These are some of the problems that we study:


Students in college (and even younger ages) are generally very good with technology and have short attention spans. They are used to working online, doing many things at once, jumping from one thing to another, practically living online. There are literally hundreds of things distracting students' attention sometimes even while class is going on. Instructors everywhere have to compete for the attention of this multimedia-attuned generation. Students would engage with learning material if they could easily relate new information to what they already know, and understand a need for learning this information. Lack of attention and engagement however will result in lower average grades, more failed grades, more expulsions, increased dropout rates, and a lower rate of undergraduate completion.

Goals and Objectives

The ultimate goal of this project is to explore and develop interfaces that will pull students into the learning process to engage their emotions and focus their minds. We hope to improve student attention on difficult conceptual issues that are hard to learn in a lecture and augment the existing teaching materials in a novel and revolutionary way. Specifically we will identify one concept from physics that can be modeled using haptic interfaces and we will implement a simulation for that concept. The final objective is to determine the effect on attention and engagement for the students using this interface.


Haptic Interfaces for Attention Stimulation. Felix Hamza-Lup (PI), William Baird (co-PI).