About Our Research and Engagement Grants

Each fiscal year, IPaT with additional support from GTRI, accepts proposals and provides funding support for two separate types of grants -- research and engagement grants.

Research Grants provide seed funding to conduct interdisciplinary research. The objective of the Research Grant program is to promote research activities involving faculty and students from the many disciplines represented in IPaT/GVU. Proposal duration can be  either single-semester (fall or spring) or academic year (fall and spring with funding up to .50 FTE for a GRA.

Engagement Grants foster new sorts of engagements and collaboration, whether internal
or external to Georgia Tech. Most Engagement Grant proposals do not include GRA support or other personnel time; however, in cases where such support is requested, applicants must justify why such support is essential to the activity.

Previous GVU/IPaT Research and Engagement Grant Recipients

The following projects were selected for 2023-2024:
Congratulations to the winning project teams listed below:

Proposal title: Artificial Intelligence Based Abstract Review Assistant (AIARA)
Team members: Michael Cross, research scientist, GTRI; Paula Gomez, senior research engineer, GTRI; Mark Riedl, professor, associate director of the Georgia Tech Machine Learning Center, School of Interactive Computing
Award and sponsors: $20,000 (IPaT/GTRI)
Overview: Scientific committee members are promoting the use of artificial intelligence tools such as Google’s BARD and OpenAI’s Chat GPT to help with the blind review process to support the peer review process such as articles submitted for annual science-related conferences. Considering that the peer review process is made up of well-structured tasks that include analysis of a set number of abstract components (title, keywords, structure, outcomes, references) or paper components (the introduction, methods, results, discussion, length, clarity and structure), peer review is an excellent candidate for trained AI to address topics such as duplicate submissions, self-plagiarism, incomplete reviews, comment quality assessment, and the overall standardization of scores for the final selection of articles.

Proposal title: Toward Fairer Diagnosis and Care of Type 2 Diabetes: A Long-Term and Pipeline-Level View
Team members: Gabriel Garcia, assistant professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering; Juba Ziani, assistant professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering; Jovan Julien, postdoctoral fellow, Harvard Medical School
Award and sponsors: $16,034 (IPaT)
Overview: Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) is one of the most common chronic diseases in the United States, affecting about 10% of Americans. While T2DM is irreversible, its early disease stages – i.e., pre-diabetes – are reversible. Accordingly, early screening, detection, and treatment are critical to reducing the rates of progression to T2DM and mitigating the adverse effects of T2DM among those who already have it. Yet, in the United States, T2DM can often go undetected until its later stages with each missed detection stage leading to worsening health outcomes and increasing financial burden. Further, people from disadvantaged and underserved groups often face lower access to care, leading to more missed detection and greater downstream disease burden. In this research, our goal is to build a mathematical model to optimize investments across screening and treatment resources while reducing disparities across disadvantaged populations.

Proposal title: ASTRO! - Many sourcing the Design and Behavior of Future Robotic Guide Dogs
Team members: Bruce Walker, professor, School of Psychology and School of Interactive Computing
Award and sponsors: $15,375 (IPaT)
Overview: ASTRO! is an interdisciplinary collaborative project to engage many people in the ideation and creative design of future robotic guide dogs. As the technology and engineering advance towards a robotic assistant, we also must consider design and human-robot interaction issues. We will ask many people--through interviews, focus groups, and surveys--what capabilities a robotic guide should have. We will also ask how they should look and feel. We will consider how they will behave. And finally, we will investigate how humans and robotic assistants will communicate. Students in many classes at Georgia Tech and beyond will study various aspects of this research and design challenge. We will also host a weekend “design-a-thon” for ideating and brainstorming robot designs and interaction patterns, and crafting up all kinds of prototypes and mockups. The outcomes of this project will influence the design of robotic assistants, and more broadly will help us design advanced technology so it is accepted into society.

Proposal title: Data-Driven Platform for Transforming Subjective Assessment into Objective Processes for Artistic Human Performance and Wellness
Team members: Milka Trajkova, research scientist, School of Literature, Media, and Communication; Brian Magerko, professor, School of Literature, Media, and Communication
Award and sponsors: $15,000 (IPaT/IDEaS)
Overview: Artistic human movement at large, stands at the precipice of a data-driven renaissance. By leveraging novel tools, we can usher in a transparent, data-driven, and accessible training environment. The potential ramifications extend beyond dance. As sports analytics have reshaped our understanding of athletic prowess, a similar approach to dance could redefine our comprehension of human movement, with implications spanning healthcare, construction, rehabilitation, and active aging. Georgia Tech, with its prowess in AI, HCI, and biomechanics is primed to lead this exploration. To actualize this vision, we propose the following research questions with ballet as a prime example of one of the most complex types of artistic movements: 1) What kinds of data - real-time kinematic, kinetic, biomechanical, etc. captured through accessible off-the-shelf technologies, are essential for effective AI assessment in ballet education for young adults?; 2) How can we design and develop an end-to-end ML architecture that assesses artistic and technical performance?; 3) What feedback elements (combination of timing, communication mode, feedback nature, polarity, visualization) are most effective for AI- based dance assessment?; and 4) How does AI-assisted feedback enhance physical wellness, artistic performance, and the learning process in young athletes compared to traditional methods?

Proposal title: Voice+: Locating the Human Voice in a Technology-Driven World
Team members: Andrea Jonsson, assistant professor, School of Modern Languages; Stuart Goldberg, associate professor, School of Modern Languages
Award and sponsors: $3,800 (IPaT)
Overview: The Voice + Research Lab is an Interdisciplinary Voice Studies Lab that explores the human voice from a variety of perspectives and integrates knowledge and methodologies from different disciplines. It encompasses a wide range of topics related to the voice, including vocal production, vocal health, cultural and historical aspects of vocal expression, and the artistic and expressive use of the voice. Interdisciplinary voice studies aim to provide a holistic understanding of the voice and its multifaceted aspects, fostering collaboration among experts in various fields to explore sound and structures of the human voice.

The following projects were selected for 2022-2023:

Congratulations to the three winning grants comprised of five faculty members, and one graduate student. Each team’s project focus and members are as follows:

  • Proposal to host a series of electronic music artist residencies to create awareness and additional pathways for STEAM learning. Financial support for the project is being provided by GTRI through the STEM@GTRI program, in partnership with GVU and IPaT. Awardees are Noura Howell, assistant professor, in digital media at Georgia Tech; and Alexander Cohen, technical director of the School of Music at Georgia Tech.
  • Proposal for a study of a user-centered approach of deep-fake detection aid design. Awardees are Zachary Tindler, graduate student in the School of Psychology in the College of Sciences; Richard Catrambone, professor of psychology in the College of Sciences; and John Stasko, Regents Professor and interim school chair in the School of Interactive Computing.
  • Proposal to establish a media arts residency. Awardee is Yanni Alexander Loukissas, associate professor of digital media in the School of Literature, Media and Communication.

The following projects were selected for 2019-2020:

From #hashtags to Movements: Performance, Collective Narrative, and Erasure, a Black Feminist Perspective
Brooke Bosley and Susana Morris (Digital Media)

Workshop on Language, Technology, and Society
Lelia Glass (Modern Languages)

Getting Good: Using esports to inspire students in developing STEM skills
Laura Levy (IMTC), Andrew Partridge (GTRI), and Sean Mulvanity (GTRI)

Detecting and Measuring the Impact of Food Insecurity at Georgia Tech
Jon Sanford (Industrial Design) and Thomas Ploetz (Interactive Computing)

Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment 2019
Anne Sullivan (Literature, Media, and Communication) and Mark Riedl (Interactive Computing)

Acoustic Sensor Deployment in the EcoCommons
Emily Weigel (Biological Sciences), Adam Beteul (Atlanta Audobon Society), David Anderson (ECE), and Matthew Swarts (GTRI)

Selected on November 24, 2020 (Fall 2020):

Sorting Through the Racks and CAPTCHAs: Exploring the Use and Regulation of Automation Tools by Communities of Online Fashion Resellers in Poshmark.com
Faculty project team members: Christopher Le Dantec (LMC), Robert Rosenberger (Public Policy), Sara Miles Espinosa (LMC)
Electrochromic Skin: Exploring the Design and Fabrication of Epidermal Displays for Somatic Data-Awareness
Faculty project team members: Sang Leigh (Industrial Design), W. Hong Yeo (Mechanical Engineering), Noah Posner (College of Design)
COVID-19 and Child Maltreatment Through Two Different Lenses: Online Media and Official Administrative Reports
Faculty project team members: Diyi Yang (Interactive Computing), Lindsey Bullinger (Public Policy)
Healing Justice: Co-Designing for Black Communities
Faculty project team members: Susana Morris (LMC), Brooke Bosley (LMC)
Alone Together: Empowering Student Community Building and Content Engagement Through Digital Collaboration in Remote Learning
Faculty project team members: Laura Levy (IMTC), Anne Sullivan (LMC)
Going Pro: Bridging the Gap Between Georgia K-12 Students, STEM Education, and the e-Sports Industry
Faculty project team members: Laura Levy (IMTC), Sean Mulvanity (Bradwell Institute), Richard Catrambone (Psychology), Bryan Cox (GA Department of Education), Lien Diaz (Constellations Center)
Developing a New Cellular-based Sensor Platform for IoT/Smart Cities Projects
Faculty project team members: Russ Clark (Computer Science), Peter Presti (IMTC), Scott Gilliland (IMTC)

2018-2019 Research and Engagement Grants

Wearable Technology and Society: Artistic Collaborations
Clint Zeagler and Jay Bolter

Wearable Technology and Society is a new course developed for the Georgia Tech School of Literature Media and Communication that will be taught in fall 2018. For the course the Computer Science and Computational Media students will work on transdisciplinary group projects in collaboration with local performance artists, making interactive wearable performance garments. This GVU/IPaT engagement grant funds materials and supplies for the students to be able to create richer experiences. Performance artists including dancers and drag queens will also keep the garments/costumes and use them to their fullest potential.

Creating Georgia Tech's Center for Computing and Society
Ellen Zegura, Carl DiSalvo, and Michael L. Best

The influence of computing is remarkable, and its future is frequently touted as unbounded. Yet against this backdrop of unprecedented development lays sobering recent events in which computing has managed not to advance society, but instead to fray it. The time is right – indeed urgent – for computing as a diverse community to mature beyond today's whiz kid, shiny object, “move fast and break things” attitudes. The various disciplines that reflect on computing must grow up and take ownership of the many steps needed to mitigate the negative impacts of research and development, as well as harness computing in service of pressing social problems. Towards these ends, we are working to create a Georgia Tech Center on Computing and Society: an emerging cross-disciplinary research initiative aiming for national and international leadership in understanding and advancing computing systems that are responsible and accountable to society.

Connecting Georgia Tech with the Future of E-Sports
Laura Levy and Anne Sullivan

"Electronic sports, known as esports, have undergone a meteoric rise in popularity over the past several decades enabled by technological advances in network connectivity, game engines, and online streaming platforms. Over 300 million fans have streamed almost 300 million hours on the Twitch platform alone, and the global viewership is expected to top 380 million by the end of 2018. However, even with the rapid acceptance and legitimation of esports in popular culture, there are still many fundamental gaps in our understanding of how to support the user experience around it. In the same ways that traditional sports have been augmented and the fan experience enhanced by technology, esports have much to gain through human-computer interaction (HCI) research in supporting viewers. Barriers to capturing and supporting new and diverse audiences are significant, and it is necessary that this research be driven and founded through industry partnerships to be successful.

This engagement grant provides travel funding to support students in a Georgia Tech VIP class studying an esports HCI research thread to travel to a professionally produced esports tournament and expose them directly to the research questions they are studying while allowing them to network with industry representatives that may lead to future career opportunities. Additionally, this grant benefits IPaT and Georgia Tech by increasing the Institute's presence at relevant industry events bringing home new contacts and funding opportunities with the greater games industry.”

The Mild Cognitive Impairment Empowerment Program's Innovation Accelerator: Building a Diverse Coalition of Students, Faculty, and Researchers to Address Aging-Related Cognitive Impairment
Craig Zimring, Jennifer DuBose, Gabrielle Campiglia, Brian Jones, Brad Fain, and Herb Valasquez

Researchers from the SimTigrate Design Lab and IPaT have been working with Emory Brain Health to develop an “Empowerment Program” for people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a condition of deteriorated mental capacity that lies somewhere between the effects of normal aging and dementia. Georgia Tech is partnering with Emory's Brain Health Center in developing and implementing The Brain Health Village in Executive Park. The first phase of development will be an MCI day “Empowerment Program,” a patient-centered day program with activities and spaces designed to meet the specific needs of individuals with MCI and their care partners. Georgia Tech will contribute expertise about how the design of spaces and technologies can make it easier for people with MCI to remain independent. As a part of the broader MCI Empowerment initiative, GT will lead an Innovation Accelerator component which will engage academic and research faculty to lead teams of students and persons with MCI to identify needs and explore creative solutions together through a multidisciplinary, co-design process. In many cases, solutions developed to support people with MCI may have broader applicability to other user groups, and the wider community interested in health, aging, and cognition. Through this seed grant, we seek to broaden the involvement of other academic units, students, and researchers, expand the range of disciplines, extend discussion and partnerships to external stakeholders and industry, and strategize applications for additional funding in order to grow the potential impact of Georgia Tech's involvement in this MCI Empowerment program.

Understanding the Impact of VR for Engineering Analysis on Workplace Practice
Chris Le Dantec and Thomas Kurfess

Manufacturing workplaces are a site of intense change as technologies like IoT and AR/VR are beginning to make deep inroads into how complex products are engineered and assembled. These technologies - Google Glass, HTC Vive, and Oculus Rift - are becoming prominent in manufacturing because they offer potential solutions to the problems of workforce shortages and a growing skills gap. As technologists, designers, and practitioners, it is critical that we understand how these classes of digital technologies stand to change organizations and the kinds of work people do. In partnership with GE Aviation - Human Factors and Maintainability group, this study explores the use of VR for engineering analysis in manufacturing and the impact of VR on the changing nature of work. By conducting a usability study with VR, we can document implementation efforts to augment human labor with automation and create guidelines for successful implementation and best use cases. The future of work relies on understanding how automation can enhance the worker experience and deliver results; putting people to work with technology instead of displacing them by technology.

Building Capacity for Sustainable, Interdisciplinary, Smart Campus Research: A Needs Analysis
Russ Clark and Matt Sanders

2016-2017 Research and Engagement Grants

The GVU Center and Institute for People and Technology (IPaT) have awarded four projects funding through the 2016-2017 Research and Engagement Grants Program. The grants are designed to support two separate types of collaborations: Research Grants support seed funding for research, and Engagement Grants seek to grow new forms of internal and external community engagement and collaboration.

Passive Haptic Rehabilitation for Stroke

Thad Starner (Interactive Computing); Steve Wolf (Emory Rehab Medicine)

We aim to develop a low-cost, mobile, wearable device for Stroke rehabilitation. Over 5 million people are disabled by stroke each year. Current techniques for stroke rehabilitation are costly and time-consuming, require cumbersome machinery, access to clinicians, and put strain on patients. However, using our lightweight and mobile computerized gloves, patients may be able to get rehab on-the-go. In our initial work, we found that tactile stimulation, like vibration, can improve sensation and mobility when applied to the impaired hands of people with partial Spinal Cord Injury. We now apply this "Passive Haptic Rehabilitation" to stroke. Using this technique, these patients can simply wear a vibrating glove to stimulate their affected hand while they go about their daily life. After two months, function improved in those that wore the glove.

(T)racing Eyes and Hearts: An Installation to Explore the Physiology of Empathy

Anne Pollock (Literature, Media and Communication); Lewis Wheaton (Applied Physiology); Nassim JafariNaimi (Literature, Media and Communication)

Eyes darting or maintaining a steady gaze straight ahead. Heartbeat racing, or maintaining a slow, even rhythm. If we encounter these phenomena in another, how do we respond – not just affectively, but physiologically? Eye movements and heartbeats are among the most intuitively meaningful physiological characteristics that humans observe in one another. Without necessarily consciously realizing it, we often respond empathetically. This project brings together humanities scholars and physiology scholars to create an art installation that uses representation, tracking, and visualization to investigate and reflect upon the physiology of empathy. The installation renders video of eye movements and audio of the heart rate of a virtual person and tracks the eye movements and heart rate of an observing user. We anticipate a mirroring, empathetic physiological response from the user, in which their heart rate also speeds and slows in conjunction with the virtual person. Immediately after the experience, the user will be provided a visual and auditory representation of the data, in order to see and reflect on this empathetic engagement, and also provided with a link to a copy of the video by email if they so choose. The playback could be either in real-time, or in a time that is set to either the virtual person or the user's heart rate as a metronome, to allow a distinctively human-centered exploration of the data.

Collision of Creatives

Laura Levy (IMTC), Maribeth Gandy (IMTC), Clint Zeagler (WCC), Madison Cario (Arts@Tech), Lane Conville-Canney (Arts@Tech)

The arts can be a natural and effective showcase to demonstrate the potential of cutting-edge and advanced technologies. However, there often exist barriers to access, communication, and collaboration between artists and technologists. With a thoughtful plan to bring artists and technologists together in collaborative workshops, this engagement grant will offer opportunities for artists to learn about engineering and technology creative processes, while also allowing experts in engineering and technology to see first-hand what artists need to relate to broad audiences in site-specific locations in their process and practice. This project aims to make effective Dr. Bolter's quote that "the arts are the tip of the HCI sword" by enabling effective communication, creating useful artifacts, and engaging the Georgia Tech community to catalyze processes by technologists and artists in showcasing the work happening here on campus.

2015-16 Research and Engagement Grants

Applying Design Studio Pedagogy in STEM Learning with Novel Presentation and Sensing Technologies

Betsy DiSalvo, Mark Guzdial, Blair MacIntyre

(Supported by GVU and IPaT)

This project takes the open collaboration teaching methods of design studios and uses them in STEM learning, with the goal of creating more motivation to learn.

Reimagining Humanities Visualization: A Research-Through-Design Workshop for Civic and Cultural Data

Rahul Basole, Polo Chau, Carl DiSalvo, Alex Endert, Jim Foley, Nassim JafariNaimi, Lauren Klein, Yanni Loukissas, John Stasko, and Jimeng Sun

(Supported by GVU and IPaT)

Georgia Tech researchers are studying how they can use visualization techniques to explore “messy” humanistic data such as civic and cultural data. They plan to host a workshop in March 2016 for leading humanities scholars and information visualization researchers to explore the meanings of civic and cultural “data,” and to prototype new methods for their visual display. The goal is to imagine new forms and platforms capable of portraying the humanistic dimensions of civic and cultural data and to establish Georgia Tech as a leading center of interdisciplinary visualization research.

Promoting Cognitive Systems Research at Georgia Tech

Ashok Goel, Elizabeth Whitaker

(Supported by GVU, IPaT, and GTRI)

The recent advent of famous cognitive systems such as Apple's Siri and IBM's Watson has ushered a new era in the development of artificial intelligence. Cognitive systems are intelligent systems characterized by human-level, human-centered, and human-like intelligence. We seek to foster internal collaboration and enhance external visibility in cognitive systems with the goal of establishing an interdisciplinary Center for Cognitive Systems. In particular, we will organize a seminar series on cognitive systems with distinguished external speakers, monthly meetings of the internal cognitive systems faculty and staff, and yearly workshops of the local cognitive systems community including research students. In addition to the two PIs, the proposal also includes Timothy Boone, Michael Hoffmann, Margaret Loper, Julie Linsey, Keith McGreggor, Janet Murray, Amy Pritchett, Mark Riedl, Eric Schumacher, and Alan Wagner, indicating both the deeply interdisciplinary nature of cognitive systems research and broad support across the institute.

Real-Time Control to Replace Schedules on the Atlanta Streetcar

Kari Watkins, Russ Clark

(Supported by GVU, IPaT, and the Center for Urban Innovation)

Almost all public transportation in the US runs on a schedule, but schedule-based service may not be the most effective way to control operations. When transit routes are very frequent, passengers tend to arrive at stations randomly and typically disregard the schedule. Maintaining a schedule, however, requires a long buffer time that wastes passengers' time and agencies' resources. To avoid the need for schedules while maintaining stable operations, we have developed a bus dispatching system that uses real-time information to maintain even spacing between transit vehicles. In partnership with GVU Center, IPAT, Center for Urban Innovation, and the City of Atlanta, we will test this control method on the Atlanta Streetcar using tablets inside the streetcars to communicate driving instructions to the operators. The objective will be to maximize the quality of service only using available resources. The implementation has the potential to drastically reduce passenger waiting time on the Streetcar corridor, and later on other transit routes in Atlanta, and throughout the country.

2014 Research and Engagement Grants

VIDEO: Project overviews at Brown Bag Replay (18-minute mark)

Digital Policy: Communication Tools to Shrink the Science to Policy Gap

Autism prevalence rates in the United States have more than doubled since 2000 (from 1 in 150 to 1 in 68 children being identified). Despite this trend as the nation's fastest-growing developmental disability, many insurance providers, including Medicaid, do not cover autism services or early intervention services for

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). ASD affects all races, ethnicities, and cultures, as well as broadly across the socioeconomic spectrum. Empirical evidence has shown that the costs of late or undiagnosed ASD are 320% more than early diagnosis and behavioral therapy. The current $60 billion cost of treatment for ASD is expected to grow to $200-­‐400 billion in a decade if current treatment trends continue (based on previous prevalence rates of 1 in 88 children). In addition to the economic savings of early intervention treatment, benefits to funding early intervention include decreased family burden and workplace absenteeism for caregivers, increased economic and social outcomes for patients, and reduced burden on already overtaxed social service systems for adults.

Our research project draws on policy research and human-­‐centered design research to build communication tools (“digital boundary objects”) that aid the public and legislators in understanding the negative economic impact of a late intervention and providing an evidence base for the justification of passage and implementation of early intervention services in ASD. The first set of communication tools is aimed at policymakers to improve the continuum of care and interagency system of supports for children with autism. We foresee variations of these tools to be used by the public for raising awareness and enabling collective action.

Nassim JafariNaimi, School of Literature, Media, and Communication
Kim Isett, School of Public Policy

Exploring Movement-­‐based Games to Encourage Social Behaviors in Children with Autism

This project aims to identify effective feedback mechanisms for encouraging collaboration and social interaction among children with autism in motion-based games.
Our focus is motivated by decades of research suggesting that individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) experience specific difficulties with peer interactions and friendships. Such interactions and relationships play a critical role in social learning throughout the lifespan and are a frequent target of behavioral interventions. A growing body of research suggests that games may be a particularly effective mechanism for social skills training in ASD. One key advantage of using games or virtual environments to target these skills is the simplified and predictable nature of the interactions enabled by these technologies. Individuals with ASD may find the multi-sensory nature of social interactions overwhelming, so interactions mediated with and through technologies may represent a powerful stepping-stone to practicing and building social skills. We focus on motion-based (Kinect) games because inhabiting a virtual space with a peer may be a particularly effective approach for scaffolding social interactions for individuals with ASD, and targeting additional skills of particular relevance such as self- and other-awareness and motor coordination.

Agata Rozga, School of Interactive Computing
Brian Magerko, School of Literature, Media, and Communication
Ashley Cheek, The Lionheart School
Victoria McBride, The Lionheart School

The Move Lab: A STEAM Community of Learners

Contemporary art centers are changing, moving beyond the delivery of content to embrace participatory art and learning models. Part of this move involves engaging audiences more frequently with technology, both as participants via technology, and producers of content that is enabled by technology. However, we do not have a full understanding of what this model can look like nor how to evaluate learning within it. To better understand these models of participation with STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Math), the Georgia Tech Culture and Technology Lab (CaT Lab), in collaboration with Eyedrum, propose the Move Lab project. The Move Lab will invite participants, including working artists, technology experts, undergraduates, and high school students, to work together for a full week to produce a multimedia dance and technology performance speaking to issues of technology and culture. Our goal is to use the Move Lab as a model for future collaborations between artists and technologists, and as a case study to better understand the aspects of transformation in participation identified by Rogoff [8] as central to the evaluation of individual learning and development with STEAM.

Betsy DiSalvo, School of Interactive Computing
Al Matthews, Eyedrum
Onar Topal-Sumer, Eyedrum

Patients' Information Needs Related to Diagnostic Processes around Health Concerns

This project outlines collaborative research between the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech and Diagnostic Radiology at Emory Healthcare, to develop methods for capturing and analyzing patients' information needs related to diagnostic processes around health concerns. Our research will utilize large-scale activity manifested in a variety of online health information resources, targeting social resources like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit. We will complement this approach and validate the quantitative findings relating to patients' needs with surveys and field-based interview methods. The qualitative approach will pursue first-person accounts of the information needs of Emory Healthcare patients as they are both reported by patients and expressed in patient-clinician consultations. The insights resulting from this research will:
• Inform the design of novel online social tools. The research outlined in this seed grant proposal will yield both design guidelines and software specifications necessary to develop tools to better serve patients' information needs related to diagnostic testing. We anticipate that such tools will enable people to more easily share and access information from other individuals experiencing similar health concerns, and/or navigate their own diagnostic processes.
• Provide the preliminary data upon which a larger collaborative grant proposal will be based. Data captured from the research
outlined here will guide a larger future collaborative grant proposal involving Emory Healthcare and Georgia Tech.

Lauren Wilcox, School of Interactive Computing
Munmun De Choudhury, School of Interactive Computing
Aarti Sekhar, Emory Healthcare

Wearable Technology Exhibition Digital and Literary Extension

The Georgia Tech-curated exhibit “Meeting the Challenge: The Path Towards a Consumer Wearable Computer” made its debut at CHI 2014 with more than 1,000 visitors to the exhibition. The wearable technology showcase subsequently went on to two locations in Germany and at a World Economic Forum meeting in China. The exhibit will make its campus debut in October 2014. Curators of the exhibit have started to develop an online version of the exhibition at http://wcc.gatech.edu and propose extending this online exhibition and revamping its interface. It will be a jumping-off place for companies to become more involved with the GVU Center research community and also allow students to use the website as a source for project inspiration. This online exhibition can also be formatted to work on a large touch screen surface.

A companion print piece of the exhibition will create a narrative of the showcased technology, telling a more detailed story of the history of wearable computing. This book will be a lasting legacy of the exhibition and a record of the research and innovation in the wearable technology field and at Georgia Tech. An e-book version will have videos of the exhibition's creation, along with archived interviews and videos of wearable computers in use. The e-book can also have links to referenced academic papers and consumer products. This piece will also augment visitors' experiences with the physical exhibition.

The digital and literary extension project will recognize the many areas of study for wearable computers, including opportunities in computer science, industrial design, and even psychology as researchers consider user studies and computing on the body.

Clint Zeagler, School of Industrial Design

2013 Research and Engagement Grants

VIDEO: Research Project Overviews (GVU Brown Bag, August 2013)

Implementation and Assessment of One-Bus Away Atlanta
Transit provides mobility to those who cannot or prefer not to drive, including access to jobs, education, and medical services. Transit reduces congestion, gasoline consumption, and the nation's carbon footprint. However, from a customer perspective, a mobility choice is only a choice if it is fast, comfortable, and reliable. One inexpensive way to combat unreliability from the user perspective is real-time transit information. The OneBusAway transit traveler information system was originally developed at the University of Washington by Dr. Brian Ferris, Dr. Kari Watkins, and Dr. Alan Borning to provide real-time bus arrival information for riders in greater Seattle-Tacoma. OneBusAway is comprised of multiple interfaces to access information, including a website, a telephone number, text messaging, a mobile-optimized website, and native applications for both the iPhone and Android platforms (see http://onebusaway.org); it currently hosts more than 100,000 unique users per week. OneBusAway was developed under multiple federal grants as an open-source system allowing other transit agencies to adopt the code for their own systems. Additional deployments using the code base have begun in New York City, Tampa, and now Atlanta. Previous studies have shown that real-time can increase transit ridership, increase satisfaction with transit performance, improve the perception of safety, and decrease perceived and actual wait time. The goal of the Atlanta deployment is to provide a service to area transit riders and to further quantify the impacts of real-time information by conducting a study of OneBusAway users and comparing their ridership and perceptions to those of non-users.

Team: Kari Watkins, School of Civic and Environmental Engineering; Russ Clark, School of Computer Science

Launch Support for The Game Studio at Georgia Tech
The Georgia Tech Game Studio is a new, internal, by-application game design and development organization focused on facilitating the creation of novel, excellent, complete games. The Studio aims to increase the Institute's reputation in the production of original games, both through commercial success and participation in competitions and festivals. The Studio will help participants conceptualize, design, develop, and release original games by providing space, materials, and industry advisement.

Team: Ian Bogost, School of Literature, Media & Communication; Blair MacIntyre, School of Interactive Computing

Computational Social Science Workshop and Hackathon with Emory
The emerging cross-disciplinary field of computational social science is transforming both research and industry by combining computational methods with social science theory and research. GVU has a unique capability to shape this emerging discipline, building on the center's tradition of interdisciplinary research. To add a strong social science foundation, GVU will team with researchers at Emory University to offer two community-building activities for Computational Social Science in 2013-2014. In the fall, we will offer a Research Workshop featuring distinguished visiting speakers and presentations from GVU and Emory faculty; in the spring, we will reconvene for a freewheeling Hackathon that brings students and faculty together to form interdisciplinary research teams working on projects of mutual interest.

Team: Jacob Eisenstein, School of Interactive Computing, Eric Gilbert, School of Interactive Computing + collaborators at Emory University

FIDO - Facilitating Interactions for Dogs with Occupations
Working dogs, whether assistance, medical, or military dogs, have important information to impart to their human handlers. However, communication between human and canine partners is currently limited. Handlers give verbal or hand signal commands, and dogs respond with trained behaviors such as alerting with a paw or nose touch or barking. Improving dog-to-handler communication could literally save lives. A medical alert dog could directly summon aid. If a hearing dog could tell his handler specifically whether the source of the sound was the phone ringing or the fire alarm, the handler could make better decisions about how to respond. Military dogs could mark bomb locations and even indicate the type of bomb found, then move to safety, rather than the current practice of lying next to the bomb and barking until the handler arrives, putting both dog and handler at risk. Silent handler-to-dog communication could be critical as well, as voice and hand signals make dog handlers targets for snipers. Improving communication through technology could have profound implications for working dog teams in many domains. We plan to leverage Georgia Tech's extensive experience in wearable computing to enable communication with animals. We have created the Inter-species Interaction Lab to establish Georgia Tech as a pioneer in the little-explored space of Animal-Computer Interaction, studying communication with animals mediated by technology.

Team: Melody Moore Jackson, School of Interactive Computing, Thad Starner, School of Interactive Computing, Clint Zeagler, School of Industrial Design

Games @ Gatech is an institute-wide initiative to leverage Georgia Tech's leadership role in video games research and education by aggregating and incubating interdisciplinary games research and academic activities across the campus. The goal of this initiative is twofold: First, to bring together diverse games activities and foster greater internal awareness, research collaboration, and funding access among entities and individuals with the institute; second, to help create a single, more focused Georgia Tech "brand" to the outside world that improves public awareness of the institute's collective strengths in game-related research. Games @ Gatech will help create a more unified research community, advancing interdisciplinary research, and facilitating better exposure to funding opportunities, tech transfer, and industry partnerships.

Team: Celia Pearce, School of Literature, Media & Communication; Mark Riedl, School of Interactive Computing

Sonic Generator and the National Orchestra of Lorraine
Sonic Generator, the high-tech contemporary music ensemble in residence at Georgia Tech, joins forces with members of L'Orchestre National de Lorraine and their conductor Jacques Mercier to present concerts at the Ferst Center for the Arts at Georgia Tech (November 3rd, 2013) and at L'Arsenal in Metz (February 15, 2014). The performances will feature innovative French and American contemporary music including Steve Reich's City Life, a new commission from Daniel Wohl, and music by GT professor Jason Freeman. These concerts will help celebrate the fifth edition of France-Atlanta and the twenty-fifth anniversary of L'Arsenal and initiate new conversations about the role of the arts at Georgia Tech's Lorraine campus.

Jason Freeman, School of Music.edu/plugins/shows/index.php?id=556

Simulating Activities of Daily Living: Dressing Clothes (Supported by GVU, IPaT, and RIM)
Dressing clothing is considered as one of the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) for an individual to maintain a functional life independently. Unlike other ADLs, such as feeding and mobility, dressing is unique to human society and is one of the most important milestones of self-care development for a child. An average child takes 24 months to develop sufficient coordination and manipulation skills to put on loose clothing. It will take another year or two before she will be able to get dressed all by herself. This is mainly due to the combined difficulty in coordinating different body parts and manipulating soft and deformable objects (clothes). This project aims to recreate this unique human behavior through physical simulation and eventually enables assistive robots to dress real humans. In particular, we are interested in designing motor control algorithms for dressing the upper and lower bodies for oneself and others. Beyond robotic applications, we expect to expand the current biomechanical knowledge in human coordination control mechanisms, advance the control algorithms for high-dimensional, nonlinear systems in control theory and enhance the state-or-art simulation techniques for manipulating deformable objects.

Karen Liu, School of Interactive Computing

2012 Research and Engagement Grants

Computational Play
We currently have little understanding of how people and intelligent agents might engage in unstructured, co-creative domains, where each team member takes an equal part in applying creative problem solving within a social context. In this project, we will investigate the problem of co-creative intelligence in the domain of imaginary play. Imaginary play is a fundamental aspect of human existence. Specifically, we will target play between humans and robotic systems, focusing on those aspects of human-robot interaction that we believe are missing in current robotics research: robot as peer to the human instead of subservient, interactivity, open-ended tasks, and evolving social roles.

Team: Brian Magerko (LMC), Andrea Thomaz (IC), and Mark Riedl (IC)

DMITRI Data Analysis
The DMITRI project has built a unique, comprehensive data set capturing daily life and diabetes management information from adult diabetics. This data includes personal logs, nutritional logs, clinical history, questionnaire data, and data from a range of on-body monitoring equipment including insulin pump dosage logs, Dexcom continuous glucose monitor, SenseWear activity monitor with an accelerometer, GSR, and skin temperature sensing, Polar heart monitor, Philips Actiwatch, and Zeo sleep monitor. In this project, we aim to address the "capture and access" challenges of analyzing this data by applying our expertise in pattern recognition and wearable sensing to identify correlations and patterns in the dataset, shedding light on the impact of personal behavior on diabetes management.

Team: Thad Starner (IC) and Nate Heintzman (Biomedical Informatics, UCSD Dept. of Medicine)

Georgia Tech Campus Driving Simulation and Research
Applying driving simulators for in-vehicle research allows for a wide range of studies to be performed particularly when investigating cognitive demand and distraction caused by devices in the car. By using simulations, researchers can investigate driving behaviors in high-risk situations without putting participants or others in harm's way. Currently being conducted within the School of Psychology at Georgia Tech, in-vehicle research could provide more insight into the behavior and increase in applicability if participants were able to drive in areas that they are familiar with. Specifically, research being done in coordination with the Atlanta Shepherd Center investigating the use of in-vehicle technologies to assist individuals who have had a Traumatic Brain Injury could benefit largely through these real location maps. The Georgia Tech School of Architecture coincidentally has already developed a 3D model of the Georgia Tech campus and some of the surrounding areas including the Peachtree corridor (26 miles along Peachtree Street). However, in order to make this model usable within the simulator, it must be optimized and converted in a compatible format. Researchers in the School of Architecture and School of Psychology will be working on creating methods and conversion processes that will allow any 3D model to be integrated into the simulator. The development of this process of conversion will allow Georgia Tech to offer documentation and map-creation services to other researchers around the world assisting in increasing the applicability of in-vehicle research.

Team: Bruce Walker (Psych/IC) and Racel Williams (Architecture)

Cycle Atlanta Crowd-sourced Bike Route Desirability
Fifty percent of all trips are 3 miles or less, yet only 1.8% of those trips are biked. Meanwhile, 35.7% of US adults are obese and the transportation sector accounts for 32% of US greenhouse gases. One of the main reasons citizens do not use the healthier mode of cycling is due to a lack of safe infrastructure-dedicated bicycle routes, roads with bicycle lanes, and other designated bicycle facilities. The City of Atlanta has a desire to put proper cycling infrastructure in place but needs better information from citizens about where they currently and would like to cycle. Therefore, the initial goal of the Crowd-sourced Bicycle Route Desirability project is to modify the open-source CycleTracks application (previously adopted in San Francisco, CA, and Austin, TX.) for use in Atlanta. CycleTracks tracks the existing routes of cyclists using their smartphones and allows the comparison of these routes to the quickest path from origin to destination. This allows us to begin to make appropriate infrastructure improvements to the most traveled routes in a study area by seeing logical paths that cyclists avoid. A second phase of the project would develop applications allowing riders to express their desired bike routes even if they currently do not cycle because of a lack of adequate facilities.

Team: Kari Watkins (Civil Engineering) and Chris Le Dantec (LMC)

2011 Research and Engagement Grants

Each year, GVU provides seed grants, with funding support from IPaT, to research initiatives committed to building on our success in interdisciplinary research and innovation in the human experience of computing. These investments create a path for external funding as our research prospers.

New Media Nollywood
The Nigerian film industry, colloquially known as Nollywood, is the world's most prolific movie maker. The industry produces 40 new movies a week, perhaps five times as many as come from Hollywood, creating one of Africa's most significant and dynamic cultural export. New Media Nollywood week at Georgia Tech will offer a chance for the GVU community to engage with this vibrant visual media and to help explore and invent its use of social, interactive, and multimedia technologies. We will host more than 20 of Nollywood's top media scholars, producers, directors, and film stars. Their visit will be centered around a series of technology deep-dives, where we will collectively investigate new media technologies and the Nigerian film industry. The week will end with a one-day international workshop with the aim of crystallizing a shared vision for Nollywood and new digital technologies. Then stick around for the following week, when we plan to shoot an entire Nollywood-style film on the Georgia Tech campus.

Team: Mike Best and Angela Dalle Vacche

Visual Analytics for Innovation Ecosystem Intelligence
Converging business ecosystems are becoming an increasing reality in many different domains - including mobile telecom, future media, biotechnology, healthcare, and Greentech/energy. The idea of having a "crystal ball" that provides capabilities to explore, make sense, and, perhaps, even provide actionable insight into rapidly changing business ecosystems is enormously attractive to many decision-makers, including technology executives, product strategists, and investors. Business ecosystem intelligence includes an understanding of the competitive landscape, identification of innovation opportunities and strategic collaborations, and prediction of possible new product-market fit. We are exploring the design and development of a system that will take a variety of diverse data and document types and will provide the end-user with useful ecosystem intelligence. We take a visual analytics approach, combining computational analysis and text mining techniques with interactive visualizations, in order to create an environment that will allow an analyst to explore relevant information and gain a deeper understanding of converging ecosystem activities, evolution, and opportunities.

Team: Rahul Basole and John Stasko

Driving Advances in Computing Education Through Application of Educational Psychology Principles
The aim of this project is to make advances in the learning sciences over the last couple of decades and apply them to computer science education. This is important because there has been an almost two-decade hiatus in systematic research on computer science education and a number of relevant findings can now be applied. For example, we know more about how students learn from examples, how to use multiple media to reduce cognitive load, and how to teach through student inquiry. This project will focus on creating examples of computer science instruction that are informed by modern learning sciences research. In so doing, we hope to create a kernel for growing a research program and providing a set of papers that connect the computing education research community to new ideas in education, psychology, and learning sciences. Our student audience will be in-service high school teachers who wish to become computer science teachers. New funding in NSF aims to train 8,000 new computer science teachers in the next four years. We will choose a computer science topic from those highlighted as critical in the new “Computer Science: Principles” advanced placement course under development. In this way, we choose a crucial audience and the most relevant content.

Team: Richard Catrambone and Mark Guzdial

Electronic Textiles Swatch Book (eSwatchBook) Workshops
The Electronic Textile Interface Swatch Book (ESwatchBook) Workshops will bring together professionals from both the design and computer science professions for a series of one-day creative endeavors in making wearable technologies. The ESwatchBook will be used in the inspiration and ideation phase of the design process to both foster ideas and act as a bridge between disciplines. Observational and survey data will be taken from the workshops to look at the outcome of implementing the ESwatchBook in the design process. Georgia Tech researchers will lead these workshops at top design schools around the country, including Parsons and the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Team: Clint Zeagler and Thad Starner

2010 Innovation Grants

In 2010 GVU invested in three new innovative research projects. Each project in its own way embodies a fresh look on interdisciplinary research, understanding how creativity and computing science can work together to solve problems and create new experiences.

Creativity + Cognition + Computing
The Creativity + Cognition + Computation (CCC) initiative aims to better understand human creative processes and cognition in order to support the development of new tools to assist creative endeavors, such as graphic design and filmmaking, and to build computational systems to generate new artistic creations and approaches to solving problems. The goal of this initiative is to build academic communities to leverage individual research projects into a recognized, unified, and pioneering whole. The group has already been instrumental in bringing the ACM Creativity and Cognition Conference to Atlanta in 2012. The ongoing goal is to identify the various research being done at Georgia Tech which aims to understand creative people, build creative tools, and develop synergies and collaborative opportunities.

Team: Brian Magerko (IAC, team lead), Carl DiSalvo (IAC), Ellen Do (CoA), Jason Freeman (COA), Ashok Goel (CoC), Nancy Nersessian (CoC), Mark Riedl (CoC)


Georgia Tech is one of the top five universities engaged in computer game research in terms of technology and communications media. Games@GT is an initiative to leverage, expand, and promote Georgia Tech's breadth and depth of faculty expertise in video game research and education by integrating all the gaming-related interdisciplinary research across the Georgia Tech campus.

Team: Mark Reidl (CoC, team lead), Ellen Do (COA), Blair MacIntyre (CoC), Celia Pearce (IAC), Aaron Lanterman (CoE), Brian Magerko (IAC), Ashwin Ram (CoC)

The UrbanRemix project was created to explore community-inspired participatory art experiences using locative media captured by mobile phones. The goal is to develop new technology for making art with locative media and explore urban communities' experience in creating art. The computing technology consists of a mobile phone application and a web interface developed by the UrbanRemix team. Using the phones participants in the project become active collectors of location-coded sound and images in their urban environment and use the web interface to browse, remix, and share these sounds on an intuitive map, create spatial compositions of sound, and mix the sounds with music.

People recording city sounds 
In June 2010, DiSalvo, Freeman, and graduate student Stephen Garrett took UrbanRemix to the City Centered Festival in San Francisco where they asked neighborhood residents and festival visitors to record sounds from the city's Tenderloin neighborhood. After uploading them to the project's website, Berkeley musician Ken Ueno mixed them into a performance piece. 
Later that month, they took their project to Atlanta's Art on the Beltline exhibition, an ongoing event through October designed to entice people to experience this 22-mile loop of rail that aims to revitalize city life.

“Through Urban Remix we want to encourage people to listen to the sounds around them, to discover the hidden music in our neighborhoods, and to collaborate to shape and share that music,” said Freeman.

To experience Urban Remix, visit: http://urbanremix.gatech.edu/ To hear an Urban Remix concert from San Francisco's City Centered Festival, click here

Team: Carl DiSalvo (IAC, team lead), Michael Nitsche (IAC), Jason Freeman (CoA), Aaron Bobick (CoC), Jay Bolter (IAC)