Team of Students at University of Washington-Bothell Expand Development of Vision Screening Tools to Identify Young Children's Vision Issues

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Eleven Graduate and Undergraduate students in the Computer Sciences Department at the University of Washington, supprted by Professor Bill Erdly, shared their most recent work on their project to develop tools for vision problems that can be efficiently used by educators. Helen Spencer, Yakima-area Americorps director, and Katie Johnson, author of Red Flags for Primary Teachers, were their guests and audience for this progress report.

"I've had glasses and eye problems since I was in first grade myself," reported Tommy Morris, one of the undergrads. "It's pretty neat to be able to help other kids."

Four graduate students and five undergraduate students in the Department of Computer Sciences of the University of Washington - Bothell gathered to share their ongoing work with Katie Johnson, author of Red Flags for Primary Teachers, Helen Spencer, Americorps director in the Yakima Valley, and Dr. Cristin Mattione, developmental optometrist in Lynnwood on Monday evening, April 7, 2014, in the Digital Future Lab at UW-B.

These students have been working under the direction of Dr. Bill Erdly of the Department Computing and Software Systems in Interactive Media and Design. Spencer and Johnson first met with Dr. Erdly and students in the fall of 2013 to begin this project. The students have developed data systems, tracking systems, and, most interesting to their guests on Monday, interactive games which can identify teaming and tracking issues when children play them.

Graduate students and Masters degree candidates Carisa Chang, Sindhu Bolisetty, Harshada Hele, and Tuan Tran are the project managers for the team, and undergraduates Suzi Zuber, Derek Wu, Thad Allen, Matthew Fix, and Tommy Morris shared what piece of the project they are working on. The visitors and the team watched demonstrations of the games and had a lively discussion of how to revise them when necessary. Dr. Mattione helped the team to understand exactly what binocular convergence is and how she screens for it in her practice, which helped everyone.

"We're calling the project 'Educating Young Eyes" as we are working on the many levels and components of this work," Erdly shared. "It makes a great acronym."

The University of Washington - Bothell will be hosting a Vision Symposium in November of 2014 when these works-in-progress will be completed and ready for sharing.

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