Interactive Systems Seminar | Alumni | Division Event
LEAP 10 Years Post-Ph.D.: Lessons, Experiences, and Action Planning
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Abstract: Since graduating from the University of Michigan with a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering in 2012, Dr. Kyla McMullen has used her educational training as a faculty member at the University of Florida (UF). She is currently an associate professor, leading the SoundPadLab, which focuses on 3D audio perception, applications, and development in virtual and augmented reality. In this talk, Dr. McMullen will discuss her research trajectory as an independent researcher and how her Michigan education prepared her for her current position. Dr. McMullen will conclude the talk by suggesting actionable items to improve the recruitment, experience, and retention of underrepresented students in computing. As the first, and currently only, Black woman to earn a Ph.D. in CSE at Michigan, these action items will be directly derived from her own experiences.
Bio: Dr. Kyla McMullen earned her Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), where she was also a Meyerhoff Scholar. She earned her Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan (2007-2012). While earning her Ph.D. she was also a faculty member at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan where she taught computer literacy courses to over 2,000 students. Dr. McMullen is the first (and only) underrepresented woman to earn a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan. She is currently an Associate Professor in the University of Florida’s Computer & Information Sciences & Engineering Department. Dr. McMullen has a personal commitment to encouraging women and minorities to pursue careers in computing and other STEM fields. She is the cohost of Modern Figures Podcast, which focuses on elevating the voices of Black Women in Computing. She is also the PI of a $1 million dollar NSF grant to provide financial and professional development suppose to Computer Science Ph.D. students at the University of Florida.
Dr. McMullen’s research interests are in the perception, applications, and development of 3D audio technologies. In this line of research, sounds are digitally filtered such that when they are played over headphones, the listener perceives the sound as being emitted from a specific location in their own physical space. She is using this research to create realistic augmented and virtual environments, augment low-vision environments, and decrease cognitive load in multimodal systems. She received the National Science Foundation’s CAREER Award to further support her research in this area.