Leveraging Crowds to Bridge Communication Barriers


Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management
The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Title: Leveraging Crowds to Bridge Communication Barriers
Speaker: Dr. Xiaojuan Ma,
Huawei Noah's Ark Lab
Date: March 14, 2014 (Friday)
Time: 4:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Venue: Room 513
       William M.W. Mong Engineering Building (ERB)
       (Engineering Building Complex Phase 2)
       The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Short Biography of the speaker:
Xiaojuan Ma, Ph.D., is a researcher at Huawei Noah's Ark Lab. Before joining Noah's Ark, she was a postdoctoral researcher in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), and was awarded Computing Innovation Fellow by Computing Research Association. Dr. Ma received her Ph.D. degree from the Computer Science Department of Princeton University in 2010. She worked as a research fellow in the Department of Information Systems, National University of Singapore before joining CMU. Dr. Ma's background is in Human-Computer Interaction. She is particularly interested in human computation and crowdsourcing, multimedia-augmented communication support for both human-human and human-robot interactions, design, visual/auditory perception, and (computational) linguistics.
Human communication takes place in both spoken and written modes, as in face-to-face conversations, Internet Browsing, etc. However, for people with language disabilities, people with low literacy, and people with poor command of a language, receiving and expressing information via a language is difficult. Therefore, people seek alternative ways to communicate when words fail.
In multimedia communication design, it is desirable for designers to gain an understanding of how people will interpret their work. Traditional methods, such as design critique, do not scale well when hundreds and even thousands of design alternatives comprise a vast design space. We propose a strategy that leverages collective judgments to help creating multimedia representations to bridge language barriers. We integrate crowdsourced evaluation with conventional design methods such as participatory design and eye tracking. We demonstrate the efficacy of this method in three different domains: augmentative and alternative communication for people with language disorders, doctor-patient communication in medical care, and design communication. We show that this strategy effectively measures the communicative value of design alternatives, uncovers factors that can influence design decisions, and supplements designers' intuition.
                      Everyone is invited to attend the talk.
The talk will be hosted by:
Prof. Helen Meng,
Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management,
The Chinese University of Hong Kong,
Telephone Number: (852) 3943-8316
For general enquiries, please contact the student coordinator:
Andy Chung,
Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management,
The Chinese University of Hong Kong,
SEEM-5202 Website:
Friday, March 14, 2014 - 08:30 to 09:30