My research is concerned
with designing elegant solutions for delivering the maximum user experience
from devices with limited processing capability by using knowledge of human-computer
interaction. For example by understanding the perceptual limitations of users it
is possible to avoid wasting computing resources by ascertaining from
psychophysical experimentation the information that the user will fail to
perceive. This is particularly important when highly complex problems are
considered on reduced computational resources, such as those available on
modern pervasive computing technology, or when high fidelity results are
required in real-time. My doctoral research investigated the extent to which
limitations of the Human Visual System (HVS) could be used to save significant
computational time when rendering high fidelity scenes. From the research conducted
it was established that viewers consistently fail to notice any perceivable
difference between a totally high quality rendered image and that of a
selectively rendered image, computed in a fraction of the time taken to render
the high quality image. By selectively rendered we mean rendering to highest
quality only those areas that are classified as important to the HVS, with the
rest of the scene rendered at low quality. We were thus able to program a
selective renderer based on these findings which saved significant
computational time without interfering with the observer’s perception of the
computer generated image.
use of psychophysical experimentation to gain important insights can be used to
feed back into the development of technology. Such interdisciplinary research
will be of increasing importance in the future as we strive to extract the
maximum performance from computer systems by exploiting the knowledge that
human beings, with their implicit limitations, are in fact the end users.
field that I am currently working on, with Mobile Bristol, is user experience
design, as this is a major
driver for consumer purchases and differentiates services by engaging the
emotional needs and desires of people. Mobile technologies are a fact of everyday
life and the ability to access services anytime, anyplace, anywhere is
beginning to happen. Consequently research into user experience is needed to
understand what the right thing is, at the right time in the right place and
thus has enormous significance to the future of computing.
Last year I
developed and constructed, in collaboration with two creative writers, an
interactive experience called ‘Riot! 1831.’ The application
entailed users walking around a public square in Bristol listening to a re-enactment of the riot
that happened there in 1831. I was responsible for programming the logic and
the structure in which the audio files were played, which tested the limitations
of the authoring tool that we have developed to allow users from non-technical
backgrounds to create their own location aware applications. The hardware used was
an iPAQ (handheld PC), a GPS unit and a set of headphones, and was location
based i.e. depending on where the users walked affected what they heard through
the headphones. I then supervised a 3 week trial of this experience which was
attended by over 700 people. To assess the user’s experience we carried out
statistical analysis on the questionnaires,
trace file recordings of their movements around the square and the interviews that
we performed with the participants. Our key questions focused on
the users’ satisfaction with their experience, for example what did they feel
about the technology, would they pay money for the experience, what would they
have changed to make the experience more compelling, did the technology inhibit
or enhance their experience of that place. This research has been so cutting
edge that worldwide interest has generated a demand for workshops that discuss
our findings and teach the authoring tool we have developed across the globe
which I have led. In the past 12 months I have been responsible for two
workshops in Canada, one in the Dominican Republic and several in the United Kingdom.
just one of the many applications we have enabled with this technology for
which I have provided both technical and organisational support which has been
integral to the success of these projects. For an overview of the different
types of applications please see www.mobilebristol.com.
- December 2003 – Present: Research Associate for Mobile Bristol, part of the DTI funded City and
Buildings Centre that was set up to explore the uses of mobile
technologies in the City.
- September 2000 – June 2004: PhD
student in the Department of Computer Science, looking at exploiting the
limits of human visual system to save time computationally by selectively
rendering scenes without the users perceiving any noticeable differences
- September 1999 – May 2000:
Undergraduate Research project working on the use of parallel threads for
improved computation of image processing with neural networks, for an aid
for the visually impaired.
- Awaiting news on a £50K EPSRC Public
- £1.5 million from the Department of
Trade and Industry to fund the Mobile Bristol research project
October 2000 – 2003
EPSRC grant to fund three years full time research for my PhD – Award No.
competent - with a thorough understanding of general computer science
principles, together with an in-depth knowledge of pervasive experiences, mobile
computing, computer graphics and human computer interactions.
communicator - with excellent verbal, writing and listening skills.
effectively, as an individual and in a team, with people at all levels of
technical knowledge and backgrounds.
- Organised -
plan my work effectively to ensure that I achieve my objectives.
- Determined - self-motivated
and possess the drive and perseverance to see a job through to completion.
- Able to work
- Proven track
record of taking on responsibility, being able to delegate and being able
to deliver on time and within budget.
- BBC – Consultant on their
Festival of Nature Mobile Walk, October 2004
- Banff New Media Institute, Canada and Concordia University, Montreal, Canada, – Consultant on their
Mobile Digital Commons Network (MDCN) November 2004 – Present
Workshops, Visits &
Training which I have led:
- Workshop for the 6th
International Conference on Information Technology for Higher Education
and Training, Dominican Republic, July 2005
- Workshops for the MDCN
network in Canada, November 2004 &
- UK workshops: Derry City Council, the University of
Ulster and North West Institute of Further and Higher Education - Northern Ireland
Broadband Flagship Project; Nesta Futurelab
- Mudlarking in Deptford project; AWAKIN -
Giants Causeway Project, 2AD: The Second International Conference on
- Valerie Davey visit - 2001-2005 MP for Bristol West
- Individually trained
several artists and creative writers to use the authoring tool we have
International Profile (High
International Esteem Factor):
- 2005 – 2006: ACM
SIGGRAPH 2006 International Resources Chair
- 2003 – 2005:
Coordinator of the International Resources English Review Service for ACM
- 2002 – Present:
Student Chair on the ACM SIGGRAPH Professional and Student Chapter
- 2001 – 2004:
Chair of the University of Bristol ACM
SIGGRAPH Student Chapter.
Reviewer for SIGGRAPH 2002, 2003 & 2004, paper reviewer for Eurographics Symposium on Rendering 2003, paper
reviewer for Afrigraph 2003.
- Member of
the British Computer Society, ACM and ACM SIGGRAPH.
University of Bristol teaching experience to date:
2005 Commenced study for an Advanced Certificate in
Lecturer on Software Product Engineering COMS20805
Lecturer on Software Engineering and Group Project COMSM1401
Co-supervised both BSc projects and MSc projects.
Taught MSc Lecture on an overview of computer graphics.
Taught Computer Graphics lectures, COMS30105, on the Hemi-cube and sphere
methods and progressive refinement radiosity.
Marking of Computer Graphics assignments, COMS30105.
Lab supervision of Computer Graphics, COMS30105.
Marking Overview of Computing portfolios, COMS11301.
Lab supervision of Overview of Computing, COMS11301.
UCAS admissions, showing prospective students and parents around the department
and demonstrating the motion platform.
2000-2004 University of Bristol,
Department of Computer Science,
Detail to Attention: Exploiting Limits of the Human Visual System for Selective
1996-2000 University of Bristol
Computer Graphics, Image Processing and Computer Vision, HCI and
Multimedia Authoring, Multimedia Processing, Databases, Language Engineering,
Concurrency and Communications, Systems Integration, Design Methodologies,
Software Engineering, Discrete Maths, Professional Studies for CS, Professional
Engineering Studies, Intro. to Computer Architecture,
Intro. to Software Engineering & Intro. to Computer Science.
Final Year Dissertation for BSc: Image Processing
using Neural Networks - Producing an aid for the Visually Impaired
The Abbey School, Reading
levels: Biology (B), Physics (D)
A/S levels: Computing (A*), Mathematics (B)
GCSEs: Computer Studies, Physics, Geography, Mathematics, Biology, English,
English Literature, Chemistry, French & Spanish. (All grades A* to C)
GCSE: Religious Studies
K., FLEURIOT C., HULL
R., AND REID J. 2005 “Location Aware Interactive Applications.” Sketch in ACM
SIGGRAPH 2005, Conference Abstracts and Applications.
R., CATER K., AND FLEURIOT C. 2005 “Magic Moments in
Situated Mediascapes.” In Proceedings of the ACM SIGCHI International Conference on Advances in Computer
Entertainment Technology ACE 2005.
- MISKELLY C., CATER K., FLEURIOT C., WILLIAMS M., AND WOOD L. 2005 “Locating Story.” In: Proceedings of the fourth
Media in Transition conference - the work of stories, MIT, Boston, May 2005.
J., GEELHOED E., HULL R., CATER K., AND CLAYTON
B. 2005 “Parallel Worlds: Immersion in Location-based Experiences.” In Proceedings
of CHI 2005, ACM, 1733-1736.
- REID J.,
CATER K., AND CLAYTON B. 2004 “Riot! 1831: The design of a location based
audio drama.” In Proceedings of UK-UbiNet 2004.
- HEATHERLY S., HAYWARD R., HILL J., SMIT
H., CATER K., AND ROGERS P. Effects of caffeine and caffeine withdrawal on
simulated driving performance. In: Journal of
Psychopharmacology, Supplement, 18 (3), A29, November 2004.
V., CHALMERS A., AND CATER K. 2004 “Selective Rendering of Task Related
Scenes.” In Proceedings of the 1st
Symposium on Applied perception in graphics and visualization, ACM, 174.
- SUNDSTED V., CHALMERS
A., CATER K., AND DEBATTISTA K.
2004 “Top-Down Visual Attention for Efficient
Rendering of Task Related Scenes.” In: VMV 2004 - Vision,
Modelling and Visualization, Stanford, November 2004.
- CATER K. “Detail
to Attention: Exploiting Limits of the Human Visual System for Selective
Rendering.” PhD Thesis, University of Bristol, October 2004.
- Chalmers A., and Cater K.
2004 “Exploiting Human Visual Perception in Visualization.” Chapter in Visualization
Handbook Academic Press.
K., CHALMERS A., AND
WARD G. 2003 “Detail to Attention:
Exploiting Visual Tasks for Selective Rendering”
In Proceedings of Eurographics Symposium on Rendering 2003.
- Chalmers A., Cater K., and MAFFIOLI D.
2003 “Visual Attention Models for Producing High Fidelity Graphics
Efficiently.” In Proceedings
of Spring Conference on Computer Graphics 2003, 47-54.
- Cater K., and Chalmers A.G.
2003 “Maintaining Perceived Quality For
Interactive Tasks”, In IS&T/SPIE
Conference on Human Vision and Electronic Imaging VIII, SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5007-21.
K., CHALMERS A., AND
C. 2003 “Varying Rendering Fidelity by
Exploiting Human Change Blindness” In Proceedings of GRAPHITE 2003,
- Chalmers A., and Cater K.
2002 “Realistic Rendering in Real-Time.” In Proceedings of the 8th International Euro-Par Conference
on Parallel Processing, Springer-Verlag 21-28.
- Cater K., Chalmers A., and Ledda P.
2002 “Selective Quality Rendering by Exploiting Human Inattentional
Blindness: Looking but not Seeing”, In Proceedings of Symposium on Virtual
Reality Software and Technology 2002, ACM, 17-24.
K., CHALMERS A., AND
DALTON C. 2001 “Change
Blindness with varying rendering fidelity: looking but not seeing”, Sketch
in ACM SIGGRAPH 2001, Conference Abstracts and Applications.