that have the common goal of increasing the participation and success of students with disabilities at all levels in computing fields. He is the 2014 winner of the SIGCHI Social Impact Award.

Kevin Larson works for Microsoft's Advanced Reading Technologies team. He collaborates with type designers, reading psychologists, and engineers on improving the onscreen reading experience. Kevin received his PhD for studies of reading acquisition.

Clayton Lewis is Professor of Computer Science and Fellow of the Institute of Cognitive Science. He is well known for his research on evaluation methods in user interface design. Two methods to which he and his colleagues have contributed, the thinking aloud method and the cognitive walkthrough, are in regular use in software development organizations around the world. He has also contributed to cognitive assistive technology, to programming language design, to educational technology, and to cognitive theory in causal attribution and learning. He was named University of Colorado President's Teaching Scholar in 1989, a life title signifying the University's highest award for teaching.

Henrique (Rico) Malvar is a Microsoft Distinguished Engineer and the Chief Scientist for Microsoft Research. He currently leads a new team at MSR developing technologies to help people with disabilities, in particular motor-neural diseases. He joined Microsoft Research in 1997, founding a signal processing group, which developed new technologies such as new media compression formats used in Windows, Xbox, and Office, and microphone array processing technologies used in Windows, Xbox Kinect, and HoloLens. Rico was a key architect for the media compression formats WMA and HD Photo / JPEG XR, and made key contributions to the H.264 video format (used by Skype, Netflix, YouTube, etc.). Rico received a Ph.D. in EECS from MIT (1986). He has over 115 issued US patents, and over 160 publications in scientific and technical venues. He is an IEEE Fellow and has received many awards, including a Technical Achievement Award from the IEEE Signal Processing Society in 2002, and being elected a Member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 2012.

Peggy Martinez has worked in the accessibility space for over 20 years, currently focusing on her new firm, Creative Inclusion, whose goal is to work with organizations to improve customer service for people with disabilities in the technology, walkability, transit, travel and entertainment realms. She has worked in higher education, nonprofit and the private sector. Peggy is a multitalented and passionate change agent who believes that the balance of realism and idealism will positively impact the lives of all.

Lauren Milne is a fourth year graduate student at UW, working with Richard Ladner. Her research focus is on making data visualizations more accessible to people with visual impairments.

Margaret Mitchell is a Researcher in the Cognition Group at Microsoft Research. She works on grounded language generation, focusing on how to help both people and computers communicate based on what they can process. Margaret holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Aberdeen. She has worked on sentiment analysis and information extraction at the Johns Hopkins University, working with Benjamin Van Durme and Mark Dredze; as well as monitoring mental illness in social media, working with Glen Coppersmith and Kristy Hollingshead. She has also worked on natural language generation and vision-to-language on her own time and at the University of Aberdeen, working with Kees van Deemter and Ehud Reiter; assistive technology for those with neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders, working with Brian Roark and Richard Sproat at the Oregon Health and Science University; and studied computational linguistics under Emily Bender and Fei Xia at the University of Washington. Margaret balances her time between language generation, NLP applications for assistive/clinical domains, and core AI research.

Martez Mott is a doctoral candidate in the Information School at the University Washington where he is advised by Jacob Wobbrock. Martez's research aims to improve the accessibility of touch screen devices for people with motor impairments, and for people under the effects of situational impairments.

Kyle Rector is a PhD candidate in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington, co-advised by Julie Kientz and Richard Ladner. She has research interests in Human-Computer Interaction and Accessibility. More specifically, she is interested in developing Eyes-Free Technologies that enhance quality of life, including exercise and art technologies for people who are blind or low vision.

John Richards is a Distinguished Research Staff Member and manager in IBM's Watson Group and an Honorary Professor at the University of Dundee, Scotland. He has created award-winning systems in support of interpersonal communication, ubiquitous computing, and web accessibility, and is now developing both new cognitive computing applications and new tooling to simplify the creation of cognitive systems. He received the Alexander C. Williams Jr. Award from the Human Factors Society in 1984, was named a Fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery in 1997, elected a member of the IBM Academy of Technology in 2006, and named a Fellow of the British Computer Society in 2011.

Meredith Ringel Morris is a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research, and an Affiliate Associate Professor at the University of Washington in the Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering and in the Information School. Her areas of expertise are human-computer interaction and collaborative and social computing. She has recently begun to explore the intersection of accessible technologies with social and collaborative systems. More details about Merrie and her publications are available at research.microsoft.com/~merrie.

Annie Ross is a first year Ph.D. student working with James Fogarty and Jacob Wobbrock. They are currently working on creating tools for enhancing the accessibility of mobile phone applications for users with disabilities.

Jon Schull is the creator of e-NABLE, and co-Founder of the Enable Community Foundation.In a past life, Schull was the founder of SoftLock.com aka DigitalGoods.com (NASDAQ:DIGS) a seminal digital rights management company. Dr. Schull is the author of 19 patents. Schull is also a Research Scientist at Rochester Institue of Technology's Center for Media Arts Games Interaction and Creativity where he coordinates the the MAGIC ACT/e-NABLE Lab. His current research is focussed on developing tools for cultivating, empowering, and understanding global communities of connected humanitarians.

Greg Smith Greg Smith joined Microsoft as a Software Development Engineer in 1994 immediately upon receiving his BS and MS in Computer Science from Stanford University. After six years in the product groups working on data access technologies in the Windows ecosystem, he moved to Microsoft Research as a software engineer in the EasyLiving ubiquitous computing group. Following subsequent projects in large-display user experiences, information visualization, sketch-based interfaces, and physiological sensing, he joined Desney Tan in 2015 in the formation of the MSR Medical Devices group, focused on the development of novel wearable health monitoring devices. Greg is C4-5 quadriplegic from a football injury sustained in college.

Dr. Ivan Tashev received his Master's degree (1984) in Electronic Engineering and PhD in Computer Science (1990) from the Technical University of Sofia, Bulgaria. He was assistant professor in this university when joined Microsoft in 1998. Currently Ivan Tashev leads the Audio and Acoustics Group in Microsoft Research Labs. His research interests include audio signal processing, machine learning, multichannel transducers. Dr. Tashev published two books, two book chapters, 80 scientific papers, listed as inventor in 40 US patents. He transferred algorithms to RoundTable device, Windows, Microsoft Auto platform, and served as the audio architect of Kinect for Xbox and HoloLens.

Aditya Vashistha is pursuing a Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Washington where he designs, builds, and evaluates technologies for marginalized rural and urban communities in resource-constrained settings to improve their access to social media platforms and crowdsourcing platforms. Much of his research lies in the intersection of Social Computing, Accessible Technologies, and Information and Communication Technologies for Development. More details about Aditya and his work are available at www.adityavashistha.com.

Daniel S. Weld is Thomas J. Cable / WRF Professor of Computer Science & Engineering at theUniversity of Washington. Trained in Artificial Intelligence, Dan focuses on ways of making computers easier to use. Dan has led projects in adaptive user interfaces, programming by demonstration, and decision theoretic crowdsourcing.

Jacob O. Wobbrock is an Associate Professor in The Information School and, by courtesy, in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington. He chairs the Master of Human-Computer Interaction & Design program and directs the Mobile & Accessible Design Lab. He is a founding member of the DUB Group. As part of his research, he designs and builds input and interaction techniques to make computing platforms more accessible to people with motor or sensory impairments. He is currently pursuing a design approach called Ability-Based Design in which the human abilities required to operate a technology are questioned, and systems are made operable by and adaptable to alternative abilities.

Xiaoyi Zhang is a second year CSE PhD student at University of Washington, advised by Prof. James Fogarty. In 2014, he received B.S. in CS from UCLA, where he worked on sensor-based health research. His main research interests are in Human-Computer Interaction: Personal Informatics, Self Tracking and Accessibility. He also has interests in Visualization, Computer Vision & Augmented Reality.

Roy Zimmermann is the director of Education and Scholarly Communication in Microsoft Research Connections. In this role, he leads a team that collaborates with higher education institutions around the world to develop next-generation technologies for education. Zimmermann's primary goal is to work with academics, researchers, and scientists to foster innovations and advancements in teaching and research that help improve education around the world.

Annuska Zolyomi (Perkins) is a Ph.D. student at the Information School at the University of Washington, where she also earned her Masters in Human Centered Design and Engineering. She researches and designs inclusive user experiences, especially for neurodiverse communities. Prior to pursuing her Ph.D., Annuska worked at Microsoft on accessible user experiences across products, services, and devices.

Please check back for updates. Last updated 5 July 2016.

Last updated: 5 July 2016