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Jessica Lupanow

Interaction Designer

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About Me

I am a 2nd year PhD student and NSF Graduate Research Fellow in the Computer Science department at the University of Southern California, studying socially assistive robotics under Dr. Maja Matarić in the Interaction Lab. I am currently exploring the way that robots elicit and display empathy as a means of improving robots’ emotional intelligence as part of the NSF Expeditions in Computing grant.

I completed my B.S. in Engineering at Harvey Mudd College where I worked under Dr. Christopher Clark in the Lab for Autonomous and Intelligent Robotics where I conducted research on autonomous underwater vehicles. I also previously worked on robotics-related projects for Techmation, Northrop Grumman, Doosan Bobcat, and Booz Allen Hamilton.

Experience

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow

University of Southern California

I am researching how we can incorporate empathy into human-robot interactions by learning about the developmental psychology of my end users, children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and leading a team of undergraduate students to design a socially assistive robotic empathy tutoring system supported by robust computational models. I am supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF GRFP).

Over-the-Phone Tutor, Grader, and Tour Guide

Harvey Mudd College

During my undergraduate years, I had various jobs on campus. I worked at Homework Hotline for 4 years as an over-the-phone tutor for children in grades 4-12. I served as a mentor tutor, which entailed conducting training exercises, supervising other tutors, taking difficult calls, addressing technical difficulties, and publicizing the hotline at local schools. This position gave me the opportunity to develop my leadership and communication skills while influencing program strategy. I also worked as a grader for the engineering department, grading homework and lab assignments weekly for Numerical Methods in Engineering and Digital Electronics and Computer Engineering. When I wasn't working at Homework Hotline or as a grader, I was showing prospective students and their families around campus as a tour guide for 2.5 years.

Research Assistant

Lab for Autonomous and Intelligent Robotics at HMC

I worked in Dr. Christopher Clark’s Lab for Autonomous & Intelligent Robotics and was a Rose Hills Foundation fellow on the National Science Foundation-funded ICEX 2016 team. Using an OceanServer Iver 2 with VectorMap and Matlab, we collected video and sonar data of wrecks to be turned into 3D visualizations for archaeologists at the Univeristy of Malta. I developed image processing algorithms in MATLAB to autonomously detect wrecks in large sonar scans. This work led to two publications.

Education

University of Southern California

August 2018 – Present

PhD in Computer Science

I am a 2nd year PhD student and NSF Graduate Research Fellow in the Computer Science department at the University of Southern California, studying human-robot interaction and socially assistive robotics under Dr. Maja Matarić in the Interaction Lab. I am currently exploring how we can build a socially assistive robotic empathy tutoring system to help children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as part of the NSF Expeditions in Computing grant.

Harvey Mudd College

September 2014 – May 2018

B.S. in Engineering

I completed my B.S. in Engineering at Harvey Mudd College where I worked under Dr. Christopher Clark in the Lab for Autonomous and Intelligent Robotics, conducting research on autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and co-authoring two publications. I also researched student leadership styles with Dr. Donald Remer and published the results of that research. As part of my clinic capstone experience, I built and tested a new modular AUV for Techmation and automated a complex machine function for compact track loaders for Doosan Bobcat, for which I am listed as an inventor on two separate patent applications.

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