Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Opening of the HCI 2007 International Conference

On Tuesday evening the 2007 HCI International Conference opened with a keynote session, chaired by Michael Smith. After a welcome address by the President of Tsinghua University and by the HCI chair Prof. Constantine Stephanidis, who advertised the 2009 HCI conference in San Diego, the keynote speaker Prof. Takeo Kanade from CMU in Pittsburgh gave his keynote speech. I knew him since the mid 1990s from his work on robotics, as I once visited CMU in 1995 when I still wa working on autonomous road vehicle systems. He talked about several of the projects he was involved in, ranging from "Matrix"-style image capture for sports (EyeVision, for CBS Superbowl) to motion capture and ergonomics studies. His latest interest is in "Quality of Life Technologies" for elderly and disabled.
His talk was followed by a brief overview over the HCI activities by Microsoft Research Asia, given by Jian Wang, head of the MS Research Asia lab in Beijing.

After that, Chinese artists performed dances with lion and dragon costumes, and the audience could eat at a buffet dinner.

The music there was quite loud at times, which made it difficult to conduct a conversation. Nevertheless I met a couple of colleagues, among them Marc who had arrived a few days earlier and had already seen some of the great sights of Beijing. I also met Prof. Holzinger, the chair of the FUITEL session where I would give the first talk (which is actually the talk of my student, Johannes Christian - he did all the work and prepared the vugraphs, so I should give him credit here!).

Later in the evening I did more work on the presentations. Should have done this before travelling... but there had been not much time these past weeks.

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