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Aviv Elor ||


Ph.D. in Computational Media                                                                2019-2021

University of California, Santa Cruz                                                       4.00/4.00 GPA

Advisor: Sri Kurniawan

B.S. in Robotics Engineering, Highest Honors in the Major              2015-2019

University of California, Santa Cruz                                                        3.82/4.00 GPA

Minor in Electrical Engineering

Advisor: Mircea Teodorescu


Peer Reviewed [J]ournals

[J10] Aviv Elor, Samantha Conde, Michael Powell, Ash Robbins, Nancy N. Chen, and Sri Kurniawan. "Physical Therapist Impressions of Telehealth and Virtual Reality Needs Amidst a Pandemic," Frontiers in Virtual Reality (2022). doi: 10.3389/frvir.2022.915332

[J9] Aviv Elor, Steve Whittaker, Sri Kurniawan, and Sam Michael. "BioLumin: An Immersive Mixed Reality Experience for Interactive Microscopic Visualization and Biomedical Research Annotation," ACM Trans. Comput. Healthcare (Just Accepted July 2022).

[J8] Jared Duval, Rutul Thakkar, Delong Du, Kassandra Chin, Sherry Luo, Aviv Elor, Magy Seif El-Nasr, and Michael John. "Designing Spellcasters from Clinician Perspectives: A Customizable Gesture-Based Immersive Virtual Reality Game for Stroke Rehabilitation." ACM Trans. Access. Comput. Just Accepted (April 2022).

[J7] Michael Powell, Aviv Elor, Ash Robbins, Sri Kurniawan and Mircea Teodorescu, "Predictive Shoulder Kinematics of Rehabilitation Exercises through Immersive Virtual Reality," in IEEE Access, doi: 10.1109/ACCESS.2022.3155179.

[J6] Aviv Elor and Joel Ward. “Accessibility needs of extended reality hardware: a mixed academic-industry reflection.” ACM Interactions 28, 3 (May - June 2021), 42–46. doi: 10.1145/3457877


[J5] Aviv Elor, Michael Ora Powell, Evanjelin Mahmoodi*, Mircea Teodorescu, and Sri Kurniawan. "Gaming Beyond the Novelty-Effect of Immersive Virtual Reality for Physical Rehabilitation." IEEE Transactions on Games (TOG, 2021). doi:10.1109/TG.2021.3069445


[J4] Aviv Elor and Sri Kurniawan. "The Ultimate Display For Physical Rehabilitation: A Bridging Review on Immersive Virtual Reality." Frontiers in Virtual Reality (2020). doi: 10.3389/frvir.2020.585993

[J3] Aviv Elor, Michael Powell, Evanjelin Mahmoodi*, Nico Hawthorne* , Mircea Teodorescu, and Sri Kurniawan. "On Shooting Stars: Comparing CAVE and HMD Immersive Virtual Reality Exergaming for Adults with Mixed Ability." ACM Transactions on Computing for Healthcare 1, no. 4 (2020): 22. doi: 10.1145/3396249

[J2] Michael Powell, Aviv Elor, Mircea Teodorescu, and Sri Kurniawan. "Openbutterfly: Multimodal rehabilitation analysis of immersive virtual reality for physical therapy." American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine 8, no. 1 (2020): 23-35. doi: 10.12691/ajssm-8-1-5

[J1] Aviv Elor, Mircea Teodorescu, and Sri Kurniawan. "Project star catcher: A novel immersive virtual reality experience for upper limb rehabilitation." ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing (TACCESS) 11, no. 4 (2018): 1-25. doi: 10.1145/3265755

Peer Reviewed [C]onference Articles

[C12] Aviv Elor, Sri Kurniawan, and Leila Takayama. "Human Experiences in Teaching Robots: Understanding Agent Expressivity and Learning Effects through a Virtual Robot Arm." In 2022 IEEE International Conference on Smart Computing (SMARTCOMP), pp. 133-141. IEEE, 2022.

[C11] Aviv Elor, Tiffany Thang, Benjamin Paul Hughes, Alison Crosby, Amy Phung, Everardo Gonzalez, Kakani Katija,..., and Leila Takayama. "Catching Jellies in Immersive Virtual Reality: A Comparative Teleoperation Study of ROVs in Underwater Capture Tasks." In Proceedings of the 27th ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology, pp. 1-10. 2021. <Best Paper Award 🏆, 24% Acceptance Rate>

[C10] Maxim Kuznetsov*, Aviv Elor, Sri Kurniawan, Colleen Bosworth, Yohei Rosen, Nicholas Heyer, Mircea Teodorescu, Benedict Paten, and David Haussler. "The Immersive Graph Genome Explorer: Navigating Genomics in Immersive Virtual Reality." In 2021 IEEE 9th International Conference on Serious Games and Applications for Health (SeGAH), pp. 1-8. IEEE, 2021.

[C9] April Sun*, Samantha Conde, and Aviv Elor. "Increasing Sociability in a Virtual World: A Serious Game for Social Anxiety Disorder." In 2021 IEEE 9th International Conference on Serious Games and Applications for Health (SeGAH), pp. 1-5. IEEE, 2021.

[C8] Aviv Elor, Asiiah Song, and Sri Kurniawan. "Understanding Emotional Expression with Haptic Feedback Vest Patterns and Immersive Virtual Reality." In 2021 IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces (VR). IEEE, 2021. doi:10.1109/VRW52623.2021.00041

[C7] Aviv Elor and Sri Kurniawan. "Deep Reinforcement Learning in Immersive Virtual Reality Exergame for Agent Movement Guidance." In 2020 IEEE 8th International Conference on Serious Games and Applications for Health (SeGAH), pp. 1-7. IEEE, 2020. doi: 10.1109/SeGAH49190.2020.9201901

[C6] Samantha Conde*, Aviv Elor, and Sri Kurniawan. "Boundaries: A Serious Game on Relationships for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities." In 2020 IEEE 8th International Conference on Serious Games and Applications for Health (SeGAH), pp. 1-7. IEEE, 2020. doi: 10.1109/SeGAH49190.2020.9201810

[C5] Tiffany-Ellen Vo*, Rohan Jhangiani*, Ash Robbins, and Aviv Elor. "Designing User-Specific Soft Robotic Wearable Muscular Interfaces with Iterative Simulation." In 2020 IEEE International Conference on Smart Computing (SMARTCOMP), pp. 253-255. IEEE, 2020. doi: 10.1109/SMARTCOMP50058.2020.00056

[C4] Aviv Elor and Samantha Conde. "Exploring the Creative Possibilities of Infinite Photogrammetry through Spatial Computing and Extended Reality with Wave Function Collapse." In 2020 11th International Conference on Computational Creativity (ICCC), Casual Creators Workshop, 2020.

[C3] Aviv Elor and Asiiah Song. "iSAM: Personalizing an Artificial Intelligence Model for Emotion with Pleasure-Arousal-Dominance in Immersive Virtual Reality." In 2020 15th IEEE International Conference on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition (FG 2020)(FG), pp. 583-587. doi: 10.1109/FG47880.2020.00091

[C2] Aviv Elor, Steven Lessard, Mircea Teodorescu, and Sri Kurniawan. "Project Butterfly: Synergizing Immersive Virtual Reality with Actuated Soft Exosuit for Upper-Extremity Rehabilitation." In 2019 IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces (VR), pp. 1448-1456. IEEE, 2019. doi: 10.1109/VR.2019.8798014

[C1] Aviv Elor, Sri Kurniawan, and Mircea Teodorescu. "Towards an immersive virtual reality game for smarter post-stroke rehabilitation." In 2018 IEEE International Conference on Smart Computing (SMARTCOMP), pp. 219-225. IEEE, 2018. doi: 10.1109/SMARTCOMP.2018.00094

Invited Presentations and Talks

Selected Media Coverage

Mentoring and Student Advising

*denotes student who contributed to a publication listed above.

Undergraduate Students

  • 2021-2022, Adrian Parrales, Independent Study and Research Project

  • 2020-2021, Julia Ni, Independent Study and Research Project

  • 2020-2021, Rohit Kulkarni, Independent Study and Research Project

  • 2020-2021, Sairaghav Tummala, Independent Study and Research Project

  • 2019-2022, Maxim Kuznetsov*, Independent Study and Research Project

  • 2019-2022, Rohan Jhangiani*, Independent Study and Research Project

  • 2019-2021, Stryker Buffington, Independent Study and Research Project

  • 2019-2020, Tiffany Ellen-Vo*, Independent Study and Research Project

  • 2019-2020, Colby Leikse, Independent Study and Research Project

  • 2018-2020, Evanjelin Mahmoodi*, Independent Study and Research Project

  • 2018-2019, Nico Hawthorne*, Independent Study and Research Project

  • 2018-2019, Samantha Conde*, Independent Study and Research Project

High School Students

  • 2020, April Sun*, UCSC Science Internship Program (SIP) Project
  • 2020, Maria Cheriyan, UCSC Science Internship Program (SIP) Project

  • 2020, Aiden Deffner, UCSC Science Internship Program (SIP) Project

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

^denotes significant contribution as unlisted collaborator due to student restriction PI status


Fellowships and Awards

Work Experience

  • Immergo Labs, Co-Founder and Principal Investigator, Santa Cruz, CA (June 2021 – present)

    • As principal investigator, my responsibilities are centered on driving Immergo's research vision, immersive environment development, user experience, and human-computer interaction techniques.

    • As Co-Founder, I drove the iterative development of Immergo's business model, customer segments, and investment materials -- resulting in preseed funding of $306,000.00 for customer discovery and R&D

    • I currently serve as the principal investigator for our NSF Phase I SBIR Award (

  • Facebook Reality Labs, Oculus VR Hardware UXR Team, User Experience Research Intern, June 2021 – Sep 2021

    • Applied mixed qualitative-quantitative methods on mapping use-cases and input needs with Oculus VR products.

    • Conducted remote research involving 14 individual interviews w/ usability analysis via video conferencing and 15 focus groups w/ jobs to be done-“esc” voting via Oculus Quest + VRChat.

    • Analyzed qualitative/quantitative data for rapid dissemination to cross-functional organization partners.

  • National Science Foundation (NSF), I-CORPS Program, Entrepreneurial Lead, May 2020 - Aug 2020.

    • Participated in the NSF I-Corps, a program centered around learning from and understanding the needs of potential users in order to better translate academic research into a system for public use.

    • Interviewed 130+ people in the physical therapy industry during the seven-week program to understand needs of telehealth and feasibility of academic research translation for immersive virtual reality physical therapy.

    • Trained in the startup business model lean launchpad method by Steve Blank.

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), Advanced Mixed Reality Researcher, Jun 2019 - Sep 2019.

    • Developed an immersive mixed reality platform for interactive biomedical data analysis with Magic Leap One and WebGL that enabled runtime annotation and dynamic visualization of complex data.

    • Implemented an automated pipeline for reconstructing nuclear image stacks into dynamic 3D game objects for manipulation and collaborative viewing of voxelized tissue and cell nuclei.

    • Designed custom XR interaction system for transformation and control of large scale data models through leveraging multiple input modalities such as hand tracking, eye tracking, and MLO control.

  • Walt Disney Imagineering, Digital Media and Art Pipeline (DMAP), Creative Simulations Intern, Jan 2019 - May 2019

    • Worked as a Virtual Attractions (Creative Simulation) Software Developer Intern at Walt Disney Imagineering Tech Studio. Developed and engineered new game engine utilities to automate, visualize, and optimize large scale virtual environments for creative simulation of disney attractions.

    • Developed product features for virtual environments including theme-park visualizations, animatronics, ride vehicles, simulated projectors, and other dynamic show elements with Unreal Engine 4 and C++.

    • Assisted Art & Digital Media Production Pipeline through building rapid POC's, setting up deployment and instigating quality testing for interactive cloud visualization tools, and implementing dynamic user interfaces to enable user navigation and graphics visualization.

  • Google, Via VACO SF, Google Daydream/Cloud Student Innovator, Sep 2017 - Jan 2019

    • Contracted by VACO SF to work for Google under the Daydream/Cloud Student Innovator program. Worked as a technological evangelist and applied developer for Google's VR products at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

    • Showcased Google's product and interacted with 1,570 students, researchers and industry professionals. Held 7+ events showcasing Google Daydream and Applications both on campus and at 3+ national conferences.

    • Independently ran Google Daydream Hackathon VR for Impact Challenge and developer support for participants in UCSC's "CruzHacks 2018". Resulted in 10+ impactful VR projects from a diverse set of talented student participants.

  • Warner Bros. Entertainment, Emerging Technologies Department, XR Engineering Intern, Jun 2018 - Sep 2018

    • Research and development of biometrics, machine learning, and virtual/augmented reality towards innovative applications in human-computer interaction for Warner Bros Entertainment.

    • Developed an Augmented Reality iOS app with ARkit and Unity to assist movie pre-production at Warner Bros and deployed the app for internal use. The app featured real-time feedback, data capture, and cloud integration which was used for innovative product features.

    • Implemented custom cloud web server infrastructure and backend configuration to assist in the parsing + delivery/extraction of assets from the pre-production team for the Augmented Reality App.

  • University of California Santa Cruz, Department of Computer Engineering, Computer Systems and Assembly Language Lab Tutor (Undergraduate TA), Sep 2016 - Jan 2017

    • Facilitating four 120-minute lab sessions per week. Topics consisted of digital logic, number systems, data structures, compiling/assembly process, the basics of system software, and computer architecture.

    • Assisting students in targeted subject areas via individual or group tutoring.

    • Collaborating with Graduate Supervisors and Tutors to prepare lab instruction. Grading lab, test, and homework assignments.

  • Microtech Systems, Valent Power, Electrical Engineering Intern, Jun 2016 - Sep 2016

    • Assembling and testing car charging modules and robotic optical disk equipment.

    • Reviewing, analyzing, and editing schematics. Designing and documenting equipment and assembly procedures.

    • Working with a software team to devise test programs for electrical modules. Assisting with production and installation.

Academic Activities

  • Member, Meta Accessibility Champions, 2022-present

  • Chair (2021-present), Vice Chair (2019-2021), Games for Health Journal Early Career Committee, 2019-Present

  • Vice Chair, XR Access Hardware Device Accessibility Working Group, 2019-2020

  • National Member, Sigma Xi: Research Honors Society, 2018

  • National Member & Industry (Google) Liason, IEEE UCSC Chapter, 2017

  • National Member & Industry (Google) Liason, Tau Beta Pi: Engineering Honors Society, 2017

  • National Member, Society of Women Engineers, 2016

  • Student Peer Mentor & Member, Multicultural Engineering Program (MEP), 2015-2019

  • Student Athlete, UCSC Judo Club, 2015-2016

Professional Service

  • ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW), Student Volunteer, 2020

  • XR Access 2020 Symposium, Hardware Device Accessibility Workshop Organizer, 2020

  • Reviewer: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience (2021), Frontiers in Neuroergonomics (2021), SAGE Journal of Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Engineering (JRATE, 2020), ACM Conference on Designing Interaction Systems (DIS, 2020) International Journal of Human-Computer Studies (IJHCS, 2019).

Professional Summary

My life has led me through a journey of varying experiences such as optimizing autonomous drones with NASA Researchers, working security for Super Bowl 50, creating efficient traffic management systems, assembling high voltage electric car circuits, coaching K-8 judo, fiddling around with robotic exosuits, building robotic doggos, and designing interactive virtual environments. After tearing my elbow in a national judo match and undergoing reconstructive surgery, I became a passionate developer for assistive technology and personalized experiences.

My primary research explores extended reality by combining immersive environments, wearable robotics, and biofeedback with a focus in iSTAR (immersive Systems Towards Assisting Reality/Recovery/Rehabilitation). I aim to augment assistive technologies through gamification by creating interactive experiences that are both physically and emotionally intelligent in assisting users. Currently, I have had the opportunity to become a published ACM and IEEE author in this research area, as well as learn from organizations like the National Institute of Health, Walt Disney Imagineering, Warner Bros Entertainment, Google Daydream/Cloud, and Valent Power.

I enjoy growing my skills, learning new concepts, and applying them in creative ways to develop fascinating experiences that make a difference in people’s lives. My interests are in human-computer interaction, immersive media, robotics, affective computing, user experience, and emerging technologies. I welcome new opportunities as well as collaborations and invite those interested to reach out to me.


Unity3D Engine, Unreal Engine 4, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality, C#, C++, Matlab, ARKit, Research, Human-Computer Interaction, User Experience Testing, Motion Capture, Arduino, MPLAB, PSPICE, Embedded Systems, Robotics, Mechatronics, Simulation, Filter Design, Circuit Analysis, Data Visualization, Data Analysis, Automation, Project Management, Technical Writing, Leadership, Teamwork, Public Speaking, Tutoring, Weight Lifting, Living Like Larry, Eating Healthy, Eating Pizza

Professional details about my Life, the universe, and everything else

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