I am a Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Accessibility researcher focused on enhancing quality of life for people with disabilities. I particularly work with people who are blind or have low vision. Within quality of life, I have main thrusts of enhancing exercise, virtual reality, and art exploration. I am also collaborating in multidisciplinary research investigating technological effects on safer street crossing and enhancing play for neurodiverse children through technology.
Eyes-Free Exercise Technologies
I focus on developing new software for mainstream technologies to help people who are blind have more independent access to exercise. We have focused on domains including yoga and 400-meter jogging tracks. We are currently working on providing accessible feedback in group-based aerobic exercise classes.
Eyes-Free Virtual Reality Technologies
Virtual Reality Experiences are largely inaccessible to people who are blind. One particular challenge is interacting with moving virtual objects. We created a tabletop game inspired by an accessible game, Showdown. We call it Virtual Showdown. Our current work involves the design of virtual reality experiences with objects in the vertical (and then 3D) virtual space.
Eyes-Free Art Technologies
I focus on making art experiences more accessible to people with visual impairments. Previously, I developed the concept of a proxemic audio interface, where the level of detail in an audio presentation increases as a person moves closer to an object of interest. We are currently working on research on how to curate accessible artwork descriptions from museum patrons.
- Joshi, Neel S, Morris, Meredith J, Rector, Kyle. US9792835B2, "Proxemic interfaces for exploring imagery"
- Microsoft Research Blog Post
Vehicle to Pedestrian communication could be adopted, and so it is important to understand the effect of technology notifications on one's street-crossing behavior. We studied the effect of smartphone alerts and warnings informing whether (or not) it is safe to cross on both younger and older adults. We are currently pursuing the effect of augmented reality overlays on the street on street-crossing behavior. Learn more about research at the Hank Lab.
- Malik, J., Di Napoli Parr, M., Flathau, J., Tang, H., Kearney, J.K., Plumert, J.P., Rector, K. 2021. Determining the Effect of Smartphone Alerts and Warnings on StreetCrossing Behavior in Non-Mobility-Impaired Older and Younger Adults. Conditionally Accepted to CHI 2021.
Enhancing Play for Neurodiverse Children
I am interested in the effects on high-quality play between children who are neurodiverse and children who are not neurodiverse. In prior collaborative work, we explored the use of technology enforcement (e.g. requiring two faces detected by camera before taking a picture) and characters during a lab study with pairs of children. At a high level, I collaborated to understand the articulation work (or hidden extra work) to make technology deployments work in this context. I am currently working with Associate Professor Juan Pablo Hourcade, expanding his prior work in developing StoryCarnival to improve executive functioning skills for typically developing 3-4-year-old children.
I developed software for the Microsoft Kinect to help clinicians measure shoulder range of motion before and after surgery to assess the patient's progress. I worked closely with stakeholders in the hospital system to develop and iterate on the system. We found that the Kinect is a viable substitution for a goniometer in the clinic and that most clinicians preferred using the Kinect system as opposed to a goniometer.
- Rector, K., Lauder, A., Keeling, P., Cherones, A., Matsen III, F., Kientz, J.A. 2016. ShoulderCam: Evaluating the User Experience of a Depth Camera System to Measure Shoulder Range of Motion. Proceedings of the 10th EAI International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare. 4 pages. PDF (35% acceptance rate).
- Matsen III, F.A., Lauder, A., Rector, K.,, Keeling, P., Cherones, A.L. 2015. Measurement of active shoulder motion using the Kinect, a commercially available infrared position detection system. Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery. Measurement of shoulder motion document link
Email and Attachment Management in enterprise
I designed and implemented an SMS notification system of critical emails that might have been missed or forgotten. We motivated our project with a 777 person survey learning about SMS and email within enterprise. We followed with an experience sampling study of over 3000 emails to determine what makes a message critical, and when and how the email would be addressed. We used this information to develop MinEMail, which was evaluated over a 2 week ecologically valid study within enterprise. I also collaborated on a system that help people manage whether they downloaded attachments in email.
I have collaborated on other research including developing a user-powered American Sign Language dictionary, administering the Psychomotor Vigilance Task on a mobile device, and accessible passcodes for blind users. In my undergraduate career, I focused on Gender HCI, improving debugging tasks, contextual desktop search, and rapid prototyping of physical interfaces.
- Kay, M., Rector, K., Consolvo, S., Greenstein, B., Wobbrock, J., Watson, N., Kientz, J.A. 2013. PVT-Touch: Adapting a Reaction Time Test for Touchscreen Devices. In 2013 7th International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare (PervasiveHealth). pp. 248-251. PVT-Touch document (30% acceptance rate)
- Lawrence, J., Bogart, C., Burnett, M., Bellamy, R., Rector, K., Fleming, S. 2013. How Programmers Debug, Revisited: An Information Foraging Theory Perspective. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, Vol. 39, No. 2, Feb. 2013. Pp. 197-215. How programmers debug revisited document link
- Burnett, M., Beckwith, L., Wiedenbeck, S., Fleming, S., Cao, J., Park, T., Grigoreanu, V., Rector, K. 2011. Gender Pluralism in Problem-Solving Software. Interacting with Computers, Elsevier, 2011. pp. 450-460. Gender Pluralism document link
- Cao, J., Rector, K., Park, T.H., Fleming, S.D., Burnett, M., Wiedenbeck, S. 2010. A Debugging Perspective on End-User Mashup Programming. In 2010 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC). pp. 149-156. A debugging perspective document link
- Welbourne, E., Battle, L., Cole, G., Gould, K., Rector, K., Raymer, S., Balazinska, M., Borriello, G. 2009. Building the Internet of Things Using RFID: The RFID Ecosystem Experience. IEEE Internet Computing, Vol. 13, No. 3, May/June 2009. pp. 48-55. RFID Ecosystem document link
- Lawrence, J., Bellamy, R., Burnett, M., Rector, K. 2008. Can Information Foraging Pick the Fix? A Field Study. In 2008 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC). pp. 57-64. Information Foraging document link
- Grigoreanu, V., Cao, J., Kulesza, T., Bogart, C., Rector, K., Burnett, M., Wiedenbeck, S. 2008. Can Feature Design Reduce the Gender Gap in End-User Software Development Environments? In 2008 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC). pp. 149-156. Feature design document link
- Beckwith, L., Inman, D., Rector, K., Burnett, M. 2007. On to the Real World: Gender and Self-Efficacy in Excel. In 2007 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC). pp. 119-126. Gender and Self-Efficacy document link
- Subrahmaniyan, N., Kissinger, C., Rector, K., Inman, D., Kaplan, J., Beckwith, L., Burnett, M. 2007. Explaining debugging strategies to end-user programmers. In 2007 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC). pp. 127-136. Debugging strategies document link