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Student Competition


Important Dates

Elizabeth ChurchillElizabeth Churchill
Palo Alto Research Center
Design Brief & Poster submission:
3 January 2005 [5:00 PM (1700) UTC]
Proof of Student Status submission:
3 January 2005 [5:00 PM (1700) UTC]
Notice of Acceptance:
31 January 2005
Additional Information

Jon SykesJon Sykes
Glasgow Caledonian University

Contact Us
Note: the email address previously provided below for submissions to the Student Competition was in error; the correct address is

About the Student Competition

Professionals in the field of Human-Computer Interaction have a unique opportunity to improve the quality of people’s lives. In tackling real-world problems, HCI researchers and designers – in both academia and industry – face the challenge of making the world a better place for all to enjoy. This is the second year of the CHI Student Design Competition, and like its predecessor it is aimed at meeting three primary goals:
  • Provide an opportunity for students from a variety of design backgrounds (HCI, industrial design, visual design, etc.) to participate at CHI and demonstrate their problem solving and design skills in an international competition against their peers.
  • Provide CHI attendees with an interesting perspective on how design teams from different disciplines and different parts of the world approach a common design problem.
  • Provide CHI attendees with a refreshing new category to enjoy in addition to the traditional research papers and topical discussions.

The Student Design Competition consists of three rounds, each focusing on a different modality for communicating your ideas and solution at an academic conference. Your team will be asked to prepare a written paper, a poster, and a short presentation.

Design programs in universities and colleges from around the world are encouraged to consider this competition and even incorporate it into their academic curriculum for interested students.

All accepted papers are published in the Student Competition section of the Extended Abstracts conference publication, and the top entries to the Student Competition will earn a Certificate of Recognition. The winning entry will be recognised during the closing plenary session of the CHI 2005 conference.

The Design Problem

This year we have invited practicing research professionals to provide current and socially relevant research topics for students to engage with. Oli Mival, from Napier University's HCI Group, has offered the following challenge for the CHI 2005 Student Design Competition:

Loss of close companions is often a consequence of growing old. Such loss can lead to feelings of isolation, a primary cause of depression among older people. With this in mind, we believe there may be potential value in designing and developing technologies that offer "artificial" companionship.

The challenge for the CHI 2005 Student Design Competition is to design for artificial companionship to support the social well-being of seniors above the age of 65 years. Design possibilities can range from the physical objects and environments, to the virtual, and any combination in between. However, your solution must be emotionally engaging, entertaining, cost effective (less than 3000 USD to buy), and support at least one non-entertainment function for the owner (e.g., remind their owner to take medicine). Consideration of specific user groups' lifestyles, environments, cultures, and gender is strongly recommended.

To enter, you may submit either a concept (i.e., a clear, detailed design specification that can be taken to prototype), or a fully realized prototype. Either way, you must demonstrate your design decisions are backed by human-centred design processes, with a deep consideration of different aspects of companionship.

You will be assessed on the exposition of your methodology, the originality of your design, and your ability to communicate your solution to the reviewers and the judges. We strongly encourage consideration of:
  1. previous work in this area and in adjacent areas,
  2. fieldwork to ground your design decisions,
  3. elaboration of methods for evaluating your designs within your iterative design framework.

Student Teams

Teams must consist of at least two, but no more than five students. There is no limit to the number of teams that may compete from any given University. All members of the team must provide proof that they were students at the time the work for the competition was conducted (see Proof of Student Status below). Submissions are invited from all students at all stages of their university careers, from undergraduate to post-graduate. While not a mandatory requirement, it is strongly encouraged that the teams put forward a multidisciplinary, multi-national team.


You will be expected to present both your process and your solution in the form of three deliverables:

1. Five-page written design document submitted in the Conference Publications Format Word document (Conference Publications Format ), due 3 January 2005, must include:
  • a description of the problem and context
  • a description of the design process followed
  • detailed description of the proposed solution
  • reference to design principles and theory where appropriate
  • acknowledgement of partial or incomplete solutions
  • acknowledgement of any assistance drawn from outside the student team (advisors, faculty, domain experts, etc.)

2. Full-size poster for display at CHI 2005 conference (Submit electronic file only! Actual poster required at conference if team is accepted), due 3 January 2005, must include:
  • title, team, school affiliation
  • the context for the proposed solution
  • a concise description of the proposed solution
  • clear illustrations of key aspects of your proposed solution
  • compelling, effective visual design

3. Ten-minute presentation in CHI short talk format, to be presented at conference, must include:
  • the design process that was followed
  • a concise description of the proposed solution
  • reference to design principles and theory where appropriate
  • acknowledgement of partial or incomplete solutions

Guidelines for Submission

  1. All submissions must be in English and must include title and author information.
  2. Faxed submissions are not acceptable.
  3. Late submissions will not be reviewed.
  4. All submissions must be preceded or accompanied by a Proof of Student Status package. (See Proof of Student Status section below).
  5. The paper should include a short abstract, keywords, body, and references (for more detail, please see the CHI Conference Publications Format Word document or Conference Publications Format ). Submissions must not contain proprietary or confidential material and should not cite proprietary or confidential publications. All submissions must be in the two-page, camera-ready format (PDF) specified by CHI to be published in the Extended Abstracts; however, due to the nature of the competition, the two page limit is expanded to five pages. Due to tight publication schedules, revisions will not be possible. The submitted PDF version will be considered the final version of the paper. All submissions remain confidential throughout the review process to avoid potential biases.
  6. The paper and poster, as submitted for review, will be regarded as the final publication-ready version of your submission. Accepted submissions are published in the CHI 2005 Extended Abstracts. Therefore, the paper and poster submission must be clearly written, carefully proofread, and correctly formatted. Submissions that do not conform to the publications standard will not be reviewed. Please see Conference Publications Format Word document (Conference Publications Format ) for details on how to prepare your submission (see both Student Competition Papers and Posters for format and content requirements).
  7. All submissions must be submitted electronically as a ZIPPED package of PDF files to by the deadline of 3 January 2005, 5:00 PM (1700) PST. Please name both your ZIP package and the documents it contains using the following conventions: SC_[teamname].[extension]. For example: SC_UCSC-CompSci-Weasels.ZIP, containing SC_UCSC-CompSci-Weasels_Paper.pdf and SC_UCSC-CompSci-Weasels_Poster.pdf. Using this naming convention helps the co-chairs and reviewers ascertain that your submission has been received and helps them track it during the review process.

Proof of Student Status

To be eligible for the student competition participants must provide a signed letter from their academic supervisor confirming that 50% of their working week is spent following an academic course of study, and that they were not employed within HCI related industries when working on the team's submission.

All students must provide proof of their student status on, or prior to, 3 January 2005. Each team must provide one proof package; please do not submit them individually. You may send your Team proof package via regular or courier mail, or email a file containing scanned copies for each team member.

Upon Acceptance

Teams will be notified of acceptance or rejection by 31 January 2005. Accompanying their letter of acceptance, students will receive a copyright release form. This form must be signed and returned immediately to allow publication of the Student Competition Design Solution in the CHI 2005 Extended Abstracts conference publication.


Owing to the competitive nature of the Student Competition, CHI 2005 will not provide individual mentoring for potential submissions. Student authors may take advantage of mentoring opportunities with faculty and colleagues at their University as long as it remains mentoring and not active participation by the mentors. For examples of past accepted poster submissions and a detailed guide, please see the Guide to Successful Submissions.

Review Process

There are three stages of review:

Stage One: Design Document Submission
In early January 2005, each team’s five-page design document will be distributed to and reviewed by a collection of design and HCI experts. Based on the CHI reviewers’ rankings, up to 12 teams will be invited to compete at the CHI 2005 conference in Portland, Oregon.

Stage Two: Poster Presentation
At the conference, teams will be provided space in a high traffic area of the convention centre to display their posters and discuss their proposed solutions with the general CHI audience. During a scheduled 90-minute “mingle session”, student teams will be expected to host their posters and discuss them with a group of four expert judges. Each of the four judges will have had an opportunity to review the 12 projects prior to the conference. Following the mingle session, judges will select 4-5 teams to present their projects and proposed solutions during a scheduled short-talk session.

Stage Three: Short-Talk Presentation
A second scheduled 90-minute session at the conference will see each team present their design process and solution during a short presentation to the judges and the general CHI public. Presentations will be limited to 10 minutes plus a subsequent 5 minutes to answer questions from the judges and audience. After the final presentation, judges will be asked to select the top team based on the criteria outlined in the following section.

Review Criteria

Written submissions are reviewed based on:
  • the originality of the work
  • the clarity of the written presentation
  • the quality of the design process
  • the clarity of the solution
  • a persuasive argument for what makes their solution worthy of consideration

Poster submissions are reviewed based on:
  • aesthetic appearance
  • visual design
  • clear communication of key aspects of solution
  • judicious use of text

Presentations are reviewed based on:

  • clarity and organization of the oral presentation
  • relevance and clarity of presentation material (Power Point slides, video, etc)
  • a persuasive argument to justify why the solution is worthy of consideration


All accepted papers are published in the Student Competition section of the Extended Abstracts conference publication, and the top three entries to the Student Competition earn a Certificate of Recognition. The winning entry will be recognised during the closing plenary session of the CHI 2005 conference.

Student Competition Checklist

Please perform the activities in this checklist to ensure the completeness of your submission.
  • Read the Conference Overview and CHI Submissions: Process & Formats
  • Prepare a five page design document in the conference publications format
  • Prepare your illustrative Poster in the standard CHI poster format
  • Submit your Design Solution package (design document and poster) (design document and poster) on or before 3 January 2005, 5:00 PM (1700) PST.
  • Send your team Proof of Student Status on or before 3 January 2005.

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