Congratulations Dr. Carol He!

Congratulations to Carol He on earning her PhD and receiving the prestigious Ashby Award!

August 3, 2023

Dr. Mary Hegarty, Carol's advisor, notes the following about her graduate career at UCSB:

"Please join me in congratulating Chuanxiuyue (Carol) He for successfully defending her Ph.D. dissertation, “The Multifaced Nature of Navigation Ability”. Carol received her BS in Geographical Information Science from Wuhan University and, impressively, completed a masters in Statistics at UCSB and two data-science internships concurrently with her Ph.D. studies. In her dissertation Carol argued that because navigation is multifaceted, we need novel measures to assess different aspects of this ability. Her dissertation included the development of two such measures using immersive virtual environment technology. It also argued that spatial cognition researchers need to pay more attention to the psychometric qualities of their data and demonstrated that researchers may be drawing the wrong conclusions due to failure to consider the reliability and discriminability of their measures. While at UCSB, Carol collaborated on several research projects and published nine papers, including six as first author. These papers cover a range of topics in spatial cognition, including the impact of GPS technologies on navigation abilities, the role of visuospatial working memory in STEM education, effects of reproductive aging on navigation performance, and the development of reliable measures of spatial abilities in immersive virtual environments. She employed advanced computational methods, including robotic simulations and machine learning, creatively in her research and she was a generous collaborator with colleagues at UCSB and beyond. She received Crossroads and Dissertation Fellowships from Graduate Division and is the first recipient of the Ashby award for outstanding achievements by a senior CPCN student. Besides her outstanding research contributions, Carol has been an exceptional teaching assistant and mentor whose contributions are always well beyond the call of duty. She mentored over 30 undergraduate students and was important contributor to the Research Center for Virtual Environments and Behavior (RECVEB), where her contributions included updating hardware, developing software, and enabling more junior students to conduct research in immersive virtual environments. On a personal level, Carol was a joy to have in the lab and her passion for research and high standards inspired everyone. I am delighted and honored to have served as her mentor for the last six years. After an overdue visit to her family in China, Carol will be starting her postdoctoral training at Rutgers in the Fall, and we can’t wait to see where her career goes from here."

Congratulations Dr. He!