François Guimbretière

University of Maryland

People, Pens and Computers



Pen and paper are important aspects of our everyday life. These simple low-tech tools are easy to use, reliable, and extremely versatile. Yet, they also stand on the margins of the digital world as information gathered on paper is often difficult to manipulate in the digital realm.

In this talk, I will present an overview of several projects aimed at bridging the gap between the paper and the digital world.


In the digital world, I explored how new command structures can improve the fluidity of pen interactions on Tablet PC. One example was CrossY, a drawing application in which all command selections were performed by crossing targets on the screen instead of pointing and clicking on buttons. CrossY demonstrated that crossing-based interfaces are not only as expressive as point and click interfaces, they also offer more flexibility and encourage command composition.


In the paper world, the Paper Augmented Digital Documents (PADD) system uses a digital pen (such as the Logitech io2) to capture annotations made on the printouts of a digital document. Combined with PapierCraft, a command system for paper-based interaction, PADD lets users perform operations such as copying information from a printout to their notes (either on paper or on a tablet PC), or searching for a specific word, while enjoying all the affordances of paper.


Together these two tracks illustrate how paper and digital media interactions might converge in the next generation of pen computing. Our results will be the foundation for new efforts towards designing multi-display digital document readers based on very low power E-ink displays.




François Guimbretière is an associate professor at the University of Maryland Human Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL). His main research focus is on pen computing. In the paper world, he studies how new digital pen technologies can be used to manage information captured on paper. In the digital world, he examines new designs for efficient pen-based computing. His research interests also include information visualization and hardware design. More information can be found at  François will be joining the faculty of the Information Science Program here at Cornell in January 2009.


B17 Upson Hall

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Refreshments at 3:45pm in the Upson 4th Floor Atrium

Computer Science


Fall 2008