This is funding to support a Pioneers Workshop (doctoral consortium) of approximately 18 graduate students and post-docs (including about 12 U.S. participants) from diverse research communities (e.g., computer science and engineering, psychology, cognitive science, robotics, human factors, human-computer interaction design, and communications), along with distinguished research faculty. NSF funding will be used solely to cover travel, housing, and subsistence for eligible U.S. attendees. The event will take place on Monday, March 3, 2014, immediately preceding the Ninth International Conference on Human Robot Interaction (HRI 2014), to be held March 4-6 in Bielefeld, Germany, and which is jointly sponsored by ACM and IEEE. HRI is a single-track, highly selective annual international conference that seeks to showcase the very best inter- and multi-disciplinary research in human-robot interaction with roots in social psychology, cognitive science, HCI, human factors, artificial intelligence, robotics, organizational behavior, anthropology and many more, and invites broad participation. The theme of HRI 2014 is "(E)Merging Perspectives" which seeks to combine both user and system perspectives to advance new and possibly unorthodox methodologies. To extend the current singular approaches, this year's conference emphasizes papers that demonstrate the usage of novel empirical methods, the integration of empirical findings into complex robot systems, and holistic approaches in system evaluation. More information about the conference is available online at

The Pioneers Workshop is designed to complement the conference, by providing a forum for students and recent graduates in the field of HRI to share their current research with their peers and a panel of senior researchers in a setting that is less formal and more interactive than the main conference. During the workshop, participants will talk about the important upcoming research themes in the field, encouraging the formation of collaborative relationships across disciplines and geographic boundaries. To these ends, the workshop format will include oral presentations from 2 student attendees, poster presentations from all attendees, a hands-on meet-and-greet session, two alumni speakers, a keynote, and a panel presentation by senior researchers. The oral presentations and the interactive poster sessions will provide a forum for participants to share their research, enabling them to receive feedback on their work and to gain perspective on the field. The hands-on meet-and-greet session will involve networking and the cultivation of cross-disciplinary ideas. The alumni presentations will provide advice for short-term goals and a recent perspective on looking for jobs within the community. The keynote lecture will provide a global and future vision for HRI. The panel presentation will feature five senior HRI researchers from both academia and industry who will share insights about their own careers, answer career path questions, and provide insight into the interdisciplinary nature of the HRI community. The conversations between the panel and participants will continue over lunch and during dinner.

Broader Impacts: This workshop will afford a unique opportunity for the best of the next generation of researchers in human-robot interaction to be exposed to and discuss current and relevant topics as they are being studied in several different research communities (including but not limited to computer science and engineering, psychology, robotics, human factors and ergonomics, and HCI). This is important for the field, because it has been recognized that transformative advances in research in this fledgling area can only come through the melding of cross-disciplinary knowledge and multinational perspectives. Participants will be encouraged to create a social network both among themselves and with senior researchers at a critical stage in their professional development, to form collaborative relationships, and to generate new research questions to be addressed during the coming years. Participants will also gain leadership and service experience, as the workshop is largely student organized and student led. The PI has expressed her strong commitment to recruiting women and members from under-represented groups. To further ensure diversity the event organizers will consider an applicant's potential to offer a fresh perspective and point of view with respect to HRI, and will limit the number of participants accepted from a particular institution to two, with one being a woman if two are accepted

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Information and Intelligent Systems (IIS)
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Ephraim Glinert
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Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station
College Station
United States
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