Alireza Tavakkoli, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Computer Science
Digital Gaming and Simulation Program Director
Associate Director of Faculty Computing
Office: UW 282
Phone: (361) 570-4204
Email: tavakkolia [at] uhv . edu

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Projects.

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Immersive Virtual Reality for Tele-robotics

This project aims to develop a fundamental framework for establishing an immersive virtual reality environment for robust and scalable human robotics interactions in a heterogeneous intelligent architecture. This integrated environment will allow for human robotics interaction with a large number of robotics agents through a virtual reality environment. A number of industry level applications from the manufacturing industry, the gas and oil sector, as well as medical sector will be able to utilize the proposed architecture for the purpose of training, simulation, and testing. A set of novel frameworks will be developed to establish an efficient human-robotics collaborative environment in a fully immersive Virtual Reality (VR) world.
The proposed architecture may be utilized to create digital libraries for a set of industry applications for training and simulation purposes. The investigation results in developing computational and algorithmic frameworks for establishing such environments.

Relevant Publications For more publications please check our Publications page.

[1] Brandon Wilson, Matthew Bounds, Alireza Tavakkoli. (2016). "A Full-Body Motion Calibration and Retargeting for Intuitive Object Manipulation in Immersive Virtual Environments", Proceedings of IEEE Virtual Reality Conference, pp. 313-314
[2] Brandon Wilson, Alireza Tavakkoli. (2015). "An Efficient Non-parametric Background Modeling Technique with CUDA Heterogeneous Parallel Architecture", Proceedings of 11th International Symposium on Visual Computing, pp. 210-220
[3] Alireza Tavakkoli, Donald Loffredo. (2013). "Can Human Visual Surveillance be Improved with Intent Recognition?", Journal of Systemics, Cybernetics, and Informatics, pp. 43-50
[4] Kolawole Akintola, Alireza Tavakkoli. (2012). "A Novel Gait Recognition System Based on Hidden Markov Models", Proceedings of the 8th International Symposium on Visual Computing, pp.
[5] Kolawole Akintola, Alireza Tavakkoli. (2011). "Robust Foreground Detection in Videos using Adaptive Color Histogram Thresholding and Shadow Removal", Proceedings of the 7th International Symposium on Visual Computing, pp.
[6] Alireza Tavakkoli, Donald Loffredo. (2010). "Efficient Video Surveillance with Intent Recognition", Proceedings of the 15th World Multi-Conference on, Systemics, Cybernetics, and Informatics, pp.

Support

[1] Department of the Army, Award No. W911NF-15-1-0455, $412,457, (September 2015-August 2018).
[2] Department of the Army, Award No. W911NF-15-1-0024, $4,800, (June 2015-August 2015).
[3] Department of the Army, Award No. W911NF-15-1-0024, $191,566, (December 2014-December 2015).
[4] Alcoa Foundation, Award No. , $105,00, (August 2011-August 2016).
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Game Cultures – Virtual Life in MMORPGs

A large number of participants have been recruited to participate in a research study to help our group investigate how cultures and language form and play a role in the age of digital media and virtual worlds. Participants in this research study are asked to play in a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG). Our research groups is analyzing the ways in which human players communicate with other players or Non Player Characters (NPCs), perform certain tasks and in general socialize in a virtual environment.
The study investigates the hypothesis that players in Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs) communicate with other players not only to complete tasks set by the game design but to socially construct virtual communities with identifiable subcultures. The participants' interactions in the game will be qualitatively analyzed to elicit the dynamics of the virtual subcultures that players have formed. Such discourse analysis is a widely accepted method for ethnographic and anthropological research.

Relevant Publications

[1] Alireza Tavakkoli, Donald Loffredo, Mark Ward Sr. (2015). "What do Deep Statistical Analyses on Gaming Motivation and Game Characteristics Clusters Reveal about Targeting Demographics when Designing Gamified Contents?", Proceedings of 19th World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics, pp.
[2] Alireza Tavakkoli, Donald Loffredo, Mark Ward Sr. (2014). "Lessons from Game Studies to Enhance Gamification in Education", Proceedings of 18th World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics, pp.
[3] Alireza Tavakkoli, Donald Loffredo, Mark Ward Sr. (2014). "Insights from Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games to Enhance Gamification in Education", Journal of Systemics, Cybernetics, and Informatics, pp. 69-78

For more publications please check our Publications page.

Support

No data was returned.
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Gaming for Math Education

Math Castle is a single player, touchscreen, tablet game intended to help young students practice basic math skills. The goal is to make attempting numerous repetitions of math questions more interactive by introducing colorful 3D graphics and altering the entire math scenario into a video game setting. A research study is under way to measure how much students actually learned and if school grades improve. Bloomington is our first pilot school where up to 70 elementary school students from grades one through five are utilizing the game in their mathematics classes.

Relevant Publications

No data was returned.

For more publications please check our Publications page.

Support

[1] Invista Foundation, Award No. , $25,000, (August 2014-Agust 2016).
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Parallelized Visual Odometry

Tele-operated robots could benefit from some autonomous behavior so every action does not have to be a one-to-one operation. Cargo manipulation would greatly benefit from autonomous behaviors. The goal of this project is to develop a system of autonomous cargo manipulation for the tri-ATHLETE robot prototype. This system will require computer vision tasks to interpret the presence, position and orientation of the cargo containers. These tasks are by nature parallelizable and would benefit from a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) co-processor capable of such parallel computations. In addition, model learning will be used to increase the robot’s situational awareness and to guide the inverse kinematics necessary for lifting and manipulating detected cargo. This system will first be simulated in UHV’s Computation and Advanced Visualization Engineering (CAVE) Lab using the PatrolBot equipped with a stereo camera and manipulator. Data will be transferred to a GPU accelerated server to simulate the FPGA co-processor, and pseudo-cargo will be picked up using the manipulator. The Unreal Engine 4 game engine will be used to test each step of the simulation. After the simulation yields successful models for detection and operation of cargo safely and effectively, the system will be implemented on the tri-ATHLETE prototype.

Relevant Publications

[1] Brandon Wilson, Alireza Tavakkoli. (2015). "An Efficient Non-parametric Background Modeling Technique with CUDA Heterogeneous Parallel Architecture", Proceedings of 11th International Symposium on Visual Computing, pp. 210-220

For more publications please check our Publications page.

Support

[1] National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Award No. NNX15AU31H, $150,000, (September 2015-September 2018).