Dean’s DILAC Showcase Highlights 2018 Projects

Posted May 4, 2018

The Digital Integrative Liberal Arts Center (DILAC) presented a showcase of research projects from the last academic year, drawing students and faculty to learn more about the work done in the lab.

Projects on display at the Center — which is housed in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication, a unit of the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts — included a portal to accessing the papers of former Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen Jr., a project that visualizes physiological responses to inputs, and a tool to help fans of Game of Thrones keep up with the complicated storyline and dig deeper into potentially hidden narratives.

Here are a few highlights from the event:

Tracing Eyes and Hearts

In this project, users don sensors and watch a video while a computer tracks their heart rate, breathing, and how much they are sweating while watching a video. The result is a flower-like graph that depicts the individual’s unique response, explained Victoria Chai, a master’s student in Human Computer Interaction, who worked on the project with LMC faculty members Nassim JafariNaimi and Anne Pollock.

According to the project description, “it brings together humanities and physiology scholars to create an art installation that uses representation, tracking, and multiple visualizations, both digital and non-digital, to investigate and reflect upon the heart.”

PARSE (Participatory Approaches to Researching Sensing Environments)

PARSE is an ongoing project that looks to investigate technologies and services behind Smart Cities by combining design, the humanities, and social science methodologies. At the DILAC workshop, Carl DiSalvo, an assistant professor in LMC, displayed a smart cities kit meant to help community and student groups work through how smart cities technologies might affect the quality of life in a community.

The Public Design Workshop, a research studio led by DiSalvo, developed this kit for a series of workshops to explore issues surrounding smart city concepts.

It encourages users to draw on their past experiences in the community to build a scene, imagine how others might experience it, think about what kinds of information the scene conveys, what users might want to know about the situation, and then how to use smart city technology to help tell those stories.

It includes a map, a set of cards representing scenarios such as a power outage, snow storm, or festival, as well as icons for things people routinely encounter in cities, such as emergency vehicles, traffic cones, or bicycles. Finally, it includes stickers for various sensors that might be included in a smart city deployment, such as those that could sense temperature, noise, smoke, or moisture.

To learn more about the Public Design Workshop, go to

To learn more about the Smart Cities Kit, and to find resources to build your own, go to

Ivan Allen Archive Portal

This project, led by Todd Michney, an assistant professor in the School of History and Sociology, seeks to provide a new way to access scanned documents from the papers of former Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen Jr., after whom the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts is named. The project allows users to use a graphic interface to explore previously unknown connections surfaced through tagging and algorithms.

To learn more about the Ivan Allen Jr. Digital Collection, go to

Digital Story Structure

This project uses an interactive format to model the dizzyingly complex world of Game of Thrones. “We seek to contribute to the collective process of inventing a more expressive and complex storytelling medium by identifying the underlying story structures that allow viewers to experience sustained narrative immersion within cognitively challenging story worlds with multiple characters, multiple points of view, and multiple possible instantiations of the same scenario,” according to the description of the project, which included students Henry Kyeungbum Kim, Vikas Luthra, William Martin, Hayden Russell, and Michael Vogel.

To learn more about the project, go to

Related Media

Students and faculty showed off work connected to the digital Integrative Liberal Arts Center (DILAC) at the Dean's DILAC showcase on May 3, 2018.

Master's student in Human-Computer Interaction Victoria Chai helps demonstrate a project to Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts Dean Jacqueline Royster during the 2018 Dean's DILAC Showcase on May 3, 2018. The project — led by Nassim Parvin, an assistant professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication — measures respiration, heart rate and sweating in response to a video shown to the user, producing a flower-like graph.

Todd Michney, an assistant professor in the School of History and Sociology, demonstrates a portal for researching the papers of former Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen Jr. Michney showed the project during the Dean's DILAC Showcase on May 3, 2018.

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