Be sure to keep an eye on this page for updates! New speakers and seminar details are being added daily.
Presentations will be available via live-stream and playback on our YouTube channel.
Professor, Iowa State University
Dr. Kelly received his Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from the University of California Santa Barbara before working as a postdoc in psychology at Vanderbilt University. He has worked in the Department of Psychology at Iowa State University since 2009, and actively participates in the Human Computer Interaction graduate program. He currently serves as Director of Graduate Education in psychology. Dr. Kelly’s research explores space perception, spatial memory, and navigation. Much of this work is focused on applying spatial cognitive theory to improve user experience in virtual environments. Dr. Kelly has published over 50 journal articles, and his work has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the Army Research Lab. He serves as associate editor at ACM Transactions on Applied Perception and is a fellow of the Psychonomic Society and the Association for Psychological Science.
Navigating Through Virtual Environments
April 8, 2022 at 1:30PM CDT
The most natural way to explore a virtual environment is to walk and turn, but real walking is often not possible due to technological limitations and space limitations. Therefore, teleporting has become a popular interface, whereby the user aims a virtual laser pointer to the desired location in the virtual environment and is then instantly transported. However, teleporting lacks self-motion cues normally associated with walking, and these cues are known to be useful for staying spatially oriented. I will describe several experiments which evaluate the effects of teleporting on navigation and closely examine the importance of self-motion cues, environmental cues, and experience.
Professor, University of Minnesota
Victoria Interrante is a Full Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota, where she also serves as the Director of the university-wide Center for Cognitive Sciences. Dr. Interrante’s research focuses on applying insights from visual perception and cognition to the development of more effective virtual reality experiences. In this work, she has enjoyed collaborating with colleagues in a wide variety of fields, from architectural design to psychiatry and more. Dr. Interrante is a recipient of the 2020 IEEE VGTC Virtual Reality Career Award in recognition of her lifetime contributions to visualization and visual perception for augmented and virtual reality, and the 1999 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, “the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers”. She co-founded and served as the first general co-chair of the ACM/SIGGRAPH Symposium on Applied Perception, and was co-editor-in-chief of the ACM Transactions on Applied Perception from 2015-2021. She also served in 2014 as co-General Chair and from 2015-2017 as co-Program Chair of the IEEE Virtual Reality Conference, and she was a member of the Steering Committee for the IEEE Virtual Reality Conference from 2016-2021. In addition, she served as the co-General Chair of EuroVR in 2017, and as co-Program Chair from 2018-2021. She has published numerous articles on the topic of spatial perception in immersive virtual environments, which is how she first became interested in working with avatars and virtual agents in VR.
Embodiment, Presence, and Spatial Perception in Immersive Architectural Environments
June 29, 2022 at 3:00PM CDT
Immersive Virtual Reality technology has transformative potential applications in architecture and design. In this talk I will review some of the work my lab has done to address fundamental challenges in effectively deploying VR technologies in architecture and design applications, focusing primarily on our investigations of factors influencing spatial perception accuracy in immersive architectural environments, but also touching on some examples of the use of VR technology to investigate other questions of interest to architectural and interior designers. Additionally, I will discuss how virtual humans — in particular, virtual self-avatars, virtual human agents, and virtual avatar representations of other real people — can facilitate improved outcomes, including issues related to the impact of avatars and agents on spatial perception accuracy, co-presence, and interpersonal trust during design negotiations in virtual architectural environments, and including a consideration of the various impacts of different technological approaches to the instantiation of virtual embodiments.
Assistant Professor, Colorado State University
Francisco R. Ortega is an Assistant Professor at Colorado State University (CSU) and Director of the Natural User Interaction lab (NUILAB). Dr. Ortega earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science (CS) in the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and 3D User Interfaces (3DUI) from Florida International University (FIU). He also held the position of Post-Doc and Visiting Assistant Professor position at Florida International University between February 2015 and July 2018. Broadly speaking, his research has focused on multimodal and unimodal interaction (gesture-centric), which includes gesture elicitation (e.g., a form of participatory design). His main research area focuses on improving user interaction by (a) multimodal elicitation, (b) developing interactive techniques, and © improving augmented reality visualization techniques. The primary domains for interaction include immersive analytics, assembly, Navy use cases, and collaborative environments using augmented reality headsets.
His research has resulted in over 76 peer-reviewed publications, including books, journals, conferences, workshops, and magazine articles, in venues such as IEEE TVCG, ACM PACMHCI, ACM ISS, ACM SUI, and IEEE 3DUI, among others. He is the first author of Interaction Design for 3D User Interfaces: The World of Modern Input Devices for Research, Applications, and Game Development book by CRC Press. Dr. Ortega has experience with multiple projects awarded by the government. For example, Dr. Ortega was a co-PI for the DARPA Communicating with Computers project. He is currently a PI for a 3-year effort for ONR titled Perceptual/Cognitive Aspects of Augmented Reality: Experimental Research and a Computational Model. He recently was awarded a new ONR grant titled Assessing Cognitive Load and Managing Extraneous Load to Optimize Training. He has also been funded by the National Science Foundation and other agencies and companies. Since his initial tenure-track appointment at CSU in August 2018, Dr. Ortega has brought over 3.3 million dollars in external funding. Finally, Dr. Ortega is committed to diversity and inclusion, and his mission is to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in CS.
The Case for Microgestures in Augmented Reality
October 28, 2022 at 4:00PM CDT in Butler Hall, Room 100
The next wave of human-computer interaction technology includes augmented reality (AR) head-mounted displays (HMDs). While controllers remain the most common way to interact in virtual reality (VR), most AR (and some VR) HMDs are including midair gesture interactions, where the user extends their arm to interact with the virtual scene. Midair gestures are more intuitive for users than controllers but cause fatigue. Microgestures are a different type of interaction because they are small, discreet gestures. Microgestures may be performed as a primary or secondary task (done concurrently with another gesture or primary task). For example, a primary task may be annotating a 3D plot, and a secondary task may be changing the font size of the plot's text. Microgestures are intended to be useful in hands-on situations, such as working in a kitchen, workshop, office, or whenever a person's hands are preoccupied. Microgesture interaction can be used for interruptions to primary tasks. Microgestures have been shown to be efficient and effective for direct and subtle interaction with modern computing systems. A simple visual example of a microgesture is using the volume control on a car steering wheel, where the driver uses a thumb to push upward or downward without moving their hand from the steering wheel. In HMDs, a similar microgesture would be the thumb and the index finger rubbing together to control a virtual volume knob. What should microgestures look like in AR? Currently, there is no definitive answer, especially for complex 3D environments like those found in Immersive Analytics (Immersive 3D Data Visualization). The talk will concentrate on Dr. Ortega's prior work on AR interaction, and the PI will make a case for the importance of microgestures.