Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Karthik Ramani

Committee Member 1

David Ebert

Committee Member 2

Jitesh Panchal

Committee Member 3

Niklas Elmqvist


Computer interfaces are evolving from mere aids for number crunching into active partners in creative processes such as art and design. This is, to a great extent, the result of mass availability of new interaction technology such as depth sensing, sensor integration in mobile devices, and increasing computational power. We are now witnessing the emergence of maker culture that can elevate art and design beyond the purview of enterprises and professionals such as trained engineers and artists. Materializing this transformation is not trivial; everyone has ideas but only a select few can bring them to reality. The challenge is the recognition and the subsequent interpretation of human actions into design intent.