This week I submitted my first academic paper to the CHI conference, the primary conference on human-computer interaction and the one that got me into this field in 1982. It’s not a full research paper (the deadline for that was about a month before I started at Northumbria), but one written for the “alt.chi” venue, described as follows:
alt.chi formed with the CHI program committee’s recognition that sometimes innovative and insightful work goes unrecognized through the standard process of review. Particularly where methodologically far afield, or critical of accepted practices, promising contributions may be systematically overlooked. Therefore, as part of a commitment to bring forth the year’s best work on human computer interaction, the program committee provides a procedural intervention in the conventional selection process: alt.chi.
This paper is a collaboration with my PhD supervisor, who has been very encouraging about my work and is wonderful to collaborate with. He says this paper is fabulous, and he thinks my findings show great promise for a longer paper for next year’s conference. Comments on alt.chi papers open on Wednesday, at which point I will post a link.
Some PhD students don’t publish until their thesis is complete; others publish smaller works during the course of their program. I am taking the latter approach.
My next milestone — coming up very soon — is the “Project Approval” for my PhD work. I have to fill out a couple of forms and give a presentation, to get the department’s approval to proceed with my research. I am fairly confident about that, and will write about it in Milestones Part 2.
On another note: I am so very glad that the days are becoming noticeably longer. I grew up at 35º North latitude and spent the last 35 winters at 39º. Newcastle is at 55º, though, and I am finding that the short winter days — at least two hours shorter than in Maryland, at the solstice — are affecting my mood more than I had expected. I don’t sleep late because I want to be awake for every minute of daylight, but I find that I don’t much feel like going out and doing things. I like to think that that will change soon.