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Informatics and Human-Computer Interaction Ph.D. Candidates to Participate in Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing

January 29, 2013

The School of Informatics and Computing’ Romisa Rohani Ghahari and Afarin Pirzadeh, two doctoral candidates in Informatics with a specialization in Human-Computer Interaction, will participate in the renowned Doctoral Consortium at the Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing 2013. The event is scheduled for February 7-10 in Washington, DC.

The Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing brings together leading and diverse researchers to present and to discuss the latest developments and advances impacting the field of computing. The conference also provides a uniquely supportive networking environment for under-represented groups across the broad range of computing and information technology. The Doctoral Consortium provides an opportunity for doctoral students to discuss and explore their research interests and career objectives with a panel of established researchers in computing, computational mathematics, science and engineering.

The 2013 conference is organized by the Coalition to Diversify Computing and sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery and in cooperation with the IEEE Computer Society and the Computing Research Association.

Both Ghahari and Pirzadeh were selected based upon the strength of their research. Gharani’s work focuses on eyes-free mobile navigation of technology using aural user interfaces. It allows users to access and listen to web content while engaged in other tasks through the use of auditory cues and vocal commands.

Pirzadeh’s research centers on improving emotion expression and comprehension within text-based, computer-mediated communication, such as instant message chats, through improved conceptual design and realization.

The event is inspired by Richard Tapia, a first-generation Mexican-American who went on to become an internationally-known researcher and educator in computational and mathematical sciences. Among his many honors, Tapia was the first Hispanic elected to the National Academy of Engineering. In 1996, President Clinton appointed him to the National Science Board, where he served until 2002, and from 2001 to 2004 he chaired the National Research Council’s Board on Higher Education and the Workforce. He was also the first recipient of the Computing Research Association’s A. Nico Habermann Award for outstanding contribution to aiding members of underrepresented groups within the computing research community.

Media Contact

Joanne Lovrinic