1) Last year you were named director of the Human Centered Computing Lab at Clemson University. What sort of work do you do as director, and what kind of research projects does your team focus on?
As the Chair of the Human-Centered Computing (HCC) Division in the School of Computing at Clemson University, I have two major duties. My first duty is to be a faculty member, and my second is to be an administrator. As a faculty member, I teach classes and I do research on problems related to our expertise. As an administrator, I oversee a group of faculty members and I review them annually and set the research direction of the HCC Division.
We work on several research projects; however, they all deal with people, technology, information and sometimes culture, policy, etc. Human-Centered Computing (HCC) is focused on understanding how to design, build and evaluate computational technologies as they relate to the human condition and how these technologies affect society. Some sample projects in my lab are electronic voting systems that allow everyone to vote independent of their ability or disability, an innovative application that allows you to send and receive short messages using your voice, 100% hands-free and eyes-free.
2) How is human-centered computing a part of our daily lives?
HCC is everywhere! If you have a cellular phone or if you use any type of technology, you are being touched by a form of HCC because we work with people and technology with respect to how the technologies solves real world problems. As such, HCC reaches just about all technologies that people use.
3) How did you get interested in science? Do you have any advice to young people who might want to learn more about computer science?
I became interested in science when I was a young boy by watching science fiction movies. I thought the scientist in their lab coats were really cool because they knew everything and I thought I could do that some day.
4) What's up next for your research?
We will continue to work on electronic voting, texting while driving, teaching and learning using animation and hip-hop as well as new adventures that help people.
5) When you’re not in the thick of things, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I like to spend time with my two sons (7 and 3 years old) and my wife when I am not working. We spend time exercising, watching movies and I really like to go fishing!