Moojan Ghafurian

Research Assistant Professor

Contact InformationMoojan Ghafurian


Biography Summary

Moojan Ghafurian is a Research Assistant Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Waterloo. She is also a visiting researcher at the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, where she was previously the Inaugural Wes Graham postdoctoral fellow. She got her PhD in Information Sciences and Technology from the Pennsylvania State University. Her research explores computational models of how humans interact with computers to inform user-centered design that is applied to assistive technologies for the care of individuals with Dementia. Dr. Ghafurian is a member of the Social and Intelligent Robotics Lab (SIRRL) and the Computational Health Informatics Lab (CHIL). She is also a member of AGE-WELL and a postgraduate affiliate at the Vector Institute. She has published at multiple venues such as the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems and the International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS). Her work has been mentioned in different media, such as ACM TechNews, TNW, Penn State news, EurekAlert (AAAS), ScienceDaily, and University of Waterloo News. During her graduate studies, Dr. Ghafurian received several prestigious awards, such as a NSF grant to attend the Summer School on Cognitive Robotics at MIT, GHC scholarships (2014 and 2017), and travel awards for Human Computer Interaction Consortium (HCIC 2017) and the CRA-W Grad Cohort Workshop.

Research Interests

  • Human-Computer/Robot Interaction
  • Affective Computing
  • Social Robotics
  • Assistive Technology
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cognitive Science


  • 2017, Doctorate, Information Sciences and Technology, Ph.D. minor in Computational Science, The Pennsylvania State University
  • 2013, Bachelor of Science (BSc), Computer Science and Engineering (Software Engineering), University of Tehran

Selected/Recent Publications

  • Pourya Aliasghari, Moojan Ghafurian, Chrystopher L. Nehaniv, Kerstin Dautenhahn (2021) Impact of Nonverbal Robot Behaviour on Human Teachers’ Perceptions of a Learner Robot. Accepted for publication in Interaction Studies. (Accepted in 2021)
  • Ghafurian, Moojan and Reitter, David and Ritter, Frank E, Countdown timer speed: a trade-off between delay duration perception and recall, ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI), 27(2), 2020, 1 - 25
  • Cole, Jeremy and Ghafurian, Moojan and Reitter, David, Word adoption in online communities, IEEE Transactions on Computational Social Systems, 6(1), 2019, 178 - 188
  • Ghafurian, Moojan and Reitter, David, Impatience in Timing Decisions: Effects and Moderation, Timing & Time Perception, 6(2), 2018, 183 - 219
  • Ghafurian, Moojan and Budnarain, Neil and Hoey, Jesse, Role of Emotions in Perception of Humanness of Virtual Agents, Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and MultiAgent Systems, 1 2019, 1979 - 1981
  • Elias, Sardar and Ghafurian, Moojan and Samuel, Siby, Effectiveness of Red-Light Running Countermeasures: A Systematic Review, Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Automotive User Interfaces and Interactive Vehicular Applications, 1 2019, 91 - 100
  • Ma, Ning F and Yuan, Chien Wen and Ghafurian, Moojan and Hanrahan, Benjamin V, Using Stakeholder Theory to Examine Drivers' Stake in Uber, Proceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1 2018, 1 - 12
  • Ghafurian, Moojan and Reitter, David, Impatience induced by waiting: An effect moderated by the speed of countdowns, Proceedings of the 2016 ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems, 1 2016, 556 - 564
  • Pourya Aliasghari, Moojan Ghafurian, Chrystopher L. Nehaniv, Kerstin Dautenhahn (2021) Effects of Gaze and Arm Motion Kinesics on a Humanoid’s Perceived Confidence, Eagerness to Learn, and Attention to the Task in a Teaching Scenario, accepted for HRI’21, ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction. (Accepted in 2020)
  • Moojan Ghafurian, Gabriella Lakatos, Zhuofu Tao, Kerstin Dautenhahn(2020) Design and Evaluation of Affective Expressions of a Zoomorphic Robot. Proceedings 12th International Conference on Social Robotics (ICSR 2020), 14-16 November 2020, Colorado, USA. (Accepted in 2020)

In the News

Graduate Studies