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.


The lab has a lot of desks in open space – it’s a cool work environment!

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.

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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!