Elite Research Scholarships

Human Interface Technology Laboratory (HITLab) Australia

Elite Scholarships for PhD candidature Human Interface Technology Laboratory (HITLab) Australia University of Tasmania.

The University of Tasmania is seeking applications for Ph.D. degree level study and research at the Human Interface Technology Laboratory – Australia (HITLab AU). The Elite Scholarships provide a stipend of AUD $32,000pa plus other benefits as described below.

About the HIT Lab Australia

The HITLab AU is a university-wide multidisciplinary research and teaching facility currently hosted by the School of Computing and Information Systems at the University of Tasmania. Established in 2008, the Lab has instituted a vibrant teaching program in human interface and advanced media technology with a current enrolment of 82 students.  The Lab is situated on the Newnham campus in Launceston, Tasmania.

The Lab is a partner of the world-leading HITLab US based at the University of Washington in Seattle, and, in conjunction with the HITLab NZ at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, shares its goals of developing revolutionary interfaces that transform how people interact with computers and improve the human experience.

HITLab AU brings virtual/mixed reality technologies to the Launceston campuses with a focus on design, visualisation, simulation/training and games. A key development will be collaborative teaching and research programs with schools and disciplines including Computing & Information Systems, Architecture & Design, Visual & Performing Arts, Human Life Sciences, Nursing, Education, Human Movement, and the Australian Maritime College.

Special facilities in HITLab AU include Surface Research equipment and in particular the VisionSpace, a three-screen immersive stereo projection system enabling groups of people to view and interact intuitively with virtual 3D data, and an Access Grid, a high-end, collaborative communication facility including HD videoconferencing capabilities.

The mission of the HITLab AU is to empower people by building advanced human-computer interface technology that will unlock the power of human intelligence, link minds globally, and improve the quality of life worldwide. Locating the HITLab Australia within Tasmania allows us to explore new forms of interface technology made possible by infrastructures such as the National Broadband Network and mobile ubiquitous computing to realise interfaces in the wild.

Human interface technology is broadly defined as hardware, software, human factors and media technology that provide an interactive high bandwidth pathway between humans and machines enabling vital tasks and applications. With the appropriate design and application, human interface technology is intended to:

  • Create new levels of human experience
  • Promote rapid assimilation of information
  • Accelerate learning and amplify intelligence
  • Connect minds
  • Move minds to other places and times
  • Awaken the mind and body to its built-in healing potential
  • Provide access to people who have physical and cognitive disabilities
  • Improve health and well being

In this regard the HIT Lab Australia is developing a suite of new tools and interface technologies in the following areas:

  • Smart Sensors
    • Development and integration of device technologies that provide ubiquitous sensing of environmental and human behavioural parameters within those environments.
    • Methods for the integration and fusion of data from sensor arrays with embedded intelligent systems that adjust sensing parameters
  • Affective computing interfaces
    • Interface algorithms and heuristics that take into account the combination of physical and emotional states of the user in adapting and reconfiguring the interface elements in real time.
    • Artificial intelligence methods for determining user intention and optimizing interface elements for accomplishing a particular task
  • Tracking systems
    • Advanced methods for measuring the movement and behaviour of single and multiple users in the wild (e.g. field environments)
    • Tracking within large volumes
  • Virtual and Augmented reality
    • Methods and tools for generating virtual environments and other content by designing 3D within 3D
    • New display and tracking technologies for embedding virtual content within real environments
  • Visualisation, simulation and gaming
    • Creation of advanced visualisation methods for creating a super cockpit for the mind wherein information is fused from multiple sources and displayed within a circumambient datascape for navigation, rapid assimilation and decision making
    • Simulation technologies for training complex procedures using portable devices
    • Use of gaming strategies to engage users in an application process while adapting game parameters based upon real time behaviour and performance of the user
  • Human-centred Design and Engineering
    • New methods for exploring the perceptual organisation of humans to establish new guidelines for the development of next generation interfaces
    • Investigation of non-invasive methods for assessing the goodness of interface designs

These research thrusts intersect with pervasive application domains in heath and well being (especially aged care), agriculture, digital media and design, education and training and other fields such as mining, marine sciences and environmental monitoring.

These applications serve as 'pulls' to the technology 'pushes' above.

By necessity, the research and applications above require a multidisciplinary team for accomplishment.  We are looking for students with strong skill sets in computer science and engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, human factors engineering, bioengineering, experimental psychology, health sciences, design and the arts.  Candidates in these disciplines who have a strong desire to work in a multidisciplinary setting and on pervasive problems are encouraged to apply.

Expression of Interest

Qualified students should submit an expression of interest to the HITLab AU Elite Scholars program by emailing the following information in PDF:

  1. A complete curriculum vitae
  2. Educational transcript
  3. A short statement of why you desire to do graduate research at the HITLab AU, the specific project and domains (technology and application) that interest you, and your background and experience that qualify you for this work.
  4. Letters from at least two referees who are aware of your qualifications and potential.

Please email this information to: enquiries@hitlab.utas.edu.au

School of Computing and Information Systems
Locked Bag 1359
Tasmania 7250

Also see: Hybrid Robust Tracking for Augmented Reality Applications