Interdisciplinary Team Led by Tarleton Faculty Awarded NSF Grant

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — A Tarleton State University faculty, Dr. Jonali Baruah, and her team have received an approximately $150,000 National Science Foundation grant for their cutting-edge research titled, “The Future of Virtual Teams: Enhancing Collaborative Creativity and Socio-cognitive Wellbeing in Video-based Teams.”

The interdisciplinary project uses a mixed methodology to examine how virtual-meeting platforms influence users’ social and cognitive well-being. Dr. Baruah, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences, is the lead investigator.

Researchers will develop a Smart Meeting Assistant (SMA) to enhance video-based team innovation and utilize recent advances in machine learning and data analytics. “This SMA will use artificial intelligence to observe behaviors and performances of the video-based meeting participants and provide discreet feedback to meeting host and participants. Additionally, by observing the performance of the teams in the first part of the team session (approximately 20 minutes) the SMA will be able to predict the creative performance of the team for the rest of the session,” Dr. Baruah said. 

The team includes Dr. Jugal Kalita from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs and Dr. Lauren Coursey of the University of North Texas at Dallas.

The NSF funds basic research to promote the progress of science and to advance national health, prosperity and well-being through grants, contracts and cooperative agreements. The foundation accounts for about 20 percent of federal support to academic institutions for basic research.

A founding member of The Texas A&M University System, Tarleton is breaking records — in enrollment, research, scholarship, athletics, philanthropy and engagement — while transforming the lives of more than 16,000 students in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian, A&M RELLIS at Bryan and online. True to Tarleton’s values of excellence, integrity, and respect, academic programs emphasize real world learning and address regional, state and national needs.