Lisa Cowan I completed my Ph.D. in Computer Science at UCSD in June 2011. My research interests include ubiquitous computing, human computer interaction, and digital media, spanning my academic background in distributed networked systems and cultural anthropology.

My Ph.D. advisors are Bill Griswold and Jim Hollan. I am affiliated with the Ubiquitous Computing and Social Dynamics Research Group and the Distributed Cognition and Human Computer Interaction Laboratory.

My Ph.D. research focuses on understanding and supporting lightweight social communication using visual media and mobile phones. I looked at using mobile ambient displays to support lightweight communication with Emotipix, a system that turns a mobile phone's wallpaper into a place to communicate via shared photos. I explored ubiquitous sketching with UbiSketch, an application that enables people to share paper-based information on social media in real time. I have considered how the use of projector-phones impacts face-to-face communication — documenting usage practices and considering social implications. I have also designed an interaction technique called ShadowPuppets, which uses hand shadows as input to support collocated interaction with projector phones.

Curriculum Vitae

You can download my CV.

Publications

Conference Papers

Cowan, L., Li, K. ShadowPuppets: Supporting Collocated Interaction with Mobile Projector Phones Using Hand Shadows. Proceedings of ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) 2011. [PDF]

Cowan, L., Weibel, N., Pina, L. R., Griswold, W. G., Hollan, J. D. Ubiquitous Sketching for Social Media. Proceedings of ACM Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services (MobileHCI) 2011. [PDF]

Cowan, L., Griswold, W. G., Barkhuus, L., Hollan, J. D. Engaging the Periphery for Visual Communication on Mobile Phones. Proceedings of the IEEE Hawaii International Conference on Systems Sciences (HICSS) 2010. [PDF]

Journal and Magazine Articles

"Researcher Spotlight" in Raimund Dachselt, Jonna Häkkilä, Matt Jones, Markus Löchtefeld, Michael Rohs, Enrico Rukzio. Pico Projectors – Firefly or Bright Future? ACM Interactions 19, 2 (March 2012), 24-29. [PDF]

Cowan, L., Weibel, N., Griswold, W. G., Pina, L., Hollan, J. D. Projector Phone Use: Practices and Social Implications. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing: Volume 16, Issue 1, 2012. [PDF]

Workshop Papers

Cowan, L., Griswold, W. G. Projector Phones Afford Novel Interaction Modalities . ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) 2011, Position paper presented at the Workshop on Mobile and Personal Projection. [PDF]

Cowan, L., Supporting Self-Expression for Informal Communication. ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST) 2010, Doctoral Symposium. [PDF]

Cowan, L., Supporting Self-Expression for Informal Communication. ACM International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing (Ubicomp) 2010, Doctoral Colloquium, 2010. [PDF]

Cowan, L., Griswold, W. G., Hollan, J. D. Applications of Projector Phones for Social Computing. International Conference on Pervasive Computing (Pervasive) 2010, Ubiprojection Workshop. [PDF]

Posters and Demonstrations

Cowan, L., Li, K. ShadowPuppets: Supporting Collocated Interaction with Mobile Projector Phones Using Hand Shadows. Poster presented at the Jacobs School of Engineering Research Expo 2011, University of California, San Diego. [PDF]

Weibel, N., Cowan, L., Pina, L. R., Hollan, J. D., Griswold, W. G. Enabling Social Interactions Through Real-Time Sketch-Based Communication. Demonstration presented at the ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST) 2010. [PDF]

Cowan, L., Pina, L. R., Griswold, W. G., Weibel, N., Hollan, J. D. Ubiquitous Real-Time Sketch-Based Communication. Poster presented at the Jacobs School of Engineering Research Expo 2010, University of California, San Diego. [PDF]

Cowan, L., Griswold, W.G. Emotipix: Mobile Phones for Peripheral Communication. Poster presented at the Jacobs School of Engineering Research Expo 2009, University of California, San Diego. [PDF]

Theses

Cowan, L. Lightweight Social Communication using Visual Media and Mobile Phones. Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Computer Science, University of California, San Diego, 2011. [PDF]

Cowan, L. Tangible User Interfaces: Transparency and Expressive Power in Post-WIMP Direct Manipulation. M.S. Research Exam, Department of Computer Science, University of California, San Diego, March 2009.

Cowan, L. Emotipix: Mobile Phones as Social Peripheral Displays. M.A. Thesis, Department of Math and Computer Science, Mills College, January 2009.

Cowan, L. Hobbies and Work: An Ethnography of Ceramic Artists. B.A. Honors Thesis, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley, January 1997.

Patents

Li, Kevin A., and Cowan, Lisa G. Method and Apparatus for Interacting with Projected Displays Using Shadows. Docket No. ATT/2010-0924. Filed December, 2010 (pending).

Selected Press Coverage

ShadowPuppets prototype lets you pinch-to-zoom, click, and scroll with shadow gestures, The Verge, Mobile Hands-On, Apr. 19, 2012.

Hands-on with AT&T Labs prototypes: ShadowPuppets and haptic steering wheel, Engadget, News, Apr. 19, 2012.

Doodle on your Facebook and Twitter in real-time with UbiSketch, CBS News, Tech News, Sept. 2, 2011.

Tweet your doodles with UbiSketch, NewScientist, One Percent, Sept. 1, 2011.

Doodle While You're bored? Now You Can Tweet Your Notebook Art With UbiSketch, MediaBistro.com, AllTwitter, Sept. 2, 2011.