Perceptual Engineering Lab

Misha Montoya Sra

Assistant Professor, UCSB Computer Science
Affiliated Faculty with the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Center for Responsible Machine Learning, Mind & Machine Inteligence, the Media, Art & Tech program and the Cognitive Science Program at UCSB.
Director of the Perceptual Engineering Lab

Human augmentation is not a new idea and neither is the idea of intelligent machines. Our quest for immortality, an extreme form of human augmentation, goes as far back as the Epic of Gilgamesh. On the other hand, devices with varying degrees of artifical intelligence for augmenting our abilities have been part of narrative fiction for at least the last 3000 years. As AI decouples intelligence from consciousness, as XR technologies transform perception, and as matter becomes machine manipulable, three key questions about the future arise: 1) what will newer experiential interfaces look like where digital bits occupy space and algorithms have faces, 2) what impact will interactions between humans and AI have on the user experience, and 3) how will the shift from the current data-centric approach to a more human-centered approach support and enrich our lives? To answer these questions, we design, engineer and study realtime interactive human-machine systems that can enhance our abilities.

We call our unique approach to human augmentation Human-AI Synthesis.

We prioritize building real-world applications and tools (XR and non-XR) in areas of skill acquisition, task assistance and creative collaboration.



CS185 - Winter 2022 (on Gauchospace)



Misha Sra
Assistant Professor of Computer Science


Sherry Chen
PhD student, CS


Yimeng Liu
PhD student, CS


Mengyu Chen
PhD candidate, MAT


Atieh Taheri
PhD candidate, ECE


Andrew Huard
PhD student, ECE


Jungah Son
PhD student, MAT


Arthur Caetano
PhD student, CS


Avinash Nargund
PhD student, ECE


Zichen Chen
PhD student, CS



Carlos Gilberto
Visiting PhD student, MechE. Back at UNAM, Mexico City.


Giuliana Barrios Dell'Olio
Visiting Master's Student, CS 2020-2021. Now at McKinsey & Company.


Jake Guida
Master's Student, CS 2020 (now at Adobe)


We are always looking for exceptional students at the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction, Electrical and Computer Engineering/Electrical Engineering, Cognitive Science and Mechanical Engineering.

If you are interested in applying to the PercLab:

  1. Send me or any PhD student/s an email with your portfolio and CV.
  2. Your online portfolio must show details of your projects and highlight your contributions. We are especially looking for technical expertise that involves: building hardware devices, implementing AR/VR systems, building interactive AI-based systems, and applications in our areas of interest.
  3. Your CV should state your expertise level in areas that are crucial for our lab: have you built AR/VR systems, have you built any hardware, have you designed new AI algorithms or implemented existing ones, do you do more hardware or software or both, etc.
  4. Make sure you have spent enough time on this website and can specify in your email why the PercLab is a good match for your research interests and skills.
  5. Our lab is most suited for folks with some experience in HCI, ECE/EE, and ME.
  6. If you are applying for a summer internship, you must have demonstrated experience in our areas of work.
  7. If you are a UCSB undergraduate, please email me mentioning your area of interest, any prior experience and your transcript (unofficial is fine). Undergrads in the PercLab have so far worked on a volunteer basis but working for credit is also possible.


The Perceptual Engineering Lab is housed in the Computer Science Department at UCSB located in Phelps 3515.

© Perceptual Engineering Lab