Collaboration between Engineering and Communication Disorders results in new eye-tracking equipment for the College

August 12, 2013
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From left to right: Professor Rajeev Narayanan, Daniel Kovar ’13, Professor Inge Anema, and Allen Yuspa ’13 (wearing eye-tracking glasses)

From left to right: Professor Rajeev Narayanan, Daniel Kovar ’13, Professor Inge Anema, and Allen Yuspa ’13 (wearing eye-tracking glasses)

Roberto Cavazos ’13 (Computer Engineering), Daniel Kovar ’13 (Computer Engineering), and Allen Yuspa ’13 (Communication Disorders) left a lasting legacy in the form of a new eye tracker to the College when they graduated in May. The device is used to track the movement of a user’s pupil.

Professor Inge Anema (Communication Disorders) has long desired such equipment for observing reading patterns of second-language speakers, but believed the cost (up to $20,000) would prevent her from obtaining one. A discussion with Professor Rajeev Narayanan (Engineering) and the discovery of free software that could be used with a hand-made system led to this collaborative project. Yuspa researched the technical aspects of different apparatus to determine the needs, and Cavazos and Kovar produced the item—for a total cost of less than $50!

“The students were thrilled and enthusiastic about the project. They took everything so seriously. I was very impressed by their work and by their professionalism,” said Anema, adding, “I want to let other faculty know that we have this equipment on campus. I’m told there might be researchers in education, engineering, and psychology that might be interested in using it, and maybe other departments, too.”

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