Erin T. Solovey, Ph.D.
Dr. Solovey is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Her research expertise is in human-computer interaction and human-AI interaction, with a focus on emerging interaction modalities (e.g. brain-computer interfaces, physiological computing, textile sensing, radar sensing, reality-based interaction), often applying machine learning methods to develop intelligent interfaces. She and her students design, build and evaluate novel interaction paradigms that make humans more effective, while also deeply exploring real-world problems in important domains (e.g. education, accessibility, future of work, health, safety-critical domains). Solovey is committed to improving STEM education and broadening participation in computing.
Dr. Solovey’s research is funded by the National Science Foundation and she has received several awards including the NSF/CRA Computing Innovation Fellowship and five Best Paper Award Honorable Mentions, and her work has been covered on WBZ CBS News, Worcester's Channel 3 News, in MIT Technology Review, Slashdot, Engadget and others. She serves as the Deputy Editor of the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies (IJHCS), an Associate Editor on the ACM Transactions in Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI) Editorial Board, and regularly serves on several program committees, including the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. She was previously a postdoctoral fellow at MIT in the Humans and Autonomy Lab and an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Drexel. She received her bachelor’s degree in computer science from Harvard University, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in computer science from Tufts University. She also has conducted research at MIT Lincoln Laboratory and Microsoft Research. Previously, she was a software engineer at Oracle, and also has experience at several startups.
NEWS & UPDATES
November, 2023: The WPI Journal published a short piece on our work on the future of robots and work in the WPI FORW-RD NRT Program titled The Humanity of Robots in the Workplace
November, 2023: Will be attending the CRA Level Up Workshop in Boston on inclusive computing programs. I will be leading the working group on managing booming enrollments without damaging diversity efforts.
November, 2023: Will be attending the Dagstuhl Seminar on Human-AI Interaction for Work.
October, 2023: Our paper on "User Perceptions and Preferences for Online Surveys in American Sign Language: An Exploratory Study." with Shruti Mahajan, Khulood Alkhudaidi, Rachel Boll, Jeanne Reis, Tish Burke, Brittany Henriques, Isabelle Cordova and Zoey Walker will be presented at ASSETS 2023 in October. [Video]
October, 2023: I was interviewed for this article on AI and Neuroscience in AI Business.
October, 2023: Joined the organizing committee for the 2024 CHIWORK Symposium on HCI and the Future of Work as the Student Consortium Co-Chair.
July, 2023: Our WPI-Lehigh-Pitt team (Kate Arrington, Theresa Mowad, Deniz Sonmez Unal, Alicia Howell-Munson and Erin Walker) presented a poster at the CogSci 2023 conference in Sydney on Classification of Rule Learning Phases in Inductive Reasoning.
July, 2023: Our WPI-Lehigh-Pitt team (Kate Arrington, Theresa Mowad, Deniz Sonmez Unal, Alicia Howell-Munson and Erin Walker) had a poster and talk at the Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education (AIED) 2023 in Tokyo. The paper talk was on Eliciting Proactive and Reactive Control During Use of an Interactive Learning Environment and the poster was on Classification of Brain Signals Collected During a Rule Learning Paradigm.
April, 2023: Our paper on Impact of BCI-Informed Visual Effect Adaptation in a Walking Simulator with Max Chen and Gillian Smith was presented at the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG) 2023 conference in Lisbon, Portugal.
July, 2022: Our paper on "IndexPen: Two-Finger Text Input with Millimeter-Wave Radar" with Haowen Wei, Ziheng Li, Alexander D. Galvan, Zhuoran Su, Xiao Zhang, and Kaveh Pahlavan was published in ACM IMWUT and will be presented at Ubicomp 2022 in September.
July, 2022: Our first Research Experience for Teachers Site at WPI focusing on Engineering for People and the Planet launched! We welcomed 10 teachers to WPI labs for the summer.
June, 2022: Ally presented our paper BrainEx: Interactive Visual Exploration and Discovery of Sequence Similarity in Brain Signals with Alicia Howell-Munson, Christopher Micek, Ziheng Li, Michael Clements, Andrew C. Nolan, Jackson Powell at the ACM EICS conference in France.
June, 2022: Our group had two papers at the CHI Work symposium. The first was Towards Brain Metrics for Improving Multi-Agent Adaptive Human-Robot Collaboration: A Preliminary Study with Alicia Howell-Munson, Emily Doherty, Peter Gavriel, Claire Nicolas, Adam Norton, Rodica Neamtu, Holly Yanco, and Yi-Ning Wu. The other was Role of Technology in Increasing Representation of Deaf Individuals in Future STEM Workplaces with Shruti Mahajan, Khulood Alkhudaidi, Rachel Boll, and Jeanne Reis.
May, 2022: Our paper "Towards Sign Language-Centric Design of ASL Survey Tools" was awarded an Honorable Mention for the Best Paper Award.
May, 2022: Attending the ACM CHI Conference in New Orleans.
February, 2022: Was awarded tenure and promoted to Associate Professor.
February, 2022: Our paper on "Interaction with Touch-Sensitive Knitted Fabrics: User Perceptions and Everyday Use Experiments" with Denisa Qori McDonald, Shruti Mahajan, Rich Vallett, Geneviève Dion, and Ali Shokoufandeh has been accepted to the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computer Systems.
February, 2022: Our paper on "Towards Sign Language-Centric Design of ASL Survey Tools." with Shruti Mahajan, Zoey Walker, Rachel Boll, Michelle Santacreu, Ally Salvino, Michael Westfort, and Jeanne Reis has been accepted to the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computer Systems.
January, 2022: We are now recruiting teachers for our NSF-funded research experience for teachers site: Engineering for People and the Planet. Middle and high school STEM teachers will conduct paid research for 6 weeks at WPI labs (in person). The research experiences focus on the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals for an integrated approach of learning and doing science, math, and engineering through real-world problems. Dates: July 5 – August 16, 2022. More Info. Apply Here! Deadline is
Feb 28. March 14. (deadline extended)
November, 2021: Two papers conditionally accepted to ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computer Systems. More info soon!
October, 2021: Some News: WPI to Host Hands-On Research Experiences for Worcester-Area Teachers to Support K-12 STEM Education. Our NSF-funded Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Site will fund laboratory opportunities that use engineering to solve global problems.
October, 2021: We were awarded the Best Paper Honorable Mention at the European Symposium on Usable Security for our paper Stewardship of Smart Devices Security for the Aging Population with Lorenzo DeCarli and Indrakshi Ray.
October, 2021: Our paper on "Understanding HCI Practices and Challenges of Experiment Reporting with Brain Signals: Towards Reproducibility and Reuse" with Felix Putze, Susanne Putze, Merle Sagehorn and Chris Micek was accepted to ACM TOCHI.
August, 2021: Awarded NSF funding for a new Research Experience for Teachers Site at WPI on "Engineering for People and the Planet: Research Experiences for Teaching Integrated STEM" with Katherine Chen and the WPI Stem Education Center. More info coming soon!
July, 2021: Our proposal with Shruti Mahajan, Denisa Qori McDonald, Ali Shokoufandeh and Genevieve Dion was selected for the Snap Creative Challenge on the Future of Co-located Social AR.
July, 2021: New paper on Stewardship of Smart Devices Security for the Aging Population with Lorenzo DeCarli and Indrakshi Ray coming soon to the Vision track at the European Symposium on Usable Security.
June, 2021: New paper with Ally Howell-Munson, Deniz Unal Sonmez, Erin Walker and Kate Arrington out on Preliminary steps towards detection of proactive and reactive control states during learning with fNIRS brain signals, and will be presented at the First International Workshop on Multimodal Artificial Intelligence in Education.
May, 2021: Our paper Toward Understanding Effects of Digital Jury Moderation on the Polarization of Social Media Users with Chris Micek and Zijian Guan was presented at the CHI'21 workshop In search of the alternative future: Developing participatory digital citizenship to address the crisis of democracy.
April, 2021: New book/journal out: Improving HCI with Brain Input: Review, Trends, and Outlook, written with Felix Putze
March, 2021: Joined the Editoral Board of ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI).
March, 2021: Our article is out: Unsupervised fNIRS feature extraction with CAE and ESN autoencoder for driver cognitive load classification with Ruixue Liu, Bryan Reimer, Siyang Song, Bruce Mehler.
March, 2021: WPI's D term has started. Excited for the next group in the CS3041 Human-Computer Interaction class.
January, 2021: WPI's Spring semester begins. I'll be teaching CS525/NEU505 Brain-Computer Interaction.
Dec, 2020: Coming soon to the International Journal of Social Robotics: Investigating Trust in Interaction with Inconsistent Embodied Virtual Agents with Reza Moradinezhad.
Dec, 2020: Coming soon to the Journal of Neural Engineering Unsupervised fNIRS feature extraction with CAE and ESN autoencoder for driver cognitive load classification with Ruixue Liu, Bryan Reimer, Bruce Mehler and Siyang Song.
Oct, 2020: Attending the 2020 virtual ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility (ASSETS). Rachel Boll will be presenting our paper "Creating questionnaires that align with ASL linguistic principles and cultural practices within the Deaf community." Watch our video preview here.
Oct, 2020: WPI's Fall B term has begun. Looking forward to another term teaching CS3041 Human-Computer Interaction.
Oct, 2020: Coming soon to Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies (IMWUT) and Ubicomp 2021: "Knitted Sensors: Designs and Novel Approaches for Real-Time, Real-World Sensing" with Denisa Qori McDonald, Richard Vallet, Genevieve Dion, Ali Shokoufandeh.
July, 2020: Coming soon in the ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility: "Creating questionnaires that align with ASL linguistic principles and cultural practices within the Deaf community" with Rachel Boll, Shruti Mahajan, Jeanne Reis.
July, 2020: Coming soon in the International Journal of Human Computer Studies: CODA: Mobile Interface for Enabling Safer Navigation of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Real-World Settings" with Kim Jackson Ryan and Missy Cummings.
May, 2020: Coming soon in the Journal on Multimodal User Interfaces: "fNIRS-based classification of mind-wandering with personalized window selection for multimodal learning interfaces" with Ruixue Liu, Erin Walker, Leah Friedman, and Kate Arrington.
May, 2020: New paper accepted to IEEE Access on "RF Cloud for Cyberspace Intelligence" with Kaveh Pahlavan, Julang Ying, Ziheng Li, John Loftus, and Zehua Dong.
April, 2020: Our paper (with Deniz Sonmez Unal, Kate Arrington and Erin Walker) titled "Using Thinkalouds to Understand Rule Learning and Cognitive Control Mechanisms within an ITS" was accepted to the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education (AIED), which will be held in July.
March, 2020: Looking forward to giving a technical talk at the Women in Data Science Central Massachusetts Conference on March 2.
January, 2020: New joint project: Closed-Loop BCI Using Adaptive Kinetic Architectural Design to Regulate Human Emotional States with Ali Yousefi (WPI Computer Science) and Soroush Farzin (WPI Civil & Environmental Engineering), funded through WPI's Transformative Research and Innovation, Accelerating Discovery (TRIAD) program
January, 2020: Spring term started. Teaching new Special Topics course on Brain-Computer Interaction
January, 2020: Some WPI News: WPI to Help Develop Novel Sign Language Technology
January, 2020: Our IEEE ICCE Paper on ThuMouse was selected for the Best Paper Award competition.
November, 2019: Our paper will be presented at the IEEE ICCE International Conference on Consumer Electronics: ThuMouse: A Micro-gesture Cursor Input through mmWave Radar-based Interaction.
October, 2019: New NSF Award with Jeanne Reis: CHS: Medium: Improving Information Accessibility with Sign Language First Technology. I am recruiting PhD students interested in working on this project, and encourage applicants from the Deaf community as well as students interested in improving accessibility. This work is in collaboration with the Center for Research and Training at the Learning Center for the Deaf. Researchers will be joining a strong Deaf community there.
September, 2019: Our paper The Reality of Reality-Based Interaction: Understanding the Impact of a Framework as a Research Tool with Audrey Girouard, Orit Shaer, Michael Poor and Robert Jacob was published in the ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI) Journal.
July, 2019: Giving keynote talk at Neuroadaptive Technology Conference in Liverpool, England. Also presenting our work "Towards neuroadaptive technology using time warped distances for similarity exploration of brain data" with Jayesh Dubey, Mihin Sumaria, Erden Oktay, Yu Li, Ziheng Li and Rodica Neamtu
May, 2019: Invited talk at UMass Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Conference.
May, 2019: Excited to be awarded WPI-UML seed grant for a collaborative project "Towards Biometric Input for Multi-Agent Adaptive Human-Robot Collaboration" with Rodica Neamtu and Yanhua Li at WPI as well as Holly Yanco, Adam Norton, PeiChun Kao and Winnie Wu from UMass Lowell