Sarah Sebo

I am an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Chicago. I received my PhD in Computer Science from Yale University in 2020.

My current research explores social dynamics in human-robot interactions, where a robot's social behaviors lead to positive outcomes for people (e.g., improved team dynamics and performance in a human-robot team, educational learning outcomes for children). During my PhD, I focused on developing robots that improve the performance of human-robot teams by shaping team dynamics to promote inclusion, trust, and cohesion.

I am currently looking for motivated undergraduate and graduate students interested in human-robot / human-AI interaction. If you are interested in getting involved with my research group, click here.

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


UChicago
3/29/21
During the Spring 2021 quarter at UChicago, I'm teaching CMSC 20600 Introduction to Robotics, a hands-on and project based course designed to give students familiarity programming physical robots and real-world environments. Due to covid-19, this course will be conducted online using a simulated, instead of a physical, Turtlebot3 robot.
CSCW 2020
12/22/20
The final part of my PhD work titled The Influence of Robot Verbal Support on Human Team Members: Encouraging Outgroup Contributions and Suppressing Ingroup Supportive Behavior has been published in Frontiers in Psychology: Performance Science in their special issue Teamwork in Human-Machine Teaming.
CSCW 2020
10/21/20
I presented my work Robots in Groups and Teams: A Literature Review, which was done in collaboration with Brett Stoll and Malte Jung, at the virtual CSCW conference.
UChicago
9/29/20
The fall quarter has started at UChicago. This quarter I'm teaching CMSC 33281 Topics in Human-Robot Interaction and I'm in the process of setting up my human-robot interaction lab in JCL 379.