Virtual Reality (VR) is a multidisciplinary area of research aimed at interactive computer-mediated immersive simulations of environments or experiences typically involving sight, sound, and touch. Simulations involving a blending of real and virtual objects is often referred to as Augmented Reality (AR). Research in VR/AR encompasses a wide range of fundamental topics, including computer graphics, multi-modal systems (e.g., displays, tracking, haptics, robotics), 3D interaction, illusions of presence/tele-presence, and human factors. One of our current foci is on human-centered experiences
involving avatars and virtual humans for training teachers, healthcare practitioners, and military personnel.
Human Computer Interaction (HCI) is the scientific study how humanity communicates with all aspects of computing technology. HCI is an interdisciplinary field that spans computer science, computer engineering, psychology, human factors, and cognitive science. In our department, we focus specifically on developing and evaluating interactive systems that help to improve people’s lives when using computer-based environments. We focus on improving the user experience in application areas such as education, entertainment, medicine, robotics, and general work productivity.