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Helena Mentis, Ph.D.

Helena Mentis is an associate professor in the Department of Information Systems at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and the director of the Bodies in Motion Lab.  Her research interests span the areas of human-computer interaction (HCI), computer supported cooperative work (CSCW), and health informatics. She has conducted research on using touchless interaction in the operating room, the challenges with training gestural systems, how to sense and perceive movement qualities, the place for gestural interaction in the home, and designing for somaesthetic awareness through movement in the dark. She has also employed a variety of methods in her work, but primarily performs participant observations and interviews throughout a design research process.

PhD Students

Yuanyuan Feng, M.S.

Yuanyuan Feng is a PhD candidate in the Information Systems Department at UMBC. Her research interests are in the areas of human computer interaction (HCI), computer supported cooperative work (CSCW), and health informatics. The objective of her research is to enhance team members’ experience and performance in their collaboration on complex, physical tasks. She investigates how expertise acquisition is achieved and improved in co-located and distributed teams with the use of advanced technologies in surgical environment. She leverages qualitative and quantitative methods in analyzing and interpreting a variety of data – videos, interviews, eye movements, surveys, and gaits.


Azin Semsar, M.S.

Azin Semsar is a Ph.D. student in Human-Centered Computing (HCC) at UMBC. Her main research interest lies in the field of computer-supported cooperative work and its application in health care and education. Currently, she is conducting research to investigate the costs and benefits of using telementoring systems in remote surgical mentoring, particularly their effect on communication and collaboration. She previously has conducted research within the broader field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) at Sharif University of Technology (Iran), with the focus in human interaction with smart environments.


Adegboyega Akinsiku, M.S.

Ade is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Human-Centered Computing at UMBC. He has a special interest, not limited to, in ubiquitous/pervasive computing and the use of embedded systems within appropriate and assistive technology. He is currently conducting research to investigate the feasibility and benefits of low overhead telerehabilitation systems that are highly portable, affordable, and effective for patients in low-resource communities. Ade has a strong passion to promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to future collegiate students, not only within academia, but within entrepreneurship. Ade has interned/conducted research at Ateneo de Manila University (Philippines), Intel Corporation, IBM Research, and African Leadership University (Mauritius).


Master’s Students

None at the moment.


Undergraduate Students

Hannah McGowan, B.S.

Hannah has been working on the telestration and telementoring projects, primarily focusing on how the Microsoft Kinect is perceived as an instructional teaching aid in surgical training, by examining questionnaires of stress, cognitive load, performance and quality of instruction. Her research interests include how psychology and technology go hand in hand, by examining how adding technology shapes attention and behavior. In the fall, she plans on pursing a Masters in Cognitive Psychology in Europe.



Yasmin Graham

Yasmin’s first project in the lab focused on creating a telerehabilitation system for home-based physical therapy for stroke survivors in low-resource communities. She conducted patient observations and documented critical aspects of physical therapy, noting areas that need improvement. Her current project involves understanding the emotional awareness of emergency health services (EHS) trainees in the UMBC EHS paramedics program. The end goal of this project is to develop a stress reflection system that would help the trainees identify and reflect on their stress triggers during simulation-based training, and so improve future performance. Starting Fall 2019, she will be pursuing my PhD in a joint University of California, San Francisco/University of California,
Berkeley Bioengineering Program.



Galina Madjaroff, M.A., PhD, 2014-2018

Galina Madjaroff is the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and a Clinical Associate Professor at the Erickson School for Aging Studies at UMBC. Galina received her Doctorate in Human Centered Computing (HCC) which focused on Identifying the Care Activities that Were Supported by Home Based Technology for Care Partners After the Onset of Cognitive Impairment, under the supervision of her advisor Dr. Helena Mentis. Galina’s current projects focus on exploring how the use of Voice User Interface Agents can improve quality of life of care partners and persons with dementia. Galina has published on various topics including Person-Centered Technology and Quality of Life, Narratives of Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment and Their Caregivers and Supporting Caregivers and Care Recipients after the Onset of Cognitive Impairment with Home Based Technology. Most recently Dr. Madjaroff and Dr. Mentis were awarded a three-year National Science Foundation Grant to explore Negotiating Cyber Systems Access for Older Adults with Mild Neurocognitive Disorder.


Jordan Ramsey, B.S., 2014-2018

Jordan Ramsey was a Computer Engineering undergraduate student working on the “Touchless Interaction in the Surgical Theater” project, helping to develop a gestural surgery telestration program using the Microsoft Kinect. She was also a member of the Meyerhoff scholars program. She is now an Electrical Engineering graduate student at The Ohio State University.



Katie Li, Summer 2017

Katie was a rising senior computer science major at Pomona College when she came to the BIMLab as a 2017 CRA-W DREU intern. She worked closely with PhD students Yuanyuan Feng and Azin Semsar on developing and deploying the telestration system for in situ surgical education.





Jacqueline Mun, Summer 2017

Jackie was a rising Junior in Computer Science at Vassar College when she came to the BIMLab as a 2017 CRA-W DREU intern. She worked closely with PhD students Yuanyuan Feng and Azin Semsar on deploying the telestration system for in situ surgical education as well as collecting and analyzing data from observations, physiological sensors, and the eye-tracker.




Bhushan Sontakke, Spring 2017

Bhushan Sontakke was a graduate student pursuing his Masters in Information Systems at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. His research interests involved improving the healthcare industry with the help of Information Technology. He worked on the project “Telestration in Surgical Training”, helping to enhance the telestration program, performing Data Analysis, and running the study at Anne Arundel Medical Center.


Ganesh Pradhan, Spring 2017

Ganesh Pradhan was pursuing his masters in Information Systems from University of Maryland Baltimore County. His research interest was in designing, prototyping and developing new systems to better aid the healthcare industry using new and advanced technologies. He was conducting research on the project “Stroke Tele-Rehabilitation”, where he was looking into an efficient, cost effective system that will help clinicians and therapists to better gauge the progress of the stroke patients by analyzing the data of the patients movements.




Veeha Khanna, Summer 2015

Veeha was a junior in Computer Science at NC State University and came to the BIMLab as a 2015 CRA-W DREU intern. She worked closely with PhD student Yuanyuan Feng on her project and helped deploy the Myo/Kinect project. At her school she is a CSC Ambassador and advocates for more women in the field. Post- graduation she plans on getting her masters, in what is still undecided. Fun facts about Veeha is that she is double-jointed at her elbow and she loves taking pictures.



Meredith Evans, Summer-Fall 2015

Meredith was a senior Information Systems major at UMBC who worked in the BIMLab Summer and Fall of 2015. She helped a lot in moving the Kinect telestration program forward and at graduation received the Outstanding Senior in Information Systems award.

Courtney Pharr, Summer 2014

Courtney was a rising sophomore in Computer Science at Clark University when she came to the BIMLab as a 2014 CRA-W DREU intern. She worked closely with PhD student Rita Shewbridge on her project developing and deploying a sensor for Parkinson’s movement assessment. Her experiences made such an impact on her that she switched to the pre-med track majoring in biology and minoring in public health and bioinformatics. She plans to attend medical school after graduation.