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Dec. 2011 ศ.ดร. วิฑูรย์ ปริญญาวิวัฒน์กุล

Nov. 2011 กิตติภัฎ คำภา

Oct. 2011 ดร. ชุลีพร จ่างจิต

Sept. 2011รศ. ดร. สิริวัชร์ ฉิมพาลี

Aug. 2011ดร. สุภาพรรณ เสราภิน

                Dr. Supapan Seraphin

July. 2011กฤษฏิ์ วงศ์ศุภสวัสดิ์

                Krist Wongsuphasawat

May. 2011ดร. วริษ รังสิพราหมณกุล

Apr. 2011ดร. เนาวรัตน์ ชีพธรรม

Mar. 2011ดร. สโรช บุญศิริพันธ์

Feb. 2011Dr. Praprut Songchitruksa

Jan. 2011Nitsara Karoonuthaisiri

 


ข่าววันที่ 1 ธันวาคม 2554

Science & Technology News Dec 2011

S&T News Dec 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH

Nowadays, computer devices have become an indispensable part of human lives, from basic facilities such as smart phones to complex data management devices such as high-performance computer. Therefore, study about interaction between human and computer gain more popularity worldwide. Office of Science and Technology (OSTC) staff had a chance to participate the Human-Computer Interaction Lab 28th Annual Symposium at University of Maryland, MD (UMD) in May 2011 and had learned about research projects of UMD doctoral students. One of those interesting research projects belongs to a Thai student, Krist Wongsuphasawat.

 

Krist earned Bachelor’s degree in Computer engineering from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. Now, he is holding Master’s degree in Computer Science from University of Maryland and working on Doctoral degree in the same major and the same university.

Krist Wongsuphasawat is a PhD candidate in the department of Computer Science at the University of Maryland, College Park. His expertise is in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), especially in Information Visualization. Currently, he gave a presentation in Human-Computer Interaction Lab 28th Annual Symposium on his research project, LifeFlow: Understanding Millions of Event Sequences in a Million Pixels, at University of Maryland. His research project impressed many audiences especially who were from industries that need to deal with a huge amount of data base such as hospital and transportation department.

 

Question What made you choose to study in Human-Computer Interaction field?

When I was a senior in Chulalongkorn University, I felt there was a difference that distinguished me from my computer engineer friends. When working on an assigned project, most people would focus on how to make the software function but paid little attention to how to make the software usable. However, I tended to spend a lot of my time deciding what I should put on the application window, where I should put it, what color or size I should use for text, whether some colors made a button look more important, how my decision would affect the users’ perception, and the like.


I believe that even the most amazing software is useless if nobody can use it. So I would like to learn more about how to design a user interface and understand how people interact with computers, which is why I came to study here at the University of Maryland, which has one of the most well-known HCI research groups.์


Question How is the field important to the society today and in the future?

Computer technology has grown rapidly over the past few decades, and has permanently woven itself into our lives. However, human abilities did not change much compared to the growth of computers. We neither doubled our brain size nor grew an extra hand. The gap between humans and computers is increasing everyday. How could we keep up and efficiently make use of the more and more sophisticated but useful computer? Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is an interdisciplinary field that tries to understand and fill that gap. HCI is an intersection of computer science, behavioral sciences, design and several other fields.


http://www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/lifeflow/

 

Question Could you explain about your research project, LifeFlow? What is it about?
And how does it work and help us dealing with data?

One growing subfield in HCI and my research interest is Information Visualization, which studies data representation and interaction techniques that can support visual data analysis. As you may know, a picture is worth a thousand words. Therefore, if we can transform data into a meaningful picture, we can understand them better in a short period of time.


Research in Information Visualization can be classified by the visualized data types. My research focuses on visualizing a data type called event sequences. For example, this morning I woke up at 7am, took a shower at 7:10 and had breakfast at 7:30. That is one event sequence. If I keep track of my morning activities over months or years, I will have hundreds or thousands of event sequences that I can analyze to improve myself.


Hospitals and healthcare institutions are also collecting event sequence data from their patients. They keep track of patient movements in the hospital. For example, Mr. A arrived at the hospital at 10:00am on May 4, visited the emergency room at 10:15am, was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at 10:25am, and died seven days after. Each month, one hospital can have thousands of patients visiting the emergency room, resulting in thousands of event sequences. These event sequences capture what is going on in the hospital. However, a hospital director will not have time to read through all of them. Even if he has time to do so, it will still be difficult to understand the overall trends or detect anomalies in the hospital process that will help the hospital save more lives.


This problem motivated me to develop a new visualization called LifeFlow, which can compress large amounts of event sequences into one picture, allowing data analysts to understand many event sequences quickly. In the example above, the hospital director can look at a LifeFlow of the patients and understand their movements within the hospital. You can read more information about LifeFlow and see the demonstration videos at http://www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/lifeflow.

 

Question Do you have a future plan for the research project??

Since the concept of LifeFlow is based on event sequence data, its applications are not limited only to the medical domain. So far, we have done some case studies in medical and transportation domains, but we are still looking for opportunities to conduct more case studies in other areas to show its generalizability.


We also plan to implement more interactive features to support data exploration with LifeFlow. Dealing with large amounts of data and being able to process the data quickly is another great challenge.


Question What are your ambitions or goals after you complete doctoral degree?

I aim to bring my knowledge and experience back home and apply them to create impacts on society. It will be a challenging task because this field (Information Visualization) is still new and not many people are aware of it, but I believe that it is important and has a great potential for changing our way of analyzing and understanding the data in this information era. 


Qustion What do you expect from studying abroad?

I expected to acquire cutting-edge knowledge, learn how to live on my own, understand different cultures and broaden my perspective.


Qustion What was the best study abroad experience at the University of Maryland?

Being a member of the HCIL (Human-Computer Interaction Lab) is my best experience studying here. The interdisciplinary nature of the lab gave me the opportunities to meet, exchange opinions with and learn from people with different backgrounds, expertise and perspectives. The lab also has many activities that encourage the members to help each other improve their work. We also work as a team to organize our annual symposium every year.


Qustion And what were problems you had to deal with?

I think we should not see them as problems, but more like challenges, so we will feel more motivated to overcome them.


The first challenge is language. In my first semester, there were many times when the person I was talking to did not understand what I said and that decreased my confidence. I kept trying and have improved a lot since then, but I am still learning and trying to improve everyday.
Being away from home is another challenge very common for international students. I had been living with my family in Thailand for 20 years before I came here. Having to live alone in a different country without my family was a new and strange experience for me, but it also made me much stronger now.


Qustion Could you tell us about your internship program you are doing this summer break?

This summer I will be doing an internship at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, Hawthorne, NY.  I will work with IBM Research staff to understand clinical requirements for data analysis, and work collaboratively with other researchers to design, implement, and evaluate Information Visualization techniques to address the identified requirements.

 

By: Bunyakiat Raksaphaeng (OSTC)