Projects and Publications

A partial list of publications can be found here.

Multisensory Integration in XR (Thesis Topic, 2019-)

As part of my dissertation, I have proposed a new category of congruency effects for audio-visual integration, that could be used to improve integration in XR. I plan to evaluate the presence and magnitude of this type of congruency effect using a virtual reality system and experiment protocol.

Auditory Extended Reality Usability (2018-2019, Lab Projects, )

I led two projects with the goal of developing usability and design guidelines for XR systems that were usable without vision.

May, K. R., Tomlinson, B.J., Ma, X., Roberts, P., & Walker, B.N. (2019-Under Review). Spotlights and Soundscapes: On the Design of Mixed Reality Auditory Environments for Persons with Visual Impairment. ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing (TACCESS).

May, K. R., Sobel, B., Wilson, J., & Walker, B.N. (2019). Auditory Displays to Facilitate Object Targeting in 3D Space. Proceedings of the International Conference on Auditory Display (ICAD 2019).

Headphone Use and Listener Safety (2017-2019,

Psychology Masters Thesis)

I conducted a series of studies with the goal of understanding to what extent listening to music over headphones with moderate volume impairs localization of clearly audible environment sounds, and exploring interventions that could mitigate the risk.

May, K. R., & Walker, B.N. (2019- Under Review). Preserving Auditory Situation Awareness in Headphone-Distracted Persons. International Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics.

May, K. R., & Walker, B. N. (2017). The effects of distractor sounds presented through bone conduction headphones on the localization of critical environmental soundsApplied Ergonomics61, 144-158.

In-Vehicle Automation Acceptance and Display Design (2017, Lab Projects)

I was involved with several projects aimed at understanding human acceptance of automated vehicles, as well as ways of displaying automation certainty to drivers using multisensory XR.

May, K. R., Noah, B. E., & Walker, B. N. (2017, September). Driving acceptance: Applying structural equation modeling to in-vehicle automation acceptance. AutomotiveUI 2017, 190-194.

May, K. R., Noah, B. E., & Walker, B. N. (2017). Multimodal Heads Up Displays to Augment Autonomous Vehicle Supervision. AutomotiveUI 2017, 246-246.

Auditory Surface and Air Gesture Systems for Driver Safety (2013-2017, Lab Projects and HCI Masters Thesis)

In a series of projects, I helped conduct research to develop safety guidelines for the use of surface and air gesture interfaces, as well as auditory interfaces, for use by drivers who desire to interact with information technology.

May, K. R., Gable, T. M., & Walker, B.N. (2017). Designing an In-Vehicle Air Gesture Set Using Elicitation Methods. AutomotiveUI 2017, 74-83.

Wu, S., Gable, T., May, K. R., Choi, Y. M., & Walker, B. N. (2016). Comparison of Surface Gestures and Air Gestures for In-Vehicle Menu Navigation. Archives of Design Research29(4), 65-80.

May, K. R., Gable, T. M., Wu, X., Sardesai, R. R., & Walker, B. N. (2016). Choosing the Right Air Gesture: Impacts of Menu Length and Air Gesture Type on Driver Workload. AutomotiveUI 2016, 68-74.

Gable, T. M., May, K. R., & Walker, B. N. (2014). Applying popular usability heuristics to gesture interaction in the vehicle. AutomotiveUI 2014, 1-7.

May, K. R., Gable, T. M., & Walker, B. N. (2014). A multimodal air gesture interface for in vehicle menu navigation. AutomotiveUI 2014, 1-6.

Swette, R., May, K. R., Gable, T. M., & Walker, B. N. (2013). Comparing three novel multimodal touch interfaces for infotainment menus. AutomotiveUI 2013, 100-107.

Soccer Sonification (2019, Inter-Departmental Collaborative Project)

Savery, R., Ayyagari, M., May, K.R., & Walker, B.N. (2019). Soccer Sonification: Enhancing Viewer Experience. Proceedings of the International Conference on Auditory Display (ICAD 2019).

Accessible Educational Tool Design (2017, Lab Project)

I helped create a taxonomy of data and interaction types present in the PHeT educational tools, to facilitate the creation of general guidelines for how such tools could be made accessible. I also oversaw a student team who investigated the use of the Leap Motion device to create accessible versions of the tools using air gestures and audio.

Visualizing Movement of Voters on Election Day to Assess Polling Place Accessibility (Class Project, 2018)

In this class project, I utilized a set of deidentified location data to plot and analyze voters traveling to polls on election day.

Visualizing the Impact of Polling Place Accessibility on Voter Turnout

Design of a Training Program to Teach Sight-Reading of Music (Class Project, 2016)

Design of Sight-Reading Training Program

Eye-Tracking Social Media (2015, External Activity)

I worked with a local company to design eye-tracking research into the way viewers assess social media profiles.

Spatial Screen Sharing (2013, Class Project)

An experiment in passive spatial interactions over a network. I designed and prototyped a system that allows for remote screen sharing of a separate, constantly accessible ‘space,’ for use by family members or friends. This was written in python for a class assignment.

Spatial Screen Sharing

Great Circles: Small Group Car Sharing (2012, MS-HCI Foundations Class Project)

The goal of this project was to decrease the barriers to co-ownership of a vehicle by a small group of people through the use of a status, scheduling and management system. The project involved initial research, design, prototyping, and evaluation of the system. I worked with a small team to carry out and document the project over the course of a semester, with a personal focus on research design, project management, and information architecture.


Great Circles: Small Group Car Sharing

Usability Analysis and Redesign of (2012, Class Project)

I worked in a small group to produce a document specifying a series of redesign suggestions for the website, done in the context of improving usability for older adults. My role included summarizing findings, running focus groups, and conducting literature reviews. This was done as a research methods lab assignment.

Craigslist Usability Analysis and Redesign

Usability Analysis and Redesign of a Self-Pay Surface Lot System  (2012, Class Project)

This was an endeavor to decrease cognitive load and error potential in surface lot parking pay stations. My role included information architecture design, cognitive walkthroughs and usability testing.
This was a project for a human factors methods course.

Design of a Self-Pay Surface Lot System

Gestalt Grouping Leads to Reduced Vernier Flank Interference (2012, Lab Project)

While I was working with the Pomerantz Perception Laboratory at Rice University, I ran a study on the effects of grouped flanks on Vernier hyperacuity. This included adaptive stimulus presentation using python, running of participants, and review of existing literature.

Gestalt Grouping Leads to Reduced Vernier Flank Interference

Portable Oxygen Concentrators: A Human Factors Analysis (2012, Class Project)

I conducted a human factors analysis of several portable oxygen concentrators. The goal was to produce a report which could be used to improve the safety of future devices.

Portable Oxygen Concentrators

Modeling Error in 2D Pointing Tasks (2012, Undergraduate Thesis)

My Honors thesis project, I developed a model of systematic undershoot in pointing tasks while working in the Computer-Human Interaction Lab at Rice. The ultimate goal of this research is to build a more valid goal-directed movement system into the ACT-R cognitive architecture, which can be used to predictively model human performance in user interfaces. The work included research design, user testing, data processing and interpretation, and literature review.

May, K.R. (2012). A model of error in 2D pointing tasks. Undergraduate Honors Thesis, Rice University, Houston, TX.

A Model of Error in 2D Pointing Tasks

Optimizing the Traditional Browser Menu (2011, Class Project)

Here, I applied a model of optimal menu highlighting to build a case for traditional menus as a viable alternative to highly consolidated menus. This was written for a class project in Engineering Psychology at Rice.


Optimizing the Traditional Browser Menu

A Lens Model of Expert & Novice Spades Players (2011, Class Project)

As part of a course in modeling human judgment and decision making, I worked with a small team to conduct a ‘lens model’ analysis of players in the card game Spades. My role included interpretation of the model and study design and logistics.
A Lens Model of Expert & Novice Spades Players

SciJam: Educational Music Gaming (2011, NSF Project)

Conducted in cooperation with the Rice Chemistry Department, I developed a science education module for an open source a music-rhythm game.


SciJam Demo Video