Computers surround us every day. Delaram Yazdansepas, newly appointed assistant professor of computer science, is researching how developing and exploring activity recognition systems using sensors in wearable devices helps enrich our daily interactions with computers.
“These human activity recognition systems can help us improve our lifestyle by informing us on our movement and what we’re doing in our daily lives,” said Yazdansepas. “This information can impact our health, security and surveillance, as well as human-computer interactions.”
Yazdansepas is also interested in computing education research (CER), particularly in the teaching and the study of computing along with pedagogical techniques for assessing it.
“This field is much deeper than teaching coding. It involves everything that comes with computing: the ethics of computing, privacy, human interaction and more,” she said.
Yazdansepas was born and raised in Iran. She earned her bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from Iran and a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Georgia.
“I became interested in CER after becoming a Lecturer at UGA. I really wanted to know more about how students learn and how, as an instructor, I could provide a more effective learning experience,” said Yazdansepas. “I think computing education research really helped me understand when and how the learning takes place and how my teaching impacts that.”
This fall, Yazdansepas is teaching Interaction Design, which focusses on design of computer technology, particularly the interaction between users and computers. “This is a very multidisciplinary field of study that involves cognitive science and other fields that seek to understand human behavior when interacting with computers.”
She hopes to work with the local communities to increase diversity in computer science.
“This is a big issue in tech fields and STEM because of the barriers that exist,” said Yazdansepas. “I feel one of the ways to lower these barriers is by reaching out, providing mentorship, and sharing the history of computer science. Communicating will help lower barriers and allow for a more rich and diverse group of people in computing disciplines.”
Yazdansepas is new to Los Angeles and is enjoying exploring the area. When not working, she likes to travel, explore the outdoors and play board games.