Research Lines

My academic and research vocation is to explore and demonstrate how HCI as a field of applied enquiry can contribute to building a more inclusive society. Working in  STEM education (Science, Technology,  Engineer and Mathematics) projects for children and how to evaluate the user experience in children with/without special needs.

  • Human-Computer Interaction

HCI is design, implementation and evaluation of interactive systems users centered, which it can support a people that can carry out  their activities.

The Term human is related to one or more individuals who have a profile specific, with common characteristics. The term computer is related not only with the computer, also others systems as mobile devices, a embebed system or systems that do not necessarily include digital systems. Finally, the term interaction is related with the dialogue stablished between human and computer, using input/output devices traditional or not traditional.

Today, i’m working on the interactive systems design centered for people with special needs. One of the concepts we include in the design of these systems, is establish an interaction metaphor  that has relationship in the context and need of the individual. When working with children with special needs, a greater challenge is how evaluate the user experience and usability with this group of children, more when they have a language level low. Therefore, they resorted to make to use some usability  techniques related with direct observation and drawing intervention and others, which  have been adapted for children with special needs according his impairment or disorder, so instruments to apply can change.

From this concern in how to evaluate the user experience in a group of children that they have some disability or disorder, work has been started in how measure emotions in a more objective and quantitative way.  Because evaluations standard are very subjectives. Therefore, we have begun to work bio-signals or signals physiological from a concept of user experience that is related to know perceptions and feelings of  user.

 

  • Affective Computing

It is the study and development of systems and devices that can recognize, interpret, process and stimulate human emotions. It is a field that involves several areas, as: science, psychology, and cognitive science of the computing.

The term appeared with Dra Rosalind Picard, teacher of the MIT, who give to the term affective computing. We are working in how to recognize emotional state of  user, so that according to it the system can adapt behaviors according emotion states.

The technologies that involve affective computing, is to perceive the emotional state of one user. Emotions in an user can manifest in three ways: physiological, cognitive and expressions (facial or verbal). Therefore, to capture the physiological signals are used the biomedical sensors as: rate heart, Galvanic Skin Response, corporal temperature, breath, among others. To capture cognitive signals is used neuronal signals, using a technique called EEG to capture brain activity, it is involved from the neuroscience.

The recognition of an emotional state requires the processing of digital signals and capture of significant data that allow the use of automatic learning techniques.

  • Educational Robotic

The use of robotics is being used as a learning tool, as educational robotics. It is a process in which interrelated technological elements (robotic platform and software) intervene as support tools in learning. Today educational robotics is being worked on the development of computational thinking in children and young people of general education, beyond programming and guidelines professionals to whom they are dedicated.

The projects oriented to this line of research are focused on : imagine, design, build and program. Today in Colombia is working in secondary education, as it serves as a basis to develop skills related such as: decision making, problem solving, language, group work, among others.

The motivation for starting to work on this line of research was given that in the engineering faculty of the university, the number of students in engineering programs has been greatly reduced. In addition, there is still a small number of women who enrol in related programmes with science and engineering.

  • Physiological Computing

Emerging technologies in ubiquitous computing and ambient intelligence offer exciting new interface opportunities for colocated entertainment technology. Current subjective methods of evaluating entertainment technology aren’t sufficiently robust.

Physiological computing was defined by Fairclough as  an innovative mode of HCI where system interaction is achieved by monitoring, analysing and responding to covert psychophysiological activity from the user in real-time. These systems operate by transforming psychophysiological data into a control signal (or an input to a control signal) without a requirement for any overt response from the user.