Over the past two years I’ve been doing research at the Interaction Lab – a robotics lab on campus. I got involved my freshmen year after I emailed Professor Mataric and went in to talk to a post-doc, Amin Atrash, who ended up being my mentor in the lab. Amin has made my experience at the Interaction Lab such a fun one. He is not only a great mentor, but also a good friend.
When I first started working there, I was involved in a project called PATRICIA. This project researched the effects of music on exercise by studying both physiological and psychological factors. For the project, I ran trials with humans and did some data crunching.
After my first semester at the lab, I got my own project where I had a little more responsibility over the outcome of the work. My new project was to create a dialogue management system. The idea is, when you say something, how does a robot figure out what an appropriate response is? What I programmed builds a program between speech recognition and dialogue synthesis.
Through the Interaction Lab, I’ve gotten a great network of people and also met some good friends. If you’re interested in doing research at USC I would definitely recommend anyone to get involved because it’s an awesome experience and a fun way to learn!
If you have any questions about research or the Interaction Lab, feel free to contact me!