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.


Jenny and Josh Discuss Tech-based Health Research with Students at Glencliff High School

Glencliff High School, Nashville, TN

RASL members Zhi (Jenny) Zheng and Josh Wade spoke on Wednesday to students at Glencliff High School in southern Nashville. The students in Dr. Robert Jordan‘s Health Science classes learned about ways that technology can be used to help improve outcomes for people with a variety of medical conditions, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and gait disability following stroke or due to Parkinson’s disease.

Jenny explains how robots can be used to teach social communication skills to children with ASD

The students were also encouraged to look into opportunities for Summer research through the Vanderbilt Center for Science Outreach program. RASL has previously worked with high school students involved in this program who have since gone on to universities around the country to earn degrees in STEM fields.


RASL Presents 4 Papers at HCII 2015 in Los Angeles, CA. Best Paper Award for Zhi Zheng!

RASL Members at HCII 2015 Keynote

RASL members presented four papers at this year’s Human-Computer Interaction International conference (HCII 2015).

Zhi Zheng, Lian Zhang, and Josh Wade presented at this year’s conference held in Los Angeles, CA. Zhi Zheng’s paper entitled Design of a Computer-assisted System for Teaching Attentional Skills to Toddlers with Autism received the award for best paper!

  1. Design of a Computer-assisted System for Teaching Attentional Skills to Toddlers with Autism (Best Paper Award)
  2. Multimodal Fusion for Cognitive Load Measurement in an Adaptive Virtual Reality Driving Task for Autism Intervention
  3. A Virtual Reality Driving Environment for Training Safe Gaze Patterns: Applications in Individuals with ASD
  4. Understanding and Improving Collaborative Skills among Individuals with Asd in a Distributed Virtual Environment

More photos can be found at the RASL Facebook page.

Zhi Zheng awarded for Best Paper!

Zhi Zheng awarded Best Paper!

Zhi Zheng presenting paper

Lian Zhang presenting paper

Josh Wade presenting paper


RASL Invention Presented at SEMDA 2015

Licensing officers from Vanderbilt’s Center for Technology Transfer (CTTC) showcased two medical device prototypes from Vanderbilt engineering students at this year’s Southeastern Medical Device Association (SEMDA) conference. The photo below shows Ray Lathrop (left) and Joshua Wade of RASL (right) at the presentation.

From left to right: Yiorgos Kostoulas, Taylor Jordan, Ashok Choudhury, Ray Lathrop, Joshua Wade, and Masood Machingal.

You can download the poster here or read more about the event here.