And We Award the Inaugural TOCHI Best Paper Award, 2016, to…

 


 

We interrupt your regularly scheduled blog posts for a special message from TOCHI’s Editor-in-Chief, Ken Hinckley, who shares with us some breaking news…


 

Banner for ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction Best Paper Award, 2016

And yesthank you, because indeed a very special moment in the history of the TOCHI journal has arrived, and herein we unveil the inaugural…

 

ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction

Best Paper Award

— 2016 —  

So sit back, grab some popcorn (and perhaps a beverage of your choosing), and enjoy the festivities.

 

With the Full Red Carpet Treatment. Of course, on such a celebratory occasion, we must roll out a luxuriant red promenade.

For a fleeting moment, we even considered a military parade for this inaugural occasion. But budgets being what they are, the best we could afford turned out to be a brigade of “Reviewer 2’s” armed with sharp red pens. To be brutally honest we feared this would not go over well, to say the least, and so all such plans were scrapped forthwith.

And with the reality of the publishing industry (as of early 2017) being what it is, our “red” carpet, I am afraid, must be printed solely in black and white.

Furthermore, rather than a plush walkway, the substrate upon which we must strut our stuff is much more akin to recycled newsprint.

But what a venue it is!

Okay, enough fun for now.

So let me set the stage for the award, and in so doing, switch to what my wife calls, my serious voice…


Because it takes incredibly hard work to get into TOCHI, and many notable HCI researchers have published their work in our pages. Even more important, I think, is the wave of up-and-comers in the field who are constantly breaking new ground. We are honored to have played a small role in building their careers, and publication credentials, as well.

TOCHI plays a vital role in the HCI community because it offers a forum for results that sprawl beyond the tidy boxes, tied up with neat satin bows, that can sometimes come to dominate typical conference papers. I’ve certainly written my fair share of those (only without the neatness, and often with some loose ends in those bows as well…). And of course there is nothing wrong with the “typical” conference-paper type of contribution, but by the same token it’s really important that the field has venues for results that are “out of the box” in a sense—and indeed, that span multiple boxes in the form of cross-discipline work, as well.

In that regard, the article we’ve selected for our 2016 Best Paper award is a great representative of the field. It reports on an interdisciplinary effort that advances the needs of a particular user community, but in so doing pushes on boundaries of interaction design and computer science as well. In order to build the system the authors embarked upon, the research had to upend some conventional wisdom regarding image navigation and innovate new interaction techniques along the way.

So (drum roll please), without further ado…

 

The recipient of the 2016 TOCHI Best Paper Award is:

 

The Design and Evaluation of

Interfaces for Navigating Gigapixel Images

in Digital Pathology

 

Roy A. Ruddle             School of Computing, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

Rhys G. Thomas          School of Computing, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

Rebecca Randell         School of Healthcare, University of Leeds, UK

Philip Quirke               Leeds Institute of Cancer and Pathology, University of Leeds, UK

Darren Treanor           St James’ University Hospital, Leeds, UK, and
Leeds Institute of Cancer and Pathology, University of Leeds, UK

 

ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction
Volume 23, No. 1, Article 5 (February 2015): 29 pages.
DOI= http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2834117

For this fine accomplishment, each of the authors will receive a physical manifestation of the award, which looks something like the following:

 Plaque for the inaugural TOCHI Best Paper Award, 2016

And just to pique your interest in this fine work just a bit further, the following abstract characterizes the work in the authors’ own words:

 This article describes the design and evaluation of two generations of an interface for navigating datasets of gigapixel images that pathologists use to diagnose cancer.

The interface design is innovative because users panned with an overview:detail view scale difference that was up to 57 times larger than established guidelines, and 1 million pixel “thumbnail” overviews that leveraged the real estate of high-resolution workstation displays.

The research involved experts performing real work (pathologists diagnosing cancer), using datasets that were up to 3,150 times larger than those used in previous studies that involved navigating images. The evaluation provides evidence about the effectiveness of the interfaces and characterizes how experts navigate gigapixel images when performing real work. Similar interfaces could be adopted in applications that use other types of high-resolution images (e.g., remote sensing or high-throughput microscopy).

Check it out. You’ll be glad you did. By the time you read this, the article should be available in the ACM Digital Library for open-access—sporting a spiffy new award badge no less—at:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2834117

A Quick Update on the TOCHI Editorial Board

The TOCHI journal continues to strive for greater heights.

And in recent events, as an institution it has grown far wiser as well.

Because I am happy to report that four illustrious new members have graciously accepted my invitation to serve on the Editorial Board:

Pourang P. Irani (University of Manitoba);

http://www.cs.umanitoba.ca/~irani/

  — Per Ola Kristensson (University of Cambridge);

http://pokristensson.com/

  — Wendy E. Mackay (Université de Paris-Sud); and

http://insitu.lri.fr/~mackay/

  — Albrecht Schmidt (University of Stuttgart).

http://www.vis.uni-stuttgart.de/en/institute/people/prof-dr-albrecht-schmidt.html

Each of them are accomplished innovators, lecturers, and researchers—if not a force of nature in their own right—and I’m very excited for the vision and guidance they will all bring to the board. And these reinforcements arrive just in time, too, as TOCHI is on a record pace for new submissions this year, with manuscript #155 having just entered the queue as of mid-July.

And that doesn’t even count the revisions.

So needless to say, there’s plenty of editorial work to go around. Our average response time continues to hew to about 50 days, although admittedly this obscures a highly bimodal distribution: we decline many submissions within a few days, while those that go through full external reviews usually take longer. We strive to issue a decision letter within 90 days, but that isn’t always possible—especially during the summer, when almost all prospective reviewers (somehow having the gall to enjoy their sunny holidays) tend make themselves rather scarce!

And if your manuscript has been with us for more than 90 days, please do feel free to query tochi@acm.org so that we can check on its status. Such queries, when necessary, often constitute a useful prod to stir reviewers and editors (including myself!) to imminent action.

Perhaps now is also a good time to remind everyone, oh ye of the faithful TOCHI readership, that 2016 will herald the first annual TOCHI Best Paper Award. We expect to make our selection(s) in early 2017, with all papers published in Volume 23 being eligible. I would love to receive your nominations for our best papers published in 2016, to be sure they receive full due consideration for the award. Just drop us a line at tochi@acm.org. And please do include a brief statement as to why you think the paper is especially deserving—that may be just the thing necessary to push it over the top, given the consistent excellence of all the work that we publish.