Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 5:45pm to 7:00pm
CHC Events Hall

Aura Ganz, electrical and computer engineering, will discuss "Engineering a better life through user centric design" on Tuesday, March 31 as part of the Pizza & Professor series.


Free Antonio's Pizza will be served at 5:45 p.m.


Prof. Ganz will discuss the need for innovation and collaboration for designing and developing cleverly engineered solutions that assist people with disabilities and save lives. As examples of what engineers can achieve by using mobile platforms and  following user centric and universal design principles, she will introduce two of her current projects:


PERCEPT project that provides real-time indoor navigation for the blind and visually impaired  (percept.ecs.umass.edu). The system will enable the visually impaired to independently navigate in indoor spaces empowering them to fully participate in society.

Moreover, the systems can also be used effectively by wheelchair users, and older adults with hearing and cognitive impairments. PERCEPT is being piloted at the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority’s (MBTA) Arlington station. 


DIORAMA project that provides a real-time scalable decision support framework that significantly improves management of response assets in mass-casualty incidents, thus saving lives (diorama.ecs.umass.edu).


Merging innovation and user centric design, Prof. Ganz has made it her mission to find solutions to the problems that face the visually impaired population become an integral part of our communities as well as reducing mortality in mass casualty incidents.