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Faculties of Natural and Communication SciencesSchool of Information Sciences University of Tampere
TAUCHI - Tampere Unit for Computer-Human Interaction

Visiting lecture on Friday, December 15th

Thirty YEarS and counting: In Search of the Killer App for Haptics
Hong Z Tan

Hong Z Tan

Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Professor of Mechanical Engineering (by courtesy)
Professor of Psychological Sciences (by courtesy)
Purdue University


Visiting lecture on Friday, December 15th. The lecture takes place in the University of Tampere, Pinni A building, Paavo Koli auditorium, at 13:00-14:00

The lecture is open for everyone – welcome!



What is haptics good for? For thirty years, I have been working on haptic technologies and applications that I hope will change the world someday. My journey started with sensory substitution systems for people who are profoundly deaf. At the last surge of interest in virtual reality and tele-operated systems more than twenty years ago, I got involved in a series of psychophysical experiments aimed at understanding human perception of mechanical properties via force-feedback displays. Then came the wearable era and I worked on haptics for wearables. More recently, my research has focused on simulation of virtual key clicks, virtual reality for skill training, and speech communication through the skin. In this talk, I will share lessons learned and insights gained through both academic and industrial research. And I will continue to ponder this question with the audience: What is the killer app for haptics?



Hong Z. Tan received her B.S. degree in biomedical engineering with a minor in computer science from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, P. R. China in 1986. She earned her S.M. and Ph.D. degrees, both in electrical engineering and computer science, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, USA in 1988 and 1996, respectively. From 1996 to 1998, she was a Research Scientist in the MIT Media Lab. Since 1998, she has been on the faculty at Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA. She is currently a Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering with courtesy appointments in the School of Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Psychological Sciences at Purdue University. From 2011 to 2015, she took a combined sabbatical and research leave and worked first as a Visiting Researcher and then as a Senior Researcher and Research Manager of the Human Computer Interaction Group at Microsoft Research Asia, Beijing, P.R. China. She is the author of four book chapters and over 130 peer-reviewed journal and conference publications. Her research focuses on haptic human-machine interfaces and haptic perception, taking a perception-based approach to solving engineering problems.

Prof. Tan was a recipient of the US National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2000–2004), and the Chinese National Natural Science Funds for Distinguished (Overseas) Young Scholar (2005–2007). She has served the international haptics research community in numerous roles, including as the co-organizer of the IEEE Haptics Symposium (2003 – 2005), the Founding Chair of the IEEE Technical Committee on Haptics (2006 – 2008), a member of numerous conference organizing committees, the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE World Haptics Conference Editorial Board (2012 – 2015), and the co-chair of the IEEE World Haptics Conference 2015. She was elected to IEEE Fellow in 2017 for her contributions to wearable haptics.



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