I am very excited to be joining the Department of Computer Science at the University of Chicago as an Assistant Professor in the fall of 2020! Additionally, I have just successfully defended my Ph.D. at Yale University (May 2020), where I have worked with Brian Scassellati in the Social Robotics Lab.
My research focuses on developing robots that improve the performance of human-robot teams by shaping team dynamics to promote inclusion, trust, and cohesion. Human social behavior in groups is richly interconnected and highly nuanced, presenting computational challenges for sensing group-level dynamics from individual behavior. I build robots that not only perceive these dynamics, but also positively influence the behavior of group members through social cues and verbal interaction.
My work investigating how vulnerablility shapes human-to-human social dynamics in human-robot teams has demonstrated that the vulnerable utterances of a robot increases the likelihood that human team members express trust-related behavior towards one another (HRI 2018) and also positively shapes the conversational dynamics of the human members of the human-robot team (PNAS 2020). This work is among the first to show that in human-robot teams the actions of a robot can influence how humans in the group interact with each other. Check out the following video for more details on this work.