I'm a Visiting Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Elon University. Prior joining Elon, I worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher and Lecturer in the Khoury College of Computer Sciences at Northeastern University. I'm currently working in the Games User Research domain to explore the insights of the player experience in games. I earned my Ph.D. from the University of Genoa, Italy. During my Ph.D. research phase, I investigated the impact of Serious Games in the automotive sector, and I was also associated with an Industrial European Union (EU–FP7) project on safe and collaborative Transportation. I completed Master's Degree in Artificial Intelligence from Heriot-Watt University, U.K., where my research and analyses focused on Human-Robot Interaction. My research interests include artificial intelligence, serious games, human-computer interaction, games user research and user interface design, but I always have a special interest in the game development and playtesting processes.

Profile

Educational Background

Ph.D., in Science and Technology for Electronic and Telecommunications Engineering

University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy
Research Focus and Specialization:  Serious Games and Gamification Methods

    I received my Ph.D. in the Science and Technology for Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering (STIET) from University of Genoa, Italy. My Ph.D. thesis was titled - "The Design and Implementation of Serious Games for Driving and Mobility." 

 

 My research activities during Ph.D. research phase were centered on the enhancement of vehicle driver behavior using Social Serious Games and Gamification methodologies. I was associated with an Industrial European Union research project (EU-FP7) -  TEAM (Tomorrow's Elastic Adaptive Mobility). The goal of the project was to exploit the mobile devices (smartphones, tablets and etc.) to improve the transportation safety and reduce the fatalities in European Union. I proposed the use of serious games for motivating and inducing green driving traits in road users and to execute this aspect I aligned my research goals toward gamification, human-computer interaction, and usability analysis. I collaborated with various research institutions(VTT, Finland; Objective, Germany; ICCS, Greece) in Europe for the integration and deployment of the modules that I developed in the context of TEAM project. I also participated in several plug-in and field tests that were carried out in Genoa - Italy, ASTA(All Service Test Area) Zero - Sweden and CRF (Center for Research FIAT) - Italy.

Clicked during my Ph.D. title defense at University of Genoa, Italy

M.S. in Artificial Intelligence

Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Research Focus and Specialization:  Human-Robot Interaction and Behavioural Models

   I completed my M.S. in Artificial Intelligence at the Heriot-Watt University in 2012.  As the course module was more aligned toward the research and innovation, I was constantly into development and analysis for the course works and research project. During the course, I had an opportunity to work on group and individual assignments that were focused on machine learning and data science, human-robot interaction, artificial intelligence and intelligent agents, virtual environments, and software simulation modeling.  

 

I was part of a three member group for a robot navigation task using E-puck simulation module and for this assignment, our group secured the second place for the competition involving an E-puck navigation in a maze. For masters dissertation project, I was involved in the development of a Human-Robot Interaction module using the NAO Torso Humanoid robot. I was advised by Prof. Oliver Lemon for this research project and the research phase lasted for seven months including the user testing as well. The theme of this project was to assess the robot's behavior in conversation with multiple parties and in specific I developed two prototypes, where the former one was equipped with speech recognition and face detection modules and the latter one was just equipped with speech recognition module. The final aim was to compare these two systems with test users to understand the impact of multiple inputs for a humanoid robot and to gauge the user ratings for various systems. For this research project, I was awarded the "Best Poster prize for the most innovative project in MSc Cohort" by the Mathematical and Computer Sciences(MACS) department at the Heriot-Watt University and I also received a distinction level mark for this research project. 

Received the Best Poster prize from Abelon Systems Limited, Edinburgh, U.K. for my research project in Masters

Thesis review session - I was explaining my project and its outcomes to the review committee 

B.Tech in Information Technology

Madha Engineering College (Affiliated to Anna University) , Chennai, India
Thesis description:  Multi-purpose rescue robot with local and remote access modalities

Work Experience

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Northeastern University 

     As a part of my Post-doc research -I worked on Games User Research (GUR) domain to explore the player experience in games.i developed a prototype framework called "ARAPID - As Rapid As Possible Iterative Design", for game designers and in this framework, I utilized the potential of online crowdsourcing, Unity framework tools,  and AWS modules to increase the pace of iteration involved in game development process. In this framework, I targetted to tightly couple the testing and development phase, so that the game designers will have absolute control of the user testing phase directly from the development workstation. As the existing iterative design requires massive duration (several days to weeks) to perform usability study and to derive conclusions. Having these setbacks in consideration, the rapid user testing methodology has been introduced to the existing iterative development process and thus redefining the cycle as "Rapid Iterative" Design mechanism. The process of launching the user tests, extracting the results and making decisions on the design modifications would just take a couple of minutes in case of Rapid Iterative approach(ARAPID). It's not only focused on the timing aspect but also on centralizing the design and decision making aspects in the iterative design process. 

Visiting Scientist, Northeastern University 

     I served as a Visiting Scientist in the College of Computer Science department from January 2018 - March 2018. During this term, I was associated with a research project on Game Analytics and Player Behavior estimation. For estimating the player behavior and understanding the gameplay patterns, I developed a 2D platformer game using Unity game development engine and I also developed the backend services through Amazon Web Services and integrated the game analytics module on to NoSQL database( DynamoDB). Additionally, I exploited the SDKs of Amazon Mechanical Turk and accessed the online crowdsourcing module directly from Unity interface and initiated the control of the user tests. Through this module, I had a base prototype for testing and gathering player analytics within the gameplay. 

Robotics Engineer, Lema Labs Technologies, IIT Madras Research Park

     During this work at Lema Labs, I was predominantly associated with teaching and development activities. My main job role comprised of the following activities:

    

  • Deliver lectures to students from various engineering institutions

  • Monitor student progress and assist them in building autonomous robots right from the scratch

  • Support the team with R&D of new robots and test the prototypes

  • Content creation and formulation of problem statements for the courses

  • Manage hiring process of new employees and screen the candidates for the interview

  • Train the new employees in technical aspects concerning the teaching and development activities