Three College of Computing Women Place 2nd At CHI 2006 Design Competition

May 1, 2006

ATLANTA (May 2, 2006)--Three College of Computing students took second place in the design competition at last week’s annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) conference in Montreal, Canada. Marshini Chetty, Andrea Grimes and Ellie Harmon are Ph.D. students within the Graphic, Visualization and Usability (GVU) Center at Georgia Tech whose efforts to produce a computer solution proved successful.

CHI 2006 is one of the most prestigious conferences in the area of Human Computer Interaction, and brings together international researchers and practitioners interested in designing computer technologies that are meaningful and easy for people to use. The student design competition is a major component of the conference and an opportunity for students to show how they would take a problem like this year's brief on fitness and wellbeing, and then produce a computer solution that helps people live a healthier lifestyle.

Utilizing a user-centered design process, Chetty, Grimes and Harmon created and evaluated a system called FotoFit to encourage college students to develop and maintain healthy habits. FotoFit leverages the medium of photography to provide student users with a visual overview of their diet and exercise routines. Using their cameraphone, students take pictures of the foods they eat and the activites they perform to then reflect on this information with a PC visualization component. For example, they can track their activities at the gym with equipment that sends SMS workout summaries to their cellphones. The FotoFit project was originally done as part of College of Computing Associate Professor Gregory Abowd’s CS 6750 class, and was then submitted to the CHI student design competition.

Chetty, Grimes and Harmon came in second out of the 48 submissions that were reviewed by a panel of experts from three continents. "This recognition speaks volumes about their human-centered design," says Beki Grinter, College of Computing associate professor and student advisor to this project. "It's an outstanding accomplishment in a very high profile setting."

For more information about the CHI 2006 conference, click here.