Anne Marie Piper, PhD-Northwestern University Photo
Segal Seminar Series

Anne Marie Piper, PhD-Northwestern University

October 30, 2012, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center
1.350 (ITW Classroom)
2133 Sheridan Rd. Evanston , IL 60208

Designing Hybrid Media for Language Development and Communication


Increasingly, our interactions with other people are mediated by technology. Even when co-located with another person, computer systems shape how we share information, coordinate our activities, and communicate. Systems that combine gestural interaction, such as hand-drawn input, with speech input not only increase the expressiveness of computer interfaces, but also open up new avenues for augmenting how people work together, learn, and share digital information.

In this talk I will present the design and evolution of an end-user toolkit for authoring multimodal paper-digital language and communication activities. This project and its iterative design process took place over three years and involved more than 100 people in a variety of field studies. The developed system reduces the technical threshold for creating interactive digital pen applications, allowing therapists, teachers, families, and children to create their own custom language learning and communication activities. The pen-based prototype has been used to support aphasia rehabilitation, older adult social interaction, and early childhood language learning. I will demonstrate how hybrid media that combine the affordances of paper and digital materials are a useful and accessible human-computer interaction paradigm.


Anne Marie Piper joins the Department of Communication Studies. She comes from the University of California, San Diego, where she was a lecturer and researcher in cognitive science. Anne Marie received her PhD in Cognitive Science from UCSD in 2011. Over the past ten years she has researched how new computer interfaces support learning activities and the communication needs of individuals with disabilities. She received her bachelor's degree in computer science from the Georgia Institute of Technology and her masters in education from Stanford University. She has worked as a user experience researcher at Microsoft and LeapFrog.

Contact Elizabeth Gerber at 847-467-0607 or for further questions.