Undergraduate Research Opportunities (VIST491) in VIZ, 2021-2022

Hello VIZ Undergraduate students!

Are you interested in participating in research activities as an undergraduate research student?

Soft Interaction lab and Institute for Applied Creativity (IAC) invite both undergraduate and graduate students to innovative research projects exploring Virtual and Augmented reality. We frequently collaborate with other departments such as Nursing, Veterinary Medicine, and the Dance Program to identify unique challenges in education. Our applications look at how we might use immersive virtual environments to engage students in learning a difficult or complex subject.

If you are interested in joining the research team, please read through this email carefully and then submit an application using this link (https://forms.gle/HmHYm1N7126zcixw9).

We would like to share with you some of our current projects for the 2021-2022 academic year.  

Nursing Education VR

This Virtual Reality application will help rural physician’s offices and clinics train their nurses for potential mental health-related scenarios they might encounter with patients on the job. Using digital avatars and an interactive virtual environment, users will be able to engage in a variety of situations that they normally would not be able to experience in person.

  • Work on this project includes: 
    • 3D asset creation
    • Visual direction, design work
    • UI/UX Design
    • Development in Unity for Virtual Reality
    • Working on the asset pipeline between Unity and 3D packages

Collaborative VR Research: 

Collaborative VR became an effective tool for remote education. We are studying how avatar design, environment design would affect the quality of student’s learning in VR. Students will work on designing 2D, 3D assets including avatars, environmental assets. They will also be involved with testing the designs with users.    

  • Team Lead: Brittany Garcia (PhD student) 
  • Work on this project includes: 
    • Modeling, Rigging, and Animating in Maya or Blender
    • UI/UX Design
    • VR development
    • User study

This is how the VIZ Undergraduate Research Program works once you are accepted. 

  1. We will define your role. 
  • Undergraduate Research Scholar: for experienced seniors, 1-year thesis-based program
  • Research Student: semi-experienced undergraduate students (junior or senior)
  • Research Intern: freshmen or sophomore who never participated in research
  1. You will register for VIST 491 with 0-4 credit hours. These are our expectations for your contribution depending on the number of credits. 
    1. 0 credit: This option is not encouraged but if you cannot take any credit hours, we can discuss this option. We still expect you to work for at least 5 hours/week towards research.  
    2. 1 credit: We expect you to commit 5 -7 hours/week towards research. 
    3. 2 credits: We expect you to commit 10 hours/week towards research. 
    4. 3 credits: We expect you to commit 13-15 hours/week towards research.
    5. 4 credits: We expect you to commit 15+ hours/week towards research.
  2. You will be assigned to a research team. This will be decided based on your interests and skills that you specify through your application. 
  3. You will share your progress at weekly meetings with the team and faculty mentors, get help and advice, and collaborate with your teammates to tackle various technical and design challenges. 
  4. Once the semester comes to a close, you will then submit a short research report about your contributions to the project. 

If you are interested in participating in any of these opportunities or want to know more about undergraduate research, please submit your application using the submission link (https://forms.gle/HmHYm1N7126zcixw9) as soon as possible.

You do not need to be experienced in a specific field to work with any of the projects. You can use this as an opportunity to learn a new skill or program!

If you have questions, please reach out to us through email. 

We look forward to working with you this coming semester!


Caleb & Hwaryoung