Robertson Highlighted in APS Observer

ICS Professor Scott Robertson has been highlighted in an article about unconventional careers for behavioral scientists. The article — Here, There, Everywhere —  appears in the September issue of the APS Observer. The Association for Psychological Science (APS) is a professional organization founded  “to promote, protect, and advance the interests of scientifically oriented psychology in research, application, teaching, and the improvement of human welfare.” Professor Robertson is a Fellow of the Society.

 

President Obama Tweets about Mars Simulation

President Obama posted a tweet congratulating the Mars simulation team and suggesting they get a shave ice. The fourth HI-SEAS mission has just been completed after a one-year stay in a habitat on the Big Island. ICS Professor Kim Binsted is the project’s principal investigator.

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HI-SEAS IV Mars Simulation Mission Completed

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“We’re proud to be helping NASA reduce or remove the barriers to long-duration space exploration.” ICS Professor Kim Binsted, HI-SEAS Principal Investigator (Photo: UH-News)

Six crew members exited from the Mars simulation habitat on the slopes of Mauna Loa on the Big Island after a one year mission.

The Hawaiʻi Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) project is an international collaborative research program run by he University of Hawaiʻi. ICS Professor Kim Binsted is the project’s Principal Investigator.  Studies such as this help NASA understand more about long-duration missions and will inform their astronaut selection process and support strategy.

“It’s really exciting to be able to welcome the crew back to Earth and back to Hawaiʻi after a year on Mars,” Binsted said.

The HI-SEAS project is currently recruiting for the next mission!

Related postGlobal media document historic University of Hawaiʻi Mars simulation

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HI-SEAS Mission IV crew (front row), researchers and support team. (Photo: UH-News)

 

 

 

Gerald Lau is Advisor of the Year!

Gerald Lau was recently awarded the Pakela Award for Outstanding Advisor at the University of Hawaii Manoa. From the award page: “Gerald Lau serves as a stellar model for integrating academic advising into the University’s educational mission. He is a Faculty Specialist for the rapidly growing Department of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS). He provides major academic and career counseling for over 400 students, participates in curriculum and department policy meetings that help integrate instruction with advising, and plans and develops the department’s outreach and student engagement programs. He serves as a Faculty Ambassador – recruiting students into the ICS program and into STEM fields, and serves as the department’s liaison to the Graduate Division. He is also deeply involved in a variety of cyber security activities to engage students, including being the advisor to the Grey Hats club, whose members analyze cyber defenses.”

All of us who work with Gerald know that this is a well deserved honor!

Data Visualization class taught between Hilo and Manoa via CyberCANOE

In the Spring 2016 semester, a new system –CyberCANOE– was installed at Imiloa Astronomy Center, the first of its kind in the Big Island. A brainchild of University of Hawai’i-Mānoa Faculty in Computer Science, Jason Leigh, the acronym CyberCANOE stands for Cyber Enabled Collaboration Analysis Navigation and Observation Environment, a display technology that enables users from science to education to the arts, local or distributed, to work together using cool software tools. The CyberCANOE at Imiloa is co-funded by Chris Lee from the Academy for Creative Media System and the National Science Foundation. Imiloa is using this opportunity to teach a class on data visualization between faculty from University of Hawai’i-Mānoa and University of Hawai’i-Hilo, John Burns and Misaki Takabayashi from Marine Science, Jie Cheng and Jason Leigh from Computer Science, and Jon Goebel and Julieta Aguilera from Art and Creative Media.

According to Leigh, this class is changing things around in a way that takes advantage of how Arts are traditionally taught, encouraging students to put their projects out for open criticism to work and problem solve. Cheng adds that Computer Science students have a great opportunity to work on real world data (with Marine Science students) and with Art students that can enable all to discover patterns and tell interesting stories, bridging the gap between scientific research and the public. For Goebel, class projects allow each discipline to contribute their expertise in solving a visualization problem. Being able to see things one does not normally see, is one of the things that Imiloa really does effectively, visuaizing outer space inside the planetarium dome. Scientists are dealing with information, and sometimes they need creative means, and that is where the artists come in. “That’s what we do, we think visually.”

Leigh notes that most problems we have to solve in the world today are not just about the one diagram that gives you the Nobel Prize but a number of different factors, different pictures that have to come together like a jigsaw puzzle. You can think of the CyberCANOE as this giant canvas where you put up pieces of information, and by moving them around next to each other you form the secret hidden inside the data. The CyberCANOEs being built in Hawai’i all have varying capabilities, some of them have stereoscopic 3D or tracking. The sky is the limit as to what you can put in these devices… scans of historical sites become historical preservation, so that centuries from now we can still visit those places even though they might be long gone. And if you are wheelchair bound, you can still go there with technologies like Virtual Reality (VR). Some may consider VR an isolating experience but if done right, it can actually be very rewarding. Imagine putting a 3D camera on the International Space Station, or the Moon, or on Mars. Very few of us will ever have the opportunity to go there, but with VR technology, you can. Burns and the department of Marine Science at UH-Hilo do a lot of 3D modeling and 360 video for reef sites from Hawai’i, for this exact reason, that people can get immersed in a location without having to be there, specially in restricted sites like the Papahānaumokuākea National Monument, where you can can look at data, but also at the physical environment, and bridge that connection, perhaps doing a tour, from the scale of reefs throughout the globe, all the way down to a molecular level, transcending spatial scales and giving people a huge amount of information in a concise product.

Marine Scientists may spend years working on a study that gets brought to the public through a scientific journal, reaching a small community of scientists. For Burns, outreach is a chance to connect with communities, to answer the simple questions: why does it matter if we have healthy coral reefs or not? what does it mean to people? It is an opportunity for students to continue their passion and spread the message on the importance of their work. This class is making presentations that will be exhibited at Imiloa, and if successful, students will get to see how people respond, perhaps help produce better exhibits, and something that was cultivated here between two UH campuses, can reach broader attention. To give the students the opportunity to try and address that with their projects is great, because this kind of environmental issue matters to everyone.

In the past, Aguilera points out, exhibits were developed so there were many people in between scientists and the public, who would summarize messages that people from all disciplines and ages would understand, and when you do that, a lot is lost and what is left may not be a very passionate subject. Research makes content accessible in more exploratory ways. Today it is nearly impossible to create an exhibit at a Museum that will withstand even months without something changing about it, because of new research and data. This class is adding up to that phenomena, as museums are becoming a lot more fluid, where scientists are showing their research as it happens. In the future, Cheng can see the big picture where the CyberCANOE system expands in Hawai’i including disciplines and collaboration between different campuses, introducing data that is unique to Hawai’i, that can be visualized for the world to see, starting at Imiloa.

Gazan receives IMLS Grant: Online Q&A in STEM Education: Curating the Wisdom of the Crowd

Associate Professor Rich Gazan was awarded an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant for the project “Online Q&A in STEM Education: Curating the Wisdom of the Crowd.” The project received $491,973.00 in funding.

In partnership with Chirag Shah at Rutgers University School of Communication and Information, the three-year project will investigate how combining crowdsourced information with the quality assessment standards of librarians and other information professionals can enhance the experience of students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields.

A 2013 analysis of 28 million course papers revealed that social networking and other user-generated content sites were cited in 23% of the papers written by college students. This is especially concerning for STEM learners, where the need to scaffold understanding with factual, trustworthy information is paramount. However, meaningful STEM education is not simply discovering and applying facts: it also requires an understanding of the process of inquiry and the conversations surrounding those facts, which is the essence of online Q&A. While all students must learn to assess the quality of their information sources, those who consult online Q&A sites may be engaging in processes of inquiry and discovering nontraditional yet valuable content appropriate to their learning objectives.

This project will explore how both formal and informal information literacy can be effectively integrated into STEM education. Principal Investigator Shah and the Rutgers team will develop and test an online Q&A content assessment tool, while Co-Principal Investigator Gazan’s team will be involved in formative design and evaluation, and will field test the tool in STEM learning environments in Hawaii.

More information: https://www.imls.gov/grants/awarded/lg-61-16-0025-16

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit http://www.imls.gov.

ICS and LAVA featured at March Wetware Wednesday

Wetware Wednesday, a monthly high tech networking event hosted by HTDC, will be hosted this month by the ICS Department and Jason Leigh’s LAVA laboratory.

Join us from 6-8pm on March 30 in Keller 102 for light refreshments, conversation, and the following five minute lightning talks by ICS faculty and students:

  • Dylan Kobayashi, Intro to LAVA Lab.
  • Jan Stelovsky, Flip-Flop: Learning by Teaching and PANTSEE: Programs Are Not Text Structured Editing Environment.
  • Philip Johnson, RadGrad: Developing awesome computer scientists, one graduate at a time.
  • Edo Biagioni, AllNet — ad-hoc networking for everyone.
  • Scott Robertson, ALL CAPS: Social media and public discourse.
  • David Chin, Your emails, Facebook posts, and/or blogs reveal your personality.
  • Dusko Pavlovic, Security Science (SecSci) beyond the hype
  • Edo Biagioni, The ICS Graduate Program for working professionals.

You can hear more about the event in ByteMarks Cafe Episode 395.

HiCHI in the news: How Does Social Media Affect Our Political Decisions?

Social media affects political decisions – for better or worse, University of Hawaii at Manoa researchers say.

As the election season heats up, it’s important to understand how sites like Facebook and Twitter could be affecting voters’ political opinions. UH researchers from the Hawaii Computer-Human Interaction Lab recently produced a study that looked at how adults born after 1980 make decisions about candidates by using social media.

The group of researchers — Sara Douglas, Roxanne Raine, Misa Maruyama, Bryan Semaan and Scott Robertson — found that posts on social media can change millennials’ stances on issues and the way they feel about how public officials serve the community.

For the full story, see the Civil Beat article.

What makes food sound tasty? ICS researchers find out.

Yelp reviews are a part of modern dining. And good reviews are good business for eateries.

But what makes good eats sound delicious on Yelp?

That’s what two University of Hawaii information science researchers – Weranuj Ariyasriwatana and Luz Marina Quiroga – wanted to find out as part of a study that could be useful for food marketers and businesses — and maybe even a few foodies.

The researchers looked at 250 Yelp reviews for 40 highly-rated Hawaii eateries, picking out “expressions of deliciousness.”

For more details, see the Hawaii News Now story.

Seminar: Dusko Pavlovic, “On the Unreasonable Ineffectiveness of Security Engineering: Adverse Selection of Trust Certificates

In his famous 1960 essay, Eugene Wigner raised the question of “the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in natural sciences”. After several decades of security research, we are able to ask similar questions about security: Do the security technologies make us more secure? Is security engineering not unreasonably ineffective?

As a case to the point, I describe the phenomenon of adverse selection of trust certificates. According to several empiric studies, a web merchant with a trust certificate is roughly twice as likely to be a scammer as a web merchant without a trust certificate. While the phenomenon could be attributed to a lack of diligence, and even to conflicts of interest in trust authorities, a model that I shall present suggests that public trust networks would remain attractive targets for spoofing even if trust authorities were perfectly diligent. The reason is that trust is like money: the rich get richer. The methods to mitigate the resulting vulnerability are analyzed in the extensions of the model.

Bio: Dusko Pavlovic was born in Sarajevo, studied mathematics in Utrecht and Cambridge, and worked at McGill, before turning to computer science at Imperial College London. He left academia in 1999 and worked in Silicon Valley for 10 years. He gradually returned to academia, first as a Visiting Professor at Oxford 2007-2012, then as Professor of Security at Twente 2010-2013. He held a Chair in Information Security at Royal Holloway University of London 2010-2014, where graduate degrees in security have been given since 1992. There he founded the Adaptive Security and Economics Lab (ASECOLab), hosting joint projects with some of the founders and luminaries of modern cryptography. Since 2014, Dusko and several members of ASECOLab have been at University of Hawaii at Manoa, where they launched the Security Science (SecSci) Focus Area, while initiating 4 new research projects in cyber security strategies.

Date: Thursday, January 14, 2016

Time: 11am – 12pm

Location: Holmes Hall 389