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SIGCHI Announces Best of CHI 2008 Award Winners

Conference Honors Research that Addresses Problems of Accessibility, Homelessness, Healthcare, Emerging Markets

The Association for Computing Machinery
Advancing Computing as a Science & Profession

Contact: Virginia Gold

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Florence, Italy - April 3, 2008 -- ACM SIGCHI – the official sponsor of CHI 2008, the premiere international conference for Human-Computer Interaction – today announced the winners of the annual "Best of CHI" awards. The program recognizes outstanding work in the field of human-computer interaction (HCI) by honoring exceptional technical papers and notes submitted to CHI 2008. The Best of CHI Committee recognized seven papers from among 158 candidate papers, and three technical notes from among 61 note candidates. SIGCHI is an active community within the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). CHI 2008 runs from April 5-10 at the historic Fortezza da Basso in Florence.

"The Best of CHI awards represent the top one percent of research submissions to CHI, and include diverse research topics and approaches from a wide spectrum of universities and industrial research labs," said Desney Tan, Microsoft’s manager for the Computational User Experiences group. "These papers and notes display not only extraordinary scholarship, but they capture of the range of topics the community deems important. This year CHI is continuing its trajectory to solving problems in domains with broad societal impact, such as homelessness, emerging technologies and emerging markets, universal accessibility, and healthcare, among others," noted Tan, who is CHI 2008 Technical Programs Chair.

All accepted papers are presented at CHI 2008 and published in the CHI 2008 Conference Proceedings, which are cited worldwide, and have a wide impact on the development of HCI theory, method and practice. Following the Conference, all papers and technical notes will be accessible worldwide from the ACM Digital Library

The honored papers include:

· An Error Model for Pointing Based on Fitts’ Law - Presents a model for target acquisition accuracy as a complement to Fitts’ law (1954) for target acquisition speed. Rounds out the speed-accuracy dichotomy with an “accuracy version of Fitts’ Law.”

· Designs on Dignity: Perceptions of Technology Among the Homeless - Technology has the potential to improve everyone’s life: from the workplace, to entertainment, to easing chores around the home. But what of people who have neither job nor home?

· Improving the Performance of Motor-Impaired Users with Automatically-Generated, Ability-Based Interfaces - Interacting with in-vehicle systems while driving a car can be dangerous. The paper examines driver attention and driving behavior for three different interaction techniques.

· In-Car GPS Navigation: Engagement with and Disengagement from the Environment – Exploring how in-car GPS navigation leads to new forms of engagement and disengagement with the external environment. Fieldwork and theoretical framing lead to design suggestions for enriching engagement.

· Large Scale Analysis of Web Revisitation Patterns - Using large-scale analysis of Web visitation logs coupled with user surveys and Web content analysis, we explore the diverse ways people revisit Web pages and the reasons behind their actions.

· Multimodal collaborative handwriting training for visually-impaired people - McSig allows a teacher to collaborate with a visually impaired child learning to write. We show through evaluation how McSig can improve the child’s ability to form letter shapes.

· The Network in the Garden: An Empirical Analysis of Social Media in Rural Life - Empirical analysis of behavioral differences between over 3,000 rural and urban social media users. Provides a quantitative understanding of rural users and design implications for building richer social media experiences.

The conference features hundreds of sessions for the 2,000 expected attendees covering a wide range of research in human computer interaction. Presentations include studies on improved video navigation, interactivity on mobile phones, activating text-to-speech, the challenges of mobile learning, measuring trust in Wi-Fi hotspots, and exploring human robot interactions, among many others.

Organizations contributing to the financial support of the conference include (Hero Level) Microsoft Corp.; (Champion Level) Autodesk; Google, Inc.; the National Science Foundation (NSF); Oracle; SAP AG; and SourceForge (OSTG). For more information about the conference or to register, visit

About ACM
ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.

The ACM Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction is the world’s largest association of professionals in the research and practice of computer-human interaction. SIGCHI serves as a forum for ideas on how people communicate and interact with computer systems. This interdisciplinary group of computer scientists, software engineers, psychologists, interaction designers, graphic designers, sociologists, and anthropologists is committed to designing useful, usable technology which has the potential to transform individual lives. SIGCHI has more than 60 local chapters for HCI professionals across five continents, publishes the SIGCHI Bulletin quarterly, and co-sponsors conferences and workshops to advance the field of computer-human interaction.