Photo taken by Kazumasa Harada.
Photo taken by Kazumasa Harada.

Jun Nishida, a researcher in the Human Computer Integration Lab led by Assistant Professor Pedro Lopes, received one of the 2020-2021 Suzuki Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards presented annually by the University of Chicago Physical Sciences Division. The honor, named for PSD alumnus Yuji Suzuki, honors outstanding postdoctoral researchers in the division’s research institutes, centers and departments, which includes the Department of Computer Science.

Nishida joined the University of Chicago in 2019 after earning a PhD in human informatics from the University of Tsukuba, Japan. Nishida focuses on the development of wearable devices that change people’s perspectives and are used for rehabilitation, education, and design.

Recently, Nishida and Lopes published a paper on HandMorph, a wearable prosthetic that simulates the grasp of a child’s hand. The device holds promise for helping product designers create toys and everyday objects that are more easily manipulated and accessible for children. Nishida has also explored combinations of virtual reality and wearable devices that simulate the visual perspective of children and synchronize the movements of two individuals, even if they are far apart.

“I'm interested in changing the body’s function to have the experience of another person, and how that changes human perception. Does changing bodies change our perspective?” Nishida said. “These changes can affect the attitude or social relationship between people and could be useful for gaining a kind of embodied knowledge or increased empathy towards children or people different from yourself.”

To read about the rest of the 20-21 Suzuki Award recipients, visit the PSD website.

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