IRIM Robotics Seminar–Laurel D. Riek

Notre Dame’s Laurel Riek presents “How Robots Can Sense, Think, and Act in the Human Social World” as part of the IRIM Robotics Seminar Series. The event will be held in the TSRB Banquet Hall from 12-1 p.m. and is open to the public.


As robots leave cages and enter human spaces, aiding people with disabilities, performing chores, or providing personal transit, a unique set of challenges are emerging. Sensing what people are doing, adapting to highly dynamic environments, and acting coherently and contingently all become challenging when robots transition from well-constrained environments to those that are human-centric and unstructured. We are working to facilitate this transition by exploring social perception and social synthesis capabilities for robots. We are also applying these methods to solve patient safety problems in healthcare. This talk will highlight several projects from my lab in this domain, including: (1) Modeling human-robot coordination and joint action, (2) Building interactive, facially expressive robotic patient simulators to train clinicians how to read patient signals of pain and stroke, and (3) Designing biologically-inspired models of social context to enable robots to learn and adapt to behavior norms.


Laurel Riek is the Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Notre Dame. Her research interests include robotics, social signal processing, and health informatics. She focuses on designing autonomous robots able to sense, respond, and adapt to human behavior. Her work also tackles real-world problems in healthcare by creating novel sensing and robotics technology to improve patient safety. Riek has received the NSF CAREER Award, a Qualcomm Research Scholar Award, several best paper awards, and five recognition awards during her eight-year tenure as a senior artificial intelligence engineer and roboticist at MITRE. She also was recently named as one of ASEE’s 20 Faculty under 40. Riek serves on the editorial board of IEEE Transactions on Human Machine Systems, as well as numerous conference program committees. Riek received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge, and a B.S. in Logic and Computation from Carnegie Mellon University.

Event Details


  • Wednesday, February 18, 2015
    11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Location: TSRB Banquet Hall

For More Information Contact

Josie Giles
IRIM Marketing Communications Mgr.