Ph.D., Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2020
B.A. with Honors, Computer Science, Gustavus Adolphus College, 2014
B. A., Mathematics, Gustavus Adolphus College, 2014
Dr. Wauck specializes in Human-Computer Interaction and Cognitive Science research. Her more specific research interests include games and play, motivation, educational psychology, cognitive training, and visualization. She is particularly passionate about making complex systems understandable, intuitive, and fun to use for novice and non-technical users.
Dr. Wauck has published and presented research at the ACM conferences CHI, CHI PLAY, and IUI. Her dissertation research (dissertation here) focused on designing computer games to measure and train players' spatial reasoning skills, with the end goal of preparing students for STEM coursework and careers in which spatial reasoning skills are essential for success. Her dissertation work produced an open source game, Homeworld Bound, that can measure players' spatial skills and serves as a testbed for analyzing the effect of different game mechanics on spatial skill training effectiveness. All source code from her dissertation research can be found here: https://github.com/hwauck/homeworld-bound.
Demo of Homeworld Bound: A Testbed for Game-Based Spatial Skill Measurement and Training:
Video: [COMING SOON]
Play the game! (may take several seconds for the webpage to load)
Publications - Game-based Spatial Skills Training and Measurement
Po-Tsung Chiu, Helen Wauck, Ziang Xiao, Yuqi Yao, and Wai-Tat Fu
Ziang Xiao, Helen Wauck, Zeya Peng, Hanfei Ren, Lei Zhang, Shiliang Zuo, Yuqi Yao, and Wai-Tat Fu
Ziang Xiao, Yuqi Yao, Chi-Hsien Yen, Sanorita Dey, Helen Wauck, James M. Leake, Brian Woodard, Angela Wolters, and Wai-Tat Fu