My research sits at the intersection of Health, Human-Centered Computing, Robot-Mediated Presence, and Human Development across the lifespan. My work explores how technology-mediated communications and experiences contribute to increased social connectedness, positive human relationships, accessibility, and improved health outcomes. We are excited to be exploring the addition of a hand feature to facilitate human computer (HCI) and human robot (HRI) interaction for children in the Cognitive Anteater Robotics Lab (CARL) lab with the Toyota Human Service Robot (HSR). My recent and on-going studies explore the design features that matter in the robot-mediated presence of children, technology-mediated human development, and interdisciplinary collaborations that are needed to further this work at the human-technology frontier.
Before my postdoctoral research, I served as a public health leader for the state of Montana’s Department of Public Health and Human Services, in the Family and Community Health Bureau, where I began my work on tele-health/medicine technologies. Before and during my work at the state, I served as adjunct faculty at the University of Montana, Helena where I taught introductory courses to computing and technology as well as human relations and professional development.
Veronica Ahumada Newhart, Ph.D.
Dr. Newhart is an NIH funded postdoctoral fellow in UC Irvine's Institute for Clinical Translational Science.
Previously, she received the UC President’s Dissertation Year Fellowship and was a UC Distinguished Public Impact Fellow. Faculty advisors and mentors include Distinguished Professor Jacquelynne Eccles, Professor Mark Warschauer, Bren Professor Judith Olson, and Professor Jeff Krichmar.
Dr. Newhart is the principal investigator on a Clinical Translational Science project that explores the use of interactive technologies (e.g., telepresence robots) to establish or augment social connectedness for improved health, academic, and social outcomes. As part of this project, she is currently conducting an on-going, national, multi-case study that explores this use of technology.
Her research encompasses strong interdisciplinary efforts between UCI's School of Medicine, School of Education, Department of Informatics, and Department of Cognitive Sciences.
Her research interests include telepresence, child health & human development, virtual inclusion, human-computer interaction (HCI), human-robot interaction (HRI), and emerging technologies that facilitate improved health, human development, learning, land social connectedness.