ICC Lecture: Dr. Benjamin Lok, University of Florida, January 20

Dr. Benjamin Lok

Dr. Benjamin C. Lok, University of Florida, will present a virtual lecture on Thursday, January 20, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. via Zoom. The lecture is sponsored by the Michigan Tech Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC) and the ICC’s Center for Human-Centered Computing (HCC). The virtual lecture can also be viewed in Rekhi Hall Room 214.

Lecture Title

Measuring What Matters: Lessons Learned From Taking Virtual Patients From Research to Realization

Lecture Abstract

Did you know that you’ve likely been seen by a nurse that has been trained using virtual patients to improve their critical thinking and communication skills? In this talk, we will discuss the process of how the idea of talking with a virtual human to improve communication skills with real people progressed from conceptualization to realization. I will explore key findings in how people react to virtual humans, as well as lessons learned from creating Shadow Health, which brings virtual human patients into the curricula at thousands of universities and colleges. Finally, I will use my experiences in virtual patients to discuss how we continually reevaluate what we measure and how we measure our progress and impact of our careers. The goal of this talk is to provide the audience with insights into transdisciplinary collaboration, developing an entrepreneurial mindset, and a metacognitive reassessment of where we are in our research careers.

Speaker Bio

Bio: Benjamin Lok is a Professor in the Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering Department at the University of Florida and entrepreneur, having previously co-founded Shadow Health (now a part of Elsevier). Professor Lok’s research focuses on using virtual humans and mixed reality to train communication skills within the areas of virtual environments, human-computer interaction, and computer graphics. Professor Lok received a Ph. D. (2002, advisor: Dr. Frederick P. Brooks, Jr.) and M.S. (1999) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a B.S. in Computer Science (1997) from the University of Tulsa. He did a post-doc fellowship (2003) under Dr. Larry F. Hodges.

​Professor Lok received the UF Innovator of the Year Award (2019), a UF Term Professorship (2017-2020), the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering Faculty Mentoring Award (2016), a NSF Career Award (2007-2012), and the UF ACM CISE Teacher of the Year Award in 2005-2006. He and his students in the Virtual Experiences Research Group have received Best Paper Awards at IVA 2019, IEEE VR 2008, and ACM I3D (Top 3, 2003). He was the chair of the Steering Committee of the IEEE Virtual Reality conference (2018-2021). He has been the general co-chair of IEEE VR 2014 and IEEE VR 2013, and program co-chaired the ACM VRST 2009, IEEE Virtual Reality 2010, and IEEE Virtual Reality 2011 conferences. Professor Lok is a journal associate editor of ​IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics.