Iowa State University
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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

03-13-09

Contacts:

Stephen Gilbert, Human Computer Interaction program, (515) 294-6782, gilbert@iastate.edu

Michael Van Waardhuizen, HCI graduate student, (608) 217-1441, mvw@iastate.edu

Eric Marsh, HCI graduate student, (937) 408-6137, marsh@iastate.edu

Andrea Peer, HCI graduate student, (719) 661-8440, ajpeer@iastate.edu

Mike Ferlazzo, News Service, (515) 294-8986, ferlazzo@iastate.edu

Anne Kassel, News Service, (515) 294-6881, akassel@iastate.edu

ISU qualifies two teams to Human Computer Interaction sustainability competition

AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University qualified two of the 12 selected student teams for the annual Computer Human Interaction student design competition to be held in Boston, Mass., April 4 through 9.

The qualifiers are students of Iowa State's Human Computer Interaction (HCI) graduate program. The interdisciplinary program across all seven ISU colleges focuses on the study of the interaction between humans and technology and how technology impacts society.

"This competition represents the cream of the human computer interaction crop," said Stephen Gilbert, associate director of the Virtual Reality Applications Center, home of Iowa State's HCI program. "We're excited to show the world what Iowa State HCI students are capable of doing."

The students were asked to develop an object, system, interface or service that focuses on using sustainability and environmental efficiency to support local environments. The HCI program allows students to take real world issues and apply the latest technology available.

Michael Van Waardhuizen and his three-person team have been invited to present their project titled "CropConnect: Enabling Community Supported Agriculture." The team developed a design interface for a local community supported agriculture group's Web site. The user-centered interface was used by the agriculture group and was found to connect the diverse group and execute business more efficiently.

"Our interface design reduced the amount of human work as well as added economic elements that benefited the group," said Van Waardhuizen, first year master's student in HCI.

Eric Marsh and his four-person group qualified their project, "Edible Earth: Dining on Seasonal and Local Ingredients." This team focuses on college students who want to promote sustainability and eat locally grown products. They have developed an application for a location-aware mobile device that can locate convenient, easy-to-make and inexpensive foods. This Internet-based solution promotes sustainable food purchasing habits and also provides recipes using the locally grown products and ingredients.

"There's a perceived difficulty for college students to eat locally," said Marsh, a second year doctoral student in the HCI program. "The focus for our project is to get past the myth that it's difficult to find locally grown food."

The student teams will travel to Boston to give a 90-minute poster presentation that will outline their design, discuss the design methods, and explain their proposed project to a panel of judges. The judges will then select the top four teams to give an oral presentation to conferences attendees. The winning team will earn a recognition certificate and be honored at the closing session of the conference.

"The conference is great for networking and to understand the components of the HCI community," said Andrea Peer, a first year doctoral student. "This is our opportunity to show that ISU's program is not only growing, but is also successful."

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Quick look

Iowa State qualified two of the 12 selected student teams for the annual Computer Human Interaction student design competition held in Boston, Mass., April 4-9. The qualifiers are students of Iowa State's Human Computer Interaction (HCI) graduate program.

Quote

"This competition represents the cream of the human computer interaction crop. We're excited to show the world what Iowa State HCI students are capable of doing."

Stephen Gilbert, associate director of the Virtual Reality Applications Center