Michael Richardson, Associate Professor of Psychology, Awarded 2017 Sigma Xi's Young Investigator Award

The Young Investigator Award recognizes excellence in research by a junior faculty member and UC’s chapter of Sigma Xi has been making the award since 1982. Richardson is being honored for his cutting-edge research at the nexus of experimental psychology, cognitive neuroscience, biokinetics, and human-robotic interaction. Richardson joined the UC faculty in 2009 after a postdoctoral position at the University of Connecticut (where he received his Ph.D. degree in 2005 in experimental psychology) and three years as an assistant professor at Colby College.

For the uninitiated, Richardson’s research expertise might sound like a potpourri of esoteric psychological terms: embodied cognition, perception-action, anticipatory coordination and synchronization, and agent-environmental systematics. Sub-discipline jargon aside, his work has profound implications for assessing and understanding social deficit disorders (including Autism), the physical and psychological well-being of older adults, and the emerging 21st century reality of robust human-machine interactions.
Richardson’s recent research developing computer-assisted gear worn on the lower body coupled to human-robotic control systems was described by nominator Professor Michael Riley of Psychology as “revolutionary” with the promise of having “a transformative, interdisciplinary impact, and likely to yield many important publications, generate intellectual property, and attract substantial funding.”
Richardson already has impressive research accomplishments. Since arriving at UC, he has been the principle or co-principle investigator on grants totally nearly $3 million in external funding, including funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Richardson has published over 70 peer-reviewed research papers and 10 book chapters.
In addition, the Department of Psychology has recognized Richardson’s commitment to teaching by awarding him their Graduate Instructor of the Year Award three times since 2012. Richardson has mentored over 30 UC graduate students since he joined our faculty.