The Ken Kennedy Institute's September Member of the Month, Dr. Patricia DeLucia, Associate Dean for Research, School of Social Sciences; Professor of Psychological Sciences. Dr. DeLucia joined Rice University in 2018. Her research areas include: perception of collision, motion, depth, and multisensory integration in normal and impaired vision; and human factors in transportation (e.g., manual and automated driving, aviation), health care (minimally-invasive surgery, telehealth, medication administration, patient safety), and military (e.g., UAVs, night vision goggles).
What is your favorite book?
Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman
How do you explain your research in one sentence?
I study how people perceive the world through vision, audition, and touch and use what is learned to address applied problems in transportation and health care.
What is your favorite aspect of your research?
The variety of activities. My research involves the integration of basic and applied psychology which includes testing theories and using advances in the understanding of behavior to address real-world problems such as traffic crashes, and loss of mobility due to visual impairment. Research activities include building devices that require computer programming, electronic interfaces, vision and hearing tests, and virtual reality; and working with people from different disciplines and sectors such as faculty in engineering, clinicians in ophthalmology, and practitioners in industry.
What challenges do you see in your research that you didn't expect?
Recruitment of patient populations for study participants which is much more difficult than recruiting students.
How do you see computation and data advancing in the future?
They will permeate more disciplines and become accessible to a larger number of researchers and hopefully facilitate the identification of solutions to pressing societal issues.
What is a favorite experience with the Ken Kennedy Institute?
Through one of its lunch events I met faculty in a variety of research areas and enjoyed the engaging presentations and discussions.