Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2018

Access Restrictions

Access restricted until 08/31/2020

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Computer Science

First Advisor

Kearney, Joseph K.

First Committee Member

Hourcade, Juan Pablo

Second Committee Member

Plumert, Jodie M.

Third Committee Member

Rector, Kyle

Fourth Committee Member

Thomas, Geb W.


The recent leaps in virtual reality (VR) technology have unleashed revolutionary potential for applications in a wide variety of areas, including education, training, psychological-therapy, etc. As part of the effort on understanding how users interact with VR, I focused on studying full-body joint action using a road crossing task which involves perception, decision-making, action, and joint action.

I have been heavily involved in the design, implementation, and construction of two large-screen, room-like stereoscopic virtual environment (VE) simulators. Using this system, I developed a three-part research plan with a series of studies to examine how people engage in full-body joint-action with a partner under three scenarios: 1. two people who are physically present in a co-occupied virtual environment; 2. one person who shares a virtual environment with a computer-generated agent (CG agent); 3. two people who share the same virtual environment remotely in physically separate places where each person is motion tracked and presented in the environment as a graphic avatar. The behaviors of participants were recorded and processed through a customized pipeline that captures important performance metrics, such as how participants pick crossable gaps and time their movements. The VE system, user study designs, and findings are introduced in this dissertation.


Animated Character, Avatar, Joint Action, Large-screen VR simulator, Reduced Marker Motion Tracking, Virtual Reality


xii, 110 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 108-110).


Copyright © 2018 Yuanyuan Jiang

Available for download on Monday, August 31, 2020