Indiana University Faculty Receive Grant From Computing Research Association

<p><strong>Bloomington, Ind. &mdash; Aug. 4 </strong><br />Two Indiana University School of Informatics faculty members have received a grant to investigate whether integrating a social networking component into the Wii gaming platform increases its user acceptance and social connectedness among the elderly. <br /><br />Assistant Professors Kay Connelly and Kalpana Shankar, along with two undergraduate students, have received a $15,500 Multidisciplinary Research Opportunity for Women (MROW) grant from the Computing Research Association Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research. <br /><br />Their proposal, "Using the Wii and Social Networking to promote Cognitive, Physical and Social Engagement among Seniors," was selected from a wide variety of potential projects to receive the grant that the National Science Foundation has helped to fund. <br /><br />During the next year, the four will investigate whether integrating a social networking component into the Wii gaming platform increases its user acceptance and social connectedness among the elderly. </p><p>They will develop a Wii-based game, implement it and conduct the user study in which they collect and analyze their data set. The students will use facilities developed as part of the NSF-funded ETHOS project that is examining privacy and home-based computing for senior citizens. <br /><br />"This project integrates human-computer interaction, design research, technical implementation and information ethics," said Shankar. </p><p>"We have one undergraduate working on this who is a computer science major, Claire Alvis, and one who is an informatics major, Katie O&#39;Donnell. They will be working very closely to make sure all aspects of the project gel. It will be valuable experience for both young women." <br /><br />Dennis Groth, associate dean of undergraduate studies, added, "We&#39;re excited for Kay and Kalpana to receive a grant like this. Not only is it an ambitious project for them to undertake, but it underscores the school&#39;s commitment to both undergraduate research and advancing opportunities for women in computing."<br /></p>

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