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Benjamin Cowan

Lecturer/Assistant Professor

School Of Information & Comms Studies
Newman Building
Belfield
Dublin 4

Tel: 017167660
Email: benjamin.cowan@ucd.ie

Biography

Dr Benjamin R Cowan is a Lecturer at UCD's School of Information & Communication Studies.  He completed his undergraduate studies in Psychology & Business Studies (2006) as well as his PhD in Usability Engineering (2011) at the University of Edinburgh. His research lies at the juncture between psychology, human-computer interaction and communication systems in investigating how design impacts aspects of user behaviour in social, collaborative and communicative technology interactions.

Professional

 

Associations

Association: Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), Function/Role: Member
Association: British Psychological Society, Function/Role: Member
Association: British Psychological Society Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Use Section, Function/Role: Leader of Computer Use Group
Association: British Computer Society Interaction SG, Function/Role: Student Representative
Association: British Computer Society Interaction SG, Function/Role: Communications Chair
Association: British Computer Society Interaction SG, Function/Role: Treasurer
       

Committees

Committee : iHCI 2015
Committee : BCS HCI 2010
Committee : BCS HCI 2012
Committee : BCS HCI 2013
Committee : Habits in Human-Computer Interaction Workshop
Committee : iHCI 2013
Committee : SICSA Speech & HCI Workshop

Employment

Employer: HCI Centre, School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham
Position: Research Fellow
Employer: Centre for Communications Interface Research (CCIR), University of Edinburgh
Position: Research Assistant
Employer: Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh
Position: Visiting Research Fellow

Education

Year 2011 Institution: University of Edinburgh
Qualification: PhD Subject:
Year 2006 Institution: University of Edinburgh
Qualification: Other Subject:

Languages

French:

Consultancy

Client: FutureLearn
 

Journals Edited

Computers In Human Behavior: Reviewer.
Interacting With Computers: Reviewer.
Ieee Transactions On Software Engineering: Reviewer.
Acm Transactions On The Web: Reviewer.
International Journal Of Human-Computer Studies: Reviewer.
 

Publications

   

Edited Books

Cowan, B.R., Bowers, C.P., Beale, R., & Baber, C (Ed.). (2012) Proceedings of BCS HCI 2012. London: British Computer Society. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

Girard, A., Cowan, B.R., Shankar, K., & Coyle, D. (2017) 'Using Emotional Attachment as a Lens to Improve Users' E- reading Experience'. Interaction Design and Architecture(s), 32 (5):74-83. [Details]
Cushing, Amber L. and Ben Cowan (2017) 'Walk1916: Exploring non-research user access to and use of digital surrogates via a mobile walking tour app'. Journal of Documentation, 73 (5):917-933. [DOI] [Details]
Cowan, B.R., Branigan, H.P., Obregón, M., Bugis, E., & Beale, R. (2015) 'Voice anthropomorphism, interlocutor modelling and alignment effects on syntactic choices in human−computer dialogue'. International Journal of Human Computer Studies, 83 :27-42. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Cowan, B.R. & Jack, M.A. (2014) 'Measuring anxiety towards wiki editing: Investigating the dimensionality of the Wiki Anxiety Inventory-Editing'. Interacting with Computers, 26 (6). [DOI] [Details]
Creed, C., Beale, R. & Cowan, B.R. (2015) 'The Impact of Embodied Agent Emotional Expressions Over Multiple Interactions'. Interacting with Computers, 27 (2):172-188. [DOI] [Details]
Cowan, B.R. & Jack, M.A. (2014) 'The impact of identity on anxiety during wiki editing in Higher Education'. Journal of Enterprise Information Management, 27 (1):56-65. [DOI] [Details]
Bowers, C.P, Creed, C., Cowan, B.R. & Beale, R. (2013) 'Touching Annotations: A Visual Metaphor for Navigation of Annotation in Digital Documents'. International Journal of Human Computer Studies, 71 (12):1103-1111. [DOI] [Details]
Cowan, B.R., & Jack, M.A. (2011) 'Exploring the wiki user experience: The effects of training spaces on novice user usability and anxiety towards wiki editing'. Interacting with Computers, 23 (2):117-128. [DOI] [Details]
 

Conference Publications

Cowan, B.R., Branigan, H.P., Begum, H., McKenna, L., & Szekely, E. (2017) They Know as Much as We Do: Knowledge Estimation and Partner Modelling of Artificial Partners Proceedings of the 39th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society London, UK, , pp.1836-1841 Available Online [Details]
Emer Gilmartin, Nick Campbell, Ketong Su, Huang Yuyun, Marine Collery, Christy Elias, and Benjamin R. Cowan (2017) Social Talk: Making Conversation with People and Machine Proceedings of the ACM international conference on Multimodal interaction [Details]
Emer Gilmartin, Brendan Spillane, Maria O¿Reilly, Ketong Su, Christian Saam, Vincent Wade, Benjamin R. Cowan, and Nick Campbell (2017) Dialog Acts in Greeting and Leavetaking in Social Talk Proceedings of the ACM international conference on Multimodal interaction [Details]
Brendan Spillane, Emer Gilmartin, Christian Saam, Su Ketong, Benjamin R. Cowan, and Vincent Wade (2017) Introducing ADELE: A Personalized Intelligent Companion Proceedings of the ACM international conference on Multimodal interaction [Details]
Benjamin R. Cowan, Nadia Pantidi, David Coyle, Kellie Morrissey, Peter Clarke, Sara Al-Shehri, David Earley, Natasha Bandeira (2017) What can I help you with?: Infrequent users' experiences of Intelligent Personal Assistants Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services [DOI] [Details]
Charlie Pinder, Jo Vermeulen, Benjamin R Cowan, Russell Beale, Robert J Hendley (2017) Exploring the Feasibility of Subliminal Priming on Smartphones Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services [DOI] [Details]
Emer Gilmartin, Carl Vogel, Nick Campbell and Benjamin Cowan (2017) Chunks in Multiparty Conversation - Building Blocks for Extended Social Talk International Workshop on Spoken Dialogue Systems Technology [Details]
Cabral, J.P., Cowan, B.R., Zibrek, K., McDonnell, R. (2017) The Influence of Synthetic Voice on the Evaluation of a Virtual Character Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association , pp.229-233 [Details]
Emer Gilmartin, Benjamin R Cowan, Carl Vogel and Nick Campbell (2017) Exploring multiparty casual talk for social human-machine dialogue International Conference on Speech and Computer [Details]
Huang, Y., Gilmartin, E., Cowan, B.R., & Campbell, N. (2016) A Preliminary Exploration of Group Social Engagement Level Recognition in Multiparty Casual Conversation International Conference on Speech and Computer [DOI] [Details]
Cowan, B.R., Gannon, D., Walsh, J., Kinneen, J., O'Keefe, E., & L. Xie (2016) Towards Understanding how Speech Output Affects Navigation System Credibility ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems San Jose, California, , pp.2805-2812 [DOI] [Details]
Gilmartin, E., Su, K., Huang, Y., Elias, C., Cowan, B. R., & Campbell, N. (2016) Collecting a comparative corpus of human-machine, wizard of oz and human-human chat dialogues LREC 2016 [Details]
Cowan, B.R., & Branigan, H.P. (2015) Does voice anthropomorphism affect lexical alignment in speech-based human- computer dialogue? Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association [Details]
Bowers, C.P., Cowan, B.R., Creed, C., & Hakvoort, G. (2014) Challenges using stereoscopic displays in a touch interaction context British Computer Society Conference on Human-Computer Interaction [Details]
Howes, A., Cowan, B.R., Janssen, C.P., Cox, A. L., Cairns, P., Hornof, A.J., Payne, S., & Pirolli, P. (2014) Interaction science SIG: overcoming challenges ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Toronto, Canada, [DOI] [Details]
Cowan, B.R. (2014) Commentary: None of a CHInd. Relationship counselling for HCI and speech technology ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Toronto, Canada, [DOI] [Details]
Cowan, B.R., Avramides, K. & Beale, R. (2013) Should cool be a design goal? British Computer Society Conference on Human-Computer Interaction [Details]
Cowan, B.R., Bowers, C.P., Beale, R. & Pinder, C. (2013) The Stroppy Kettle: Changing energy consumption habits ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Paris, France, , pp.1467-1472 [DOI] [Details]
Guo, Y., Jones, M., Cowan, B.R. & Beale, R. (2013) Take it personally. Personal Accountability and Energy Consumption in Domestic Households ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Paris, France, , pp.1467-1472 [DOI] [Details]
Cowan, B.R., Branigan, H.P. & Beale, R (2012) Investigating the impact of interlocutor voice on syntactic alignment in human-computer dialogue British Computer Society Conference on Human-Computer Interaction , pp.39-48 [Details]
Hurter, C., Cowan, B.R., Girouard, A. & Riche, N. (2012) Active Progress Bars: Aiding the switch to temporary activities British Computer Society Conference on Human-Computer Interaction Birmingham, UK, [Details]
Bowers, C., Byrne, W., Cowan, B.R., Creed, C., Hendley, R. & Beale, R. (2011) Choosing your moment: Interruptions in multimedia annotation IFIP Conference on Human-Computer Interaction , pp.438-453 [Details]
Cowan, B.R., Beale, R. & Branigan, H. P. (2011) Exploring syntactic alignment in spoken natural language human-computer interaction EuroCogSci 2011 [Details]
Cowan, B.R., Beale, R. & Branigan, H.P. (2011) Investigating syntactic alignment in spoken natural language human-computer communication ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems , pp.2331-2336 [Details]
Read, J. C., Fitton, D., Cowan, B.R., Beale, R., Guo, Y. & Horton, M. (2011) Understanding and designing cool technologies for teenagers ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Vancouver, Canada, , pp.1567-1572 [DOI] [Details]
Cowan, B.R. & Jack, M.A. (2010) Now you see it, now you don¿t: The effect of wiki flexibility on anxiety during wiki editing iHCI 2010 , pp.175-183 [Details]
Cowan, B.R., Vigentini, L., & Jack, M.A. (2009) Exploring the effects of experience on wiki anxiety and wiki usability: An online study British Computer Society Conference on Human-Computer Interaction Cambridge, UK, , pp.175-183 [Details]
Cowan, B.R., Vigentini, L. & Jack, M.A. (2008) Exploring the relationship between anxiety and usability evaluation- An online study of Internet and wiki anxiety IADIS iHCI 2008 Amsterdam, The Netherlands, , pp.69-76 [Details]
                                     

Workshops

McEvoy, D., & Cowan, B. (2016) The Importance of Emotional Design to Create Engaging Digital HCI Learning Experiences. Workshops [Details]
Cowan, B.R. (2016) Let¿s talk about Dialogue: The Case of Alignment and Partner Modelling in Human-Computer Dialogue. Workshops [Details]
Cowan, B.R. (2014) Understanding speech and language interactions in HCI: The importance of theory-based human-human dialogue research. Workshops [Details]
Cowan, B.R., Bowers, C.P., Pinder, C., & Beale, R. (2013) Habits in Human-Computer Interaction. Workshops [Details]
Fitton, D., Read, J.C., Cowan, B.R., Beale, R., & Guo, Y. (2011) Creating ¿Cool¿ Mobile Technologies To Reduce Teen Energy Use. Workshops [Details]
                                                                                               

Research

Research Interests

My research focuses on people, information and social interactions with and through computing. I investigate how design impacts aspects of user experience and user behaviour in social and collaborative interactions with technology. I have a passion for statistics and evaluation methods, specifically the use of controlled experiment design to gather insight into human-computer interaction issues.

My recent research looks at the impact of human-computer dialogue design on linguistic behaviours (lexical and syntactic alignment) and perceptions of system ability as dialogue partners. I am passionate about the use of statistics and controlled experiments to understand our interactions with technology. From my research as well as my teaching experiences I have extensive knowledge of a variety of statistical tests (correlation, t-test, ANOVA, factor analysis, log-linear mixed effects modelling, regression, robust methods), controlled experiment design as well as experience in qualitative evaluation methods such as think aloud studies, structured and semi-structured interviewing.
     

Teaching

Teaching Philosophy

 

Enhancement of Teaching

Review and Enhancement of Curriculum

Developing as a Teacher

Innovation & Leadership

Collaborators

Internal Collaborators

External Collaborators

Prof. Holly Branigan- Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh
Prof. Russell Beale- HCI Centre, School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham
Prof. Andrew Howes- HCI Centre, School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham
Prof. Mervyn A. Jack- Institute for Digital Communications, University of Edinburgh
Prof. Janet Read- Child Computer Interaction Lab, University of Central Lancashire
Prof. Matt Jones- Department of Computer Science, Swansea University
Dr Christopher P. Bowers- Worcester Business School, University of Worcester
Dr Chris Creed- Digital Heritage Hub, School of Arts & Law, University of Birmingham
Dr Katerina Avramides- London Knowledge Lab, Institute for Education
Dr Matthew Aylett- School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh
Dr Oscar De Bruijn, Manchester Business School, University of Manchester
Dr Anna L. Cox- UCLIC, University College London
Will Byrne- School of Computer Science, Birmingham City University
Gido Harkvoort- School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham
Charlie Pinder- School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham