By Robert Racadio
Robert Racadio is a PhD student in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE). He received funding from HCDE to attend the CHI 2012 conference.
At CHI 2012, I participated in the "NUIs for New Worlds: New Interaction Forms and Interfaces for Mobile Application in Developing Countries" workshop. Researchers from around the world shared our research and ideas, and discussed how we can better design mobile technologies for the developing world. I presented a position paper (co-written with fellow graduate students Nicole Kelly and Michael Gilmore) that explores how Science Fiction Prototyping might be used to envision new technologies for the developing world. As a young scholar, the opportunity to connect with leading researchers in my field at this point in my career is extremely valuable, and I look forward to keeping in touch with them as I continue my work.
In addition to making new connections, I ran into some old friends of HCDE, including MS alumni Eric Nordlund, Kennen Plughoeft, and Linda Hwang, as well as current undergraduate student Rachel Reynard.
There were dozens of sessions to choose from at the conference making it hard to choose which to attend, but I made it to sessions on topics ranging from social justice, community engagement, food, and health in HCI. I also enjoyed several award and invited talks given my long-standing practitioners and researchers in the field. It was inspiring to see how far HCI has come and the directions they are encouraging us to take it.
I left the conference with my head packed with so many ideas and questions, and I hope I can make some sense of it all before I do it again at CHI 2013 in Paris next year!