Moojan Ghafurian (She/Her)

Moojan Ghafurian
Assistant Professor
Location: E7 5442


Moojan Ghafurian is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo and Co-director of the Social and Intelligent Robotics Research Laboratory (SIRRL). Prior to joining SYDE, she was a Research Assistant Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (2020-2023) and the Inaugural Wes Graham postdoctoral fellow at the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science (2018-2020) at the University of Waterloo. She got her PhD from the Pennsylvania State University in 2017, and her research interests and background are in human-computer/robot interaction, social robotics, affective computing, and cognitive science. Her research explores computational models of how humans interact with computers to inform user-centered design of socially and emotionally intelligent technologies in multiple domains, especially in healthcare and for supporting older adults, persons with dementia, and caregivers. She has published at multiple venues such as the IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, International Journal of Social Robotics, 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, Semiconductor Engineering, CTV Kitchener, TNW, Penn State news, EurekAlert (AAAS), ScienceDaily, and University of Waterloo News.

Research Interests

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


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

Selected/Recent Publications

  • Sami Alperen Akgun*, Moojan Ghafurian, Mark Crowley, Kerstin Dautenhahn, Using Affect as a Communication Modality to Improve Human-Robot Communication in Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue Scenarios, IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, , 2022
  • Moojan Ghafurian, Linda Francis, Zhuofu Tao, Mary Step, and Jesse Hoey, VIPCare: Understanding the Support Needed to create Affective Interactions between New Caregivers and Residents with Dementia, Journal of Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies Engineering, , 2022
  • Moojan Ghafurian, Gabriella Lakatos, and Kerstin Dautenhahn, The Zoomorphic Miro Robot's Affective Expression Design and Perceived Appearance, International Journal of Social Robotics, , 2022
  • Moojan Ghafurian, Jesse Hoey, and Kerstin Dautenhahn, Social Robots for the Care of Persons with Dementia: A Systematic Review, ACM Transactions on Human Robot Interactio, , 2021
  • Moojan Ghafurian, Neil Budnarain, and Jesse Hoey, Improving Humanness of Virtual Agents and Users Cooperation through Emotions, IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, , 2021
  • Moojan Ghafurian, David Reitter, and Frank E. Ritter, Countdown timer speed: a trade-off between delay duration perception and recall, ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI), 1, 2020
  • Cole, Jeremy and Ghafurian, Moojan and Reitter, David, Word adoption in online communities, IEEE Transactions on Computational Social Systems, 178, 2019
  • 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, 1979, 2019
  • 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
  • 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, 556, 2016

In The News

Graduate studies