Beste Filiz Yuksel

Assistant Professor of Computer Science

University of San Francisco

byuksel (at)
Google Scholar

I am a fourth year tenure track Assistant Professor in the Computer Science department at the University of San Francisco. I have created the Human-Computer Interaction teaching and research programs here at USF. I am the founder and director of the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Lab where we carry out research into brain-computer interfaces and virtual reality. I received the National Science Foundation CISE Research Infrastructure Award in 2017. I am the Faculty Advisor for the Women in Tech and Diversineers student organizations. I have a high proportion of women and minorities from underrepresented groups in my research lab, as well as military veterans, which is reflected in the seven students on our latest paper.

Our most recent paper just got accepted in CHI 2019 (the top publication venue in HCI) and received an Honorable Mention Award. It is on investigating full body visuomotor synchrony in virtual reality and implicit gender bias. The acceptance rate was 23.8% (705/2958).

My previous first authored work on brain-computer interfaces won a CHI 2016 Best Paper Award (top 1%). Here's a few press articles about it:

New Scientist Article
Fast Company Article
The Wintrust Business Lunch, WGN Radio (7:30-13:30 mins)


My Human-Computer Interaction research lab focuses on two different branches of research, that can be connected in the future. One branch focuses on developing full body visuomotor synchrony in virtual reality and investigating the effects of this on implicit biases. The other focuses on using brain-computer interfaces, specifically using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to detect, analyze, and respond to brain signals in real time using machine learning and deep learning techniques. In addition, we use physiological and affective computing as well as paradigms based in cognitive psychology to build models of user state. These user models provide the computer with an increased knowledge of the user, thus allowing for a more intelligent, personalized and adaptive response from the computer to the human.

This broad, application driven research agenda is intrinsically interdisciplinary. In addition to working with my colleagues at the University of San Francisco such as Professors David Guy Brizan (Machine Learning), Sophie Engle (Data Vis), and Alark Joshi (Data Vis), as well as my Ph.D. advisor Rob Jacob at Tufts, this has involved collaborations with experts in many different fields of Computer Science including visual analytics (Remco Chang, Tufts), affective computing and embodied agents (Mary Czerwinski, Microsoft Research), physiological computing (Dan Morris, Microsoft Research), artificial intelligence (Ilmi Yoon, SFSU), computer graphics and virtual reality (Anthony Steed, UCL), biomedical engineering (Sergio Fantini, Tufts), music and engineering (Paul Lehrman, Tufts), as well as with industry product teams at Microsoft.


Select Conference Papers

Honorable Mention Award:
Investigating Implicit Gender Bias and Embodiment of White Males in Virtual Reality with Full Body Visuomotor Synchrony
Lopez, S., Yi, Y., Beltran, K., Kim, S.J., Cruz Hernandez, J., Simran, C., Yang, B. Yuksel, B.F.,
Proc. CHI 2019
pdf | video

Using Animation to Alleviate Overdraw in Multiclass Scatterplot Matrices
Chen, H., Engle, S., Joshi, A., Ragan, E., Yuksel, B.F., Harrison, L.
Proc. CHI 2018

Best Paper Award (top 1%):
Learn Piano with BACh: An Adaptive Learning Interface that Adjusts Task Difficulty based on Brain State.
Yuksel, B.F., Oleson, K.B., Harrison, L., Peck, E.M., Afergan, D., Chang, R., and Jacob, R.J.K.
Proc. CHI 2016
pdf | video

DriftBoard: A Panning-Based Text Entry Technique for Ultra-Small Touchscreens.
Shibata, T., Afergan, D., Kong, D., Yuksel, B.F., MacKenzie, S., and Jacob, R.J.K.
Proc. UIST 2016

BRAAHMS: A Novel Adaptive Musical Interface Based on Users’ Cognitive State.
Yuksel, B.F., Afergan, D., Peck, E.M., Griffin, G., Harrison, L., Chen, N.W., Chang, R., and Jacob, R.J.K.
Proc. NIME 2015

Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy for Adaptive Human Computer Interfaces.
Yuksel, B.F., Peck, E.M., Afergan, D., Hincks, S.W., Shibata, T., Kainerstorfer, J., Tgavalekos, K., Sassaroli, A., Fantini, S. and Jacob, R.J.K.
Proc. SPIE 2015

Brain-Based Target Expansion
Afergan, D., Shibata, T., Hincks, S., Peck, E.M., Yuksel, B.F., Chang, R., Jacob, R.J.K.
Proc. UIST 2014

Using fNIRS Brain Sensing to Evaluate Information Visualization Interfaces.
Peck, E.M., Yuksel, B.F., Ottley, A., Jacob, R.J.K, and Chang, R.
Proc. CHI 2013
pdf | video

A Novel Brain-Computer Interface Using a Multi-Touch Surface.
Yuksel, B.F., Donnerer, M., Tompkin, J., Steed, A.
Proc. CHI 2010

Journal Paper
Optimizing the P300-based braincomputer interface: current status, limitations and future directions.
Mak, J.N., Arbel, Y., Minett, J.W., McCane, L.M., Yuksel, B.F., Ryan, D., Thompson, D., Bianchi, L.,and Erdogmus, D.
Journal of Neural Engineering, 2011

Workshop Position Papers
Position Paper: Measurings Users' Cognitive and Affective State to Develop Intelligent Musical Interfaces.
Yuksel, B.F., Oleson, K.B., Chang, R., and Jacob, R.J.K.
HCI and Music Workshop at ACM CHI 2016

Towards a 3-Dimensional Model of Individual Cognitive Differences.
Peck, E.M., Yuksel, B.F., Harrison, L., Ottley, A., and Chang, R.
BELIV 2012

Book Chapter

Detecting and Adapting to Users’ Cognitive and Affective State to Develop Intelligent Musical Interfaces.
Yuksel, B.F. Oleson, K.B., Chang, R., Jacob, R.J.K.
Human-Computer Interaction and Music, In Press, Springer London 2018

Using fNIRS to Measure Mental Workload in the Real World.
Peck, E.M., Afergan, D., Yuksel, B.F., Lalooses, F., Jacob, R.J.K.
Advances in Physiological Computing, 2014

Technical Report
Implicit Brain-Computer Interaction Applied to a Novel Adaptive Musical Interface.
Yuksel, B.F., Afergan, D., Peck, E.M., Griffin, G., Harrison, L., Chen, N.W., Chang, R., and Jacob, R.J.K.
Technical Report, TR-2015-01, Department of Computer Science, Tufts University.

Poster Papers
Novel P300 BCI Interfaces to Directly Select Physical and Virtual Objects.
Yuksel, B.F., Donnerer, M., Tompkin, J., Steed, A.
Proc. of 5th International BCI Conference, 2011.
pdf | poster

Augmenting Gaze Control with a Brain-Computer Interface
Yuksel, B.F. and Steed, A.
Proc. of 5th International BCI Conference, 2011.
pdf | poster

Building Implicit Interfaces for Wearable Computers with Physiological Inputs: Zero Shutter Camera and Phylter
Shibata, T., Peck, E.M., Afergan, D., Hincks, S., Yuksel, B.F., Jacob, R.J.K.
Proc. UIST 2014
pdf | poster

Awards and Achievements

Honourable Mention Award ACM CHI 2019
National Science Foundation CRI Award 2017
Best Paper Award ACM CHI 2016
Awarded First Prize at Tufts Ignite 2015 (Inter-departmental Graduate Student Competition)
Awarded Grace Hopper Scholarship 2015 (21% acceptance rate)
Undergraduate Advisee Awarded De Florez Prize in Human Engineering 2015 (1 student/year)
Awarded CRA-W Early Career Mentoring Workshop Scholarship 2015
SPIE Travel Grant Award (PW15B, Yuksel 9319-26)
Awarded Grace Hopper Scholarship 2014 (26% acceptance rate)
Awarded Grant for MS Neuroscience 2011
Awarded Dean's Prize for Biological Sciences 2006 (awarded to top student of Biological Sciences Department)
Awarded Summer Scholarship for research as undergraduate 2005

Invited Talks

UC Berkeley EDLR Lab, January 2018
Twitter HQ, San Francisco, November 2017
UC Berkeley BiD Lab, EECS, April 2017
Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, Human-Computer Interaction Track, October 2015
Wellesley College, MA, April 2015
Smith College, MA, October 2014
Ipswich Middle School Technology Initiative, MA, July 2014
Tufts University, MA, April 2014
University College London, UK, September 2011
Lincoln University, UK, February 2010


March 2019: Our CHI 2019 paper received Honourable Mention Award!
Dec 2018: Our CHI 2019 paper is accepted!
April 2018: Our CHI 2018 paper is presented
Dec 2017: Our CHI 2018 paper is accepted!
May 2017: Received NSF CRI Award for brain-computer interface infrastructure!
Sept: ACM TOIT Paper with Mary Czerwinski at Microsoft Research is accepted
Sept: UIST 2016 Paper with Tomoki Shibata is accepted
Aug: Started as Assistant Professor of CS at USF!
Feb: SIGCHI Paper won Best Paper Award!
Dec: SIGCHI Paper Accepted!
Nov: Awarded First Prize at Tufts Ignite
Oct: Gave Talk at Grace Hopper, HCI Track.
Sep: Started co-instructing "Affective Interfaces" class with Prof Rob Jacob.
Aug: Finished Internship at Microsoft Research.
Jul: Received Grace Hopper Scholarship 2015.
Jun: Attended CRA-W Early Career Mentoring Workshop
Jun: Started Internship at Microsoft Research with Mary Czerwinski.
May: Presented Paper at NIME 2015.
May: Undergraduate Advisee Awarded De Florez Prize in Human Engineering.
Apr: Received CRA-W Early Career Mentoring Workshop Scholarship.
Apr: Gave Talk at Wellesley College, MA.


I feel very strongly about supporting women and minorities in Computer Science as it is an area of talent that is very much left untapped.

If you are interested in giving a talk at the University of San Francisco, particularly to our Women in Tech and/or Diversineers student organizations, please contact me.