Amy Pavel headshot

Amy Pavel

apavel at | (scholar)

I am a postdoctoral researcher at Carnegie Mellon University and Apple, working with Jeff Bigham.

I recently graduated with my PhD from the department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at UC Berkeley. I was advised by professors Björn Hartmann at UC Berkeley and Maneesh Agrawala at Stanford, and my doctoral work was supported by an NDSEG fellowship. I've previously been supported by a department EECS Excellence Award and a Sandisk Gold Fellowship.

In the summer of 2018, I served as the lecturer for CS160, the UC Berkeley user interface design and development course.


My dissertation research focuses on developing new algorithms and interfaces for searching, browsing and skimming videos. My projects include new text-based interfaces for exploring educational lecture videos, films, and video critiques. In addition, I've worked to understand how people view and interact with 360° videos. Though I've used video as a medium, I'm broadly interested in how to support users in benefiting from imperfect computational results in domains such as search, collaboration, and content generation.

As an undergraduate, I worked on a system for searching and browsing photoshop tutorials, and tools for helping crowdworkers provide useful design critiques.


A thumbnail of a paper figure showing three memes with descriptions.
Making Memes Accessible
Cole Gleason, Amy Pavel, Xingyu Liu, Patrick Carrington, Lydia B. Chilton, and Jeffrey P. Bigham
ACM Conference on Computers and Accessibility (ASSETS 2019).


A thumbnail of a paper figure showing three memes with descriptions.
Investigating Evaluation of Open-Domain Dialogue Systems With Human Generated Multiple References
Prakhar Gupta, Shikib Mehri, Tiancheng Zhao, Amy Pavel, Maxine Eskenazi and Jeffrey P. Bigham
SIGDIAL Meeting on Discourse and Dialogue (SIGDIAL 2019).

PDF | Code

A thumbnail of a paper figure including nine images with heat maps indicating visual saliency in VR.
Saliency in VR: How do people explore virtual environments?
Vincent Sitzmann*, Ana Serrano*, Amy Pavel, Maneesh Agrawala, Diego Gutierrez, Belen Masia, and Gordon Wetzstein
IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (VR 2018).

Project Page | Code | Video

A thumbnail of a paper figure indicating three different editing techniques for 360 video: traditional, viewpoint-oriented cuts and active reorientation.
Shot Orientation Controls for Interactive Cinematography with 360 Video
Amy Pavel, Björn Hartmann, Maneesh Agrawala
ACM 30th Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST 2017).

PDF | Interactive Demo | Code | Video

A thumbnail of the VidCrit interface with a video on the left and text critiques of the video on the right.
VidCrit: Video-Based Asynchronous Video Review
Amy Pavel, Dan B Goldman, Björn Hartmann, Maneesh Agrawala
ACM 29th Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST 2016).

PDF | Video

SceneSkim: Searching and Browsing Movies Using Synchronized Captions, Scripts and Plot Summaries
Amy Pavel, Dan B Goldman, Björn Hartmann, Maneesh Agrawala
ACM 28th Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST 2015).

PDF | Video

A thumbnail indicating an overview of the CrowdCrit critique process.
Structuring, Aggregating, and Evaluating Crowdsourced Design Critique
Kurt Luther, Jari-lee Tolentino, Wei Wu, Amy Pavel, Maneesh Agrawala, Brian Bailey, Björn Hartmann, Steven Dow
The 18th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW 2015).

A thumbnail of the Video Digests interface. Video thumbnails displayed alongside short summaries of the video content.
Video Digests: A Browsable, Skimmable Format for Informational Lecture Videos
Amy Pavel, Colorado Reed, Björn Hartmann, Maneesh Agrawala
ACM 27th Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST 2014).

Demo | Code for interface

A thumbnail of the Sifter interface for browsing common sets of image editing commands.
Browsing and Analyzing the Command-Level Structure of Large Collections of Image Manipulation Tutorials
Amy Pavel, Floraine Berthouzoz, Björn Hartmann, Maneesh Agrawala
Berkeley EECS Technical Report and Poster Presentation (TR 2013, TECHCON 2013).


Instructor — UC Berkeley

CS 160: User interface design and development
June 2018 - August 2018

Graduate student instructor — UC Berkeley

CS 160: User interface design and development
June 2017 - August 2017

Student project advisor — UC Berkeley

NWMEDIA 190: Making Sense of Cultural Data
August 2017 - December 2017

Instructor — UC Berkeley

CS Kickstart, intro CS for incoming freshmen women
August 2012


Graduate student researcher — UC Berkeley

Advisors: Björn Hartmann, Maneesh Agrawala Committee: Eric Paulos, Björn Hartmann, Maneesh Agrawala, Abigail de Kosnik
August 2013 - December 2018

Undergraduate research assistant — UC Berkeley

Advisors: Maneesh Agrawala, Björn Hartmann, Floraine Berthouzoz
May 2011 - May 2013

Research intern — Adobe Research, Seattle

Advisor: Dan Goldman
May 2014 - August 2014, May 2015 - August 2015


Grad classes

  • INFO C265 — Interface Aesthetics (Ryokai)
  • CS 260B — Human Computer Interaction Research (Paulos)
  • INFO 271B — Quantitative Researh Methods (Cheshire)
  • CS 294-115 — Human Robot Interaction (Dragan)
  • CS 280 — Computer Vision (Malik)
  • CS 262a — Advanced Topics in Computer Systems (Kubiatowicz)
  • CS 270 — Combinatorial Algorithms and Data Structures (Rao)
  • CS 294-10 — Visualization (Agrawala)
  • CS 294-84 — Interactive Device Design (Hartmann)

Class projects

Vidistrator: Illustrating text stories with video
Amy Pavel, Philippe Laban, Mike Laielli, James Smith
HCI Research (CS 260B 2017).

Towards automated feedback for learning physical activities
Amy Pavel
Algorithmic Human Robot Interaction (CS 294-115 2015).

Drinke: Hydration tracking smart cup
Amy Pavel, Sean Chen, Steve Rubin, Elliot Nahman
Interactive Device Design (CS 294-84 2012).

Project Page | Video