Grace Hu

  • Undergraduate Student
    Wellesley College, USA
    Attended CHI 2015
    2015, Seoul, South Korea

CHI was an incredibly eye-opening and invigorating experience. I attended presentations on a wide variety of topics, including augmented reality/virtual reality on headsets, novel interaction techniques on smart glasses, smart watches, tangible user interfaces, 3D printing’s impact on assistive technologies, eye-tracking devices, robots as co-workers, and smart homes. Coming into the conference, my goal was to expand my horizons and expose myself to different subfields within Human Computer Interaction, and sampling all these topics really makes me hungry to learn more. Looking back, the conference days were packed, but I was too excited to feel tired. Having conducted research on Google Glass and having visited all these different talks and posters, I feel even more passionate now about the virtual/augmented reality space. Furthermore, CHI has sparked a new interest in social interactions between humans and robots.
I also took this opportunity to speak to as many people as possible. Meeting researchers from around the world gave me a sense of their visions, and I asked people about their career paths, whether they switched between industry and academia, and their current projects. As an undergraduate, I felt incredibly fortunate to speak to Masters students, PhD candidates, professors, and industry leaders in this field. Talking to students certainly exposed me to both their experiences as well as their school’s graduate programs, and I have begun researching some in more depth. Networking with both members of academia and industry provided me a better sense of how research differs in these two areas. With so many students in my school’s Computer Science department looking into industry, I found CHI refreshing; I could sense the passion and freedom that researchers enjoyed in academia. Additionally, last semester, when I took my advisor’s class on Tangible User Interfaces, I read several research papers by Professor Hiroshi Ishii from the MIT Media Lab. I had been thoroughly captivated by his work and really admired his visions for this field. Thus, when I got the chance, I could not resist asking him questions during his presentation sessions.
Attending CHI was truly valuable. Stepping beyond my school’s Computer Science department broadened my understanding of the possibilities in this field as well as how human computer interaction can really impact all fields. I am deeply humbled to have been awarded this opportunity and express my deepest gratitude for the ACM-W Scholarship. Thank you.