Andrey Esakia,PhD

Virginia Tech


Virginia Tech

Computer Science
July 2018

Virginia Tech

Master of Science
Computer Science
January 2014

AUBG/Virginia Tech

Computer Science and Mathematics
May 2011


FitAware is a triple component system allowing users compete and cooperate in the context of a group dynamics-based physical activity competition. The system is novel in its use of smartwatches for glanceable feedback that includes both group and individual information. FitAware's smartphone app offers more detailed feedback. The cloud competent serves as connectivity hub and a host for a web interface. You can learn more details about FitAware in the proceedings of CHI 2017 , GROUP 2018. It is also mentioned in a VT News article.

Research:Smartwatches in CS Education

I explored smartwatches in an upper-level undergraduate mobile application development class during two academic terms. Lectures, in-class activities, homeworks, and projects were tailored toward providing rich design and implementation experiences for the students that engaged them in developing for the smartwatch and a paired mobile device. Among other results the teaching experience revealed four key challenges and opportunities associated with smartwatches.The details of this work can be read in the proceedings of SIGCSE 2015.

Research:a model for teaching mobile app development

As mobile software development becomes more mainstream, universities recognize a need to integrate mobile platform programming into the curriculum. This integration requires an understanding of mobile software development that defines it not just as a collection of topics but that acknowledges cross-topic areas that serve as the basis for specific interests. This work presents a platform-agnostic model for teaching mobile software development that identifies established foundational topics, offering an adaptable teaching model aimed at providing enhanced understating of the topics and their integration. The details of this work can be read in the proceedings of FIE 2016.

Research:Large, High Resolution Display Interaction via Multiple Acceleration Curves and Multifinger Pointer Control

Large high-resolution displays (LHRD) combine high pixel density with ample physical dimensions. The combination of these factors creates a multiscale workspace where interactive targeting of on-screen objects requires both high speed for distant targets and high accuracy for small targets. As part of my Masters Thesis work I built and evaluated a system that augments standard touchpad accelerated pointer manipulation with multitouch capability, where the choice of acceleration curve dynamically changes depending on the number of fingers in contact with the touchpad. Specifically, with this system users can dynamically switch among three different acceleration curves by using one, two, or three fingers on the touchpad. The details about the system and evaluation can be found in a research article published in "Advaces in Human-Computer Interaction".


Spring 2014 - Fall 2017
Summer 2017, Spring 2018
Summer 2016

Selected Publications

[ACCEPTED] Esakia, A., McCrickard. D.S.,Harden, S.M. and Horning, M 2018. FitAware: Mediating Group Fitness Stragies with Smartwatch Glanceable Feedback. In Proceedings of International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare (2018, May).


Esakia, A., McCrickard. D.S.,Harden, S.M. and Horning, M 2018. FitAware: Promoting Group Fitness Awareness Through Glanceable Smartwatches. In Proceedings of the 2018 ACM Conference on Supporting Groupwork (GROUP '18). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 178-183. DOI:


Esakia, A., Harden, S.M., McCrickard, D.S. and Horning, M., 2017, May. FitAware: Channeling Group Dynamics Strategies with Smartwatches in a Physical Activity Intervention. In Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 2551-2559). ACM.


Esakia, A. and McCrickard, D.S., 2016, October. An adaptable model for teaching mobile app development. In Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), 2016 IEEE (pp. 1-9). IEEE.


Seyam, M., McCrickard, D.S., Niu, S., Esakia, A. and Kim, W., 2016, October. Teaching mobile application development through lectures, interactive tutorials, and Pair Programming. In Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), 2016 IEEE (pp. 1-9). IEEE.


Esakia, A., Niu, S. and McCrickard, D.S., 2015, February. Augmenting Undergraduate Computer Science Education With Programmable Smartwatches. In Proceedings of the 46th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (pp. 66-71). ACM.


Esakia, A., Endert, A. and North, C., 2014. Large display interaction via multiple acceleration curves and multifinger pointer control. Advances in Human-Computer Interaction, 2014, p.12.


Jaoshvili, A., Esakia, A., Porrati, M. and Chaikin, P.M., 2010. Experiments on the random packing of tetrahedral dice. Physical review letters, 104(18), p.185501.



Pratt Fellowship (Virginia Tech)
This award is given in recognition of outstanding record as a graduate student in computer science
Outstanding Teaching Assistantship Award (Virginia Tech)
This award is given in recognition of outstanding work as a graduate teaching assistant
OSF Scholarship
Full tutuion scholarships covering undergraduate studies