UW CSE MSR Summer Institute 2018

Social Robotics: Challenges, Opportunities, and New Directions

List of Attendees


Henny Admoni, CMU
Henny Admoni is an Assistant Professor in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, where she leads the
Human And Robot Partners (HARP) Lab. She is interested in robotics, human-robot interaction, and assistive
technology. Henny's research focuses on developing intelligent, autonomous robots that help humans on
complex tasks like eating a meal or learning a new skill.
Sean Andrist, Microsoft Research
Sean Andrist is a researcher at Microsoft Research AI in the Perception and Interaction Group. His research
interests involve designing, building, and evaluating socially interactive technologies that are
physically situated in the open world, particularly embodied virtual agents and robots.
Cindy Bethel, Mississippi State University
Cindy L. Bethel, Ph.D. (IEEE and ACM Senior Member) is an Associate Professor in the Computer Science
and Engineering Department at Mississippi State University (MSU). She was recently awarded the 2018-
2019 Fulbright U.S. Senior Scholar Fellowship to perform research on social robotics at the University
of Technology, Sydney. In September 2017, she was awarded the Billie J. Ball Endowed Professorship in
Engineering, from the Bagley College of Engineering at MSU. She is the Director of the Social,
Therapeutic, and Robotic Systems (STaRS) lab and a Research Fellow with the MSU Center for Advanced
Vehicular Systems (CAVS) Human Performance Group and the MSU Social Science Research Center (SSRC).
Elin Bjorling, University of Washington
Elin Bjorling, Ph.D. is a research scientist and lecturer in the Department of Human Centered Design &
Engineering. She is the co-founder of the Momentary Experience Lab, conducting design and development
projects that capture data and intervene to improve health in the real world. Elin is the Project Lead
for Project EMAR, an interdisciplinary project exploring the design and development of a social robot
to measure and reduce stress in teens.
Dan Bohus, Microsoft Research
Dan Bohus is a Senior Researcher in the Perception and Interaction Group at Microsoft Research. His work
centers on the study and development of computational models for physically situated spoken language
interaction and collaboration. The long term question that shapes his research agenda is how can we
enable interactive systems to reason more deeply about their surroundings and seamlessly participate in
open-world, multiparty dialog and collaboration with people? Prior to joining Microsoft Research, Dan
has obtained a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University.
Maru Cabrera, Purdue University
Maru Cabrera is from Caracas, Venezuela. Her background is in Electronic Engineering and she recently
completed her PhD in Industrial Engineering with her dissertation topic on one-shot gesture recognition.
Her work researched how to incorporate human cognitive and kinematic processes to gesture recognition,
beyond the traditional machine learning techniques.
Maya Cakmak, UW Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering
Maya Cakmak is an Assistant Professor at the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the
University of Washington, where she directs the Human-Centered Robotics lab. Her research interests are
in human-robot interaction, end-user programming, and assistive robotics. Her work aims to develop
robots that can be programmed and controlled by a diverse group of users with unique needs and
preferences to do useful tasks.
Anat Caspi, UW Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering
Anat Caspi is Director of the Taskar Center for Accessible Technology at the Paul G. Allen School. Her
research interests involve ubiquitous sensing, shared autonomy, contextually aware tools/environments
and data science for social good. In particular, she is interested in the application of these areas
towards improving quality of life for people with mobility or communication limitations. She is lead on
projects involving personal mobility (Autonomous Wheelchair Kit & OpenSidewalks) and contextually aware
collaboration environments (Universal Work/Play Kiosk/ CadAssist). She received her PhD in
BioEngineering from UC Berkeley/UCSF and BS/MS in Computer Science from Stanford University.
Joyce Chai, Michigan State University
Joyce Chai is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Michigan State
University. Her research interests include natural language processing, situated dialogue agents, and
human-robot communication. Her recent work is focused on situated language processing to facilitate
interactive task learning where humans can teach physical agents new tasks through language
Crystal Chao, Huawei Technologies
Crystal Chao is Chief Scientist of AI/Robotics at Huawei Technologies and the global lead of a robotics
project. Previously she was a technical lead of human-robot interaction at Google X. She received her
PhD in Robotics from Georgia Tech and BS in Computer Science from MIT.
Michael Jae-Yoon Chung , UW Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering
Michael Jae-Yoon Chung is a graduate student at University of Washington, Paul G. Allen School of Computer
Science and Engineering working with Maya Cakmak. He is research interests include robotics, human robot
interaction, and machine learning. He is currently focusing on end-user programming for social robots.
Debadeepta Dey, Microsoft Research
Debadeepta Dey is a researcher in the Adaptive Systems and Interaction (ASI) group led by Dr. Eric Horvitz
at Microsoft Research, Redmond. He received his PhD at the Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon
University, advised by Prof. Drew Bagnell. He is interested in bridging the gap between perception and
planning for autonomous robots. His interests include decision-making under uncertainty, reinforcement
learning, planning and perception. He balances his time between fundamental theoretical advances as
well as pushing the state-of-the-art in autonomous systems.
Bill Dolan, Microsoft Research
I am a Principal Researcher in Microsoft Research, where I manage the Natural Language Processing group. My
undergraduate degree is from UC Berkeley, and my Ph.D. is from UCLA Linguistics. I joined MSR in 1992,
and most of my work since then has focused on semantic processing. A fundamental research interest has
been "the paraphrase problem": when do superficially dissimilar strings of words convey essentially the
same meaning? Learning to identify and generate such alternations is key to developing applications
that appear to understand human language. I have also been active in helping establishing the
recognizing Textual Entailment challenges, which address a closely related problem. In addition, I've
worked extensively on Machine Translation, managing the Microsoft Translator team from its inception
until 2011. Most recently, my work has focused on modeling language "grounded" or "situated" in the
real world. I'm particularly interested in imbuing machines with the linguistic means to react to
environmental changes, and in allowing humans to alter the state of the world (real or virtual) with language.
Ali Farhadi, UW Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering
I am an Associate Professor in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the University
of Washington. I also lead the project Plato at the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence. I am
mainly interested in computer vision, machine learning, the intersection of natural language and
vision, analysis of the role of semantics in visual understanding, and visual reasoning.
Hanna Hajishirzi, UW Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering
Hanna Hajishirzi is an Assistant Professor in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering.
Her research interests are in natural language processing, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.
Hajishirzi's research is currently focused designing algorithms for semantic understanding, question answering,
and information extraction about different types of textual and visual data such as web data, news
articles, scientific articles, and conversations. Her prior research was on designing statistical
relational frameworks to learn, control, and reason about complex dynamic domains.
Kurtis Heimerl, UW Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering
Kurtis Heimerl is an assistant professor of Computer Science at the University of Washington working on
Information and Communication Technology and International Development (ICTD), specifically universal
Internet access. Before that, he received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, working
under Professors Eric Brewer and Tapan Parikh. Kurtis has published widely, including top conferences
such as ICTD, CHI, and NSDI. He was a recipient of the 2014 MIT "35 under 35" award, the 2018 UW early
career Diamond Award, and won "Best Paper: awards at both CHI and DySPAN.
Eric Horvitz, Microsoft Research
Eric Horvitz is a technical fellow and director at Microsoft Research. He has made contributions in areas
of machine learning, perception, natural language understanding, decision making, and human-AI
collaboration. His efforts and collaborations have led to fielded systems in healthcare,
transportation, ecommerce, operating systems, and aerospace. He received the Feigenbaum Prize and the
Allen Newell Prize for contributions to AI. He has been elected fellow of the National Academy of
Engineering (NAE), the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) , Association for the Advancement of AI
(AAAI), and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has served as president of the AAAI, and on
advisory committees for the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, President's
Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, DARPA, and the Allen Institute for AI. Beyond
technical work, he has pursued efforts and studies on the influences of AI on people and society, including
issues around ethics, law, and safety. He established the One Hundred Year Study on AI and served
as a founder and co-chair of the Partnership on AI to Support People and Society. Eric received PhD and MD
degrees at Stanford University.
Chien-Ming Huang, Johns Hopkins University
Chien-Ming Huang is a John C. Malone Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Johns Hopkins University.
His research focuses on designing, developing, and deploying interactive robot systems to improve human
Mihai Jalobeanu, Microsoft Research
Mihai Jalobeanu is a software engineer in the Perception and Interaction Group at Microsoft Research. His work
covers systems and programming paradigms for scalable real-time computation at the edge, and their
applications to interactive systems and robotics.
Malte Jung, Cornell
Malte Jung is an Assistant Professor in Information Science at Cornell University and the Nancy H. '62 and
Philip M. '62 Young Sesquicentennial Faculty Fellow. His research focuses on the intersections of
teamwork, robots, and emotion. Malte Jung received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford
University. Prior to joining Cornell, Malte Jung completed a postdoc at the Center for Work,
Technology, and Organization at Stanford University.
Peter Kahn, University of Washington
Peter H. Kahn, Jr. is Professor in the Department of Psychology and the School of Environmental and Forest
Sciences, and Director of the Human Interaction with Nature and Technological Systems (HINTS)
Laboratory at the University of Washington. His research seeks to address two world movements that are
powerfully reshaping human existence: (1) The degradation if not destruction of large parts of the
natural world, and (2) unprecedented technological development, both in terms of its computational
sophistication and pervasiveness. He has over 100 publications in such venues as Science, Developmental
Psychology, Human-Computer Interaction, Environmental Health Perspectives, and Journal of Systems
Software, as well as in such proceedings as CHI, HRI, and Ubicomp, and 5 books (all with MIT Press).
Alisa Kalegina, UW Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering
Alisa Kalegina is a graduate student in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the University
of Washington, advised by Maya Cakmak. Her current work deals with implementing therapeutic interactions through
a social robot. Her research interests include roboethics, human-robot interaction, and social robotics.
Richard Ladner, UW Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering
Richard E. Ladner is a Professor Emeritus in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at
the University of Washington. He focuses on accessibility research with an emphasis on technologies for
deaf, blind, low-vision, and deaf-blind people. Much of his recent work has been in the design,
development, and evaluation of smartphone and tablet based technologies for these groups particularly
in educational settings. He is the Principal Investigator for the NSF-funded projects AccessComputing
and AccessCSforAll that have the common goal of increasing the participation and success of students
with disabilities at all levels in computing fields. He is the 2014 winner of the SIGCHI Social Impact
Award and the 2016 SIGACCESS Award for Outstanding Contributions to Computing and Accessibility.
Belinda Louie, University of Washington Tacoma
Belinda Louie is a Professor of Education at the University of Washington Tacoma. Dr. Louie has received
numerous federal, state, and foundation grants on supporting English language learners.
Maggie Lynn, Google
Maggie Lynn is a user experience researcher on Google's Cloud AI team, helping to build tools for machine
learning practitioners and democratizing access to artificial intelligence. She received her Ph.D. in
Cognitive Neuroscience from Ghent University in Belgium, where she studied the neural correlates of
action inhibition, volition, and agency. She is particularly interested in the ethical
responsibilities surrounding AI (e.g., transparency, accountability, and fairness).
Maja Mataric, USC
Maja Mataric is Chan Soon-Shiong Professor of Computer Science, Neuroscience, and Pediatrics and founding
director of the Robotics and Autonomous Systems Center at USC. Her PhD is from MIT and BS from the
University of Kansas. She is Fellow of AAAS, IEEE, AAAI, and received the Presidential Award for
Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, Anita Borg Women of Vision Award in
Innovation, NSF Career, MIT TR35, and IEEE RAS Early Career Awards. Her research into socially
assistive robotics enables robots to help in therapy, rehabilitation, training, and education for
special needs populations.
Daniel McDuff, Micrsoft Research
My research is at the intersection of psychology and computer science. I am designing hardware and
algorithms for sensing human behavior at scale in order to build technologies that make life better.
Applications of human sensing I am developing include: understanding mental health, improving online
learning, designing new connected devices (IoT) and mixed reality experiences. I am researcher at
Microsoft Research in Redmond and a visiting scientist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
Previously, I was Director of Research at MIT Media Lab Spin-Out Affectiva. I received my Ph.D. from
the MIT Media Lab while working in the Affective Computing group and bachelor's degree, with first-
class honors, and master's degree in engineering from the University of Cambridge.
Emily McReynolds, Microsoft Research
Emily is a Senior Privacy Manager at Microsoft Research where she enables privacy by design in
experimentation and user studies. She is a Law Lecturer at the University of Washington, and prior to
Microsoft Research she was the program director for the UW Tech Policy Lab. She researches and writes
at the intersection of data privacy, anonymity, and security with an emphasis on policy surrounding
emerging technologies such as driverless cars, IoT, and Toys That Listen.
Bilge Mutlu, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Bilge Mutlu is an associate professor of computer science, psychology, and industrial engineering at the
University of Wisconsin-Madison and the director of the Wisconsin Human-Robot Interaction Laboratory.
His research aims to build human-centered principles and methods for the design of robotic technologies
and their seamless integration into human environments. He received a PhD in human-computer interaction
from Carnegie Mellon University. More information on Dr. Mutlu and his research can be found at http://bilgemutlu.com.
Hae Won Park, MIT
Hae Won Park is a Research Scientist at the Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab. Her research focuses
on socio-emotive AI and personalization of social robots that support long-term interaction and
relationship between users and their robot companions. Her work spans a range of applications including
education for young children and well-being benefits for the elderly. Her research has been published
at top robotics, AI, and cognitive science venues and has received awards for best paper and innovative
robot applications. Hae Won received her PhD from Georgia Tech where she also co-founded Zyrobotics, an
assistive education robotics startup that was recognized as the best 2015 US robotics startup by
Robohub and was a finalist of the Intel Innovation Award.
Laurel Riek, UCSD
Dr. Laurel Riek is an Associate Professor in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of
California, San Diego, with joint appointments in the Department of Emergency Medicine and Contextual
Robotics Institute. Dr. Riek directs the Healthcare Robotics Lab, and leads research in human-robot
teaming, computer vision, and healthcare engineering, and builds autonomous systems which work
proximately with people. Riek's current research projects have applications in critical care,
neurorehabilitation, and manufacturing. Dr. Riek received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of
Cambridge, and B.S. in Logic and Computation from Carnegie Mellon. Riek served as a Senior Artificial
Intelligence Engineer and Roboticist at The MITRE Corporation from 2000-2008, working on learning and
vision systems for robots, and held the Clare Boothe Luce chair in Computer Science and Engineering at
the University of Notre Dame from 2011-2016. Dr. Riek has received the NSF CAREER Award, AFOSR Young
Investigator Award, Qualcomm Research Award, and was named one of ASEE's 20 Faculty Under 40.
Emma Rose, University of Washington Tacoma
Emma Rose is an is an Assistant Professor in Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences at UW Tacoma with an adjunct
appointment in Human Centered Design & Engineering at UW Seattle, where she is the co-director of The
Momentary Experience Lab (MeLab). Her research interests include participatory and human-centered
design and developing methods to engage communities and vulnerable populations in the design process.
She is currently working on a team to design EMAR, a social robot to address teen stress. She currently
serves as the Chair of ACM SIGDOC.
Selma Sabanovic, Indiana University
Selma Sabanovic is an Associate Professor of Informatics and Cognitive Science at Indiana University,
Bloomington, where she founded and directs the R-House Human-Robot Interaction Lab. Her research
focuses on the design, use, and consequences of socially interactive and assistive robots in different
social and cultural contexts, including healthcare institutions, user homes, and various countries.
Sabanovic currently serves as the Co-Editor in Chief of the ACM Transactions on Human-Robot Interaction.
Frederick Shic, University of Washington Pediatrics
Dr. Shic is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics/Computer Science and Engineering at University of
Washington and an Investigator at Seattle Children's Research Instistute's Center for Child Health,
Behavior and Development. He leads Seattle Children's Innovative Technologies Laboratory which focuses
on the exploration of new technologies and methodologies for enriching the lives of children with ASD.
His research interests include biomarker development (neurobehaviorally with eye-tracking,
neurophysiologically with functional near-infrared spectroscopy, and algorithmically through
biometrics), and the use of specialized software (apps, video games, virtual reality, and informatics
resources) and hardware applications (robots, wearables, and specialized monitoring tools) for
educational and interventional purposes.
Siddhartha Srinivasa, UW Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering
I work on manipulation. My goal is to enable robots to robustly and gracefully interact with the world to
perform complex manipulation tasks in uncertain, unstructured, and cluttered environments. I want to
make this interaction faster, safer, elegant, and involve simpler actuation.
Dan Szafir, UC Boulder
I am an Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Creative Technologies, Information Science, and Aerospace
Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder. I work at the intersection of robotics and human-
computer interaction (HCI) to investigate how novel technologies can mediate interactions between
people and autonomous systems. My research draws on methods from human-robot interaction (HRI),
cognitive science, and design to build new algorithms, interfaces, and interactive systems that empower
users to accomplish their goals.
Leila Takayama, UC Santa Cruz
I am a cognitive and social scientist, who studies human-robot interaction. In 2016, I joined the faculty at
the University of California, Santa Cruz, as an acting associate professor of Psychology. In 2016, I
also founded Hoku Labs to do human-robot interaction research consulting for product teams. With a
background in Cognitive Science, Psychology, and Human-Computer Interaction, I study human encounters
with new technologies.
Andrea Thomaz, UT Austin
Andrea Thomaz is an Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The University of Texas at
Austin. Prof. Thomaz joined Texas ECE in January 2016 after serving as an Associate Professor of
Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology from 2007-2016. She earned a B.S. in
Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 1999, and Sc.M. and Ph.D.
degrees from MIT in 2002 and 2006. Andrea is published in the areas of Artificial Intelligence,
Robotics, and Human-Robot Interaction. Her research aims to computationally model mechanisms of human
social learning in order to build social robots and other machines that are intuitive for everyday
people to teach.
David Traum, USC
David Traum is the Director for Natural Language Research at the Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT)
and Research Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Southern California
(USC). He leads the Natural Language Dialogue Group at ICT. More information about the group can be
found here: http://nld.ict.usc.edu/group/. Traum's research focuses on Dialogue Communication between
Human and Artificial Agents. He has engaged in theoretical, implementational and empirical approaches
to the problem, studying human-human natural language and multi-modal dialogue, as well as building a
number of dialogue systems to communicate with human users. Traum has authored over 250 refereed
technical articles, is a founding editor of the Journal Dialogue and Discourse, has chaired and served
on many conference program committees, and is a past President of SIGDIAL, the international special
interest group in discourse and dialogue. Traum earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University
of Rochester in 1994.
Dan Weld, UW Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering
Daniel S. Weld is Thomas J. Cable / WRF Professor in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science &
Engineering at the University of Washington. Weld performs research at the intersection between artificial
intelligence and HCI, working on human-in-the-loop computing, explainable machine learning, and
adaptive interfaces. He's especially interested in how people can communicate their goals and
preferences to robots and how people can have confidence that a robot understands their utility model.
During free time, Dan likes technical canyoneering, alpine climbing and chasing his pet Samoyed.
Andy Wilson, Microsoft Research
I am a principal researcher at Microsoft Research. My work is focused on applying sensing techniques to
enable new styles of human-computer interaction. Today that means multi-touch and gesture-based
interfaces, display technologies, depth cameras and so-called "natural" interfaces. In 2002 I helped
found the Surface Computing group at Microsoft. I direct the Perception and Interaction research group
at Microsoft Research.

Last updated July 23, 2018