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John Pane <[log in to unmask]>
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John Pane <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 4 May 2005 10:53:03 -0400
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         Toward Diversity in Information Access and Manipulation
                 Graduate Student Consortium at VL/HCC'05

            Grants for Graduate Students and Outside Experts


Graduate students and other researchers whose work is related to the
research theme below are invited to participate in a Graduate Student
Consortium at the IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric
Computing (VL/HCC'05).

VL/HCC'05 has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation
(NSF) to cover travel expenses to attend the conference in Dallas,
Texas, USA, on September 20-24, 2005. Eligibility for this funding is
limited to students and other researchers from U.S. universities and
research institutions; however, participants from outside the U.S. are
encouraged to obtain other support to participate in this event.

Research Theme
How can designers of digital devices and environments better address
universal access issues?

Operation of digital devices is increasingly necessary in our
information society, to locate, retrieve, and manipulate information,
whenever it is needed, wherever it may reside. Providing these
capabilities to all people, including those who are disadvantaged by
their background, education, learning style, or physical abilities, is a
universal access problem.

In this event, we aim to explore all aspects of universal access, with a
special emphasis on multi-modal interaction. We encourage submissions
that explore interaction metaphors that utilize input methods beyond the
keyboard and mouse and output methods beyond a two-dimensional display;
and investigate the roles of mobile devices such as smart phones, PDAs,
or wearable computers.

Digital devices are in general created by a highly educated and
privileged class of technology developers who all too frequently have
little knowledge of the special needs of disadvantaged  populations.
Whether intentional or not, these developers embed their own value
systems in the languages and tools they provide. We will explore ideas
about how to analyze and respond to the special needs of disadvantaged
populations as an integral component of the design process.

We aim to look beyond surface-level interactions to consider an area of
true information power: programming. Improving programming languages and
tools through methods such as multi-modal interaction will help to
ensure that all groups are able to learn and use the most powerful tools
becoming part of everyday information literacy. At the same time, such
efforts may lead researchers to identify programming metaphors and
techniques that increase the usability of their languages and
environments more generally.

In this context, the term programming does not necessarily refer to
languages designed for professional programmers, such as Java or Basic.
Programming power has begun emerging in numerous forms.  For example,
CAD systems and spreadsheet systems are in actuality programming
language environments, in which constraints and formulas are snippets of
declarative programs. Other examples include multimedia/web authoring,
voice mail programming, and building macros by demonstration.

Who Can Participate
There are three categories of participation:

1) Graduate student researchers: Students may apply to present their
work to a panel of experts and to interested conference attendees. The
goal is to exchange ideas, generate new ones, and receive constructive
feedback. Current Ph.D. students are preferred, but M.S. students who
intend to go on to pursue a Ph.D. may also apply. For one third of the
participation slots, returning student researchers will be given
priority; and for the other slots, students who have not participated
before will be given priority. Each student from the returning group
will be linked with new students in a mentoring arrangement.

2) Outside experts: A few "outside expert" U.S. participants, who are
not traditionally present at this conference, may also be eligible for
travel support. They will assist the panel of experts in providing
constructive feedback and insights. These participants should be
specialists in areas relevant to the research question, such as
specialists in education, the sociological aspects of computing, or

3) Other conference attendees: All other VL/HCC'05 conference attendees
are invited to attend the event to listen to the presentations, interact
with the participants, and add to the feedback available to the
presenters. No additional sign-up process or registration fee is
involved. The event will be one of the tracks during a portion of the
main conference.

Application Process
Applications from graduate students and outside experts are due May 31.

Please send the following items by email:

1. A statement of up to 30 words explaining how your research fits the
    research theme listed above.

2. A 2-page research abstract, formatted in IEEE two-column conference
    format. Abstracts exceeding two pages will not be considered. The
    conference format is detailed at:
    The 2-page research abstracts of accepted participants will be
    included in the conference proceedings.

3. A CV.

4. State whether you are applying as a student participant or an outside

5. For students only, a letter of recommendation sent by your thesis
    advisor directly to the organizers in a separate email message.

Preferred file format for attachments is PDF (Adobe Portable Document
Format). If you are unable to comply, please contact the organizers.

All submissions and other correspondence should be directed to John Pane
([log in to unmask]).

Committee/Panel and Event Organizers
John Pane (RAND Corporation)
Margaret Burnett (Oregon State University)
Mary Beth Rosson (Pennsylvania State University)
Steve Tanimoto (University of Washington)

Deadline for applications: May 20.
Notification: June 3.
Final camera-ready abstracts due: June 17.
Event: September 20-24, 2005.


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