RASL PhD students Akshith Ullal and Cadence Watkins have won the “Best student paper award” at the 2021 IEEE Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality (AIVR) conference

RASL PhD students Akshith Ullal and Cadence Watkins have won the “Best student paper award” for their paper titled “A Dynamically Weighted Multi-Objective Optimization Approach to Positional Interactions in Remote-Local Augmented/Mixed Realityat the 2021 IEEE Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality (AIVR) conference held at Taichung, Taiwan. Their paper was also selected as one of the final four papers nominated for the “Best paper award”. The paper describes a dynamically weighted multi-objective optimization approach for dealing with object-human interactions in remote-local augmented/mixed reality that is more efficient than current state of the art algorithms.

Presentation Link: https://youtu.be/hGTkYm9YuL8


Vanderbilt’s research towards neurodiversity in the workplace–including work at RASL–featured in 60 Minutes on CBS

Vanderbilt’s efforts towards the development of systems to facilitate the recruitment of talent on the Autism Spectrum was featured in the 60 Minutes episode that aired on 4th October on CBS News. Anderson Cooper led the reporting on the story.

Check out the full episode on CBS’s website or see the neurodiversity segment on YouTube.

Among the research featured in the episode were a driving simulator and a computer-aided Virtual Reality-based interview simulation system, both of which were developed at RASL.


Vanderbilt leads $5 million project to revolutionize neurodiverse employment through AI

The National Science Foundation has awarded a highly competitive $5 million grant to Vanderbilt University that greatly expands a School of Engineering-led project for creating novel AI technology and tools and platforms that train and support individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the workplace.

The significant federal investment follows a successful $1 million, nine-month pilot grant to the same team that forged partnerships with employers and other stakeholders and produced viable prototypes through immersive, human-centric design.

The effort is led by David K. Wilson Professor of Engineering Nilanjan Sarkar with Yale University, Cornell University, Georgia Institute of Technology and Vanderbilt University Medical Center as academic partners.

The grant, made through NSF’s Convergence Accelerator program, advances the School of Engineering’s focus on Inclusion Engineering,® which uses the disciplines within engineering to broaden meaningful participation for people who have been marginalized.


Vanderbilt, Ohio State receive $3.1M NIH grant to develop social robots to encourage activity among older adults

Researchers from Vanderbilt University and The Ohio State University are teaming up to develop next-generation robotic technology that can help older adults living with forms of dementia through a grant from the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health.

The five-year grant, totaling $3.13 million, will support research and development of robotic framework and methodologies that encourage social interaction among older adults in long term care (LTC) facilities like nursing homes and independent or assisted living facilities.

The research will be conducted jointly with Lorraine Mion, professor of nursing at The Ohio State University and former Independence Foundation Professor in Nursing at the Vanderbilt School of Nursing. The multidisciplinary team includes engineers, nurses, physicians, and health services researchers from Vanderbilt and Ohio State.

 


Sarkar will Lead New $1M Convergence Accelerator Project Funded by the National Science Foundation!

RASL Director Dr. Nilanjan Sarkar will serve as Principal Investigator of a new project entitled “Convergence Accelerator Phase I: Empowering Neurodiverse Populations for Employment through Inclusion AI and Innovation Science.

The project is part of a brand new funding mechanism from the National Science Foundation called the NSF Convergence Accelerator (C-Accel). This mechanism is designed to rapidly advance innovation in the areas of NSF’s 10 Big Ideas initiative.

Sarkar’s project aims to address the significant challenge of barriers to employment for people on the autism spectrum. The project has been awarded $1M in Phase 1, which spans 9 months beginning in September 2019.

This multi-site project includes partners at Yale, Georgia Tech, Cornell, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and the newly endowed Frist Center for Autism and Innovation.


Latest RASL grad Jing Fan now at Google

Jing

In May, RASL’s Jing Fan successfully defended her dissertation, entitled “Models of Adaptation in Intelligent Human-Machine Interaction and Their Applications to Elder Care and Autism Spectrum Disorder Intervention“.

Now Jing has accepted a position at Google as a software engineer in Mountain View, CA.

At Vanderbilt, Jing’s work focused on the application of Robotics to improve the lives of a variety of populations, including older adults and individuals on the autism spectrum.


part0(7)

Recap of HCI International 2019 in Orlando, FL

RASL members Deeksha Adiani and Joshua Wade presented several papers at the 21st International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction this week in Orlando, FL. The conference was held from Friday, July 26 to Wednesday, July 31, 2019 in Orlando, FL.

20190731_100100

Deeksha–RASL’s newest graduate student–presented a paper entitled “Design of a Novel Web Utility that Provides Multi-lingual Word Definitions for Child E-Book Applications” [2].

part0(7)

RASL alum Zhi Zheng was also in attendance at the conference, allowing for a brief reunion.

part0(6)

Joshua chaired two of the conference sessions this year: Language Learning Technologies on Tuesday, July 30 and Technologies for ASD – 2 on Wednesday, July 31. In addition Joshua presented three papers [1,3,4]. A full list of the lab members’ presentations is given below.

20190730_164517

  1. Adiani D. et al. (2019) Usability Enhancement and Functional Extension of a Digital Tool for Rapid Assessment of Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorders in Toddlers Based on Pilot Test and Interview Data. In: Antona M., Stephanidis C. (eds) Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction. Multimodality and Assistive Environments. HCII 2019. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 11573. Springer, Cham
  2. Adiani D. et al. (2019) Design of a Novel Web Utility that Provides Multi-lingual Word Definitions for Child E-Book Applications. In: Zaphiris P., Ioannou A. (eds) Learning and Collaboration Technologies. Ubiquitous and Virtual Environments for Learning and Collaboration. HCII 2019. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 11591. Springer, Cham
  3. Nie G., Ullal A., Swanson A.R., Weitauf A.S., Warren Z.E., Sarkar N. (2019) Design of an Intelligent and Immersive System to Facilitate the Social Interaction Between Caregivers and Young Children with Autism. In: Antona M., Stephanidis C. (eds) Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction. Multimodality and Assistive Environments. HCII 2019. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 11573. Springer, Cham
  4. Sarkar N., Zheng Z.K. (2019) Design and Validation of a Tremor Stabilizing Handle for Patients with Parkinson Disease and Essential Tremor. In: Duffy V. (eds) Digital Human Modeling and Applications in Health, Safety, Ergonomics and Risk Management. Healthcare Applications. HCII 2019. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 11582. Springer, Cham
  5. Schmidt M. et al. (2019) A Simple Web Utility for Automatic Speech Quantification in Dyadic Reading Interactions. In: Zaphiris P., Ioannou A. (eds) Learning and Collaboration Technologies. Ubiquitous and Virtual Environments for Learning and Collaboration. HCII 2019. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 11591. Springer, Cham