Computing Sciences Professor Publishes Cutting-edge Research

Dr. Eric Owusu, Assistant Professor in Computing Sciences, co-authored two papers that discuss contemporary and cutting-edge topics and have been accepted for publication and presentation at the Human-Computer Interaction International 2022 Conference.

The first paper focuses on taking a culturally sensitive lens to assess usability in the realm of security. The second publication focuses on the effective choice and use of group collaboration tools by students in higher educational settings. If you would like to collaborate or discuss any of these topics, please contact Dr. Owusu.

Title: Bridging the Gap between Usability and Security: Cultural Adaptation of a Graphical User Authentication

Author(s): Yvonne Kamegne, Eric Owusu, Joyram Chakraborty
HCI International 2022 Conference, June 26-July 1, 2022

Affiliated Conference: Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction


Authentication tasks are becoming more important from a cultural-centered perspective, since these tasks are performed daily by millions of users across diverse cultures that share distinct characteristics and behaviors. Alphanumerical password authentication is often criticized because of its memorability issues. Thus, graphical passwords, which require users to select images as their password, have been proposed to increase memorability and ease the user authentication process. However, graphical passwords are globalized without considering that people from distinct cultures understand and interact with technologies differently. Culturally familiar graphical passwords allow the user to select pictures that relate to his cultural background. Such passwords exhibit a higher level of memorability, and leverage humans’ cognitive strengths.

This paper investigates the effect of cultural elements on graphical password usability. A pilot study was conducted with thirty-four participants to examine the usability impact of culture on a customized graphical user authentication application. Two groups of participants were part of the study, namely Cameroonian and American users. Participants were asked to create a graphical password with the option of selecting cultural related images as opposed to non-related cultural images. Data gathered was used to measure the correlation between cultural related images and memorability and user’ preferences. The results showed that cultural elements are well considered as factors that influence password choices of users during the registration and the authentication process. Findings underpin the necessity to consider cultural differences in the design of graphical password authentications, to enhance usability features and strengthened security.

Title: The Impact of Accessing Mechanisms for Group Collaboration for Students in Higher Education
Author(s): Eric Owusu and Brittani S Washington
HCI International 2022 Conference, June 26-July 1, 2022
Affiliated Conference: Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction


The current research study investigates the impact of accessing mechanisms for group collaboration for students in higher education. This study focuses on the human computer factors that assists in measuring the effectiveness (MOE), if a student was aware, or knew how to use the tools that are applicable for collaborative use, they will produce a high-quality project deliverable that will increase their degree of success. The goal of measuring effectiveness reveals the ability of a system to meet a specified need from a particular viewpoint.

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Posted: February 10, 2022