Education

PhD, Indiana University, Informatics, Human-Computer Interaction (2007-2012)

Dissertation Title: DESIGN FOUNDATIONS FOR CONTENT-RICH ACOUSTIC INTERFACES: INVESTIGATING AUDEMES AS REFERENTIAL NON-SPEECH AUDIO CUES

Committee: Davide Bolchini, PhD (Advisor), Mark Pfaff, PhD (Chair), Mathew Palakal, PhD (Minor Representative), and Amy Shirong Lu, PhD (Member)

Abstract: To access interactive systems, blind and visually impaired users can leverage their auditory senses by using non-speech sounds. The current structure of non-speech sounds, however, is geared toward conveying user interface operations (e.g., opening a file) rather than large theme-based information (e.g., a history passage) and, thus, is ill-suited to signify the complex meanings of primary learning material (e.g., books and websites). In order to address this problem, this dissertation introduces audemes, a new category of non-speech sounds, whose semiotic structure and flexibility open new horizons for facilitating the education of blind and visually impaired students.

An experiment with 21 students from the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ISBVI) supports the hypothesis that audemes increase the retention of theme-based information. By acting as memory catalysts, audemes can play an important role in enhancing the aural interaction and navigation in future sound-based user interfaces. For this dissertation, I designed an Acoustic EDutainment INterface (AEDIN) that integrates audemes as a way by which to vividly anticipate text-to-speech theme-based information and, thus, act as innovative aural covers. The results of two iterative usability evaluations with total of 20 blind and visually impaired participants showed that AEDIN is a highly usable and enjoyable acoustic interface.

Yet, designing well-formed audemes remains an ad hoc process because audeme creators can only rely on their intuition to generate meaningful and memorable sounds. In order to address this problem, this dissertation presents three experiments, each with 10 blind and visually impaired participants. The goal was to examine the optimal combination of audeme attributes, which can be used to facilitate accurate recognitions of audeme meanings. This work led to the creation of seven basic guidelines that can be used to design well-formed audemes. An interactive application tool (ASCOLTA: Advanced Support and Creation-Oriented Library Tool for Audemes) operationalized these guidelines to support individuals without an audio background in designing well-formed audemes. An informal evaluation conducted with three teachers from the ISBVI, supports the hypothesis that ASCOLTA is a useful tool by which to facilitate the integration of audemes into the teaching environment.


MS, Purdue UniversityComputer Science (2005-2007)

Title: ADAPTIVE GPS BASED SITE NAVIGATION SYSTEM

Committee: Mathew J. Palakal, PhD (Advisor), Mihran Tuceryan, PhD, and Jeffrey Huang, PhD

Abstract: Satellite navigation has become the buzz of the century. With the easy integration of the GPS (Global Positioning System) on Pocket PCs, these powerful small devices have become ideal for site navigation. This project aims at using a Pocket PC for navigating a university campus using a GPS. Each building on the map, called Hot Zone, is saved into a database along with its name, X, Y coordinates, audio information associated with it, and the neighboring buildings. The Longitude and Latitude that the Pocket PC receives from the satellite is continuously translated into X, Y coordinates and shows on the map the current location at all times. When wished to find the route to another building, the Shortest Path algorithm is applied to find and visually show the path on top of the map. Whenever the satellite signal shows Pocket PC’s presence inside a Hot Zone, the associated audio information is automatically streamed from the server. This gives the advantage of not wasting local Pocket PC memory. The map is a JPEG image, which can be easily changed just by drag and drop, and the application will automatically load and calibrate. The database is implemented into a XML file for easy update of Hot Zone locations of the site. This project can be deployed into sites such as, university campuses, museums, amusement parks, etc.


BS, South East European UniversityComputer Science (2002-2005)

Title: SMALL ENTERPRISE SALES CONTROL APPLICATION

Committee: Vladimir Radevski, PhD (Advisor), Margita Kon Popovska, PhD, and Bekim Fetaji, PhD

Abstract: Computer Sales and Accounting application is a kind of accounting program for small and medium business companies. It is a tool that will ease the everyday work of the employees. This application is especially helpful to the managers, since they can easily keep track of the employees and the stock situation in the store. This project is implemented in a form of a standalone application programmed in Delphi. The information is stored in a relational database MS SQL Server. This application is consisted of modules that manage computer inventory and sales in a computer store. The application itself is installed in workstations or clients running any version of Windows OS, whereas the data will reside in a database server. It will run on multiple machines/clients, namely in the accounting department, sales department, inventory management, technical services department etc. It is consisted of several modules that generally store data and generate reports.

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