Computer science senior garners honorable mention from CRA

Senior computer science major William Hamilton was chosen for honorable mention by the Computing Research Association (CRA) for its 2010 Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award.Computer science senior William HamiltonEach year, the CRA recognizes undergraduates who show outstanding potential in computing research. Undergrads are nominated by their professors, and an award committee searches the nominations for demonstrated excellence with regard to computing research. The quality of research plays a big part in the decision making process, but also considered is the student's academic record as well as community service.Hamilton's work included developing an application that helps experimenters analyze game play and audio data in the Interface Ecology Lab's Teaching Team Coordination through Location-aware Games (TTeCLoG) project. TTeCLoG hypothesizes that mixed reality gaming can be used to teach real time team coordination; specifically the ability of team members to organize themselves and to anticipate each others needs so they may act in a synchronized manner.The TTeCLoG studies collect data of participants' interaction with the game as well as their communication with each other. Analyzing this data involves identifying team communication patterns that arise during the games played in user studies, using synchronized audio recordings and game play logs."To process all of the TTeCLoG data, I developed a tool that enables us reconstruct the in-game view of each player and synchronize multiple audio tracks into a unified presentation. This application allowed us to discover several types of communication patterns, in which players communicate through speech and actions concurrently, that we could not observe with previous analysis techniques. This tool is extensible and will support other research projects at the Interface Ecology Lab and beyond," Hamilton said.As a junior, Hamilton published a first-author paper on this work in the 2009 Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.Dr. Andruid Kerne, director of the Interface Ecology Lab, said, "Bill's research began at the start of his junior year. The sooner that talented Aggie undergrads grow deeply involved in research, the more they can realize their potential to transform the world with innovation, and be transformed through new learning opportunities. It is a pleasure to grow with Bill and the other fine students of The Interface Ecology Lab."To learn more about the Interface Ecology Lab and the TTeCLoG project, visit by Tony Okonski, tonyo@cse.tamu.edu