My research lies at the intersection of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Human-Robot Interaction (HRI). I am broadly interested in teaching/learning interactions that occur between human(s) and robot(s). My long-term vision is to develop the next generation of human-centered robots that can safely, efficiently and adaptively learn from rich interactions with humans. In my research I borrow methods from a variety of fields including computer science, engineering, psychology, interaction design, and dance. My key value as a researcher is to ensure we develop systems that foster mutually beneficial human-robot relationships.
I am a (tenured) assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at the Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam, as part of the Social Artificial Intelligence Group. Before joining the VU, I was a postdoctoral fellow in the Socially Intelligent Machines Lab at UT Austin. I hold a dual PhD in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, USA, and the Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) in Lisbon, Portugal. At CMU, I was part of the Robotics Institute, where I was advised by Prof. Manuela Veloso. At IST, I was part of the Group on AI for People and Society (GAIPS), where I was advised by Prof. Francisco Melo.
In additional to my scientific career, I am also a trained contemporary dancer, with a special interest in movement improvisation. I regularly perform, teach, and co-create nationally and internationally. (Check out the Art section or my artistic CV for more information.) My scientific and artistic interests are becoming more intertwined and I'm curious to see where they take me.