Virtual Reality (VR) Research Internship

I was involved in a research project exploring spatial navigation in virtual reality (VR). We explored the idea of creating an avatar-based interface to guide users as they teleport in VR and help them become less disoriented.

This research was sponsored by the National Science Foundation: Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program at Iowa State University – Virtual Reality Applications Center.

Partially Concordant Teleportation involves moving your body and choosing a spot in front of you to teleport.
Discordant Teleportation involves standing forward and placing a marker in the position and direction you want to face when you teleport.

We tested our participants’ spatial navigation abilities using a triangle completion task. They would teleport to two vertices of a triangle, and then point back to where they think they started.

We tested our participants using the triangle completion test in four different interfaces. The 2×2 experimental design included the variables with/without the avatar interfaces, and partially concordant or discordant interfaces.

See what the interfaces looked like in the headset:

For a detailed explanation, see my research presentation video on YouTube.

Design History and Theory Research

Senior Honors Thesis – Fall 2019-Present

Designs produced in the United States and other countries are influenced by international factors, such as economics, trade, and politics. American capitalism operates on the basis of consumer spending, which can promote innovation and design initiative in industry.

I decided to study international design trends by returning to Cold War history. The United States emerged post-WWII as the design and manufacturing leader of consumer goods with their mid-century modern styles and methods of innovation. American foreign policy experts decided to show these excellent examples of American design at United States international exhibitions all over the world to promote capitalism over communism.

I am pursuing this topic as a Senior Honors Thesis that I will defend in fall 2021. See my blog for my academic journey on this topic.