Nitin Sawhney

Nitin Sawhney
Aalto University · Department of Computer Science

Ph.D. Media Arts and Sciences | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

About

56
Publications
9,166
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1,604
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Introduction
Nitin Sawhney is a Professor of Practice in the Department of Computer Science at Aalto University. As a human-centered design researcher he examines the critical role of technology, civic media, and urban interventions in crisis and contested spaces. Nitin engages user experience design, participatory action research, sensory ethnography, and multi-modal (speech/audio) approaches for complex contexts of human-machine interaction.

Publications

Publications (56)
Article
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Augmented Reality (AR) technology has provided a new technological platform for ‘mirror worlds’, where layers of information, meaning, and functions are integrated with a digital twin of the real world. To explore mirror worlds, we designed and developed +Andscape, an interactive AR sandbox. In this conceptual and empirical case study, we observed...
Conference Paper
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How do various forms of contestation and agonism in collective social contexts challenge and transform Participatory Design (PD)? Under what conditions does agonism lead to productive outcomes,expand participation and social inclusion? In this paper, we highlight key insights and issues emerging from three case studies,where design practitioners en...
Conference Paper
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We examine the use of "Audio Journaling" as a multi-faceted practice and participatory research method to engage young participants in forms of creative expression, self and peer-based reflection, and participatory assessment. We share our experiences from incorporating this approach in three different participatory media programs conducted with ad...
Article
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In this paper, we examine do-it-yourself (DIY) urbanism through place-based and technology initiatives that support collective networked action to foster civic engagement in neighborhood contexts. The goal is to engage informal and ad-hoc networks of individual and collective actors in productively addressing critical conditions within their urban...
Article
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In this paper, we describe the formatting requirements for the dyd Conference and offer a number of suggestions on writing style for the worldwide dyd readership. This document is based on the ACM conference format with modifications to reflect the dyd publication guidelines [2].
Article
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Despite a range of communication technologies available today, we feel that families have difficulties managing everyday communication and subsequently the relationships with members that are temporally or spatially distributed. There is a dearth of research in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) to understand domestic communication patterns and condu...
Conference Paper
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In this paper we consider the role of digital storytelling for creative empowerment of marginalized youth, through a threeyear program of workshops conducted in the context of Palestinian refugee camps in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. We highlight the current situation regarding arts education and cultural production, and the challenging enviro...
Article
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In this paper, we describe an approach for Open Collaborative Design of sustainable engineering solutions in critical problem domains. ThinkCycle 1 is a student-led initiative established at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2000. The initiative was developed to support cooperative and sustainable design for challenges of critical...
Article
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People wish to maintain a level of awareness of timely information, including presence of others in the workplace and other social settings. We believe this provides better exchange, coordination and contact within a community, especially as people work in asynchronous times and distributed locations. The challenge is to develop lightweight techniq...
Thesis
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Addressing global design challenges in the environment and underserved communities requires a cooperative approach towards sustainable design innovation, one that embraces multidisciplinary expertise, participatory design and rapid dissemination of critical innovations in the field. How can a rural farmer in Botswana cooperatively develop appropria...
Article
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The networked medium of the Internet lowers the technical barriers for distributed collaboration and peer production, however the challenges of creating and sustaining large social and cooperative enterprise are immense. This paper is a survey of prior literature and current theories of cooperation and property rights, particularly in the context o...
Article
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Intellectual property rights (IPR) play an important role in making design innovations accessible to target communities and producers in developing countries. Property rights in scientific research and academic settings have always sparked intense debate about the public vs. commercial nature of research conducted and its impact. Interestingly ther...
Article
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What is the role of collaborative tools in the context of open source engineering design innovation? In this paper, I describe ThinkCycle, an online platform that supports open collaborative design towards sustainable products. It has been used in the context of studio design courses taught at MIT. Usage patterns show several forms of intermittent...
Article
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Media Spaces" may be defined as computer mediated communication channels employing both audio and video. What distinguishes them from simple teleconferencing systems, however, is that they are always (or usually?) on, and thus provide a remote awareness as to availability. Awareness can be obtained via other media (or just audio or video, not both)...
Article
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Introduction Background and Application Domain Dysarthrias are a family of motor speech disorders which arise from neurological trauma, cerebro-vascular and conditions such as cerebral palsy. Impaired motor production in dysarthric speakers interferes with their basic process of speech production such as phonation, articulation and prosody. Hence t...
Article
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People wish to maintain a level of awareness of timely information and activity of others in a variety of social settings at different times of day. Access to situationally relevant information in the shared environment of the participants provides a means for better exchange, coordination and negotiated order in a community. One approach to enhanc...
Article
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In this paper, we explore the use of Bayesian estimation techniques towards modeling indicators related to Human Development, in particular Gender-related measures. The main emphasis and contribution of this work is demonstrating the use of Bayesian approaches towards modeling development indicators, rather than interpreting the validity of specifi...
Article
oncerned about ethics [and its social implications] in development, when we are simply providing technological solutions? Economists and planners are confronted with the same issue as they propose various policies and must find a means to justify them. The noted development economist Amartya Sen argues that "There is no escape from considering both...
Article
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This paper describes an on-going research project at the MIT Media Lab, exploring the use of audio as a primary modality for nomadic computing applications. We are developing a framework for use on a wearable audio platform, Nomadic Radio, that presents dynamic information within a spatialized audio environment. The contextual state of the nomadic...
Article
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Prosodic patterns in speech convey affective state to listeners. In infant-directed speech such characteristics are exaggerated, hence such data was utilized to conduct a short study for the classification of affect. Pitch and energy measures extracted from the utterances of 12 speakers provided prosodic features for the classifier. A Support Vecto...
Article
Full-text available
Media Spaces" may be defined as computer mediated communication channels employing both audio and video. What distinguishes them from simple teleconferencing systems, however, is that they are always (or usually?) on, and thus provide a remote awareness as to availability. Awareness can be obtained via other media (or just audio or video, not both)...
Article
Full-text available
This paper discusses the interaction techniques developed for Nomadic Radio, a wearable computing platform for managing voice and text-based messages in a nomadic environment. Nomadic Radio employs an auditory user interface, which synchronizes speech recognition, speech synthesis, non-speech audio and spatial presentation of digital audio, for nav...
Article
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this paper we discuss the motivation, related work, ethnographic methods and some preliminary analysis of the data from the study
Article
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Most types of human activity inferred from auditory, visual or sensory data can generally be represented as time series models with stochastic and deterministic components. Consider the time-varying features of speech utterances and physical gestures; such expressions occur over an extended time period, vary slightly each time, and their accurate p...
Article
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Dynomite is a portable electronic notebook for the capture and retrieval of handwritten and audio notes. The goal of Dynomite is to merge the organization, search, and data acquisition capabilities of a computer with the benefits of a paper-based notebook. Dynomite provides novel solutions in four key problem areas. First, Dynomite uses a casual, l...
Article
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We consider wearable computing applications which rely on audio as a primary medium of the interface. This paper surveys a range of interaction techniques which may be applied to the design of wearable audio computers (WACs). A summary of several speech and audio processing technologies which can be used in the interface of WACs are reviewed. We pr...
Article
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By “;everywhere messaging” we refer to the ability to send and receive electronic communication at any time and through a variety of means, including wired and wireless computer networks, voice telephones, and pagers. Our goal is to design messaging systems in which the receiver is always “on” and available, and messages are correctly chosen for un...
Conference Paper
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Mobile workers need seamless access to communication andinformation services on portable devices. However current solutionsoverwhelm users with intrusive and ambiguous notifications. In thispaper, we describe scaleable auditory techniques and a contextualnotification model for providing timely information, whileminimizing interruptions. Users actio...
Article
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Nomadic Radio provides an audio-only wearable interface to unify remote information services such as email, voice mail, hourly news broadcasts, and personal calendar events. These messages are automatically downloaded to a wearable device throughout the day and users can browse them using speech recognition and tactile input. To provide an unobtrus...
Article
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This paper describes a sand-based ambient display as an experimental interface for peripheral communication of slowly emerging patterns of data. We describe a working networked prototype of the display that allows awareness of group activity over time. Our goal is to investigate physical and ambient interfaces that form representations of evolving...
Article
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We describe a system for obtaining environmental context through audio for applications and user interfaces. We are interested in identifying specific auditory events such as speakers, cars, and shutting doors, and auditory scenes such as the office, supermarket, or busy street. Our goal is to construct a system that is real-time and robust to a va...
Article
this paper we will first consider several issues regarding audio-based access to GUIs and information. We will survey several approaches for GUI access and audio-related research efforts. The primary concern of our work is providing environments for non-visual access to hyper-linked information. We will propose several concepts and metaphors for th...
Article
Full-text available
This paper describes an on-going research project at the MIT Media Lab, exploring the use of auditory I/O as a primary interaction modality for wearable computing. Nomadic Radio is a framework developed for use on a wearable audio platform. It presents timely information and permits communication within a spatialized audio environment. The contextu...
Article
Full-text available
HyperCafe is an experimental hypermedia prototype, developed as an illustration of a general hypervideo system. This program places the user in a virtual cafe, composed primarily of digital video clips of actors involved in fictional conversations in the cafe; HyperCafe allows the user to follow different conversations, and offers dynamic opportuni...
Article
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Video-based hypermedia and hypertext have each evolved with unique conventions for representing information structure and aesthetic presentation. These conventions have been influenced by the technical constraints imposed by CD-ROMs and the WWW. A formal methodology is needed, along with alternative approaches, to integrate and exchange properties...
Article
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Espace 2 is a prototype system for navigation of hyper-linked audio information in an immersive audio-only environment. In this paper, we propose several essential design concepts for audio-only computing environments. We will describe a hyperaudio system based on the prior design principles and discuss an evaluation of the preliminary prototype. K...
Article
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Environmental sounds provide many contextual cues that enable us to recognize important aspects of our surroundings. The goal of this project is to consider techniques to allow machines to extract and classify features from pre-defined classes of sounds in the environment. We will present the different phases of the project: capture of environmenta...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The use of speech and auditory interaction on wearable computers can provide an awareness of events and personal messages, without requiring one's full attention or disrupting the foreground activity. A passive "hands-and-eyes-free" approach is appropriate when users need convenient and timely access to remote information and communication services...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we discuss a unified approach to browsing personal messages, news, and reminders for both a wearable audio computing environment as well as a desktop visual display. A clock-like spatial layout of the data encodes its arrival time, to support recall and provide a coherent representation of the message space for both visual and auditor...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper describes an on-going research project at the MIT Media Lab, exploring the use of auditory I/O as a primary interaction modality for wearable computing. Nomadic Radio is a framework developed for use on a wearable audio platform. It presents timely information and permits communication within a spatialized audio environment. The contextu...
Article
Full-text available
Video-based hypermedia and hypertext have each evolved with unique conventions for representing information structure and aesthetic presentation. These conventions have been influenced by the technical constraints imposed by CD-ROMs and the WWW. A formal methodology is needed, along with alternative approaches, to integrate and exchange properties...
Article
Full-text available
Dynomite is a portable electronic notebook that merges the benefits of paper note-taking with the organizational capabilities of a computer. Dynomite incorporates four complementary features that combine to form an easy to use system for the capture and retrieval of handwritten and audio notes. First, Dynomite has a paper-like user interface. Secon...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Background Framework for Classroom 2000 Pre-production In-class use Post-production Evaluating Effectiveness Conclusions Acknowledgments References ABSTRACT We are interested in prototyping future computing environments that will enhance the classroom experience and empower both teacher and student. In this paper, we describe the Class...
Article
Design and engineering projects typically involve the participation of a diverse group of designers, domain experts and stakeholders. Many participants may not always be co-located and tend to contribute in an asynchronous manner. However much of the design knowledge (formal and informal) and the ongoing design process (including abandoned design p...
Article
The classroom is a site for rich CSCW activities. We are interested in prototyping future computing environments that will enhance the classroom experience and empower both student and teacher. In this paper, we describe the Classroom 2000 project at Georgia Tech, which is integrating pen-based technology, audio services and the World-Wide Web to s...

Projects