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Seminar: Cristina Conati – Towards User-Adaptive Visualizations

Date: Monday, 12th March 2018
Time: 11:00 AM
Location: CIC Ideation Studio

Professor Cristina Conati (University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada)


As digital information continues to accumulate in our lives, information visualizations have become an increasingly relevant tool for discovering trends and shaping stories from this overabundance of data.   Visualizations are typically designed based on the data to be displayed and the tasks to be supported, but they follow a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to user individual differences such as expertise, cognitive abilities, states and preferences. There is, however,  mounting evidence that these user characteristics can significantly influence user experience during information visualization tasks. These findings have triggered research on user-adaptive visualizations, i.e. visualizations that can track and adapt to relevant user characteristics and specific needs.

In this talk, Cristina will present results on which user individual differences can impact visualization processing and on how these differences can be captured using predictive models based on eye-tracking data. She will also discuss how  to leverage these models to provide personalized support that can improve the user’s experience with a visualization

Cristina Conati received a M.Sc. in Computer Science at the University of Milan, as well as an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Intelligent Systems at the University of Pittsburgh. Conati’s research goal is to integrate research in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and Cognitive Science to create intelligent interactive systems that can dynamically adapt to the needs of individual users. Her areas of interest include User-Adaptive Interaction, User Modeling, Educational Data Mining, Intelligent Tutoring Systems. She has over 100 peer-reviewed publications in these fields, and her research has received awards from a variety of venues, including UMUAI, the Journal of User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction (2002), the International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces ( IUI 2007), the International Conference of User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization (UMAP 2013, 2014), TiiS, ACM Transactions on Intelligent Interactive Systems (2014), and the International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA 2016). Professor Conati is an associate editor for UMUAI, TiiS, IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, and the Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education. She served as President of AAAC, (Association for the Advancement of Affective Computing), as well as Program or Conference Chair for several international conferences including UMAP, IUI, EDM (Educational Data Mining) and AI in Education.