The University of Florida CISE Human-Centered Computing PhD program recruiting now for 2019-2020 admissions (apply by Dec 5th!)

The University of Florida Department of Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE) is recruiting applicants for its Human-Centered Computing (HCC) Ph.D. program for 2019-2020 admission! The UF HCC Ph.D. program is a growing, vibrant degree with over 30 current students, and our graduates have gone onto tenure-track faculty positions, industry UX research positions. The UF HCC PhD program emphasizes understanding people, developing new technology, and designing engaging experiences for a variety of target users, domains, and contexts. The highlight of the program includes a self-defined “cognate area” which allows the student to choose a set of three courses that inform their interdisciplinary training to strengthen the foundation of their thesis research. For more information on the structure of the degree, check out our info page: https://www.cise.ufl.edu/academics/grad/phdhcc

Selected faculty who are recruiting research assistants for their labs this year:

Lisa Anthony, Ph.D.: Director of the Intelligent Natural Interaction Technology (INIT) lab. Research topics focus on advanced interaction technologies such as touch, speech, and gesture, especially for children in the context of educational interfaces. INIT Lab projects advance human-computer interaction (HCI) research questions of how users want to interact with these natural modalities, and computer science research questions of how to build recognition algorithms that can understand user input in these ambiguous modalities. Research in the INIT Lab both integrates and contributes to research in human-computer interaction, child-computer interaction, multimodal interaction, machine learning and artificial intelligence, cognitive science, and interaction design. For more info: https://init.cise.ufl.edu/

Kristy Boyer, Ph.D.: Director of the LearnDialogue research group, whose research focuses on dialogue for teaching and learning. The LearnDialogue group builds computational models of dialogue and learning, and these models drive the adaptivity of intelligent systems. They also design, develop, and investigate learning environments for individuals and collaborative groups including tutorial dialogue, intelligent tutoring, virtual agents for learning, and game-based learning. Additionally, the LearnDialogue group aims to transform the way that young learners experience computer science, and engages in evidence-based multidisciplinary research and computer science curriculum development. For more info: http://learndialogue.org

Sharon Lynn ​Chu, Ph.D.: The Embodied Learning & Experience (ELX) Lab conducts research in two broad areas: learning technologies and technologies for health and well-being. The guiding principle of the lab is to conduct research for real users and in authentic settings. The ELX lab engages in human-centered design and evaluation of both existing and new technologies. Example projects include wearable technologies for learning, Maker-based learning, culturally-relevant computing in education, and motion tracking in learning environments. The ELX group is diverse and very interdisciplinary. For more info: https://cise.ufl.edu/~slchu/research.html

Eakta Jain, Ph.D.: Dr. Jain’s research group works on problems at the intersection of computer graphics, virtual reality, computer vision, and human visual perception. The lab’s research goal is to convert gaze data into usable information about a person’s priorities and preferences. By applying the data, algorithms and insights gained from this work, the JainLab works to improve user experience, enhance safety, and create lifelike virtual avatars. For more info: http://jainlab.cise.ufl.edu

Benjamin Lok, Ph.D.: The Virtual Experiences Research Group (VERG) goal is to improve human interactions through training with virtual humans. To that end, VERG researches topics in virtual reality, mixed reality, and virtual humans, and apply these technologies to train healthcare students on interpersonal scenarios to improve the lives and society of those around us. Students work closely with collaborators in fields such as medicine, nursing, communications, psychology, speech pathology, and education. If you are interested in building new virtual experiences to move hearts and minds of learners, for more info: http://www.ufverg.com

Kyla McMullen, Ph.D.: The SoundPAD Lab focuses on the Perception, Application, and Development of 3D Audio systems. The lab’s research lies at the intersection of human-centered computing, electrical engineering, and auditory perception. As virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) becomes more commonplace, significant research is needed to investigate 3D audio’s role in systems of the future. Broadly, the lab’s goal is to elucidate the human factors that must be taken into account in the design and use of 3D audio systems. For more info: https://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&user=DzvXnyoAAAAJ&view_op=list_works&sortby=pubdate for collected publications.

Eric Ragan, Ph.D.: The Interactive Data and Immersive Environments (Indie) research lab conducts human-centered research of interactive visualizations. The Indie lab focuses on the design and evaluation of applications and techniques that support effective interaction and understanding of data, information, and virtual environments. Indie research lies under the umbrella of human-computer interaction (HCI), and projects address topics information visualization, visual analytics, virtual reality, or 3D interaction. For more info: https://www.cise.ufl.edu/~eragan/

Jaime Ruiz, Ph.D.: The Ruiz Human-Computer Interaction Lab at the University of Florida focuses on tackling problems in the field of human-computer interaction. The lab’s current research focuses on developing new Natural User Interfaces (NUI) that support non-verbal communication in novel ways and developing new gestural interactions for virtual reality and augmented reality. For more info: https://ruizlab.org

The University of Florida is the flagship institution of the Florida State System, and is designated as a Pre-Eminent Institution in Florida. Ranked #8 among all U.S. Public institutions by U.S. News & World Report, UF is recognized on the national stage as a top research-productive university. Campus research facilities include the HiPerGator, the most powerful distributed computing cluster at a public university; the Marston Made@UF space and resources for emerging technology development and entrepreneurship; and the Digital Worlds Institute REVE panoramic theatre used for immersive, engaging entertainment, events, and teaching. It is also a welcoming community with an active Graduate Student Association, intramural sports, and high-profile visitors and events.

UF CISE in particular has a commitment to increasing diversity and broadening participation. Currently, CISE is ranked #1 in terms of numbers of female and underrepresented minority faculty members. Our faculty are leading world-class research, and have been recognized with two recent Fulbright Scholarships; sixteen NSF Career Awards; four IEEE Fellowships; three AAAS Fellowships; two ACM Fellowships; two memberships in the European Academy of Sciences; one SCS Fellowships; one SPIE Fellowship; one IEEE Computer Society Taylor Booth Education Award; one IEEE Computer Society Wallace McDowell Award; one ACM Karl Karlstrom Education Award; one Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM); and one AAAS Mentor Award. CISE houses dedicated user studies lab space, and multiple motion capture laboratory spaces and advanced interaction hardware labs. ​

The University of Florida is located in sunny Gainesville, Florida, in the heart of north-central Florida, approximately two hours north of Orlando, two hours northeast of Tampa, and 90 minutes southwest of Jacksonville. The 27 state parks and trails located less than 100 miles from Gainesville include the famous La Chua Trail, where visitors regularly sight alligators, beautiful water birds, and wild horses. Gainesville, a city of 120,000, also has thriving arts, culture, and nightlife scenes, from the downtown historic district to UF campus, cultural events, botanical gardens, and craft breweries. UF is the center of the Gator Nation, proud home of champion teams in football, basketball, softball, gymnastics, indoor/outdoor track and field, swimming and diving, and tennis.

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