Sarah is a PhD student at Yale University pursuing a Ph.D. in Computer Science. She is advised by Brian Scassellati, head of the Social Robotics Lab. She received a Bachelors in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering. Her research interests include socially assistive robotics, human-robot interaction, and robot interactions with human-robot teams.
I develop robots that improve the performance of human-robot teams by shaping team dynamics to promote inclusion, trust, and cohesion. Human social behavior in groups is richly interconnected and highly nuanced, presenting computational challenges for sensing group-level dynamics from individual behavior. I build robots that not only perceive these dynamics, but also positively influence the behavior of group members through social cues and verbal interaction. Using computational models that detect relevant verbal and nonverbal social cues, predict high-level social dynamics, and generate decision-making policies for robot actions, I explore how a robot’s social actions within a group shape human team members’ behavior.