Congratulations to Dr. Peri Gunalp on completing her Ph.D!
Dr. Peri Gunalp defends her dissertation and graduates.
Congratulations to Peri Gunalp who recently completed her Ph.D. Peri has been a valued member of the Spatial Thinking lab and the Cognitive Research group for the last five years. Her main line of research focused on spatial perspective taking, and examined how different directional cues, including social cues, facilitate this process. While her earlier research, conducted in virtual environments, indicated that social cues were particularly good at facilitating perspective taking, her dissertation indicated that with more abstract map-like displays, directional cues such as arrows were just as effective as social cues. Her dissertation research also provided new insights about the contributions of spatial perspective taking to navigation ability. In addition to this main line of research, Peri collaborated on the development of a new computer-based test of perspective taking and on research on visualizations of uncertainty and visuo-spatial working memory. She served the department as a mentor for the Society for Undergraduate Psychologists and a member of the Graduate Training Committee. It has been a pleasure to advise Peri and see her develop into an independent researcher. She is quiet and unassuming, but has great determination, and is organized and resourceful. Her resilience was evident in the last few months when the lab and campus had to go online due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Peri had just finished collecting data, and got to work, writing her dissertation in record time, submitting a paper for publication along the way, getting a job, and successfully defending her thesis in June. Peri graduated with four publications and another couple of papers in revision. She will be starting work as an Applied Cognitive Scientist at Pacific Science & Engineering in San Diego on July 15th. We have no doubt that she has a great career in front of her and wish her every success for the future!