Call For Teachers
--- The Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (TU/e) has the following vacancy PhD position on QUASID: Quantitative Spatial Interaction Design (V51.015)
at the User-Centered Engineering group, Department of Industrial Design.
The TU/e department of Industrial Design applies a unique, innovative education model of competence-based learning, in which a professional design environment is simulated. Apart from the central focus on design, various areas of technology are an integral part of the curriculum. These areas are: mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer science, technology management and user-centred engineering. Man as user is the starting point for any design activities. Our Bachelor programme started in September 2001\. Industrial Design is building a research programme focused on the relationship between users on the one hand and future intelligent products, systems and services on the other. The main fields of research are 'Designed Intelligence' and 'User Centred Engineering'. In short, TU/e Industrial Design department distinguishes itself through its unique education model, ambitious research goals and an excellent working environment and atmosphere.
The research in the User-Centered Engineering group focuses on advanced interaction concepts and user-centered design methodology. It takes a constructive approach ("research through design"). The aim is to develop interfaces that support natural interaction, both in the context of single-user single-system interaction and multi-user multi-system interaction and their cross-combinations. Main research questions are what constitutes natural interaction and how it can be realized. Topics that are addressed are multimodal interaction, perceptive interfaces and aware environments. The research focuses both on developing new interaction concepts and implementing them in prototypes, as well as the connected design and evaluation methodology.
The project: QUASID: Quantitative Spatial Interaction Design - Tasks and Metrics for Spatial Interaction
Although the experimental validation of spatial interaction techniques is gaining interest internationally, many virtual reality researchers still consider it an 'art' rather than a 'science'. In the design cycle of spatial interaction techniques, which contains phases of concept formulation, implementation and evaluation, the evaluation part is most often addressed in a qualitative way, rather than being based on firm quantitative evidence. In those cases where evaluation of spatial interaction techniques is performed, the experimental set-up is usually derived from ad-hoc assumptions about the relevance of the task, the environment and other conditions that have an effect on the outcome. This Ph.D. project is part of a multi-disciplinary project, called QUASID, that consists of three related Ph.D. (sub)projects. The overall project has two main objectives. First, to develop a more quantitative approach to the design of spatial interaction techniques. Second, to apply and test this quantitative approach in the design of new spatial interaction techniques for mixed-reality desktop environments. The proposed project therefore combines research at three complementary levels:
1\. at the methodological level, by developing classifications and metrics that can be used in the
evaluation of spatial interaction techniques for desktop mixed-reality environments (main focus of this Ph.D. project),
2\. at the device level, by developing robust and effective methods for creating tangible interfaces, and by evaluating the effect of the physical shape of interaction devices on interaction efficiency and effectiveness,
3\. at the system level, by studying the usability of tangible interfaces that are based on both (fully) manual and semi-automated spatial interactions.
The latter two sub-projects have already been filled in.
The QUASID project is multi-disciplinary, in the sense that both a technology-oriented (computer science) and a user-oriented (human factors) perspective are represented. More specifically, the goals of this Ph.D. (sub)project are threefold:
1\. To develop a taxonomy (i.e., a formal categorization) for spatial interaction techniques in desktop mixed-reality environments. The taxonomy will structure generic tasks, such as selection and positioning, as well as more composite and specific tasks, such as pursuit tracking and tracing.
2\. To develop metrics, in addition to Fitts' law (i.e., time and accuracy), that can be used as dependent variables to quantify interaction. The specific goal is to explore new perceptual and cognitive criteria for evaluating interaction, based on an existing expertise in quantifying aspects such as coordination and subjective judgements.
3\. To develop a test-bed based on the taxonomy and the developed metrics. The test-bed will be used to collect and document experimental data, including all independent variables, such as relevant system, user, and environment aspects, and dependent variables, such as efficiency, effectiveness and appreciation parameters. Experiments on a number of diverse systems will be conducted in order to verify the validity and reliability of the test-bed methods.
The Ph.D. student will conduct his/her research project within the J.F.Schouten School for User-System Interaction Research (see [http://fp.tm.tue.nl/jfschouten](http://fp.tm.tue.nl/jfschouten) for more information). This project is sponsored by NWO (Dutch National Science Foundation). The Ph.D. student will be required to closely co-operate with the other two Ph.D. students within the QUASID project.
The candidate should have a MSc degree in one of the following areas: human-system interaction, computer science, electrical engineering or industrial design. He/she should be interested in both virtual/augmented reality and experimental research, and able to co-operate in a multidisciplinary team.
Appointment and Salary
We offer a position for a period of 4 years. PhD students will receive a monthly salary of 1.813,00 euro in their first year, which will rise to 2.394 euro (gross) in the final (fourth) year. Eindhoven University of Technology has an excellent package of attractive benefits for employees, a child-care facility, and a modern sports complex.
More information can be obtained from:
- about the position (including an extended project description): Prof.dr.ir. Jean-Bernard Martens, phone +31 (0)40 247 5208; e-mail: [j.b.o.s.martens at tue.nl](mailto:[email protected]);
- further information: Ms. Julma Braat, personnel assistant, phone +31 (0)40 247 5883, e-mail: [j.a.c.l.braat at tue.nl](mailto:[email protected])
Please send a written application, including a letter explaining your specific interest in the project and extensive curriculum vitae, to the following address, mentioning the vacancy code V51.015:
Technische Universiteit Eindhoven
Department of Industrial Design
Attn. Ms. J. Braat, room HG 3.92
P.O. Box 513
5600 MB Eindhoven
Job applications can be submitted until December 23, 2005, but will be processed on a first-come-first-serve basis (i.e., the first suitable candidate will be selected).