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Multitasking in Human-Computer Interaction

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ABSTRACT : In this talk, I’ll focus on three contexts in which people regularly multitask while using computers: driving a car, doing work tasks, and relaxing on the sofa at home. Across these contexts, I shall describe how we have used different research methods and approaches to understand how people multitask: from cognitive modelling, to control lab experiments, to situated observational studies, and online studies with crowdsourcing platforms. This research helps us understand why some people are better at multitasking than others, and how systems can be designed to help us focus our attention when we need to.

SPEAKER BIO : Duncan Brumby is a Reader in Human-Computer Interaction at University College London (UCL). He received a PhD in Psychology from Cardiff University in 2005, before doing a two year post-doc in Computer Science at Drexel University. He has published 19 journal articles and more than 40 peer-reviewed conference papers (incl. 12 CHI Papers/Notes). This research has been supported by grants from the the EPSRC , EIT, and EC. He directs the MSc HCI programme at UCL , is Deputy Editor-in-Chief at the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, and will be Subcommittee Chair for “Understand People” at CHI 2018 . Google Scholar profile:

References: Brumby, D.P., Salvucci, D.D., & Howes, A. (2009). Focus on driving: How cognitive constraints shape the adaptation of strategy when dialing while driving. Proc. CHI ’09. ACM . Farmer, G.D., Janssen, C.P., & Brumby, D.P. (2017). Dividing attention between tasks: Testing whether explicit payoff functions elicit optimal dual-task performance. Cognitive Science. Gould, S.J.J., Cox, A.L., & Brumby, D.P. (2016). Diminished control in crowdsourcing: An investigation of crowdworker multitasking behavior. ACM ToCHI, 23(3), Article 19. Rigby, J.M., Brumby, D.P., Gould, S.J.J., & Cox, A.L. (2017). Media multitasking at home: A video observation study of concurrent TV and mobile device usage. Proc. TVX ’17. ACM .

This talk is part of the Human Computer Interaction seminars series.

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