papers

Entries tagged with “papers”.


Academic paper titles have a tendency to be a bit staid, cautious and flat. Admittedly, this is a pattern I haven’t yet broken out of myself. Perhaps it’s because many non-English speakers are forced to publish in English (as English is the lingua franca of science). Or perhaps it is just prudent: since other researchers will often only cast a cursory glance over paper titles to decide which papers to read, or which sessions to attend at a conference, it generally pays to write clear titles.

In any case, I’ve been on the lookout for some creatively-named papers. Because they are rare, papers with clever and/or funny titles stand out easily among the deluge of stuffier titles. Here are some of my favourites:

  1. “Gorillas in our midst: sustained inattentional blindness for dynamic events” By Daniel J. Simons and Christopher Chabris
    In Perception, 1999 volume 28(9) pages 1059–1074.

    Presented the results of the classic experiment in perception and selective attention involving people passing a basketball around (which you may have seen used for a road safety awareness ad). The title is a play on Gorillas in the Mist.

  2. “A Very Modal Model of a Modern, Major, General Type System” By Andrew W. Appel, Paul-Andre Mellies, Christopher D. Richards, and Jerome Vouillon. In POPL 2007, pages 109–122.

    (Say three times fast.) This title is based on a similarly tongue-twisting song from the musical The Pirates of Penzance.

  3. “Secret Ninja Formal Methods” By Joe Kiniry and Dan Zimmerman. In Formal Methods 2008, pages 214–228.

    Joe and Dan report on their experience with trying to make formal methods invisible to students while they learn good programming practices. Extra marks for giving their presentation in full ninja getup.

  4. “The television will be revolutionized: effects of PVRs and filesharing on television watching.” By Barry Brown and Louise Barkhuus. In Proceedings of CHI ’06, pp. 663–666.

    A reversal of the title of Gil Scott-Heron’s poem, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.

  5. “HT06, Tagging Paper, Taxonomy, Flickr, Academic Article, ToRead.” By Cameron Marlow, Mor Naaman, danah boyd and Marc Davis.
    In HYPERTEXT ’06, pages 31–40).

    The writers themselves suggest this might be the “least memorable title in ACM history”, but I disagree — this immediately jumped out at me as a sly nod to how people use tags.

I might never reach you
Only want to teach you

So, I got my first paper finished and submitted in time to a workshop at AVI 2006 entitled “Context in Advanced Interfaces.” Worked all the way up to 15 minutes before the deadline (which I’m told is “decent buffer”). An arduous but rewarding experience, and I couldn’t have done it without the help of our terrific support structures in the SRG, namely our academics and postdocs. As Lorcan put it so nicely, “Welcome to the anti-rat race dude.” :-)

Update 2006/04/08: Got ‘er in.

This paper describes visualising the process of looking after a medical patient, using multiple, simultaneous, tightly-coupled views.

Supporting Protocol-Based Care in Medecine via Multiple Coordinated Views,” by Wolfgang Aigner and Silvia Miksch. At CMV ’04.

@inproceedings{1019226,
 author = {Wolfgang Aigner and Silvia Miksch},
 title = {Supporting Protocol-Based Care in Medicine 
   via Multiple Coordinated Views},
 booktitle = {CMV '04: Proceedings of the Second International 
   Conference on Coordinated \& Multiple Views in Exploratory 
   Visualization (CMV'04)},
 year = {2004},
 isbn = {0-7695-2179-7},
 pages = {118--129},
 doi = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/CMV.2004.19},
 publisher = {IEEE Computer Society},
 address = {Washington, DC, USA},
}

Though the middle sections of this paper do not have much specifically to do with my own field of visualisation, they do contain a lot of good passages on visualisation techniques. Visualising time-orientated data is particularly interesting. They refer to the somewhat misleadingly named “fisheye view”, in which the focused element is enlarged and centred, and all other elements are distorted by shrinking and moving them outwards, which is a nice way to better make use of display space.

There is also a good introduction to using multiple simultaneous views, each focusing on different aspects of the data. They go about this by splitting the display area into a Logical View and a Temporal View. This approach could also be used to visualise sensor data — in effect explicitly denoting the scientific and information visualisation aspects.

There is also a section on setting up a user study to ascertain the needs, general practices and expectations of seasoned medical professionals. This is relevant as I may well have to set up some testing time with domain experts to test if our new visualisation environment is indeed more useful for collaboration than the way things are currently done.

The characteristics that the doctors and other staff identified as being important in such a system were non-surprising: intuitive interactions, a clean interface and flexibility were all mentioned. Designing for domain experts also raises a new point: the system will have to include a means for data input, which is a part of the UI that I hadn’t given much thought before.

Calvin and Hobbes cartoon.

Of course, in the time it took me to colour this in, I could’ve written ten papers…

No, not the as-yet-unknown-quantity that is the paper I’m trying to put together for AVI 2006. I just got word from one of the editors at O’Reilly that the book I contributed to, PHP Hacks, has been published and is in shops. I should be getting my ‘author copy’ in the post over the next few days. Huzzah! :-)

A very interesting paper, given how long ago it was written. Though informal, this was inspiring. The examples of possible pervasive systems — the vast majority of which have not yet been implemented — seem to have had a large impact on future ‘thinkers’.

The Computer for the 21st Century,” by Mark Weiser.

@article{213017,
  author = {Mark Weiser},
  title = {The computer for the 21st century},
  book = {Human-computer interaction: toward the year 2000},
  year = {1995},
  isbn = {1-55860-246-1},
  pages = {933--940},
  publisher = {Morgan Kaufmann Publishers Inc.},
  address = {San Francisco, CA, USA},
}

Recent bookmarks tagged with “papers”.