PhD student Smit Desai received the Gary Mardsen Travel Award to present his research at the ACM conference on Conversational User Interfaces (CUI) 2023, which was held on July 19-21 in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. The award, worth $2,500, supported Desai’s travel expenses.
At CUI 2023, Desai presented two papers. In the paper, "'A Painless Way to Learn:' Designing an Interactive Storytelling Voice User Interface to Engage Older Adults in Informal Health Information Learning," coauthored by Desai, PhD student Morgan Lundy (co-first author), and Assistant Professor Jessie Chin, the researchers introduce "Mystery Agent," an interactive storytelling voice user interface equipped with self-regulated learning strategies to deliver informal health-related learning to older adults through a murder mystery story. Desai also presented the paper, "Using ChatGPT in HCI Research-A Trioethnography," coauthored with Informatics PhD student Tanusree Sharma and Pratyasha Saha (University of Dhaka, Bangladesh), in which the researchers reflect on their daily experience of living and working with ChatGPT.
Desai's research interests include developing voice user interfaces to embody various social roles (e.g., teacher, exercise coach, storyteller, etc.) and understanding the user's mental model better while interacting with these interfaces. He earned his bachelor's degree in computer engineering from Gujarat Technological University in India and his MS in information management from the University of Illinois.