Popular Science magazine has named Stacy Branham, UCI assistant professor of informatics, as one of its Brilliant 10 for 2021. The annual feature recognizes the most innovative and up-and-coming American scientists, engineers, academic researchers and inventors. Branham was singled out for her work in adapting commonly-used technologies for people with disabilities. The magazine highlighted Branham’s project, code named Jamie, that helps older adults and disabled to navigate airport corridors, customer service counters and security lines using voice assistance and a geolocation system that relies on Bluetooth and WiFi signals. For another project, Branham is working to create a text-to-speech app that helps blind people read with their children. The article points out that a lot of Branham’s innovations on behalf of the disabled can also be used in other contexts; non-native English speakers may also find the text-to-speech app to be helpful. “I am thankful this recognition highlights the importance of engaging people with disabilities in technology innovation from the earliest stages,” said Branham. “I couldn’t imagine a more supportive environment than UCI’s Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences to carry out our work.”
Originally posted at UCI News.