Archive for the 'Conferences' Category

Oct 01 2014

New Security Paradigms Workshop in Victoria

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The annual New Security Paradigms Workshop (NSPW) is not a typical conference. It specifically invites new ideas, even if there are limitations or incomplete aspects. And it only invites people actually presenting or otherwise involved. Moreover, everyone who does attend is expected to participate throughout. And it has a Trojan Rabbit as it’s mascot (pictured above). This year NSPW was in Victoria, on Vancouver Island, Canada. Elizabeth Stobert presented her work on Versipass, A Password Manager That Doesn’t Remember Passwords.

Aug 01 2014

Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security in Silicon Valley

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SOUPS, the Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security, was in Silicon Valley this year: it was held on the campus of Facebook. The number of papers submitted this year was an all time high, and the number of people registering hit the room limit of 200. Another first this year was that the proceedings were published by Usenix, the Advanced Computer Systems Association. They are available free from the Usenix SOUPS 2014 site.


Jul 01 2014

Psychology of Programming in Brighton

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For those of us who spend lots of time doing it, programming is an intense activity. And an intensely human activity. Despite this being experienced since the days of Babbage and Lovelace,  little attention has been devoted to this aspect, but an important exception is the annual Psychology of Programming Workshop, held this year in Brighton, UK. I have followed this workshop from a distance for many years, and this year I was invited to speak: I enjoyed it very much and I hope to attend again. From a perspective of HCI, it always occurs to me that programming systems quickly push beyond the capacity of the models we normally adopt: programming requires immense investment, and the invisible and dynamic complexity remains a formidable challenge for human capabilities. I was especially pleased to have time to chat with Thomas Green, who has influenced my work since I came across his book Human Interaction with Computers (shown above) in a Cambridge bookshop in 1979. It was one of the first books on HCI, before that term was coined, and it addressed many issues which remain challenging today.

Mar 01 2014

OOP 2014 in Munich

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This year I was invited to give a presentation at OOP in Munich. OOP has been running for many years, and has grown beyond Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) but kept the name. It has a strong industry orientation, but I found it much different than industry conferences I have attended in North America: there seemed to be less hype, and a more professional attitude. Most sessions were in German, and many in English. I gave presentations on Human Factors in Computer Security, and also on Cultural Issues in Software Development. I also had time to walk around Munich and visit several museums. I was especially impressed by the Deutsches Museum and was pleased to see the extensive exhibit of the early computers of Konrad Zuse (Z3 shown above.)

Jun 17 2013

GRAND 2013 Conference

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GRAND is the Canadian network on Graphics, Animation, and New Media. Our annual conference was in Toronto this year, right downtown beside the CN tower at the Toronto Convention Centre. We shared the space with Canada 3.0, a large annual digital media event. For GRAND, this was a transition time: we hope to renew our network in 2014, so there were many discussions about what kind of metamorphosis to propose. For our project on usable privacy and security, we decided on literacy as our new theme: literacy about the technology, the law, and about what actually happens out there.

Nov 15 2009

CCS 2009 – Chicago

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Chicago at dusk Several members of the lab attended ACM’s CCS 2009 conference on November 10-12 in Chicago. We presented our paper on multiple password interference on Wednesday afternoon.   We were happy to see that despite being the last talk of the day, many people stayed behind to chat and ask  further questions.  CCS is regarded as one of the main computer security conferences, with a focus mostly on the technical aspects of security. However,  there seems to be a gradual recognition that human factors are also an important component of security. This year’s keynote by Dorothy Denning was on usable authentication, and Jeff Yan held a tutorial introducing usable security methodologies, both were well attended.

Oct 31 2009

Oopsla+Onward+WikiSym 2009

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IWIW2009_ChâteauDesCharmesOopsla 2009 and WikiSym 2009 were held in Orlando this year, and not just Orlando but Disney World: a strange island of space and time right down to the Mickey Mouse shaped swimming pool. I find Oopsla itself hard to keep up with: too many interesting workshops, panels, technical talks; and with WikiSym too I was overwhelmed and didn’t see as much as I would have liked. Moreover, this marked the year that Oopsla was more formally distinguished from Onward 2009, the conference on the new and the strange in software, so they are full sibling conferences. For me the highlights were the Onward “Plateau” workshop on the HCI of programming languages, the Onward talk by Jenny Quillien, Pam Rostal, Dave West on Christopher Alexander’s work, and the WikiSym closing keynote by Brion Vibber of the Wikimedia Foundation. I also had a great time at my tutorial on human aspects of software development practice based on our hacked version of the board game Monopoly. New year Oopsla and Onward are both under the new “Splash” umbrella at Reno, and WikiSym is co-located with WikiMania in Gdansk. Robert Biddle

Aug 14 2009

Agile 2009

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IWIW2009_ChâteauDesCharmes Oh Agile: so ever-changing. In Chicago this year, huge attendance and huge industry involvement in this bad year for conferences. More diverse than ever, UX, Kanban, Real Options, a real bazaar of ideas for the new in making software happen. Buzzy yet familiar. New faces and old friends. The UX stream organized by Angela Martin and Lane Halley was really mainstream this year, and the closing keynote by Jared Spool still took focus on the Agile-UX potential. Angela and I also presented two papers based on her thesis work about the customer role in XP, and I presented tutorials on Activity Theory and on the role of culture in software development practices. Busy busy! Next year at Opryland. Robert Biddle

Jun 18 2009

Immersive Worlds 2009

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The Immersive Worlds conference was this week, held at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario. This conference is largely sponsored by Silicon Knights. Many game-industry topics were tackled throughout. Geoffrey Rockwell’s debate-style keynote explored the purpose, role, and value of “serious games”. The “Making Good Ideas Work” panel emphasised building bridges between the games industry, academia, and the government to enable bright game developers to find employment or entrepreneurial success in Canada. The three tracks offered insightful presentations on game-related issues in areas such as education, intellectual property, marketing, new interaction media, social impact, and more. Several members of Carleton’s Hyperlab and HotSoft lab gave presentations: Jessica Aldred, Pippin Barr, Claire Dormann, Alain Forget, Brain Greenspan, Rilla Khaled, Natalie King, Jennifer Whitson.

Apr 27 2009


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IMG_3222MIT6 (Media in Transition) was in Boston for the last few days, and we did a road trip: Rilla Khaled, Pippin Barr, Natalie King, Jennifer Whitson, Chris Eaket, Brian Greenspan, and Robert Biddle. Although at MIT, this is a humanities conference, with a focus on new kinds of literature and new kinds of literacy. Our group of HotSoft and Hyperlab people had a number of talks, on topics ranging from journalism to hyperfiction. The conference had many parallel streams, and it was always difficult to choose what to attend: on the whole I think  was particularly impressed by the talks that exposed vibrant ecosystems of new media. For example, there is more going on at Youtube that I realized. We left at mid-day on Sunday to drive back to Ottawa, and so missed Thomas Pettitt, from the University of Southern Denmark, summarize the conference and reference both Natalie’s  paper on Patchwork Girl, and also our new StoryTrek system.

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