Our research is at the crossroads of engineering design and computer science and engineering driven by a central focus of â€œcomputer-as-a-partnerâ€ metaphor. Our overall approach is a mixed one, where we combine in different degrees design, science, engineering, and applied contexts. Underlying our research and education focus is a central theme of human-computer interaction, geometry inspired methods, and design of representations aimed towards extending individual and collaborative human capacity and that of our minds.
We represent our research through three synergistic and overlapping areas: (1) In developing human interactions with shapes, our geometry inspired algorithms for shape creation, reasoning, sensing and response focus towards making designing simple extensions of our minds. Current projects include mid-air interactions, sketch based interactions, mobile interactions, modeling of hands, and spatial analytics. (2) Developing new representations for dynamic interactive interactions is aimed at creating new forms of reality for humans. In such a scenario even simulations become reality and discussions happen in visually integrated environments where computations vanish in the background and we become the user interfaces. Our design and maker area is naturally rooted in helping students and children learn. Our strong learning science-based collaborations through our design education team continues to transform how students learn. (3) Our tangibles, embedded, and embodied interfaces area extends humans capabilities into the computational world through physical reality. We have learnt to deal with physical objects all through our lives and now we leverage our naturally learnt Â and embodied interactions into the computational world. For example we use real world artifacts and our natural ability to craft and make things extend into creation and control of â€œcard-boardâ€ robots and develop new tangible toolkits.
From a foundations perspective, C Design labs interests are in human-computer interactions and interfaces, geometry inspired design of interaction algorithms, machine and deep learning, and shape modeling. Geometry and connectivity are foundations of many of the problems in visual processing, understanding of data as well as graphs from a theoretical perspective. From a technology perspective the convergence of sensors and wearables, low-cost virtual and augmented reality, and rapid 3D manufacturing are all challenging us to develop human interactions and technology platforms that can become a part of our everyday life. Our current application areas are inspired by the future we strive to create. We build upon our past successes such as in developing the worldâ€™s first commercial shape-based search engine (VizSeek), developing tools for early design, and significant experiences in the making of things.