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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 & Library 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 User¿s E- reading Experience'. Interaction Design and Architecture(s), :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, . [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

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 [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 [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 [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