Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The “How’s Your Thesis Going” Post

Now that the KIIT graduation ceremony is over, I need a new academically related post to keep this blog going. I looked around trying to find something that had a long gestation period so that I could keep a similar format as that post. So naturally my Thesis came to mind. It is a requirement for my Masters degree, which I am doing from FAST-NUCES. As you know a thesis requires you to do research and development so that you may come up with something original and make a contribution to your field of interest.

I had to ask myself what interests me enough to take on such a challenge? The answer lies in Human Computer Interaction (HCI). Currently the boundary that separates us from our computers is the User Interface (UI). The most popular example of a UI is Window’s start button. It allows us to access our programs quickly and easily (most of the time). Otherwise we would have run them using a command prompt, yummy!

So what could I do in this area? Help out HCI designers of course! They have to follow a set of heuristics when designing an Interface. They may not be aware that their design may be violating this set of guidelines. That’s where I come in, I’ll be creating a tool that analyzes end user behavior when using a UI. After the analysis is complete the tool will generate a report stating which guidelines were violated. As any marketing expert will tell you a good product is only as good as its name. So I am asking you the “I Don’t Know” reader to help me think of an exciting and relevant name for this tool. Because frankly speaking, I can’t think of one.

As always this post will be updated and reposted when new information is available about this project, so here’s the low down:

January 10: I had an epiphany today, which was so potent that it helped crystallize exactly what I had to do and how to do it. I wrote it all down then started to break it up into pieces and plugged those pieces into a schedule, which I plan on following, by the will of God of course.

January 29: I finalized an agreement with a former professor who is an expert on AI. He works at another university so he can’t be an official advisor. Now I have to get an official advisor.

February 06: I am working on a presentation that will help me pitch my idea to potential advisors. This presentation will be modified to garner industrial contacts; they’ll be needed to test out the tool on their products.

February 14: The project is picking up steam I found a faculty member who is willing to help me out by being an official advisor. His areas of interest coincide with mine so we’ll make a good team.
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