Workshops & Instructors

UBISS 2019 – Workshops & Instructors

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Virtual Reality (VR) became increasingly important since its vision from a technological perspective was first introduced by Ivan Sutherland in 1965. Nowadays, many different application domains are interested in using such immersive technology ranging from architecture, health and medicine, psychology, simulation, training, engineering, construction, archaeology, tourism to entertainment, games, education, data visualization, or art and culture. However, building VR experiences also provides challenges for users and developers. Designing natural interactions in a 3D space, avoiding motion sickness, or inducing a high sense of presence in the user – all these goals require a fundamental understanding of the underlying concepts of the technology as well as the human perception, cognition, and motor action.

This workshop will cover:

  • basic knowledge about human information processing and the human perceptual system, which is important to understand VR-related topics such as motion sickness,
  • the reality-virtuality framework to better frame terms such as virtual, augmented and mixed reality,
    core concepts and definitions of VR such as presence and immersion,
  • introduction to software frameworks, in particular, the Unity3D game engine and VR frameworks,
  • foundations of immersive technology, e.g., 3D tracking, stereoscopic displays, real-time rendering, and
  • design and implementation of 3D user interfaces: object selection & manipulation, system control, and locomotion.

In addition to the theoretical part, attendees will implement a VR experience that contains all the aspects from the lectures. Therefore, we use the Unity3D engine and C#, which will be introduced in the lectures as well. After the workshop, students have a solid theoretical knowledge about VR and are able to program modern VR applications with industry-leading tools.

To attend the workshop, students don’t need to have expertise in VR, Unity3D or C#. However, it is necessary to have basic programming skills in at least one modern programming language (e.g., Java or C++). Furthermore, it is beneficial to have basic knowledge in computer graphics.

Maximum number of participants to be enrolled to the workshop: 20

Prof. Frank Steinicke, University of Hamburg, Germany
Eike Langbehn, University of Hamburg, Germany

Frank Steinicke
Frank Steinicke
is a professor for Human-Computer Interaction at the Department of Informatics at the University of Hamburg. His research is driven by understanding the human perceptual, cognitive and motor abilities and limitations in order to reform the interaction as well as the experience in computer-mediated realities. Frank Steinicke regularly serves as panelist and speaker at major events in the area of virtual reality and human-computer interaction and is on the IPC of various national and international conferences. He serves as the program chair for IEEE VR 2017/2018, which is the most renowned scientific conference in the area of VR/AR. Furthermore, he is a member of the Steering committee of the ACM SUI Symposium and the GI SIG VR/AR, and currently editor of the IEEE Computer Graphics & Applications Department on Spatial Interfaces.

Eike Langbehn
Eike Langbehn
is a doctoral candidate and research associate at the Human-Computer Interaction group at the University of Hamburg. Before, he worked as a Unity3D developer at a games company and studied computer science. His research is focused on techniques for exploiting perceptual limitations and illusions with the goal to enable natural walking in a room-scale virtual reality setup, e.g. redirected walking. Eike has published in the most competitive conferences of the field including ACM SIGGRAPH and IEEE VR. He is actively involved in the research community and serves as reviewer for several national and international conferences and journals. Furthermore, he is regularly invited as a speaker at events and gatherings in the area of virtual reality and game development and is committed to the organisation of hackathons and game jams.


The IoT is a fascinating ecosystem comprising many components, which are tightly interrelated: devices (the Things), wireless networks, the Internet, the application domains. Complete understanding of the IoT world requires end-to-end approaches that include all such components, plus a bit of business models. This workshop aims at testing the participants’ abilitities in diving into the IoT world.

Before the workshop, participants will be provided with material to get in touch with the wireless communication technologies that will be used during the workshop: Zigbee, LoRa, and 5G. When in Oulu, after a short introduction to the IoT ecosystem and the approaches needed for successful implementation of IoT applications, they will be given the chance to put the hands on different platforms implementing the three technologies. They will be grouped in teams of up to three members, and asked to develop their own innovative IoT application. Participants will program devices, measuring link and network KPIs like throughput and latency; they will implement innovative IoT applications, and test them by personalising the devices with sensors of different types; they will develop simple web applications able to interact with the wireless devices. Application domains of the IoT attracting growing interest of many stakeholders include Smart Cities, and Industry 4.0. These will be considered as primary reference domains for the workshop, with lessons learnt from real-world use cases discussed during the brainstorming sessions.

In summary, the workshop will include:

  • introduction and summary of material provided before the workshop (about 20% of time);
  • hands-on project (about 60% of time);
  • brainstorming sessions oriented at the discussion of participants’ projects and outcomes (about 20% of time).

Participants will learn:

  • fundamentals of Zigbee, LoRa and 5G wireless technologies;
  • how to program and test wireless devices in a networked context;
  • how to develop a successful IoT application.

Preferred participant profile are graduate students (engineers, PhD students) and advanced M.Sc. students with background in telecommunications, electrical engineering, and computer science and engineering.

Maximum number of participants to be enrolled to the workshop: 24

Prof. Roberto Verdone, University of Bologna, Italy
Prof. Chiara Buratti, University of Bologna, Italy

Roberto Verdone

Roberto Verdone got his Master degree in Electronics Engineering, and his Ph.D., both from the Univ. of Bologna. Since 2001 he is Full Professor in Telecommunications at the Univ. of Bologna. He teaches courses on Mobile Radio Networks, Internet of Things, Vehicular Communications, and on Project Management and Soft Skills. In 2001 he founded a research group (Radio Networks) working on RRM for mobile systems, MAC, routing and topology aspects of wireless sensor networks, architectures and technologies for the IoT. In particular, he is active in the field of the integration of the IoT with 5G networks. He is part of the Networld2020 Expert Group. In such role, in 2015 he edited a White Paper on “Experimental facilities for 5G in Europe”, contributed by about 50 experts from major European stakeholders. He published about 200 research papers, on IEEE journals / conferences. In the past 15 years he has been involved / has coordinated more than ten European research projects, including four Networks of Excellence, and many industrial projects (with Telecom Italia, Microsoft, CEA-LETI, and others). During the last decade he was General Chairman for the COST Action 2100 on mobile radio communications, and co-chaired the follow-up Actions IC1004 and IRACON. He is senior member of IEEE. In Sept. 2018 he hosted IEEE PIMRC in Bologna, acting as General Chairperson. In 2016 he co-founded an innovative start-up (Idesio), which offers end-to-end IoT services in various application domains, including Smart Cities and Smart Manufacturing.

Chiara Buratti
Chiara Buratti received her Ph.D. degree in electronics, computer science, and systems from the University of Bologna in 2009. Since 2011 she is Assistant Professor at the University of Bologna. Her research focuses on Wireless Sensor Networks and Internet of Things, with particular reference to MAC and routing protocols, Zigbee and LoRa technologies. She has collaborated in many European projects, such as Newcom, Newcom++, Cruise, eDiana and Wiserban. She has been Responsible of the Bologna site of the EuWIn platform developed within the NoE Newcom# and Co-Chair of the EWG-IoT of the Cost Action IRACON. She won the “2012 Intel Early Career Faculty Honor Program Award” and she has been Enseignant Chercheur Invitè at CNRS, LIMOS lab, dell’Università Blaise Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand (France). She has co-authored more than 80 technical papers.


Sometimes designers need to make problems rather than solve them. In this workshop, students will spend one week developing a prototype for a tool that addresses social change or activism. As designers and artists, we recognize that life has layers and complications, and that we all exist in unique ecosystems (especially when we come from different parts of the world for this one week course). Together we will find common ground and collaborate on projects that are provocative, brave, and meaningful. Using digital fabrication tools, students will brainstorm, design, and prototype a tool of resistance.* Students will choose their theme area and design and build a protest tool to use in a public space. Areas of focus may include: environmental activism, gender equality, animal rights, immigration, democracy, dystopian futures, or other areas selected by students. With design research as a lens, students will envision and create an object or experience that critically explores a socially and culturally relevant issue.

Throughout the week, we will look at the history of protest strategies used by activist groups around the world. In parallel, we will have skill-based workshops that focus on 3D printing, laser cutting, and electronics tool kits. Inspired by the history of activism around the world, students will research and design a tool to be used at a future protest OR they will build one that could have enhanced a past protest. Some protest events and strategies students will explore include: Julia Butterfly Hill’s two-year occupation of a 1500 year old redwood tree in Northern California; The Free Speech Movement in Berkeley; Martin Luther King and civil rights protests; the Women’s March; the Occupy Movement; French Yellow Vest protests; Sea Shepherds; Pussy Riot, #MeToo movement, 2018 Rome protests, and so on. Looking to these historical moments, we will pinpoint spaces where avant garde design could have enhanced, changed or altered the protestors’ messages.

Together we will harness our curiosity and discover new strategies for activism. Join us and make design your partner in protest!

*Hailing from UC Berkeley, the birthplace of the American Free Speech Movement, professors Jill Miller and Eric Paulos embrace “resistance” as a positive democratic tool for ensuring that free speech thrives in society.

Learning outcomes include:

  • designing and fabricating with 3D printers,
  • designing and laser cutting different materials,
  • proficiency in using a simple electronics kit,
  • a new understanding of public art and social activism.

All students interested in design and activism are encouraged to apply. Students will work collaboratively in groups and are not expected to have full command of all skill sets used in the course. However, students who have experience in the following areas are ideal: Adobe Illustrator, Laser cutting, Fusion 360 or other 3D modeling software, 3D printing, Arduinos, Raspberry Pi, contemporary art, and collaborating with others.

Maximum number of participants to be enrolled to the workshop: 24

Assoc. Prof. Eric Paulos, University of California, Berkeley, USA
Assist. Prof. Jill Miller, University of California, Berkeley, USA
Assoc. Prof. Georgi V. Georgiev, University of Oulu, Finland

Eric Paulos
Eric Paulos is the founder and director of the Hybrid Ecologies Lab, an Associate Professor in Electrical Engineering Computer Science Department at UC Berkeley, Director of the CITRIS Invention Lab, Chief Learning Officer for the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation, a Co-Director of the Swarm Lab, and faculty within the Berkeley Center for New Media (BCNM). Previously, Eric held the Cooper-Siegel Associate Professor Chair in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University where he was faculty within the Human-Computer Interaction Institute with courtesy faculty appointments in the Robotics Institute and in the Entertainment Technology Center. Prior to CMU, Eric was Senior Research Scientist at Intel Research in Berkeley, California where he founded the Urban Atmospheres research group. His areas of expertise span a deep body of research territory in urban computing, sustainability, green design, environmental awareness, social telepresence, robotics, physical computing, interaction design, persuasive technologies, and intimate media. Eric received his PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UC Berkeley. Eric is also the founder and director of the Experimental Interaction Unit and a frequent collaborator with Mark Pauline of Survival Research Laboratories.

Jill Miller is an Assistant Professor at University of California Berkeley’s Department of Art Practice and Berkeley Center for New Media. She teaches courses on digital fabrication, new media, and public art practices. She is a visual artist who collaborates with communities in the form of public interventions, workshops, and performances. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally, and collected in public institutions worldwide including CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo in Madrid and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C. She uses her art practice to engage ideas around social issues, including feminism, gender identity, disability access, and more. For example, The Milk Truck, an emergency breastfeeding advocacy vehicle, stood up to local establishments who were harassing breastfeeding mothers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania while teaching the community about laws that protect mothers’ rights. She uses humor as a strategy to open conversations about difficult subject matter. In past work, she searched for the legendary Bigfoot in the Sierra Nevada mountains, inserted herself into the art historical work of John Baldessari, and became a private investigator who performed surveillance on art collectors. Jill received her MFA in from University of California, Los Angeles and her BA with high honors from University of California, Berkeley, in English.

Eric and Jill have taught collaboratively in the past, most recently creating the course Critical Practices for the Jacobs Institute of Design Innovation, which was an experimental class focused on the intersection of digital fabrication and community activism.

Georgi V. Georgiev is an Associate Professor in Digital Fabrication at the Center for Ubiquitous Computing, University of Oulu. His research interests include in design creativity, digital fabrication and prototyping, design cognition, user interaction and experience, and design thinking. Georgi’s research focuses both on early stage of design process, when the new and innovative ideas are generated, and user’s perspective on the design outcome that is essential for understanding challenges for success of digital technologies. He is actively involved in foundation, organization and development of the Special Interest Group Design Creativity (SIG DC) at the Design Society, six International Conferences on Design Creativity (ICDC), as well as in the editorial team of International Journal of Design Creativity and Innovation since its inception. Georgi was previously with Kobe University, Japan and Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST). He has experience from university-industry collaborative research projects in Japan and holds PhD in knowledge science for his research in the area of design creativity from JAIST.


Thanks to the rapid technological development, wearable, mobile, and deployable sensor technologies, we can now allow people to engage with technology anywhere and anytime. In addition to the benefits for end users, researchers and developers can also benefit from the powerful infrastructure for improving the quality of life of everybody. This workshop brings together researchers with an interest in using technology as a tool to empower user. Topics covered by this workshop include: mobile-enabled sensing and context understanding technologies, portable computation, mobile sensing and strategies for data collection and presentation, context-aware platforms, and end-user applications.

The workshop will be conducted as mini-track lectures and hands-on prototyping sessions, brainstorming, and development hackathon for the final ubiquitous computing application. Participants should have Android Studio, Arduino IDE installed on their laptops and an Android smartphone running Android 4.4 or higher (do not forget the USB cable for debugging your applications). We will provide the sample-code for the prototyping session, development slides and one-to-one tutorials during this workshop. Participants should have experience in programming with object-oriented languages (e.g., Java, Kotlin, Python, etc).

Maximum number of participants to be enrolled to the workshop: 20

Prof. Anind K. Dey, University of Washington, USA
Assist. Prof. Edison Thomaz, University of Texas at Austin, USA
Adj. Prof. Denzil Ferreira, University of Oulu, Finland

Anind K. Dey is a Professor and Dean of the Information School at the University of Washington. Anind is renowned for his early work in context-aware computing, an important theme in modern computing, where computational processes are aware of the context in which they operate and can adapt appropriately to that context. His research is at the intersection of human-computer interaction, machine learning, and ubiquitous computing. For the past few years, Anind has focused on passively collecting large amounts of data about how people interact with their phones and the objects around them, to use for producing detection and classification models for human behaviors of interest. He applies a human-centered and problem-based approach through a collaboration with an amazing collection of domain experts in areas of substance abuse (alcohol, marijuana, opioids), mental health, driving and transportation needs, smart spaces, sustainability, and education. Anind was inducted into the ACM SIGCHI Academy for his significant contributions to the field of human-computer interaction in 2015.

Edison Thomaz is Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, where he directs the Human Signals laboratory. His research focuses on the computational perception of human signals (e.g., behavioral, emotional, physiological) while leveraging ubiquitous and wearable sensing. A core area of interest is studying systems and methods for recognizing and modeling the entire span of people’s everyday activities and context. This work intersects with several disciplines, from ubiquitous computing and HCI to human-centered machine learning and signal processing. Prof. Thomaz is particularly motivated by applications in the domain of health and personalized medicine such as building health models and tools that can characterize and forecast various states of health and disease from sensor data. Over the last few years, a key area of interest is his laboratory has been automated dietary monitoring (ADM) where Prof. Thomaz has pioneered novel sensors and computational methods. At UT Austin, he is a member of the Decision, Information, Communications and Engineering (DICE) track and is a member of the Wireless Networking and Communications Group (WNCG), an industry affiliates program that counts companies such as Samsung, Intel and AT&T as members. He is an associate editor on the ACM Proceedings on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies (PACM IMWUT), local chair for the 2019 ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW 2019), workshop chair for the 2020 IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications (PerCom 2020) and serves on numerous program and organizing committees for both ACM and IEEE conferences (e.g., Pervasive Health, CHI, ISWC). Additionally, he co-directs the Life Sensing Consortium (LSC), a multi-disciplinary, multi-university collaborative network of researchers who use sensing technologies to conduct interdisciplinary sensing research to promote positive life outcomes. Prior to his Ph.D., Prof. Thomaz held industry positions at Microsoft and France Telecom. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from UT Austin, a master’s from the MIT Media Lab and a Ph.D. in Human-Centered Computing from Georgia Tech.

Denzil Ferreira is Adjunct Professor, Senior Research Fellow and an Academy of Finland Research Fellow at the University of Oulu, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering (ITEE), the Deputy Director of the Center for Ubiquitous Computing and the Principal Investigator of the Community Instrumentation and Awareness (CIA) research group. His main research interest is on technology-driven human behavior sensing and modeling, where he juxtapose methods from large-scale data analysis, sensor instrumentation, applied machine learning, mobile and ubiquitous computing to understand and study a variety of human behavioral and social phenomena in naturalistic settings. Combined, they enable a better understanding of how people use technology and most importantly, why they may use such technology. He believes technology should be imagined, developed and shared to tackle the most challenging societal issues. To facilitate this venture, he created AWARE ( during his PhD. AWARE is an interdisciplinary and collaborative mobile context and sensors’ data collection tool. By supporting and encouraging multidisciplinary collaboration from the ground up, AWARE is today one of his major academic accomplishments. Engaged in research efforts worldwide, AWARE is open-source and it is widely adopted by researchers and engineers in different domains. He is a Review Editor for Frontiers in Human-Media Interaction, IEEE Communications Society Magazine. He acts as an expert Proposal Reviewer in the Flanders Research Foundation, and the Icelandic Research Fund. He is an Associate Editor at the PACM IMWUT and participates in multiple program committees from ACM and IEEE conferences. He organises the Ubiquitous Mobile Instrumentation workshop, collocated with ACM UbiComp since 2012.