Benjamin Lok, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Computer & Information Science & Engineering, was recently inducted as a member into the inaugural class of the IEEE Virtual Reality Academy. Dr. Lok was one of 49 scholars and innovators inducted into this year’s class.
“Our work has focused on innovating in the area of virtual humans – the characters one sees in virtual reality experiences. Our work has transformed how healthcare professionals, such as nurses and doctors, train to talk with their patients. Almost all of us are now benefiting from virtual human simulations,” Dr. Lok said.
One of 12 members elected by this year’s IEEE Virtual Reality Academy committee, Dr. Lok was selected for his “virtual human innovations in developing interpersonal skills, empowering team training and promoting healthy behaviors and mental wellness.”
“Moving forward, we are now using virtual humans to encourage healthy behaviors including helping people get screened (and discovering they test positive) for cancer, improving their mental wellness, and improving medical outcomes for all,” Dr. Lok said. “This award recognizes my and my students’ achievements in advancing the field of virtual reality.”
Established in 2022 by the IEEE Visualization and Graphics Technical Community (VGTC), the IEEE Virtual Reality Academy recognizes significant contributions and highlights the accomplishments of the leaders in the fast-growing virtual reality field. The inaugural class includes the past and this year’s awardees of VR Lifetime Achievement and Technical Achievement Awards (37 members in all, since 1995).
All recipients were officially inducted at the virtual award ceremony held during the opening session of the IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality + 3D Interfaces (VR 2022) on March 14.
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