Intelligent Robot Learning Laboratory (IRL Lab) Amanda L. Zulas

Amanda L. Zulas
MS Student, Computer Science
Office: Dana Hall 3
Links: Personal Website

My Story

I’m currently a student at Washington State University finishing a Masters Degree in Computer Science, working in the Robotics Lab with Dr. Matt Taylor. I have completed a PhD in Experimental Psychology from the same university. I specialize in behavioral psychology, quantitative psychology, and human computer interaction. During my PhD, I worked with an IGERT team on assistive smart technology helping them to quantify the needs of their residents and the caregivers involved. It was such an exciting job! I love working between the two departments. It helps that I’m quite the technology nerd.

The story I like to tell is that when I was young and just out of high school I had to make a decision on what I wanted to major in. I really enjoyed writing code in Java, which I had learned in high school, but I decided that I didn’t want to be stuck on a computer in a cubicle the rest of my life. And I really enjoyed my classes in psychology because I enjoyed studying people and learning about our patterns, but I wasn’t sure what I would do with it. So I had to decide between psychology and computer science, and I chose psychology. Now, they let me do both! It’s the best of both things that I love. I couldn’t imagine a better career for me.

Currently I’m looking for jobs in user experience research. I work mostly with interface design, information architecture, human subjects testing, and statistical analysis. I would love to continue working with smart homes, tablets, wearable, or mobile devices, however I am well versed in other human factors/human computer interaction areas as well. I would like to get out of health services if it’s possible, but I also know that my knowledge base is currently in elder design and caregiver needs and that this could be helpful in many health applications. On the other hand, the gamer girl in me would love to be in game applications, but I don’t work on games currently, I just play a lot of them.

Please visit my website to read more about the projects that I’ve been working on. I’m going to try to start a blog I’ve been thinking about for some time where I discus the HCI or human factors for products. I hope that this can give you an idea of who I am and what I love to do.