Cathy Fang, a master's student in the Tangible Media group, and Ruby Liu, a doctoral candidate in the Fluid Interfaces group, have been announced as 2022-23 Accenture Fellows. They are awarded among five MIT students as fellows for the MIT and Accenture Convergence Initiative, which emphasizes the convergence of industry and technology through research, education, and fellowships.
Fang researches augmented reality and virtual reality platforms. She is developing novel sensors and machine components that combine computation, materials science, and engineering. Moving forward, she will explore topics including soft robotics techniques that could be integrated with clothes and wearable devices and haptic feedback in order to develop interactions with digital objects.
In addition to their work with the Fluid Interfaces group, Liu is a doctoral candidate in the Medical Engineering and Medical Physics program, part of the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology. Their research addresses the growing pandemic of loneliness among older adults, which leads to poor health outcomes and presents particularly high risks for historically marginalized people, including members of the LGBTQ+ community and people of color. Liu is designing a network of interconnected AI agents that foster connections between user and agent, offering mental health care while strengthening and facilitating human-human connections.