Workshops and Tutorials

One symposium, one tutorial, and four workshops will be held on  September 5th 2018.

Morning Sessions:

  1. Spatial Cognition and Artificial Intelligence (Workshop)
  2. Spatial Navigation Interfaces for Immersive Environments (Tutorial)
  3. Connecting Spatial Visualization Skills and STEM (Symposium)

Afternoon Sessions:

  1. Models and Representations in Spatial Cognition (Workshop)
  2. Virtual environments as geo/spatial labs (Workshop)
  3. Teaching Spatial Thinking using Online and Blended Learning (Workshop)


1st International Workshop on Spatial Cognition and Artificial Intelligence (SC&AI) 2018 (Morning Workshop)

This will be the inaugural meeting of the Working Group Cognitive Science & AI of the International Federation for Information Processing Technical Committee on Artificial Intelligence. It is born from the re-emerged need to bring together researchers who work on overlapping areas of the two fields. In today’s era of deep learning and ‘black-box’ AI implemented in ‘spatial’ agents (self-driving vehicles, service robots, interactive location-based services…), the interdisciplinary nature of spatial cognition and its strong connection with AI may be more important than ever. It takes a joint effort to make such cognitively inspired artificial systems a success.

Potential participants should send a brief expression (1-page max) outlining their background, specific interests in linking spatial cognition and AI, and ideas for contributing during the meeting’s discussions to the email addresses below.

Organizers: Maria Vasardani (University of Melbourne) and Kai-Florian Richter (University of Umeå)

Contact: mvasardani [AT], and kai-florian.richter [AT]


Spatial Navigation Interfaces for Immersive Environments (Morning Tutorial)


In this half-day tutorial we provide an overview of the rapidly evolving landscape of navigation interfaces and paradigms used in mediated 3D environments, from Virtual Reality (the main focus) to augmented and mixed reality, gaming, tele-presence/operation, and design review. We will discuss different taxonomies of navigation paradigms, specific challenges such as concurrent reference frame conflicts and adverse side-effects (e.g., disorientation, motion sickness) and their underlying causes and potential solutions. We will cover the full range of navigation techniques from handheld to full-body, highly engaging and partly unconventional methods and tackle spatial navigation with hands-on-experience and tips for design and validation of novel interfaces, with a specific focus on low-cost interfaces.

Organizers: Bernhard Riecke (Simon Fraser University) and Ernst Kruijff (Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University)

Contact: ber1 [AT]

Connecting Spatial Visualization Skills and STEM Symposium (Morning Symposium)

The focus of this symposium is on understanding the link between spatial visualization skills and STEM. Gender differences in spatial skills will be a subtheme of this symposium. It is posited that the lack of diversity in STEM is at least in part due to gender differences in 3-D spatial skills. The link between strong spatial skills and success in STEM has been the subject of a great deal of research over the years, with increased relevance recently due to the worldwide focus on STEM education. In this symposium, we will present results from a variety of studies that have examined links between spatial training and STEM success as well as those that examine correlations between performance on specific STEM tasks and spatial cognitive skills.

Organizers: Sheryl Sorby (University of Cincinnati) and Gavin Duffy (Dublin Institute of Technology)

Contact: sheryl [AT]


Models and Representations in Spatial Cognition (Morning Workshop)

    1. Website: date: March 30thNotification date: April 27th

      Computational modeling can be used to further refine theories in spatial cognition. In turn, spatial cognition provides new challenges to computational modeling such as the abstraction of spatial data into a format conceivable by humans (e.g., spatial language, spatial images) and the translation of abstracted spatial data (i.e., spatial models and representations) into behavior among constantly changing environmental conditions. For this half-day workshop, we are soliciting extended abstracts describing original or summaries of previous work of no more than 500 words. Relevant research includes different theoretical and experimental models of spatial cognition and computational approaches.

      Organizers: Tyler Thrash (ETH Zurich / University of Zurich), John Kelleher (Dublin Institute of Technology), and Simon Dobnik (University of Gothenburg)

      Contact: tyler.thrash [AT]


Virtual environments as geo/spatial labs (Afternoon Workshop)


Submission date: May 5th, 2018 (500-word statements excluding references, in PDF to vr.spatialcognition [AT]

Feedback and final program date: June 15th, 2018

Virtual environments (VEs) vary in setups (e.g., HMD vs. Fishtank vs. CAVE; stereo vs. non-stereo), and their content can vary in many ways, e.g., levels of visual realism or the visual variables (color, size, position…) of every feature. Interaction modality (e.g., hand, gaze, voice, feet input…), and interaction design (when and how the system reacts to the user) can also vary. These variables affect the outcomes of spatial cognition studies and can create obstacles in generalizing the observations. In this workshop we will examine what these effects may be and how to tackle them.

We welcome short presentations on:

  • use of VEs in your experiments, with a critical reflection on the visualization and interaction
  • your questions/work-in-progress (seeking advice on visualization and/or interaction design)
  • position statements on research priorities at the cross of VEs and spatial cognition

Organizers: Arzu Çöltekin (University of Zurich), Victor Schinazi (ETH Zurich), Jan Wiener (Bournemouth University), Ismini-Eleni Lokka (University of Zurich), Jiayan Zhao (Penn State University)

Contact: arzu.coltekin [AT]


Teaching Spatial Thinking using Online and Blended Learning (Afternoon Workshop)


Submission date: May 1st, 2018

Notification date: June 1st, 2018

Spatial thinking spans numerous disciplines and perspectives, so there is a need for courses to address spatial thinking from multiple perspectives. However, developing online and/or blended courses that effectively teach spatial thinking topics can be particularly challenging. This workshop aims to assist educators with developing interdisciplinary courses on spatial thinking in the following ways: lightning talks (see call details on below and on website), group discussions, and an online learning platform.

For this half-day workshop, we are soliciting short papers on teaching spatial thinking using online and/or blended methods. Short papers should be a maximum of 6-pages (including references and figures) and follow the Springer LNCS formatting style. Authors of selected papers will give lightning talks at the workshop and their papers will be published with CEUR-WS.

Organizers: Tomi Kauppinen (Aalto University) and Heather Burte (Tufts University)

Contact: tomi.kauppinen [AT]