William  Xue

William Xue

Scholar Title

MIT EECS — DENSO Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar

Research Title

The Future Textbook




David R. Karger


In this project we enhance and evaluate NB (nota bene), a web-based collaborative annotation tool. NB currently aims to solve various problems with traditional annotation methods and is used in about fifty classrooms worldwide. From both collected usage data and a known list of features instructors want, we can observe and propose features that would be helpful to instructors. To improve NB, we firstly implement these features. Secondly, we create a method to track data from student discussion in each section of the book to identify weak areas students have, allowing suggestions to be given to instructors for later use. This data should also give insight into new features instructors might want. By implementing and evaluating these features, we turn NB into a more robust learning platform.


I have done well in 6.813 (UI), participated in 6.470, and edited websites written in unfamiliar languages at the time (PHP), which I believe have prepared me for this project. I look forward to learning about not only the technologies behind NB, but also how HCI research is practically conducted. I believe that a tool such as NB would be useful to classrooms even here at MIT, and am excited to continue its development.

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