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JVRB welcomes new Scientific Committee member Mar Gonzalez Franco

We are happy to welcome Mar Gonzalez Franco as a new member of the Scientific Committee

Mar Gonzalez Franco is a principal researcher in the EPIC (Extended Perception Interaction and Cognition) team at Microsoft Research, where she conducts research in the areas of Spatial Computing and Human Computer Interaction. She is further interested in the research fields of human behaviour, perception and neuroscience.

After graduating from Universitat Ramon Llull in Barcelona with a degree in Computer Science in 2008, she completed her Master in Biomedical Engineering at the Universitat de Barcelona and Tsinghua University in China in 2010. In 2014 she finished her PhD in Immersive Virtual Reality and Clinical Psychology at the EVENT-Lab under the supervision of Prof. Mel Slater. Further stages of her career were the University College London´s Virtual Environments and Computer Graphics group (UCL-VECG) as a post-doc, the immersive tech lab at Airbus Group and the Startup Traity. In 2016 she joined Microsoft Research. Over the years her work has evolved in three ways - exploring the possibilities of VR and spatial computing, creating new devices to use this technologies and finally, understanding how people react to this developments. Her primary field of research also lies in this area. To investigate how VR affects human interaction, she developed a collection of avatars representing humans of different genders, races, and occupations that are available for free via Microsoft Rocketbox for academic purposes.

Despite the shift into the industry, she is still involved in the scientific community, where she often acts as a expert advisor to governments, conferences and journals all over the world. In addition to that she published many scientific articles, served as program committee and reviewed in multiple venues (e.g. for IEEE, ACM, Nature Publishing). This combination of scientific commitment and practical research not only gained her some awards like the Business Insider MAS Technology Award 2019 but also makes her the ideal person to expand our Scientific Committee. With her expertise in Scientific Publishing and her practical research in such important areas as VR and HCI, she will be a great support to us and and our work at JVRB.