The GVU Center and IPaT support research initiatives committed to building on our success in interdisciplinary research and innovation in the human experience of computing. These investments create a path for external funding as our research prospers. 

Previous Grant Recipients


2016-17 Research and Engagement Grants

The GVU Center and Institute for People and Technology (IPaT) have awarded four projects funding through the 2016-2017 Research and Engagement Grants Program. The grants are designed to support two separate types of collaborations: Research Grants support seed funding for research, and Engagement Grants seek to grow new forms of internal and external community engagement and collaboration.


Passive Haptic Rehabilitation for Stroke 

Thad Starner (Interactive Computing); Steve Wolf (Emory Rehab Medicine)

We aim to develop a low-cost, mobile, wearable device for Stroke rehabilitation. Over 5 million people are disabled by stroke each year. Current techniques for stroke rehabilitation are costly and time-consuming, require cumbersome machinery, access to clinicians, and put strain on patients.  However, using our lightweight and mobile computerized gloves, patients may be able to get rehab on-the-go. In our initial work, we found that tactile stimulation, like vibration, can improve sensation and mobility when applied to the impaired hands of people with partial Spinal Cord Injury.  We now apply this "Passive Haptic Rehabilitation" to stroke. Using this technique, these patients can simply wear a vibrating glove to stimulate their affected hand while they go about their daily life. After two months, function improved in those that wore the glove. 


(T)racing Eyes and Hearts: An Installation to Explore the Physiology of Empathy

Anne Pollock (Literature, Media and Communication); Lewis Wheaton (Applied Physiology); Nassim JafariNaimi (Literature, Media and Communication)

Eyes darting, or maintaining a steady gaze straight ahead. Heartbeat racing, or maintaining a slow, even rhythm. If we encounter these phenomena in another, how do we respond – not just affectively, but physiologically?  Eye movements and heartbeats are among the most intuitively meaningful physiological characteristics that humans observe in one another.  Without necessarily consciously realizing it, we often respond empathetically.  This project brings together humanities scholars and physiology scholars to create an art installation that uses representation, tracking, and visualization to investigate and reflect upon the physiology of empathy.  The installation renders video of eye movements and audio of heartrate of a virtual person, and tracks the eye movements and heartrate of an observing user. We anticipate a mirroring, empathetic physiological response from the user, in which their heartrate also speeds and slows in conjunction with the virtual person.  Immediately after the experience, the user will be provided a visual and auditory representation of the data, in order to see and reflect on this empathetic engagement, and also provided with a link to a copy of the video by email if they so choose.  The playback could be either in real time, or in a time that is set to either the virtual person or the user’s heartrate as a metronome, to allow a distinctively human-centered exploration of the data. 


Collision of Creatives

Laura Levy (IMTC), Maribeth Gandy (IMTC), Clint Zeagler (WCC), Madison Cario (Arts@Tech), Lane Conville-Canney (Arts@Tech)

The arts can be a natural and effective showcase to demonstrate the potential of cutting-edge and advanced technologies. However, there often exist barriers in access, communication, and collaboration between artists and technologists. With a thoughtful plan to bring artists and technologists together in collaborative workshops, this engagement grant will offer opportunities for artists to learn about engineering and technology creative processes, while also allowing experts in engineering and technology to see first-hand what artists need to relate to broad audiences in site-specific locations in their process and practice. This project aims to make effective Dr. Bolter's quote that "the arts are the tip of the HCI sword" by enabling effective communication, creating useful artifacts, and engaging the Georgia Tech community to catalyze processes by technologists and artists in showcasing the work happening here on campus.