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Education Technology

Interviews: Ask Juan Gilbert About Human-Centered Computing 30

Awarded the first Presidential Endowed Chair at Clemson University, and being named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), are just a couple of Juan Gilbert's more noteworthy honors. Juan is the Associate Chair of Research in the Computer & Information Science & Engineering Department at the University of Florida where he leads the Human Centered Computing Lab. With the help of students, the lab works on a variety of issues, including electronic voting, automotive user interfaces, advanced learning technologies, culturally relevant computing or ethnocomputing, and databases and data analytics. Dr. Gilbert has agreed to answer any questions you might have about computing and affecting society through accessible technologies. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one question per post.
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Interviews: Ask Juan Gilbert About Human-Centered Computing

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  • by mtrachtenberg ( 67780 ) on Wednesday July 09, 2014 @01:24PM (#47416837) Homepage

    Here are some questions for Professor Gilbert, regarding internet voting:

    1. How will non-mathematicians know with certainty that votes have been properly received and counted?

    2. If the security depends upon encryption, how will we know that encryption has not been broken by a secret agency with vast computing power? Further, how will we know that those involved in developing the encryption have not secretly offered back doors to such agencies, as has happened in the past?

    3. What will a voter do if they experience an election-day denial of service attack?

    4. How can we know that a vote has not been coerced if the voter votes from home (bullying spouse, etc...)?

    5. What are the insurmountable difficulties with a paper-based election process that make internet voting desirable despite risks? Why is the United States no longer capable of counting cast ballots in public? It is clearly not the vast number of voters, since this is a distributed problem with a vast number of potential counters. What has become so broken among our pseudo-elites that this KISS approach is now considered so inappropriate?

    • It seems to me that we want to simultaneously be able to prove to the voter that their vote was counted properly, while also wanting to ensure that the voter cannot prove to someone else that they voted a certain way (to prevent buying/coercing votes).

      Adding to do you ensure that the person voting is who they say they are, and not another family member, care provider, guest, etc.?

    • but please, one question per post.

      Here's a question for Gilbert.

      How do you write human centered-systems for humans that can't follow simple instructions.

  • To what extent are we able to compute safety related human dynamics issues and what is slowing us down in this particular programming area?

    Can we ever come up with a safety system for a workplace that would be able to overcome employee buy-in issues early on, especially if the typical large corporation is in a constant tug of war with profit and employee needs?

    You see whenever we introduce changes in policy in the workplace, employees assume they are going to be required to do MORE but they are not getting

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Are computer interfaces getting finicky these days?

    With mobile devices requiring a touch that must be
    1. Precisely located when you can't see the target when touching it without transparent fingers,
    2. Precisely timed in order to avoid being interpreted to mean exactly the opposite(long touch) of what is intended,
    3. Perfectly still in all dimensions except the z axis to avoid being interpreted as moving the target instead of selecting it.

    With mouse interfaces using "mouse-overs" to move, change, or otherwise

  • Most of the recent changes I've seen to driver controls seem wrong-headed. So many require the driver to look down at some screen or closely-spaced identically-feeling buttons. Only a few decades ago, car makers began moving functions to stalks to put them within easy reach, but the makers' usage is so different that it's more confusing than ever, particularly in this day when people are more likely to drive several different vehicles in a single day. I like steering wheel-mounted buttons, but now there are

  • A few years ago I read that some were working on systems where people's personal data is never decrypted yet some types of analytics can be performed on it. Has this work died or is it still ongoing and does it lead to anything useful from a privacy perspective?
  • With today programming languages, creating new new software requires learning a complex syntax with very specialized rules on how to combine words, even for creating very simple software (for example, web pages with trivial interactions such as folding and dragging items).

    Some approaches to allow end users to build automated behavior exist, but they can only go so far. There are "drag and drop" interface builders for building web pages with forms, and graph languages for transforming data. But they only all