Monday, October 14, 2019

STIP Student Allison Dockum Works on Sign Language Recognition Software

At George Mason I study bioengineering and have a passion for designing assistive technologies. I saw the application for this project posted on Handshake and was eager to apply for the position. The goal of this project is to help develop a technology for sign language recognition, where sign language users would be able to interact with personal assistants, which currently only respond to vocal commands.

Prior to joining the team, I was already familiar with the inertial measurement unit data that the project would collect for the software. Inertial measurement units are sensors which are present in a lot of smart technologies today, which is why we use the Google Pixel to collect the data. Most days I work with my team to process and sort the data into machine learning classifiers. Before the start of this project, I did not have any machine learning experience and was unaware of the behind-the-scenes algorithms that are applied to raw data before analyzing and interpretation can occur. From this project I have learned a lot about data processing and machine learning, but also how to communicate effectively within a team setting to accomplish research goals.

As I continue my undergraduate degree and my professional career, I believe that the team work and communication skills will be applicable in many future endeavors, and the technical skills have given me a solid foundation for further knowledge and learning