REU Research Areas

In our program, REU projects focus on research that results in the creation and evaluation of interactive innovative technologies that empower people to solve problems that are important to society at large. Each REU student will actively pursue research that applies concepts from the field of human-computer interaction (HCI) to advance the state of the art in a particular research area, including computer vision, visualization and visual analytics, pervasive computing, social networks, or serious games.

Several research labs within our college participate in the REU Site. REU students are assigned to a project within a research lab, and become a member of the lab for the summer. Information about participating research labs is provided below.


Video and Image Analysis (VIA) Lab


The Video and Image Analysis Lab (VIA lab) in the Department of Computer Science at UNC Charlotte focuses on research that shapes the future of how people interact with computers. Our primary research areas are biomedical image analysis, computer vision, human-computer interaction, virtual environments, and virtual humans. 


  • Dr. Min Shin
  • Dr. Ema Marasco

Example project:

Gender Estimation from Fingerprints: Gender is a valuable demographic characteristic that can aid the recognition performance of primary biometric identifiers. However, predicting gender from fingerprints has been currently a difficult problem, and often the process is not fully automated. Most existing approaches relate gender to a direct measure of ridge density, which may not be robust to factors such as the finger size or image degradation. Features generated through the Discrete Wavelet Transform seem to be the most promising ones. Abrupt changes and several discontinuities featuring the ridge / valley pattern can be effectively examined further through a multi-resolution perspective, which allows to examine textural patterns of small size and low contrast at high resolution and high contrast patterns from a coarser view. 

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Human Computer Interaction Lab

Our research covers a broad range of areas in HCI, including:

  • Creativity Support Tools
  • Novel Interactions
  • Social Networking
  • Privacy
  • Security
  • Recommender Systems
  • Case-based Reasoning


  • Dr. Celine Latulipe
  • Dr. Heather Lipford
  • Dr. Mary Lou Maher
  • Dr. David Wilson

Example projects:

Sketching and 3D Spatial Reasoning for Intro Programming This is a CS Education research project. We have been promoting the use of sketchbooks and 3D spatial reasoning exercises in introductory programming classes. This project involves analyzing data collected over two semesters to study the impacts of sketching on understanding programming concepts. 

Security and Privacy of Children. Children as young as 3 regularly use digital devices and applications for learning and entertainment. We are investigating the security and privacy issues related to children's use of technology, the concrens parents and kids have regarding their use of technology, how parents and children protect their information, and the problems and needs they have to improve their security and privacy.

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Charlotte Visualization Lab

The Charlotte Visualization Center is a highly interdisciplinary center that applies interactive visualization and visual analytics to a variety of large scale and complex problems in science, engineering, medicine, business, design, and the arts.


  • Dr. Wenwen Dou
  • Dr. Aidong Lu

Example projects

Social network analysis. Online social networks (OSNs) face various forms of fraud and attacks, such as spam, denial of service, Sybil attacks, and viral marketing.
In order to build trustworthy and secure OSNs, it has become critical to develop techniques to analyze and detect OSN fraud and attacks. This research designs and evaluates a visual analytics approach to detecting static and dynamic OSN frauds and attacks.

MR/VR exploration The future of socially-relevant computing will allow users to access data from anywhere using mixed/virtual reality devices, such as Microsoft HoloLens and Oculus Rift. This project will build prototypes of mixed reality interfaces for end users to work in mixed/virtual realities, without requiring heavy dedicated large-format displays supported by dedicated local computers.

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