UBC 2023 Immersive Research Symposium

Join us virtually for the inaugural UBC Immersive Research Symposium, showcasing faculty speakers and over 20 presentations from our talented Master's and PhD students who are conducting cutting-edge research under the NSERC CREATE in Immersive Technologies research and training program.

Thursday, May 18, 2023 | 8:30-14:00 (PST)

Friday, May 19, 2023 | 10-12 (PST)

Register here

Registration is required.

Agenda (May 18, 2023)

Welcoming and opening remarks

Dr. Abbas Milani, Professor at the School of Engineering and Director of NSERC CREATE in Immersive Technologies, UBC

Waterways – Past, Present and Future

A short overview of a four-year collaborative project between faculty and students at UBC Okanagan, Elders and Knowledge Keepers of the Syilx Okanagan community, Kelowna Museums Society, Okanagan Basin Water Board and the Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program. 

Why Researching XR and the Metaverse is Rewarding, Relevant, and Fun

Dr. Philipp A. Rauschnabel, Professor of Digital Marketing and Media Innovation at Universität der Bundeswehr München, Germany

A student wearing a VR headset
UBC Students Rapid 5-min presentations
Human-Autonomy Teaming

Dr. Ann Hill Duin, Professor of Writing Studies and Graduate-Professional Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Minnesota, USA

Towards Designing Inclusive Social Virtual Reality Spaces to Combat New Forms of Online Harassment

Dr. Guo Freeman, Assistant Professor in the School of Computing (Human-Centered Computing Division) at Clemson University, USA

UBC Students rapid 5-min presentations
Making Social VR Accessible and Inclusive for People with Disabilities

Yuhang Zhao, Assistant Professor of Computer Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

Student working with VR headset
UBC Students rapid 5-min presentations
Announcement of Best student presentations and closing remarks

Agenda (May 19, 2023)

A student is working with a touchscreen
An Overview of UBC Research Capacities and activities in Immersive Technologies

This session features several presentations from UBC faculty members who are collaborating under the NSERC CREATE in Immersive Technologies. For a list of these faculty members, visit the link here.

Strategic Planning Discussions

This session is only open to UBC faculty members.

Invited Speakers Biographies

Dr. Philipp Rauschnabel is one of the first scientists to explore the possibilities of XR and the Metaverse for business. Today, he is one of the most cited authors in the field, advises companies and policy makers, and teaches on these topics at various universities around the world. He also shares his knowledge outside the academic community on LinkedIn and as a speaker. He has a PhD in Marketing and a habilitation (post doctoral degree) in business. Philipp holds a professorship of Digital Marketing and Media at University of the Bundeswehr Munich in Germany. Prior to that, we was a faculty at University of Michigan-Dearborn (USA).


Dr. Ann Hill Duin is Professor of Writing Studies and Graduate-Professional Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Minnesota where her technical and professional communication research and teaching focus on technology augmentation and AI, digital literacy, collaboration, and workplace writing futures. In 2021 she received both the 2021 Ronald S. Blicq Award for Distinction in Technical Communication from the IEEE Professional Communication Society and the 2021 J. R. Gould Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Society for Technical Communication. Together with Isabel Pedersen, see their 2021 book Writing Futures: Collaborative, Algorithmic, Autonomous (Springer), and their 2023 book, Augmentation Technologies and Artificial Intelligence in Technical Communication: Designing Ethical Futures (Routledge).


Dr. Guo Freeman is an Assistant Professor of Human-Centered Computing in the School of Computing at Clemson University. At Clemson, she leads the Gaming and Mediated Experience Lab (CUGAME). She uses a human-centered approach to investigate mediated experience and social dynamics forged surrounding technological objects and collaborative systems, including multiplayer online games, esports, live streaming, social VR, and social media. She has authored over 90 peer-reviewed publications and won 10 Best Paper Honorable Mentions Awards (top 5%) at ACM SIGCHI conferences. She has won $20.4 million in external grant funding, including the National Science Foundation (NSF), Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), and US Army.


Dr. Yuhang Zhao is an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research interests include human-computer interaction, accessibility, and augmented and virtual reality. She designs and builds intelligent interactive technologies to enhance human abilities and make emerging technologies accessible. Her work has been published at many top-tier conferences and journals in the field of HCI (including three best paper nominees and one recognition for contribution diversity and inclusion award). She received her Ph.D. degree in Information Science from Cornell University and M.S. in Computer Science from Tsinghua University, China.