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 and my Bachelors in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering in 2014.

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

The fall quarter has started at UChicago. This quarter I'm teaching CMSC 33281 Topics in Human-Robot Interaction.
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
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
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.