Saturday, December 19, 2015

First paper(s) accepted, and thesis proposal proposal proposed!

It's an exciting time here for this mid-level PhD Student.

First! I've had a paper accepted to CHI, the biggest Human-Computer Interaction conference. Paper publishing is nice. It means that people can read about what you're doing, it means four people think your work is worthwhile and well done, and it's a tangible mark of success.

It's called "Getting Users' Attention in Web Apps in Likable, Minimally Annoying Ways", the title is pretty self explanatory, and it is but one more bit of sand in the large pile of research that's been done on notification systems. Still, web sites are still not very good at this, and our paper offers one potential piece of a solution, so for that reason I am pretty happy to have done it. Baby steps.

I have Anupriya Ankolekar and especially Josh Hailpern to thank for the opportunity to intern at HP Labs, the guidance in running the study and writing the paper, and the moral support throughout the tumultuous process. Thanks, you two, for helping out a research neophyte.

Second! I've had another paper, that I helped with, accepted to CHI, and this one with so many good friends and my fiancee Tatiana, so that's cool. "Mailing Archived Emails As Postcards: Probing the Value of Virtual Collections." This one's almost four years in the making, so thanks to Tati, Dave, and Jenny for gathering and analyzing data with me; Jason, Will, and John for advice along the way, and Beka, Will, and Dave for doing the writing heavy lifting. This was pretty epic, and I'm excited we can talk about it. Finally.

(I'll post both of the papers when stuff's more officially published.)

Third! Sorry if you are feeling down about your work and this feels like rubbing it in; I have been that student very many times (and will probably continue to be in the future) and I feel ya. I don't really mean to humblebrag, or even straight-up brag, so I've resisted facebooking or twittering any of this, but I'm really pretty relieved and excited to hit this milestone, and nobody reads this blog anyway. Plus, another data point for "hang in there, keep resubmitting your drafts, you'll win this game someday" I guess?

Fourth! I'm going to graduate someday. I've got my thesis proposal proposal done (meaning, I haven't done the proposal, but I've talked with most of my committee and figured out what my thesis proposal will be). Now all I have to do is run a study or two to plan the thing, do some background research, build a giant web app, do a lot more studies, etc etc etc, but you know, it's on the right track. I've got some great profs behind me, I'm stoked about the work, and I can do most of it while I'm with Tati. So.