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Publications

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1 - 15 of 71 publications
    Preview abstract Motivated by the necessity of guiding and monitoring students' progress in real-time when assembling circuits during in-class activities we propose BlinkBoard, an augmented breadboard to enhance offline as well as online physical computing classes. BlinkBoard uses LEDs placed on each row of the breadboard to guide, via four blinking patterns, how to place and connect components and wires. It also uses a set of Input/Output pins to sense voltage levels at user-specified rows or to generate voltage output. Our hardware uses an open JSON protocol of commands and responses that can be integrated with a graphical application hosted on a computer that ensures bidirectional communication between each of the students' BreadBoard and the instructor's dashboard and slides. The hardware is affordable and simple, partially due to a customized circuit configured via a hardware description language that handles the LEDs' patterns with minimal load on the Arduino micro-controller. Finally, we briefly show how this hardware made its way to a workshop with high-school students and an undergraduate class in a design department. View details
    Leveraging Virtual Reality to Enhance Diversity and Inclusion training at Google
    Karla Brown
    Patrick Gage Kelley
    Leonie Sanderson
    2024 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, ACM
    Preview abstract Virtual reality (VR) has emerged as a promising educational training method, offering a more engaging and immersive experience than traditional approaches. In this case study, we explore its effectiveness for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training, with a focus on how VR can help participants better understand and appreciate different perspectives. We describe the design and development of a VR training application that aims to raise awareness about unconscious biases and promote more inclusive behaviors in the workplace. We report initial findings based on the feedback of Google employees who took our training and found that VR appears to be an effective way to enhance DEI training. In particular, participants reported that VR training helped them better recognize biases and how to effectively respond to them. However, our findings also highlight some challenges with VR-based DEI training, which we discuss in terms of future research directions. View details
    Business Intelligence Career Master Plan
    Danny Moncada
    Eduardo Chavez
    Packt (2023) (to appear)
    Preview abstract Navigating the challenging path of a business intelligence career requires considering individual expertise, interest, and skills. This book explores key skills like data modeling, visualization, and warehousing, alongside organizational structures, technology stacks, coursework, certifications, and interview advice, thus enabling readers to make informed decisions about their BI journey. The book will begin by assessing the different roles of BI and provide an in-depth walkthrough of the roadmap while helping you match your skills and career with the tech stack in business intelligence. The book will then teach you to build taxonomy and a data story using visualization types. You would be learning the fundamentals of programming, frontend development, backend development, software development lifecycle, and project management to give you a broad-level view of the end-to-end BI process. This book will also help you to identify what subjects and areas are crucial to study and what does not add much value to your BI skill set. You would be able to find the right job fit and build a business problem and data solutions matrix. By the end of this book, you would be able to make an informed, well-thought-out decision on which of the myriad paths to choose in your business intelligence journey. View details
    Equitable student persistence in computing research through distributed career mentorship
    Audrey Rorrer
    Cori Grainger
    Proceedings of 54th Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE’23), ACM (2023)
    Preview abstract Google’s CS Research Mentorship Program (CSRMP) cultivates pursuit and persistence in the computing research trajectory for students from historically marginalized groups through virtual career mentorship from industry professionals, a peer community, and just-in-time resources. Since 2018, 287 Google mentors have engaged 1,018 students from 247 institutions in the U.S. and Canada. The program employs socioemotional support and advocacy to navigate systemic barriers by validating students’ intersectional identities in order to improve outcomes in core constructs for students: self-efficacy, sense of belonging, research skills, motivation to pursue graduate school and research careers, and intersectional capital. Evaluation outcomes from 400 matched respondents (68% response rate) indicate that CSRMP affects positive, statistically significant change in those constructs that largely persists across demographic subgroups. 80% aim to pursue computing research careers, and significantly fewer students are undecided about their future career. We were also able to identify disaggregated learnings: Black, Indigenous, and Latinx students are significantly less likely to submit to a research conference, and students from Historically Marginalized Groups (defined within) are significantly less likely to apply to a CS graduate program. We discuss key design elements of the program, how the findings are informing future iterations, and the potential for the model to scale. View details
    Growing an Inclusive Community of K-12 CS Education Researchers
    Monica McGill
    Proceedings of 54th Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE’23), ACM (2023)
    Preview abstract A recent study found that there is a litany of unmet needs that are serving as barriers for the CS education research community to grow in depth and breadth, including ensuring that the community is representative of the teachers and students that are studied. Cultivating a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible CSEd research community requires simultaneous bottom-up and top-down alignment on practice standards, professional development, and wellbeing for all constituents that is rooted in politicized trust and collective impact. For this position paper, we engaged in an expository writing process using a confirmatory and elucidating research design to contextualize quantitative and qualitative data reported from our previous study within related work. Our results indicate that there is a variety of researcher-centered, researcher-adjacent, and research-centered barriers in CS education that affect researchers’ practice, and personal and professional identities. These results were validated by findings from research in other fields, such as education, psychology, and organizational change. These findings highlight the need for intentional changes to be made, both top-down and bottom-up, to sustain and grow the CS education research community in a way that equitably supports the evolving needs of a diverse set of students as well as the diverse set of researchers who study interventions. View details
    Understanding Immersive Research Experiences that Build Community, Equity, and Inclusion
    Audrey Rorrer
    Breauna Spencer
    Deborah Holmes
    Cori Grainger
    SIGCSE '21: Proceedings of the 2021 ACM SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (2021)
    Preview abstract In this experience report, we describe the rationale and need for immersive research experiences (IREs) in computer science (CS) that are designed to foster an inclusive community that encourages pursuit of graduate education for undergraduate women. Google’s exploreCSR supports institutions across the US to execute IREs in computing throughout the academic year. We describe the program design and framework, the evaluation model, and present outcomes from two years of implementation across 29 institutions, with 1,983 (92% female) student participants collectively. The unique features of the program are that it aligns goals, measurements, and best practices across a national network of hands-on, localized IREs, resulting in peer communities and a sizable sample of undergraduates who identify as women and/or African-American/Black, American Indian/Alaska Native/Native American, Hispanic/Latinx, and/or Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AAHN). We discuss recommendations for effective IRE programming based on our evaluation and the features found to be particularly salient for AAHN women. The contribution of this work is in describing how a national initiative for IREs builds community and creates conditions known to support persistence of women in computer science. View details
    Ars gratia retium: Understanding How Artificial Neural Networks Learn To Emulate Art
    Algorithmic and Aesthetic Literacy: Emerging Transdisciplinary Explorations for the Digital Age, Verlag Barbara Budrich, Stauffenbergstr. 7 51379 Leverkusen Germany (2021)
    Preview abstract Chapter of a book "Algorithmic and Aesthetic Literacy Matter" by Lydia Schulze Heuling (Bergen, Norway) and Christian Fink (Flensburg, Germany). Discusses the process of generating art through artificial neural networks on a high level with an intended audience of teachers and teacher-training institutions. The context is the connection between algorithmic and aesthetic literacy. Contains a high-level introduction of artificial neural networks with some historical perspective, an exposition of the relationship of computer algorithms and aesthetic expression especially where used in teaching programming, and an overview of DeepDream and Generative Neural Networks with some examples. It ends with a discussion of uses of generative neural networks as artistic tools and their perspective in education. View details
    College from home during COVID-19: A mixed-methods study of heterogeneous experiences
    Margaret E. Morris
    Kevin S. Kuehn
    Jennifer Brown
    Paula S. Nurius
    Han Zhang
    Yasaman S. Sefidgar
    Xuhai Xu
    Eve A. Riskin
    Anind K. Dey
    Jennifer C. Mankoff
    Proceedings of the ACM on Human Computer Interaction (PACM HCI), ACM (2021)
    Preview abstract This mixed-method study examined the experiences of college students during the COVID-19 pandemic through surveys, experience sampling data collected over two academic quarters (Spring 2019 n1 = 253; Spring 2020 n2 = 147), and semi-structured interviews with 27 undergraduate students. There were no marked changes in mean levels of depressive symptoms, anxiety, stress, or loneliness between 2019 and 2020, or over the course of the Spring 2020 term. Students in both the 2019 and 2020 cohort who indicated psychosocial vulnerability at the initial assessment showed worse psychosocial functioning throughout the entire Spring term relative to other students. However, rates of distress increased faster in 2020 than in 2019 for these individuals. Across individuals, homogeneity of variance tests and multi-level models revealed significant heterogeneity, suggesting the need to examine not just means but the variations in individuals’ experiences. Thematic analysis of interviews characterizes these varied experiences, describing the contexts for students' challenges and strategies. This analysis highlights the interweaving of psychosocial and academic distress: Challenges such as isolation from peers, lack of interactivity with instructors, and difficulty adjusting to family needs had both an emotional and academic toll. Strategies for adjusting to this new context included initiating remote study and hangout sessions with peers, as well as self-learning. In these and other strategies, students used technologies in different ways and for different purposes than they had previously. Supporting qualitative insight about adaptive responses were quantitative findings that students who used more problem-focused forms of coping reported fewer mental health symptoms over the course of the pandemic, even though they perceived their stress as more severe. These findings underline the need for interventions oriented towards problem-focused coping and suggest opportunities for peer role modeling. View details
    Google Tech Exchange: An Industry-Academic Partnership That Prepares Black and Latinx Undergraduates for High-Tech Careers
    Alycia Onowho
    Ann Gates
    April Alvarez
    Bianca Francesca Okafor
    Gloria Washingon
    Harry Keeling
    Jean M Griffin
    Legand Burge
    Mary Jo Madda
    Sally Goldman
    Shameeka Scott Emanuel
    Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges - Southwest (2020), pp. 6-8
    Preview abstract This paper describes Google Tech Exchange, an industry-academic partnership that involves several Historically Black Colleges and HispanicServing Institutions.Tech Exchange’s mission is to unlock opportunities in the tech industry for Black and Latinx undergraduates. It is an immersive computer science experience for students and faculty. Participants spend a semester or two at Google in Silicon Valley taking or co-teaching computer science courses, including cutting-edge ones not offered at many universities. The 2018-2019 graduates especially valued the community-building, and a high percentage secured technical internships or jobs. View details
    Towards an AI-Powered Future that Works for Vocational Workers
    Neha Kumar
    Nithya Sambasivan
    Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (2020)
    Preview abstract The future of work is speculated to undergo profound change with increased automation. Predictable jobs are projected to face high susceptibility to technological developments. Many economies in Global South are built around outsourcing and manual labour, facing a risk of job insecurity. In this paper, we examine the perceptions and practices around automated futures of work among a population that is highly vulnerable to algorithms and robots entering rule-based and manual domains: vocational technicians. We present results from participatory action research with 38 vocational technician students of low socio-economic status in Bangalore, India. Our findings show that technicians were unfamiliar with the growth of automation, but upon learning about it, articulated an emic vision for a future of work in-line with their value systems. Participants felt excluded by current technological platforms for skilling and job-seeking. We present opportunities for technology industry and policy makers to build a future of work for vulnerable communities View details
    Living Jiagu : Enabling Constructive Etymology for Chinese Learning
    Sijia Ma
    Jun Chen
    Wenhui Guo
    Yingying Zhao
    Yaolin Chen
    Jingtao Wang
    Kevin Jing
    Julia (Wenli) Zhu
    Extended Abstracts of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, ACM, pp. 1-4
    Preview abstract Living Jiagu is an interactive, wall-sized exhibition for the engaging learning of Chinese writing. Living Jiagu leverages state-of-the-art machine learning technologies to enable the recognition and recall of Chinese characters via constructive etymology in context. That is, learning the writing and meaning of a pictographic character from image prompts similar to the creators of Oracle Bone Script (OBS) 3000 years ago and experiencing how these characters function and interact in natural scene. An installation of Living Jiagu received positive feedback from over one thousand users. View details
    Preview abstract In the digital age, schools are a central part of a nationwide effort to make access to technology more equitable, so that all young people, regardless of identity or background, have the opportunity to engage with the technologies that are essential to modern life. Most students, however, come to school with digital knowledge they’ve already acquired from the range of activities they participate in with peers online. Yet, teachers, as Matthew H. Rafalow reveals in Digital Divisions, interpret these technological skills very differently based on the race and class of their student body. While teachers praise affluent White students for being “innovative” when they bring preexisting and sometimes disruptive tech skills into their classrooms, less affluent students of color do not receive such recognition for the same behavior. Digital skills exhibited by middle class, Asian American students render them “hackers,” while the creative digital skills of working-class, Latinx students are either ignored or earn them labels troublemakers. Rafalow finds in his study of three California middle schools that students of all backgrounds use digital technology with sophistication and creativity, but only the teachers in the school serving predominantly White, affluent students help translate the digital skills students develop through their digital play into educational capital. Digital Divisions provides an in-depth look at how teachers operate as gatekeepers for students’ potential, reacting differently according to the race and class of their student body. As a result, Rafalow shows us that the digital divide is much more than a matter of access: it’s about how schools perceive the value of digital technology and then use them day-to-day. View details
    Preview abstract Do you offer training to the engineers in your organization or do you throw them off the deep end to “sink or swim”? Providing training and education is universally important to set team members up for success in your organization and is critical for establishing a thriving Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) or DevOps practice and culture in the first place. The specific training needs of each engineer varies depending on several factors including: -The maturity of your organization in adopting DevOps / SRE principles, practices, and culture -The knowledge those individuals have about your organization and infrastructure -The experience of the individuals being trained, both in terms of technical skill and familiarity with the SRE / DevOps model This talk will explore the business case for training, the trade-offs between cost and effectiveness, and best practices for training design and deployment depending on where your organization lies on the spectrum of size and maturity. Learn why training is not about unleashing a fire hose of information upon unsuspecting engineers but about giving those engineers the confidence to run production systems at scale. View details
    StrategicReading: Understanding Complex Mobile Reading Strategies via Implicit Behavior Sensing
    Wei Guo
    Byeong-Young Cho
    Jingtao Wang
    Proceedings of ACM International Conference on Multimodal Interaction (ICMI 2020), ACM
    Preview abstract Mobile devices are becoming an important platform for reading. However, existing research on mobile reading primarily focuses on low-level metrics such as speed and comprehension. In particular, for complex reading tasks involving information seeking, source evaluation, and integrative comprehension, researchers still rely on the labor-intensive analysis of reader-generated verbal reports. We present StrategicReading, an intelligent reading system running on unmodified smartphones, to understand high-level strategic reading behaviors on mobile devices. StrategicReading leverages multimodal behavior sensing and takes advantage of signals from camera-based gaze sensing, kinematic scrolling patterns, and the evolution of cross-page behaviors. Through a 40-participant study, we found that gaze patterns, muscle stiffness signals, and reading paths captured by StrategicReading can infer both users' reading strategies and reading performance with high accuracy. View details
    Preview abstract Do you offer training to the engineers in your organization or do you throw them off the deep end to “sink or swim”? Providing training and education is universally important to set team members up for success in your organization and is critical for establishing a thriving Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) or DevOps practice and culture in the first place. The specific training needs of each engineer varies depending on several factors including: -The maturity of your organization in adopting DevOps / SRE principles, practices, and culture -The knowledge those individuals have about your organization and infrastructure -The experience of the individuals being trained, both in terms of technical skill and familiarity with the SRE / DevOps model This talk will explore the business case for training, the trade-offs between cost and effectiveness, and best practices for training design and deployment depending on where your organization lies on the spectrum of size and maturity. Learn why training is not about unleashing a fire hose of information upon unsuspecting engineers but about giving those engineers the confidence to run production systems at scale. View details