Benjamin Hill

Photo of Benjamin Hill Benjamin Hill
Mountain View , CA 94043
LinkedIn , twitter , G profile , flickr
Contact: , Y!
  • PHP5/mySQL
  • Java
  • Hashing
  • Collaboration

DiskScan and StartMenuWasher

Testing hypothesis about the volume of unique content on machines with similar operating system installs. Because your start menu is suffering from the tragedy of the commons!

  • Mobile Development
  • Prototyping
  • Collaborative Tagging

Garage Cinema Research - Mobile Media Metadata Project

Development Lead for the MMM project over Summer 2005, designed, prototyped, and deployed many enhancements and features. In charge of initial Sourceforge BSD project release . Compiled industry knowledge into a Wikipedia Mobile development comparison chart.

  • Java/JSP
  • Information Visualization
  • Tag Clustering

AMP (Assisted Metadata Propagation)

Assisted Metadata Propagation project and visualization for image collections (now with downloadable demo) Team members: Carrie Burgener, David Hong

  • Java
  • Utility


Bare-bones clipboard to PNG file dump utility. (Because one didn't exist!)

  • Java
  • XML
  • HTTPUnit


Automating web-scraping to be user friendly enough for mass-market appeal, attempting to turn any web page into a web information resource.

  • Interactive
  • Mobile Media

Busy Signals: Telephonic Signals in Motion, Phonular

Created an interactive installation along with Carrie Burgener for the Telephonic Signals in Motion show called Phonular, that created a 12 foot interactive realtime photo mosaic from crowd-provided photographs. November 16 & 30, 2005. BAMPFA Announcement

  • Google Map API
  • PHP5/mySQL
  • Dynamic Schema

Turtle Map - Build and Share Your Custom Maps

Well before "My Google Maps" was around, I assembled a connection between the Google Maps API and a customized, free-wheeling database back end.

Yardi, S., Hill, B., and Chan, S. 2005. VERN: facilitating democratic group decision making online. In Proceedings of the 2005 international ACM SIGGROUP Conference on Supporting Group Work (Sanibel Island, Florida, USA, November 06 - 09, 2005). GROUP '05. ACM Press, New York, NY, 116-119. ACM

VERN is an online collaborative tool that coordinates and distributes the process of finding optimal meeting times across the members of a group. The system combines the underlying democratic process inherent in email chain conversations with a remapping of the voting process to a calendar-based graphical user interface. As an alternative to existing forms of constrained democracy in which members vote from a previously defined set of options, we offer VERN as a case study for the potential of using a visual interface to enable all group members to contribute equally without constraints to the group decision making process.

Chan, S., Hill, B., and Yardi, S. 2005. Instant messaging bots: accountability and peripheral participation for textual user interfaces. In Proceedings of the 2005 international ACM SIGGROUP Conference on Supporting Group Work (Sanibel Island, Florida, USA, November 06 - 09, 2005). GROUP '05. ACM Press, New York, NY, 113-115. ACM

Over the last several years, studies of instant messaging have observed its increasing role in the workplace[1] and in social situations[2]. We propose that modifying applications to interact with users over Instant Messaging (as IM bots) extends the collaborative benefits of IM into new areas. As IM Bots participating in group chatrooms, applications that had previously been restricted to a single user command line are able to engage in many to many interactions between users and applications. Current command line oriented user interfaces can be made into collaborative interfaces that exhibit (at a basic level) the ethnomethodological property of accountability as well as supporting legitimate peripheral participation.

Hill, B. QuestionMarket: A marketplace mechanism for tapping into the value of human cognition. CommerceNet Labs, CN-TR-05-05, October 2005. CommerceNet

See also: PeerMarket project homepage .

A QuestionMarket enables the exchange of units of human-generated information. While many other distributed grid systems create a marketplace for trading computational resources like processing, bandwidth, and storage, QuestionMarket deals in the acquisition and exchange of small units of human cognition. By focusing on puzzles that are difficult to solve with a computer but relatively easy for humans, so called AI-complete problems are resistant to Moore's Law while encompassing a wide range of valuable human-only work, such as translation, tagging, and filtering.

Built the system used for a professor's publication: Van House, N Interview Viz: Visualization-Assisted Photo Elicitation , CHI 2006, April 22-27, 2006, Montrial, Quebec, Canada. ACM 1-59593-298-4/06/0004.

This paper describes a novel variation on an established social science research method, photo elicitation. We developed two visualizations of large numbers of cameraphone images, by time and sharing partner. The result was much richer and more detailed interviews than would have been possible otherwise. This method may be appropriate for other user studies where photo diaries are useful, and can be implemented using available photo organizing applications.

Initiated the Wikipedia Mobile Development article.

Area Codes
West Coast:650, 415, 510
East Coast:978, 351, 774, 508, 857, 617
West Coast Bay Area: San Francisco, Brisbane, San Bruno, Millbrae, Burlingame, San Mateo, Foster City, Belmint, San Carlos, Redwood City, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Los Altos, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Cupertino, San Jose, Campbell
East Coast: Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Brookline, Watertown, Waltham, Newton