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Designing and Assessing Virtual Reality for Children and Adults

Primary Investigators:
Bobby Bodenheimer
Brief Description of Project:
When we build a virtual reality environment, whether it be a 3D game, a piece of educational software, or a training environment, it is important to have a target user group in mind. This target user group might also include an age range, as much of our other media does. How do we best design virtual environments for particular age ranges? No one knows.

This project seeks to shed some light on that question by looking at age-related differences in virtual environments, particularly differences in how children and adults reason about space in virtual reality. We currently know very little about child-specific perception, action, and cognition in virtual environments, and key questions need to be answered before drawing generalizable conclusions about how best to use virtual environments for particular age groups. We want to ask specific questions about behaviors and responses in virtual environments based on age, and will be building virtual environments seeking answers to those questions.

Desired Qualifications:
US Citizen/Permanent Resident. CS 2201 or 2204 required; CS 3251 and/or VR experience would be best; inquire if you don't have these but have qualifications that may serve.
Nature of Supervision:
This research project will be supervised by the PI much as any undergraduate research project or independent study. In particular, the PI and students will have structured one-to-one meetings every week and additional supervision time as needed. They will also be mentored by senior graduate students within the PI's group, and will participate in weekly group meetings.
A Brief Research Plan (period is for 10 weeks):
Weeks 1-3 will be spent getting oriented and learning to use the virtual reality or augmented reality devices. Weeks 4-7 will be spent developing environments and code that support navigation in either virtual reality or augmented reality. Weeks 8-10 will be spent assessing and refining the developed environments and code.
Number of Open Slots: 1
Contact Information:
Name: Bobby Bodenheimer
Title: Associate Professor
Department: EECS
Campus Address: 368 Jacobs Hall
Mailing Address: Station B, Box #351679 2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37235-1679
United States
Phone: (615) 322-3555