Virtual Reality 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

Every nation’s designs are influenced by its politics. American politics merged with capitalism operates on the basis of liberal consumer spending, which promotes innovation and initiative in design.

In the Cold War, the Soviets demonstrated their technological prowess with Sputnik, but their industrial design paled in comparison to the United States, who was the proud leader of designing home consumer goods. American foreign policy experts in the 1950s saw this advantage as an opportunity to promote capitalism to the Soviets. During the 1959 American National Exhibition, the famous “Kitchen Debate” was a battle between Communist and Capitalist ideologies using consumer politics.

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.