Sarah Sebo

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.

Featured Work

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.

Recent News

PhD defense
I have successfully defended my Ph.D.! The title of my dissertation is "Developing Robot Teammates that Enhance Social Dynamics and Performance in Human-Robot Teams."
I have accepted a position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Chicago starting in the fall of 2020!
2020 HRI acceptance
Although the 15th Annual ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human Robot Interaction cancelled its in-person meeting, please check out my 10 minute video presentation where I present my full paper titled "Strategies for the Inclusion of Human Members within Human-Robot Teams"   Download PDF
My paper titled Vulnerable Robots Positively Shape Human Conversational Dynamics in a Human-Robot Team was accepted to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) and featured on the cover!   YouTube Link
2019 Rising Stars EECS
I participated in the 2019 Rising Stars in EECS Workshop hosted at the Univiersity of Illinois Urbana Champaign from October 29 to November 1, 2019.
2019 Dagstuhl Seminar
I participated in the 2019 Dagstuhl Seminar on "Social Agents for Teamwork and Group Interactions from October 6 to 11, 2019.