# Homework 2 - Extracting insights

Andrew J. Ko

To make use of research ideas about user interfaces, you have to be able to understand the ideas, including how an idea works and more importantly, why it works. Learning this isn't always as straightforward as watching a demo or reading a research abstract: sometimes it requires more deliberate reading of an entire paper, and sometimes it's not stated at all, requiring some interpretation. Therefore, the skill of reading a paper is key.

1. From the list of papers you generated in the last homework, select three papers that you're interested in understanding more deeply.
2. Summarize each as follows:

• First, understand the problem they are trying to solve. You might find this in the introduction of the paper, or perhaps in the first 30 seconds of a video demonstration of the idea.
• Summarize the problem or opportunity in a sentence or two, doing your best to articulate the essence of the challenge the paper is tackling in a way a peer would understand. For example, imagine the first research paper ever written about multi-touch input devices. A summary of the opportunity might be:
• Most input techniques leverage only one channel of input, such as a button press. If humans were able to use multiple channels of input, such as multiple fingers, this might enable new ways to interact with computers more efficiently
• Once you have a firm understanding of the problem or opportunity, find the key insight that makes the idea work. It might be some property of human performance or cognition or the application of some new sensor, algorithm, or other technology.
• Summarize the key insight in a sentence or two, explaining to a peer how that insight helped solve the problem. For our multi-touch example, this might be:
• By constructing a layer of insulator (such as glass), transparent conductor, and voltage dividers, and rapidly switching between two axes of voltage dividers, one can precisely measure the x and y position of multiple conductive points, such as human fingers.

Submit to Canvas three paragraphs (one for each of your three papers), along with a citation for each paper.

Based on past years, this task task anywhere from 2-5 hours. If it's on the shorter end, it's either because you chose some papers near your expertise or skimmed them. You'll only hit the higher end if you hit some dead ends or have trouble accessing a document. It shouldn't take more than 60 minutes per paper to extract these two pieces of information and summarize them for an audience of your peers.