Bruce Walker Receives NSF CAREER Award

November 18, 2006

(November 19, 2006)--College of Computing Assistant Professor Bruce Walker recently received the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Over the next five years, Walker will receive support for his research project titled "Fundamental Research, Design and Evaluation of Auditory and Multimodal Graphs."

Auditory graphs are crucial for scientists and students with vision impairments, who have so far been marginalized in the scientific endeavor. In addition to serving as an assistive technology, combining auditory and visual elements into a multimodal graph can be more compelling and engaging for sighted users as well. This can help a teacher with, say, 20 sighted students and one or two vision-impaired students in the same classroom. The teacher needs to prepare only one (multimodal) graph, and all of the students are served. At the same time, all of the students have a shared multimodal experience, so they can immediately discuss the data and collaborate, regardless of visual ability. Walker plans to expand his auditory and multimodal graph software called “the Sonification Sandbox,” and then work with appropriate organizations to train teachers and students in how to create, use and interpret this new form of data display.

NSF CAREER Awards are one of the highest honors given to young university faculty in science and engineering who most effectively integrate research and education within the context of the mission of their organization. Walker is an assistant professor with a joint appointment in the College of Computing and the School of Psychology at Georgia Tech. His research areas include human factors, human computer interaction, sonification and auditory displays, interfaces for complex tasks, complex decision making and dual task performance.

For more information about Bruce Walker, click here.