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Boise State faculty and students participate in Interaction Design and Children conference

Students and faculty from Boise virtually visited the ACM Interaction Design and Children (IDC) conference in June.

This conference is the premier international conference for researchers, educators and practitioners to share the latest research findings, innovative methodologies and new technologies in the areas of inclusive child-centered design, learning and interaction. Among the attendees and contributing authors are: faculty researchers leading the NSF-funded project CAST, including computer science associate professor Jerry Fails, assistant professor Casey Kennington, associate professor Sole Pera (CS), and education assistant professor Katherine Wright (Education); three master of computer science students (Garrett Allen, Ashlee Milton, and Ben Peterson) and three doctoral computing students (Amifa Raj, Dhanush Kumar, and Mostofa Sakib); and computer science assistant professor Michael Ekstrand (also serves as the co-director of the People and Information Research Team with Pera).

This year, Fails supports the IDC community by serving as Technical and Publication co-chair, as well as doctoral consortium co-chair.

Along with Pera, Fails was one of the co-organizers of the 5th Edition of the KidRec workshop, co-located with IDC. In this iteration of the workshop, attendees discussed search and recommendation technology and its opportunities and barriers, as seen through the lens of teachers. During this workshop Ashlee and Amifa shared their collaboration (co-authored by Ekstrand) entitled “Pink for Princesses, Blue for Superheroes: The Need to Examine Gender Stereotypes in Kids’ Products in Search and Recommendations”, in which they argued for the need to investigate if and how gender stereotypes manifest in search and recommender systems used by or for children. Garrett shared his collaboration with faculty on the interdisciplinary CAST faculty team, entitled “CASTing a Net: Supporting Teachers with Search Technology”. In this contribution, the CAST team argued for the need to broaden the research focus to include teachers and how search technology can aid them. In particular, they shared how furnishing a behind-the-scenes portal for teachers can empower them by providing a window into the spelling, writing, and concept connection skills of their students.

Last, but certainly not least, Ben presented his collaboration with Garrett, Ben, Dhanush, Mostofa, and the CAST faculty team. This is a work-in-progress entitled “Engage!: Co-designing Search Engine Result Pages to Foster Interaction”. Dhanush kumar Ratakonda a PhD in Computing student also presented in the a paper entitled “Of Transitions and Futures: A Perspective from an Intergenerational Design Team” in the Participatory Design of the World’s Largest DPD Project with Children workshop that was co-located with IDC (and was also co-organized by Fails).

Most of the work presented was supported by the National Science Foundation under awards 1763649, 1930464 and 1751278. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.