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Accessibility in Augmented Reality

Primary Investigators:
Haley Adams 
Bobby Bodenheimer
Brief Description of Project:
Over fourteen million people in the United States of America have some form of vision disability in which vision cannot be corrected with glasses alone. Many people within this population are unable to use virtual and augmented head-mounted displays (HMDs), like the Oculus Quest and Microsoft HoloLens, due to their inaccessible designs. Worse yet, best practices for accessibility in these displays are still a nascent area of research. 

In this project, an undergraduate researcher will design and evaluate visual techniques to improve spatial perception for individuals with vision disabilities. They will design visualizations; they will develop applications in C# with Unity, a popular game engine; and they will conduct a behavioral evaluation to assess their visualizations.  While working alongside graduate students and university professors, the student will become familiar with fundamental perception research in AR as well as research on accessible design. 

Our objective is to build the student's confidence in their abilities to conduct meaningful research and to develop computer software applications. 

REU Funding:
Funding for the REU is provided through Adams' Microsoft Research Dissertation Grant as well as the School of Engineering at Vanderbilt University. More information on the project can be found at the following link:

Desired Qualifications:
Basic chemistry, physics and physical chemistry, calculus and differential equations
Nature of Supervision:
The REU site is led by Haley Adams and Bobby Bodenheimer in the Computer Science Department at Vanderbilt University. In their research group, the Learning in Virtual Environments (LiVE) Lab, they quantify perceptual differences between real, virtual, and augmented environments to better understand how immersive technology affects the way people interact with virtual objects. As such, their research is interdisciplinary---spanning the fields of human-computer interaction, computer graphics, statistics, and visual perception. Accordingly, students will gain experience working in interdisciplinary teams. There will be weekly project meeting to plan tasks and provide updates with individual meetings scheduled as needed.  Adams will be the primary graduate mentor who will meet regularly with the student.
A Brief Research Plan (period is for 10 weeks):
Synthesis of particles (Week 1-2)
Number of Open Slots: 2
Contact Information:
Name: Haley Adams
Department: Computer Science