TRB Category: 

Holly Yanco

Olsen Hall 206
UMass Lowell

Featured Projects

Research and Background

Holly Yanco is a Professor in the Computer Science Department at UMass Lowell, joining the faculty in July 2001. She is also the director of the New England Robotics Validation and Experimentation (NERVE) Center. She founded the Robotics Lab which consists of students at all stages of their careers, from freshmen to doctoral candidates. Dr. Yanco's research interests include human-robot interaction, better visualization of sensor data, adjustable autonomy, urban search and rescue, assistive technology, and robotics education. Her lab is funded by the National Science Foundation, the Army Research Office, Microsoft and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Dr. Yanco co-developed the Artbotics program, which combines art and computer science in a curriculum for high school and college students. She was the PI of the NSF-funded (DUE-0231363) development of Pyro, a Python-based robotics curriculum, which was selected as the Premier Courseware of 2005 by NEEDS. She has received teaching awards from UMass Lowell and MIT. She is the General Chair of the 2012 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction. She has served on the Executive Council of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (2006-2009), as the Symposium Chair for AAAI (2002-2005) and as the Exhibition Co-Chair of the ACM/IEEE Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (2007-2009). Prior to joining the UMass Lowell faculty, Dr. Yanco taught at Boston College, ArsDigita University and Wellesley College. She received her PhD (2000) and MS degrees from MIT and her BS degree from Wellesley College, all in Computer Science.

Contact Info

Holly Yanco
Olsen Hall 206, 1 University Ave,
Lowell, Massachusetts

Research in Action


BA, Wellesley College; MS, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology



Brian Carlson, Adam Norton, and Holly Yanco. Preliminary Development of Test Methods to Evaluate Lower Body Wearable Robots for Human Performance Augmentation. CLAWAR 2016 Workshop on Collaborative Robots for Industrial Applications, London, United Kingdom, September 2016.

Momotaz Begum, Richard W. Serna, and Holly A. Yanco. Are Robots Ready to Delivery Autism Interventions? A Comprehensive Review. International Journal of Social Robotics. Volume 8, Issue 2, pp. 157-181, April 2016.

Adam Norton and Holly Yanco. Preliminary Development of a Test Method for Obstacle Detection and Avoidance in Industrial Environments. Autonomous Industrial Vehicles: From The Laboratory to the Factory Floor, ASTM STP1594, pp. 23-40, April 2016.


Adam Norton and Holly Yanco. Using Standard Test Methods for Response Robots to Evaluate Remote Human-Robot Interaction. IEEE IROS 2015 Workshop Towards Standardized Experiments in Human Robot Interactions, Hamburg, Germany, September, 2015.

Abraham Shultz, Sangmook Lee, Thomas B. Shea, and Holly A. Yanco. Biological and Simulated Neuronal Networks Show Similar Competence on a Visual Tracking Task. Proceedings of the Fifth Joint IEEE International Conference on Development and Learning and on Epigenetic Robotics (IEEE ICDL-EPIROB), Providence, Rhode Island, August 2015.

Daniel J. Brooks, Eric McCann, Jordan Allspaw, Mikhail Medvedev, and Holly A. Yanco. Sense, Plan, Triple Jump. Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Practical Robot Applications (TePRA), Woburn, Massachusetts, May 2015.

Holly A. Yanco, Adam Norton, Willard Ober, David Shane, Anna Skinner, and Jack Vice. Analysis of Human-Robot Interaction at the DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials. Journal of Field Robotics, Special Issue on DARPA Robotics Challenge, 32(3): 420-444, May 2015.

Momotaz Begum, Richard W. Serna, David Kontak, Jordan Allspaw, James Kuczynski, Jacob Suarez, and Holly A. Yanco. Measuring the Efficacy of Robots in Autism Therapy: How Informative are Standard HRI Metrics? 10th Annual ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), Portland, Oregon, March 2015.

Katherine M. Tsui, James M. Dalphond, Daniel J. Brooks, Mikhail S. Medvedev, Eric McCann, Jordan Allspaw, David Kontak, and Holly A. Yanco. Accessible Human-Robot Interaction for Telepresence Robots: A Case Study. Paladyn, Journal on Behavioral Robotics, Special Issue on Assistive Robotics. Volume 6, Issue 1, pp. 1-29, January 2015.

Daniel J. Brooks, Katherine M. Tsui, and Holly A. Yanco. Methods for Evaluating and Comparing the Use of Haptic Feedback in Human-Robot Interaction with Ground-Based Mobile Robots. Journal of Human-Robot Interaction, 4(1): 3-29, 2015.

Full Curriculum Vitae

Yanco CV