LEIF Exchange: Projects

Matthias Graf

Information
  • involved student Matthias Graf  →
  • type of project Student Exchange Project
  • period of time 2011/11 — 2012/04
  • exchange from Otto-von-Guericke University of Magdeburg (User Interface & Software Engineering Group) to University of Calgary (Innovations in Visualization Laboratory)
  • supervisor Uta Hinrichs,
    Sheelagh Carpendale (Prof.),
    Raimund Dachselt (Prof.)

E-Library Interaction Traces

In this project we explore and develop an interactive touch-based visualisation that enables library visitors to make serendipitous discoveries in a large dataset of books (digital library walk up and use scenario). One essential aspect that we will focus on in the visualisation is the ability of the system to display the interaction of visitors with the system in the form of digital footprints. Interaction data collected over time from people will have an influence on how the book collection is visualized. The goal is for visitors to be able to be guided by the interaction traces other visitors have left.

The goals of this project are:

  • Explore a variety of ways to represent user traces

  • Gain understanding on how the visualisation impacts usage

Experience Report

To take part in the LEIF exchange program has been a wonderful experience. From November of 2011 until August of 2012 I joined the InnoVis research group in Calgary to work on a joint research project (with Uta Hinrichs) and write my bachelor thesis about it. I designed and implemented from the ground up a novel user interface for the exploration of books in a library. I had a great deal of say in how the project is run and what ideas were considered. I eventually ran a user study in the library to verify the results. We are planning to write a scientific publication on the topic. This is an astonishing result and I am deeply satisfied with it. Encouraged by the great support I received I decided to even extend my stay for another 5 months. If I had to pick just 2 of the academic highlights during my stay, I would chose having experienced the CHI2012 and the Personal Informatics Workshop in Banff I was a part of.

I was given the opportunity to work together and learn from some of the brightest in the field and got to know a lot of astonishing people. Having to deal with getting around and accommodating yourself in a different culture, a different working environment, in a new country, language and ways of thinking is a huge challenge to deal with, but eventually made me gain tremendous insights not only academically but also personally. I can without hesitation recommend the exchange!