I am an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Previously, from 2015–2021 I was an Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Creative Technologies, Information Science, and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder, where I primarily worked within the ATLAS Institute. I received my Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where I was a member of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory. Prior to UW, I received degrees in both Computer Science and History from Boston College.

I direct the Interactive Robotics and Novel Technologies Laboratory (IRON Lab), where I lead an interdisciplinary group of researchers working at the intersection of robotics and human-computer interaction (HCI) to investigate how novel technologies can mediate interactions between people and autonomous systems. My research draws on methods from human-robot interaction (HRI), cognitive science, and design to build new algorithms, interfaces, and interactive systems that empower users to accomplish their goals. Currently, I am particularly interested in:

  • Investigating the interplay between robotics and virtual, augmented, and mixed reality technologies
  • Crafting new tools that make robot programming easier, more efficient, and even enjoyable
  • Advancing the capabilities of robotic technologies to provide assistance in specific applications, including space exploration, emergency response operations, organic synthesis and other chemistry procedures, and collaborative manufacturing
  • Improving the utility and usability of aerial robots
  • Enhancing human-robot coordination through shared control

In the past, my research has also focused on developing brain-computer interface technologies and adaptive educational robots.

I work on these problems with a fantastic set of students and collaborators who contribute a range of interdisciplinary perspectives and expertise. Close partners include Irene Rae, Terry Fong, Shaun Kane, Christoffer Heckman, Nisar Ahmed, Jack Burns, and Danielle Albers Szafir, with support provided by the NSF, NASA, Intel, and Lockheed Martin. I am always looking to develop new collaborations with academic, government, and industry partners.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you would like to learn more about my work, discuss opportunities for collaboration, or support my research. If you are a prospective student looking to get involved in the IRON Lab, please read this page.

Daniel Szafir
Assistant Professor

Department of Computer Science
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
201 S. Columbia St. CB 3175
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3175

Phone: +1 (919) 590-6049

E-mail: daniel.szafir{at}cs.unc.edu

Curriculum Vitae PDF (195KB)
Updated: October 2022