This Year's Projects

Our REU projects fall under a very wide “systems“ umbrella. In our vision of systems, practice dominates over theory — we emphasize hands-on work from the first day and—following a systems-building standpoint—balance theory and practice in order to produce tangible results for real-world problems.

Algorithms for Active Transportation

This project will design, prototype, and test novel algorithms for efficient coordination of both active (human-based) and traditional transportation. Here are additional details of this collaboration with several SoCal communitites.

Kinetic Typography

Kinetic typography puts text in motion, resulting in new and creative storytelling (for example, see this video) This project will investigate automating the process of creating kinetic typography animations. We will work towards a live, interactive resource that demonstrate the principles and approaches emerging from this project.

Human Gaze Response to Feature Films

What makes us look at a particular image region? How much time do viewers need to process changes in moving images? And—do the methods developed by filmmakers to influence visual attention actually work? These are some of the questions we will explore using modern eye tracking hardware and techniques from computer graphics as part of this Human Gaze Response project.

Human-robot Teaming

The Robot Brunch and PaWPal projects, led by Professor Jim Boerkoel, will push the boundaries of collaborative efforts between autonomous robotic agents and humans. This opens many pathways to novel investigations and implementations. In prior years, for example, the HEAT lab developed novel resource-sharing algorithms within robot teams; it also experimented with conditions under which humans trust robots differently than fellow humans.

Scripting for All (Discplines)

"CS for All" is a call to democratize the skillsets, toolsets, and mindsets of computing. Its success will depend on how computing is used and viewed outside communities that already identify with computer science. This project distinguishes how and where computing may yet be of value—and collaboratively creates, tests, and refines resources for tapping that value. 2017 focused on how scripting skills might help non-computing discplines; we will broaden our collaborations in 2018.