Undergrad Students Demonstrate Augmented Reality Software Development Capabilities

Arzang Kasiri and Bryce Tham, ICS Class of 2017.Starting in Spring 2016, two ICS undergraduate students, Arzang Kasiri and Bryce Tham, sought to get involved in a research project at ISR. Prof. Walt Scacchi agreed to serve as their faculty mentor. This relationship was then formalized through a full-year of ICS-Honors coursework in directed research under Scacchi’s direction. As both Kasiri and Tham were interested in computer game development, and also in software development, the next step was to identify possible projects they could participate in, and make substantive contributions through independent directed research, all leading to a showcase project demonstration and final technical report.

Scacchi has been engaged in collaborative team science projects in the Neural Repair Laboratory, directed by Prof. Steve Cramer, at the Stem Cell Research Center, UCI School of Medicine, and in the national Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII) project at Calit2 directed by Prof. G.P. Li. Both of these efforts are pursuing research and development of new systems for training using computer games and Augmented Reality (AR) user interface displays and user experiences. These two projects provided the basis for the directed research studies by Kasiri and Tham, with Kasiri taking on AR-based computer game development supporting stroke telerehabilitation clinical research at the Neural Repair Laboratory, and Tham focusing on just-in-time training research for advanced manufacturing production lines.

Prof. Walt ScacchiDuring Spring and Summer 2016, Arzang and Bryce were tasked to become knowledgeable with prior research and practice in computer games and AR in their respective project areas. This was followed in the Fall with them taking on the challenge of preparing and submitting a research proposal for funding to the UCI Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) to cover expenses associated with the project work. Their proposals were selected and funded by UROP during Winter 2017, leading up to the completion and demonstration of their project results at the UROP Symposium on May 20, in both formal presentation and poster format. Kasiri’s and Tham’s posters were both chosen to be included in the exclusive group of Best Posters. Two weeks later they had a second opportunity to present their projects at the ISR Research Forum in June. Noteworthy here is that their project demonstrations and poster presentations at the Forum’s Open House session positioned their work along side that of graduate/doctoral student projects associated with other ISR faculty, and both received highly favorable reviews from Forum participants.

Both of these efforts were memorialized as ISR technical reports and are available in the online ISR Publications. Finally, both Kasiri and Tham graduated with undergraduate degrees in Computer Science from UCI in June 2017.

For more information, contact Prof. Walt Scacchi.

This article appeared in ISR Connector issue: