Informatics Ph.D. Student Saumya Gupta Receives ACM-W Scholarship for TEI 19

January 10, 2019

Informatics Ph.D. student Saumya Gupta has been awarded an ACM-W scholarship to attend the 13th International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI 19).

The ACM-W “supports, celebrates and advocates internationally for the full engagement of women in all aspects of the computing field.” It offers scholarships of up to $600 for intra-continental conference travel and up to $1,200 for intercontinental conference travel.

“I was very pleased to hear that I had received the ACM-W scholarship,” says Saumya, whose research focuses on interactive storytelling through physical-digital interfaces. A paper based on her master’s thesis, “Shiva’s Rangoli: Tangible and Interactive Storytelling in Ambient Environments,” was accepted to TEI 2019, so the scholarship gives her an opportunity to present her work.

Saumya Gupta during the early stages of her project, “Shiva’s Rangoli.”

“Most of my work has been inspired by TEI’s theme of bringing interactions with technology away from just screens and embedding them in the world around us,” she says. “Besides presenting my paper, this conference is a good platform for me to connect with people in the field and get inspiration for my own research.”

The conference takes place March 17–20 in Tempe, Arizona and covers topics such as human-computer interaction and interactive art. Furthermore, as highlighted on the website, “the intimate size of this single-track conference provides a unique forum for exchanging ideas and presenting innovative work through talks, interactive exhibits, demos, hands-on studios, posters, art installations and performances.”

According to Assistant Professor of Informatics Theresa Jean Tanenbaum, Saumya’s adviser for both her master’s degree in information and computer science and now for her Ph.D. in informatics, “It is a joy to work with someone with her depth of technical skill, her ability to self-direct and self-teach, and her genuine creativity and aesthetic sensibility.” So while Saumya looks to TEI for inspiration, she is also likely to serve as a source of inspiration for others. “Saumya is a creative force to be reckoned with,” says Tanenbaum, “and her drive, passion and brilliance have caused her to stand out as one of the very best students I have advised.”

Shani Murray