Sergiu Dascalu

Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Nevada, Reno, USA

Abstract: Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI) hold the promise of improving the interaction between people and computers, including advancing the technology for accessibility and universal usability. Yet, the realm of BCI is still in an emerging stage and despite recent notable progress, particularly in the 21st century, research and development in BCI have still a long way to go. The roadmap ahead for BCI is both exciting and disquieting, because while many projected discoveries and advancements will be beneficial for numerous computer users around the globe, these advancements might come with a price, including in terms of security, privacy, ethical aspects, and mental and physical stress.  In this talk, a short taxonomy of BCI will be presented and several examples of devices and applications that illustrate the state-of-the-art in BCI will be briefly described. In particular, applications in areas in which BCI have already a beneficial presence, such as assistive technology, smart interfaces, and computer games will be represented. Further, based on the related literature, a summary of future R&D directions, such as improving the accuracy and reliability of devices and designing applications for healthy people, will be outlined. These will be followed by a discussion of foreseeable challenges and issues, mainly pertaining to privacy and ethics. Time permitting, several BCI-related research projects undertaken at UNR by the speaker and his team will also be briefly introduced. They include integrating assistive technologies into 3D simulations, using BCI technology in connection with Google Street views, and measuring the effects of signal-to-noise in EEG emotion recognition.

Dr. Sergiu Dascalu is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), USA. He received a PhD degree in Computer Science from Dalhousie University, Canada (2001), and a Master’s degree in Automatic Control and Computers from the Polytechnic of Bucharest, Romania (1982). At UNR, he is the director of the Software Engineering Laboratory (SOELA) and co-director of the Software Systems Lab. His main interests are in software engineering, human-computer interaction (including VR, AR, and BCI), computer-aided education, and data science. Dr. Dascalu has worked on many research projects funded by federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the Department of Defense – Office of Naval Research. He has published over 50 journal articles and over 200 peer-reviewed conference papers. He has advised 15 PhD and more than 60 MS students. He has been on the examination committee of over 40 PhD graduates, including at universities from other countries (Australia, Canada, England, India, Malaysia). Professor Dascalu has received several awards, including the 2009 Nevada Center for Entrepreneurship Faculty Advisor Award, the 2011 UNR Donald Tibbitts Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award, the 2014 College of Engineering Faculty Excellence Award, and the 2019 UNR Vada Trimble Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award. He contributed in various roles to the organization of more than 150 conference, symposium and workshop events. He has been a panelist and reviewer for several NSF program solicitations as well as reviewer for more than 15 journals, including the International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, Springer Nature in Computer Science, Information Systems Frontiers, Multimedia Tools and Applications, Automated Software Engineering, ACM Data Base for Advances in Information Systems, and the Journal of Systems and Software. Between 2020 and 2023, Professor Dascalu has served as a member of the UNR Senate. He is a senior member of the ACM.