Mar. 8 - Faculty Colloquium: Robots in Context


Everyone is welcome to join the Department of Computer Science in Room 120 for a faculty colloquium on March 8 at 2:30p with Laurel Riek from the University of Notre Dame. The abstract for Dr. Riek's talk, Robots in Context: Understanding the Dynamics of Daily Life, is presented below along with her bio. CSE 600 students will receive class credit for attending and refreshments immediately follow the talk.  


Robots are no longer separated from people by cages. They are now entering our daily lives - in the home and on the road, in offices and in hospitals. To operate in human spaces, robots need the ability to dynamically and quickly interpret human activities, understand environmental context, and select appropriate actions. The goal of my research is to build robots that can work fluently and contingently with human teams. In this talk, I will describe several threads we are exploring in this domain. 1) Context Perception and Action. We are designing new algorithms for robots to understand context, which can work robustly across highly-noisy environments, despite limited computational and power resources. 2) Modeling and Synthesizing Coordination Dynamics. We have designed new nonlinear dynamical methods to automatically model and detect synchronous coordinated action in human teams, and synthesize coordinated behaviors on robots.  3) Intelligent Health Technology for Patient Safety. We are applying our contextual and coordination research to save lives in safety-critical healthcare environments (surgery and acute care), as well as in clinical education, through the use of next-generation patient simulator systems.

Laurel Riek is the Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering and Affiliated Faculty in Bioengineering at the University of Notre Dame. Riek received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge, and B.S. in Logic and Computation from Carnegie Mellon University. From 2000-2007 she worked as a Senior Artificial Intelligence Engineer and Roboticist at The MITRE Corporation. Riek's research interests include robotics, human activity understanding, and healthcare engineering. She focuses on designing autonomous robots able to sense, respond, and adapt to human behavior. Her work also tackles real-world problems in healthcare, by designing robotics and sensing technology to improve patient safety, as well as to aid in mental and behavioral healthcare. Prof. Riek has received the NSF CAREER Award, AFOSR Young Investigator Award, Qualcomm Research Scholar Award, and several best paper awards. She also received five recognition awards at MITRE, and in 2014 was named as one of ASEE's 20 Faculty under 40. Riek serves on the editorial boards of IEEE Transactions on Human Machine Systems and IEEE Access, on the Steering Committee of the ACM/IEEE Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), and numerous conference program committees.