Join us in welcoming Hector Camarillo Abad, Ph.D., to Schmid College as a Grand Challenge Initiative Postdoctoral Fellow!

Dr. Camarillo Abad holds a Ph.D. in Intelligent Systems from Universidad de las Américas Puebla in Mexico, with research focus on new interactions aimed at improving human activities. The interaction occurs between users and intelligent systems through wearable devices. During his Ph.D. he developed haptic-based interactions for dance-related applications. His specific interests include human-computer interaction, wearables, ubiquitous and assistive technology, sensing devices, nonverbal communication through technology, motor skills, and sensor-based classification.

Q&A with Dr. Hector Camarillo Abad

What is your current area of research and how did you become passionate about this area?

My current research area is Human-Computer Interaction focusing on wearable technology. I became passionate about it when I had to design a project for vibrating wearable actuators. Since one of my favorite activities is dancing, a friend and I decided to apply the actuators for dancing. After that project, I started wondering how I could benefit from haptic and nonverbal communication in partner dance and use them through wearable technology.

What would you be if you weren’t a scientist?

I would probably be a dance instructor. I discovered dancing during my last High School Year. Since then, it has become one of my favorite activities, allowing me to meet new and exciting people, and always enjoy myself when music is around. It has helped me be more confident in front of crowds and therefore helped me be better at presenting my work.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

This is a quote from one of my favorite books that, even if it is not advice, gave me some advice:

“That night, Mijail said he believed each one of us is only granted brief moments of pure happiness. Sometimes only days or weeks. Other times years. It all depends on our luck. The remembrance of such moments stays with us forever and becomes a land of memories to which we vainly attempt to return during the rest of our existence.” Marina, Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Translated from Spanish).

I got the advice to cherish every moment of pure happiness you live. You will never have that exact moment repeat itself in your lifetime, yet you will always be fond of that memory.

What excites you the most about GCI?

The experience of meeting people from different backgrounds and fields that I would otherwise never have met. Also, experiencing how teaching is done in a country other than my own, learning new teaching techniques, discovering new research approaches, and living new experiences that will help me grow professionally and as an individual.