Title : Towards New Interfaces For Pedagogy

Candidate: Murphy Stein
Advisor: Ken Perlin

Abstract: Developing technology to help people teach and learn is an important topic in Human Computer Interaction (HCI).

In this thesis we present three studies on this topic. In the first study, we demonstrate new games for learning mathematics and discuss the evidence for key design decisions from user studies. In the second study, we develop a real-time video compositing system for distance education and share evidence for its potential value compared to standard techniques from two user studies. In the third study, we demonstrate our markerless hand tracking interface for real-time 3D manipulation and explain its advantages compared to other state-of-the-art methods.

A data-driven methodology is applied intensively throughout the course of this study. Several paraphrase corpora are constructed using automatic techniques, experts and crowdsourcing platforms. Paraphrase systems are trained and evaluated by using these data as a cornerstone. We show that even with a very noisy or a relatively small amount of parallel training data, it is possible to learn paraphrase models which capture linguistic phenomena. This work expands the scope of paraphrase studies to targeting different language variations, and more potential applications, such as text normalization and domain adaptation