Katerina Stepanova



MSc Student


erstepan [at] sfu.ca



Katerina is a cog­ni­tive sci­ence stu­dent at SFU cur­rently pur­su­ing an intern­ship and honor’s thesis in the iSpace lab.

Her main pas­sion is in using tech­nolo­gies to facil­i­tate per­sonal devel­op­ment by pro­vid­ing people with just the right chal­lenges which will engage them in an inter­ac­tive tasks in the empow­er­ing envi­ron­ment for devel­op­ment of var­i­ous skills. She believes that people may per­ceive, store and use infor­ma­tion some­what dif­fer­ently — so dif­fer­ent types of people will find dif­fer­ent nav­i­ga­tion and learn­ing strate­gies more nat­ural and there­fore easily adopt­able. Assuming that, deter­min­ing  the best appro­pri­ate inter­face for each indi­vid­ual may pro­vide users with a more enjoy­able and reward­ing expe­ri­ence. Katerina wants to inves­ti­gate how indi­vid­ual dif­fer­ences reflect on one’s expe­ri­ence and choice of strate­gies chosen for nav­i­ga­tion in VR, and whether pro­vid­ing a match­ing per­son­al­ized inter­face can improve an facil­i­tate the experience


Connected through "AWE": creating immersive experiences for social connection

Do you get enough “awe” in your life? In our busy day-to-day lives, we often take our experiences for granted. While we have the technology to connect with one another, like smart phones, we don’t necessarily get outside with nature, or stargaze. Such activities may consist of common awe-inspiring moments, and we now understand that feeling awe is associated with all sorts of social and well...

Virtual Earthgazing - towards an overview effect in Virtual Reality

How can we use immersive VR to give people pivotal positive experiences without having to send them out into space?   “We went to the Moon as technicians, we returned as humanitarians” reflected Edgar Mitchell after his space flight. This describes the overview effect – a profound awe-inspiring experience of seeing Earth from space resulting in a cognitive shift in worldview, le...

Lean and Elegant Motion Cueing in VR

How do we best design locomotion interfaces for VR that provide "enough" physical motion cues (vestibular/proprioceptive) while still being effective, affordable, compact, and safe? Despite amazing progress in computer graphics and VR displays, most affordable and room-sized VR locomotion interfaces provide only little physical motion cues (e.g., vestibular & proprioceptive cues). To provide...

Immersive & Embodied Teleoperation Interfaces

Developing virtual interfaces for embodied tele-operation and locomotion. How can we best design and implement an embodied telepresence system for tele-robotics, so we can safely explore remote, hard-to-reach, or potentially hazardous areas or situations? The goal of the "TeleSpider" project is to design and implement a telepresence system where users can remotely operate a robotic spid...

Spatial Updating With(out) Physical Motions?

How important are physical motions for effective spatial orientation in VR? Most virtual reality simulators have a  serious flaw: Users tend to get easily lost and disoriented as they navigate. According to the prevailing opinion, this is because physical motion cues are absolutely required for staying oriented while moving. In this study, we investigated how physical motion cues contribute ...


Kitson, A., Riecke, B. E., & Stepanova, E. R. (2015). Influence of Movement Expertise on a Virtual Point-to- Origin Task (pp. 100–103). Presented at the MOCO’15 – 2nd International Workshop on Movement and Computing, Vancouver, Canada: ACM. https://doi.org/10.1145/2790994.2791014
Riecke, B. E., Stepanova, E. R., & Kitson, A. (2016, May). New response patterns in point-to-origin tasks depending on stimulus type and response mode. Talk presented at the International Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Granada, Spain. Retrieved from http://www.ps2016.org/
Kitson, A., Hashemian, A. M., Stepanova, E. R., Kruijff, E., & Riecke, B. E. (2017). Lean Into It: Exploring Leaning-Based Motion Cueing Interfaces for Virtual Reality Movement (pp. 215–216). Presented at the IEEE Virtual Reality, Los Angeles, CA, USA. https://doi.org/10.1109/VR.2017.7892253
Kitson, A., Hashemian, A. M., Stepanova, E. R., Kruijff, E., & Riecke, B. E. (2017). Comparing Leaning-Based Motion Cueing Interfaces for Virtual Reality Locomotion (pp. 73–82). Presented at the IEEE Symposium on 3D User Interfaces 3DUI, Los Angeles, CA, USA. https://doi.org/10.1109/3DUI.2017.7893320
Stepanova, E. R., Heyde, M. von der, Kitson, A., Schiphorst, T., & Riecke, B. E. (2017). Gathering and Apply Guidelines for TeleSpider Design for Urban Search and Rescue Applications on a Mobile Robot. In M. Kurosu (Ed.), Human-Computer Interaction. Interaction Contexts (HCI 2017) (Vol. 10272, pp. 562–581). Cham: Springer.
Kitson, A., Nguyen-Vo, T., Hashemian, A. M., Stepanova, E. R., & Riecke, B. E. (2017, November). A User Study Comparing Two Low-Cost Chair Interfaces for Embodied Virtual Locomotion. Talk presented at the Psychonomic Society 58th Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Stepanova, E. R., Quesnel, D., Kitson, A., Prpa, M., & Riecke, B. E. (2017, November). Virtual Reality as a Tool for Inducing and Understanding Transformative Experiences. Poster presented at the Psychonomic Society 58th Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC, Canada.