Thesis defense: Carrie Cai "Wait-Learning: Intelligent Systems for Making Productive Use of Wait Time"

Speaker: Carrie Cai , MIT CSAIL

Date: Thursday, April 13, 2017

Time: 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM Note: all times are in the Eastern Time Zone

Refreshments: 11:00 AM

Public: Yes

Location: 32-G449 (Kiva)

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Contact: Carrie Jun Cai,

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Reminder Subject: TALK: Thesis defense: Carrie Cai "Wait-Learning: Intelligent Systems for Making Productive Use of Wait Time"


Every day, millions of people set long-term goals, such as learning a skill, developing a habit, or completing a project. Yet, in our busy, time-crunched world, most have difficulty making progress towards these goals. Despite this lack of time, there are numerous moments in a day when people wait, such as waiting for the elevator or waiting for an instant message reply. These fleeting moments could instead be used for completing short, concrete microtasks towards accomplishing long-term goals.

In this thesis talk, I will discuss the design, implementation, and evaluation of novel systems that enable wait-time productivity. First, WaitChatter enables wait-learning, by automatically detecting when a user is awaiting an instant message reply, and presenting foreign language vocabulary exercises during that time. Second, WaitSuite is a suite of systems that expand wait-learning to diverse kinds of waiting. Finally, Deadspace Finder automatically detects unused screen space for the subtle display of peripheral microtasks. Taken together, this thesis demonstrates that wait-time productivity is both feasible and more effective than traditional reminders, making meaningful use of time we didn’t know we had.

Advisor: Rob Miller
Committee: Pattie Maes, Victor Zue

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Created by Carrie Jun Cai Email at Wednesday, April 05, 2017 at 4:13 PM.