Institute for IDEAS

Institute for Immersive Designs, Experiences, Applications, and Stories


The Institute for Immersive Designs, Experiences, Applications, and Stories (the Institute for IDEAS) is an interdisciplinary research center hosted in the School of Communication at American University. The mission of the Institute is to lead interdisciplinary research focused on developing, applying, and understanding immersive technologies, including virtual, augmented, mixed, and extended reality. The Institute serves as an international hub for scientific progress, operating at the meeting point of a wide variety of research and creative fields. The Institute was founded by Dr. Krzysztof Pietroszek and an interdisciplinary group of faculty across the American University and beyond, who actively research immersive technologies.



Holographic Telehealth Project Receives $1,500,000 Research Award from the National Science Foundation

The project is led by Dr. Krzysztof Pietroszek (AU) and Dr. Neal Sikka (GW)


The holographic telehealth project of the Institute for IDEAS (AU) and the School of Medicine (GW) will transform the way medical personnel communicates and collaborates across the distance by allowing for real-time exchange of three-dimensional information that is missing in current videoconferencing telehealth. The project will lead to more equitable access to healthcare and will improved success for medical procedures that require the assistance of a remote expert.


Dr. Mark Nelson receives $175,000 from the National Science Foundation for Artificial Intelligence Project

The research will lead to better understanding of the inner workings of AI algorithms

Artificial Intelligence

There are a wide variety of artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms designed to make decisions for a number of different real-world problems. The purpose of this project is to systematically understand the difficulty that AI challenge problems pose to standard decision-making algorithms, as well as how robust such conclusions are to variations in problem design, problem size, computational resources, and algorithm configuration.


SOC and CAS Students Build a Humanoid Robot Together

Once built, the robot will learn how to talk, tell jokes, and play in a live theater

Humanoid Robot

Undergraduate and graduate students 3D-print and assemble a life-size humanoid robot. The robot will then be trained to talk, recognize faces, act in a theater, and have a sense of humor. Students will be able to embody the robot and control its movement. The project is a collaboration between Dr. Krzysztof Pietroszek of the Institute for IDEAS and Dr. Nathalie Japkowicz, the Chair of the Department of Computer Science.