Hey there, I am

Yuanzhi Cao

 - Ph.D. candidate

 - HCI/HRI researcher

 - Augmented Reality UX

 - Designer

 - Maker

 

RESEARCH

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My current research interest is in the area of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Human-Robot Interaction (HRI). I specialize in designing interactive systems that provide novel Augmented Reality (AR) user experience for smartthing applications, such as Machines, Robotics, and IoTs

 

DESIGN

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Ever since I was a kid in primary school, I have been attending art classes during the weekends for as long as seven years, to learn and practice drawing skills like sketching and painting. Though I did not choose to go that path as a professional artist, the experience and the skill certainly makes a huge impact on my life, and for that, I am forever grateful to my mother. I was learning mechanical engineering during my undergrad and now human-computer interaction. However, I have always considered myself a designer, whose purpose is to imagine and create. In everything I have designed or fabricated, I try to infuse my own sense of aesthetics, not just to make things look pretty, but to seek a balance between engineering and art.

 

MAKER

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As a proud Engineer and Maker, I love to make real stuff with my own hands. I am a huge fan of the culture of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) and love to create physical prototypes. During my Ph.D. career, I have created a lot of low-cost Robotics and Internet-of-Things (IoT) prototypes with accessible materials and cheap electronics. These prototypes have been greatly helpful in terms of demonstrating the potential use-case scenarios for my research ideas.

 

SKETCH

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I believe sketching is the best tool for brainstorming. When an exciting new idea emerges in my head, I like to quickly sketch it out before it slips away. I constantly use sketches to communicate with my colleagues and report to my advisors. My sketching skill has been improving during these years and right now I am able to create high-quality sketches that can be directly used in official written documents. In fact, I have been responsible for most of the sketches in my papers and the proposals in the C Design Lab in the past a few years.