Prospective Students
Prospective Students

We welcome students interested in joining the lab. We are currently recruiting:
  • Prospective PhD students (to start Fall 2024)
  • UCSD Undergrad/MS students (to start Winter or Spring 2024)
Please read this page carefully.
After reading this page:
  • Prospective BS/MS/PhD students, please complete this form

  • What kinds of research does the lab do?

    Our lab works in two primary fields: Healthcare Robotics and Human Robot Interaction. (Read the papers at thoes two links to get an overview of both fields).

    We design and develop new robotics and embodied AI technologies to support disabled people, healthcare workers, and community members.

    We do research in these fields by adopting a multi-disciplinary perspective. This includes: robotics, health sciences, interaction design, health informatics, systems engineering, cognitive science, and machine learning.

    Students in the lab work on multi-disciplinary teams to engage in research. Here are the main types of work we do, with example papers from each area:

    1. Technical research (e.g., working on basic research and enabling technologies in: robotics, human-robot teaming, machine learning, etc.)
      • Example papers: 1, 2, 3, 4
    2. Health services research (e.g., working with healthcare organizations, community partners) to support health and wellness, including: health equity, patient safety, assistive robotics, etc.).
      • Example papers: 1, 2, 3, 4
    3. Design research (e.g., working closely with stakeholders to envision and co-create future technologies, create prototypes, UI/UX design, etc)
      • Example papers: 1, 2, 3, 4
    4. Experimental research (e.g., both laboratory-based and real-world studies that explore both technical and human-focused research questions in HRI)
      • Example papers: 1, 2, 3, 4

    These are not exhaustive nor mutually exclusive. It is helpful if you have interest in doing at least one of the above (check out the example papers to get an idea of what's involved).

    Is it ok if I've never done research before?

    It is 100% ok if you have never done research before or written a paper before - everyone starts somewhere! All students (BS-MS-PhD) receive training in these areas and are given opportunities to lead their own work.

    What types of students join the lab?

    Generally, the following should describe you:

    • You have a deep interest in making the world a better place
    • You like working with other people, including people with backgrounds different from yours
    • You enjoy working on challenging problems
    • You are open to learning new ideas and perspectives

    How do I apply to join the lab?

    1. Please read the lab website (main page, projects, and some of our papers) to get an overview of what we do.

    2. Also please read the example papers listed above to understand the kinds of work we do.

    3. For prospective BS/MS/PhD students, please complete this online form which asks about your interests and background.

    When will I be contacted?

    • Prospective PhD students (to start: Fall 2024): Please be sure to complete the above google form and select my name when you submit your PhD application so I see it. Please be sure to apply to the UCSD CSE department - while I would be happy to talk with students applying to other PhD programs I don't have access to their applications.

      Generally I will be contacting prospective PhD students late fall 23 / early winter 24. Note, if you need to speak to me before applying (e.g., because of fiscal concerns or background concerns), please read below, and you can also send me an email if you have further questions.

      Notes: (1) As PhD applications can be expensive, please note our department offers fee waivers. See here for more details on applying for a waiver. Please be sure to apply early.

      (2) If you are interested in the lab and are not coming from a tech background that is 100% ok! We do multidisciplinary research and welcome students from other backgrounds (cognitive science, public health, psychology, design, etc). Please do not let any course requirements language on our website dissuade you from applying to our program or any other.

    • Current UCSD BS/MS students (to start: Winter 2024 or later): I will be in touch if/when a research position opens up, likely in Winter 2024. Feel free to re-submit the form at the start of each quarter if you are still interested in a position.

    • Prospective BS/MS students applying to UCSD: Please note I am not on any admissions committees and cannot advise you. If you have questions about the UCSD application process, please email (BS) or (MS). If/when you are admitted and arrive at UCSD, please feel free to re-submit the interest form.

    Due to time/space limitations, I am unable to respond to all students who are interested in the lab, nor accommodate all requests to join the lab. But thank you for your interest!

    Is there a way I can learn more about the fields of Healthcare Robotics / HRI at UCSD (with or without joining the lab)?

    Yes! I teach classes in Healthcare Robotics (CSE 176A/276D) and Human Robot Interaction (CSE 276B), both of which are human-centered and project-based. Click here to learn more and see some videos of student projects from prior years.