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Tangible interaction for multi-surface environments

PhD proposal at in|situ|

Advisor: Wendy Mackay (


The InSitu group is developing an environment for multi-scale, multi-surface, multi-user interaction. The platform consists of a large high-resolution wall display (5.5m x 1.8m), an interactive table and a VICON gesture tracking system. Target users include scientists as well as designers who deal with large amounts of complex and heterogeneous data. InSitu studies novel interaction techniques for this environment as well as the software infrastructure to support the development of applications in this environment.

Thesis topic

The goal of the thesis is to explore tangible interaction in the context of this environment. Tangible interfaces use physical artifacts, instead of traditional keyboards, mice, trackballs or graphics tablets and enable us to explore a wider range of interaction styles to address different types of information management needs. The thesis will involve building novel tangible interfaces and testing them with users, both in laboratory and field settings.

Required skills

The candidate should have training in human-computer interaction and be able to program in at least one of C/C++, Objective-C, Java, or Python. Skills in the design and development of physical devices is a plus.