Published: May 18, 2018

Hooman Hedayati

Hooman Hedayati, a computer science PhD student based in the ATLAS Institute’s Interactive Robotics and Novel Technologies (IRON) Lab, was recently awarded the Outstanding Research Award by CU Boulder’s Department of Computer Science for his accomplishments in the 2017-18 academic year.

“Hooman has demonstrated outstanding research and is making remarkable progress towards becoming a world-class scholar,” says ATLAS-based Assistant Professor Dan Szafir, who directs the IRON Lab and nominated Hedayati for the award.

Hedayati, who studies human computer interaction and is advised by Szafir, has submitted three papers to top international venues in the span of one year, two of which won top awards.

In fall 2017, both papers Hedayati submitted to the ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human Robot Interaction (HRI) were accepted and nominated for best paper, “which is essentially unheard of,” Szafir says.

Hedayati was lead author for the paper, “Communicating Robot Motion Intent with Augmented Reality,” which was named HRI 2018 Best Paper; and he was second author for the another IRON Lab submission which won Runner-Up Best Paper. HRI is the world's top venue for work in the field of human-robot interaction, says Szafir.

Hedayati followed this work up with another “very strong submission” to Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS) this spring, which is still under review, and he’s preparing to submit another paper to the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) Symposium in June. “In the span of a year,” says Szafir, “he will have submitted four full papers to top international venues, with at least two accepted and winning awards.”

Now spending the summer in Seattle after landing a prestigious summer internship with Microsoft Research, Hedayati says, “I'm truly honored to receive the Outstanding Research Award. My fellow PhD students and friends are extremely talented, hardworking and dedicated. I am motivated to keep working hard.”

The IRON Lab is an interdisciplinary research group with a mission to advance knowledge around the design of new sensing, interface and robotic technologies to improve user experience, productivity and enjoyment. The laboratory specializes in aerial/free-flying robots, human-robot collaboration, space robotics, augmented and virtual reality, and the synthesis of art and technology.