News Archive

Grants in Aid of Research Recipient Profile: Nirmalya Thakur

August 20, 2021

Nirmalya Thakur copyGrant: $2,500 in Fall 2020

Education level at time of the grant: PhD Student

Project Description: This project has aimed to develop a sensible and intelligent assistant (SIA) to help visually impaired people navigate and perform activities of daily living (ADLs) in an independent manner in pervasive living environments (such as Smart Homes). There are about 285 million visually impaired people worldwide and they need assistance in carrying out ADLs. Technology-based intelligent solutions are needed to assist living and improve quality of life. The project has aimed to explore and integrate the latest technologies from the fields of artificial intelligence, robotics, human-computer interaction, machine learning, pervasive computing, and related disciplines. It is expected to advance and contribute new knowledge to the research domains of activity recognition, human behavior, indoor localization, indoor navigation, and assisted living technologies. 


What is the most significant outcome of the project? The funding through the Grants in Aid of Research (GIAR) program helped support my ongoing research significantly. By working on this project, I have developed a new computing methodology—Pervasive Activity Logging (PAL)—that was presented in a paper at the 4th International Conference on Data Science and Information Technology in July 2021. PAL methodology can mine, study, track, analyze, and interpret the dynamic and diversified nature of both macro and micro components of user interactions during different and dynamic activities performed within the confines of a pervasive environment. PAL is expected to have multiple applications and use-cases to advance knowledge in the above-mentioned research fields in the next few years. 

Where are you now? I am currently working as an instructor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Cincinnati. I serve on the review board of many conferences and journals and have been the recent recipient of several research excellence awards. 

Students may apply for Sigma Xi research grants by March 15 and October 1 annually at