Teresa Hirzle, M.Sc.

Teresa Hirzle joined the HCI group in June 2017. Before, she studied Media Informatics at Ulm University. She received her Bachelor's degree in 2015 and Master's degree in 2017, both with distinction. During her studies she spent a year at the Universidad de Granada in Spain.

Teresa wrote her master's thesis in cooperation with the Department of General Psychology. The thesis was about applying implicit pupillary events for eyes only interaction strategies in virtual reality. The title of the master's thesis was Eyes Only Interaction in Virtual Reality (Cogain 2017).

Teresas research interests include eye-based Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) Head-Mounted Displays (HMDs) and mobile eye tracking. Her research focuses on developing interactive systems for eye-based interaction on AR/VR head-mounted displays. Advancements in display technology and the miniaturization of sensors have led to VR head-mounted displays (HMDs) advancing from research devices to everyday end user technology. However, the devices expose users to digital eye strain (DES) - a rapidly spreading health problem in today's digital society that includes eye and vision problems and affects users' overall quality of life and general well-being. In her Ph.D. thesis, Teresa investigates properties and causes that contribute to DES in VR HMDs, and develops and evaluates solutions thereof.

Research interests

  • Digital eye strain in virtual reality head-mounted displays
  • Designing eye-based applications for visual well-being
  • Eye-based human-computer interaction with computerized eyewear
  • 3D gaze interaction on head-mounted displays


  • Master Thesis: The Influence of Presence and Flow on the Perception of Discomfort inVirtual Reality (Fabian Fischbach, 2021)
  • Master Thesis: Measuring Vergence Errors in Real and Virtual Environments (Ly Hoang Minh Nguyen, 2019)
  • Master Project: Alleviating Digital Eye Strain In Online Learning (Annalisa Degenhard, Truc Thanh, and Albin Zeqiri, 2021)
  • Master Project: Helping Hands: Exploring Multimanual Interaction in Virtual Reality (Julian Karlbauer, 2021)
  • Master Project: Eye Exercises to Alleviate Digital Eye Strain in Virtual Reality Head-Mounted Displays (Fabian Fischbach and Pascal Jansen, 2019)
  • Bachelor Thesis: Improving Interpersonal Communication in Online Education Using WebCam Eye Tracking (Maryam Maged A. A. Elhaidary, 2021)
  • Bachelor Thesis: An Exploration of Foveated Blue Light Filters in Virtual Reality (Julian Karlbauer, 2020)
  • Bachelor Thesis: Reducing Computer Vision Syndrome in Virtual Reality by Prompting Blinks (Lukas Güthing, 2020)
  • Bachelor Thesis: Using Eye Tracking to Improve Meditation by Applying EOG Signal Analysis to a Responsive Application (Markus Lederer, 2019)
  • Bachelor Project: Prevalence of Computer Vision Syndrome according to Gender (Ronald Agee, 2021)
  • Bachelor Project: Concepts Of Using Specific Eye Properties in Human Computer Interaction (Julian Karlbauer, 2019)


A Symbiotic Human-Machine Depth Sensor

The goal of this project is to explore how much we can learn about physical objects a user is looking at by observing gaze depth. We envision a symbiotic scenario, where current technology (e.g. depth cameras) is extended with "human sensing data". Here, a depth camera is able to create a rough understanding of a static environment and gaze depth is merged into the model by leveraging unique propetries of human vision.


A Design Space for Gaze Interaction on Head-Mounted Displays

Augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) head-mounted display (HMD) applications inherently rely on three dimensional information. In contrast to gaze interaction on a two dimensional screen, gaze interaction in AR and VR therefore also requires to estimate a user's gaze in 3D (3D Gaze).

While first applications, such as foveated rendering, hint at the compelling potential of combining HMDs and gaze, a systematic analysis is missing. To fill this gap, we present the first design space for gaze interaction on HMDs.


Scientific Activities

  • Scientific Activities: CHI '21 (SC Assistant for the UX Subcommittee), ETRA '21 (Short Paper Co-Chair), ETRA '20 (Web Co-Chair), Ubicomp/ISWC '21 (Workshop Co-Organizer), GermanHCI '18-'20 (Organizer, https://www.germanhci.de/), Virtual German CHI Week '20 (Organizer), CHI '21 (AC Late Breaking Work), MuC Short Papers (AC)
  • Reviewer: TOCHI '21, IEEE ToG '21, IMWUT '21, AutoUI '21, CHI '21 '20 '19 '18, ISMAR '21 '20 '19, IEEE VR Conference Papers '21, IEEE VR Journal Papers '21, ETRA '21 '20, NordiCHI '20, MobileHCI '20, '19, Mensch und Computer '20, '19, CHI LBW '19, CHI PLAY LBW '19, VRST '18, AH '18,
  • Student Volunteer: MUM '17



T. Hirzle, F. Fischbach, J. Karlbauer, P. Jansen, J. Gugenheimer, E. Rukzio and A. Bulling, "Understanding, Addressing, and Analysing Digital Eye Strain in Virtual Reality Head-Mounted Displays" , Accepted to ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, Oct. 2021.
T. Hirzle, M. Cordts, E. Rukzio, J. Gugenheimer and A. Bulling, "A Critical Assessment of the Use of SSQ as a Measure of General Discomfort in VR Head-Mounted Displays" , In Proc. of CHI 2021 (SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems), May 2021. ACM, https://youtu.be/4UkAeAtENKo.
J. O. Rixen, T. Hirzle, M. Colley, Y. Etzel, E. Rukzio and J. Gugenheimer, "Exploring Augmented Visual Alterations in Interpersonal Communication" , In Proc. of CHI 2021 (SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems), May 2021. ACM.


T. Hirzle, M. Cordts, E. Rukzio and A. Bulling, "A Survey of Digital Eye Strain in Gaze-Based Interactive Systems" , ETRA '20 Full Papers: ACM Symposium on Eye Tracking Research and Applications, Jun. 2020. ACM.
P. El.Agroudy, X. Wang, E. Stemasov, T. Hirzle, S. Shishkovets, S. Mehrotra and A. Schmidt, "SpotlessMind - A Design Probe for Eliciting Attitudes towards Sharing Neurofeedback" , Augmented Humans International Conference, Mar. 2020.


T. Hirzle, J. Gugenheimer, F. Geiselhart, A. Bulling and E. Rukzio, "A Design Space for Gaze Interaction on Head-Mounted Displays" , In Proceedings of CHI 2019 (SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems), May 2019. ACM, https://www.uni-ulm.de/?gazedesignspace.
T. Hirzle, J. Gugenheimer, E. Rukzio and A. Bulling, "On the Importance of Visual (Digital) Wellbeing for HMDs" , In Proc. of CHI 2019 Workshop on Designing for Digital Wellbeing, May 2019. https://digitalwellbeingworkshop.wordpress.com.


T. Dreja, M. Rietzler, T. Hirzle, J. Gugenheimer, J. Frommel and E. Rukzio, "A Demonstration of VRSpinning: Exploring the Design Space of a 1D Rotation Platform to Increase the Perception of Self-Motion in VR" , In Adj. Proc. of UIST '18 (ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology), Oct. 2018.
M. Rietzler, J. Gugenheimer, T. Hirzle, M. Deubzer, E. Langbehn and E. Rukzio, "Rethinking Redirected Walking: On the Use of Curvature Gains Beyond Perceptual Limitations and Revisiting Bending Gains" , In Proc. of ISMAR 2018 (IEEE International Symposium for Mixed and Augmented Reality), Oct. 2018. https://doi.org/10.1109/ISMAR.2018.00041.
T. Hirzle, J. Gugenheimer, F. Geiselhart, A. Bulling and E. Rukzio, "Towards a Symbiotic Human-Machine Depth Sensor: Exploring 3D Gaze for Object Reconstruction" , In Adj. Proc. of UIST '18 (ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology), Oct. 2018. https://www.uni-ulm.de/?hm_depthsensor.
M. Rietzler, T. Hirzle, J. Gugenheimer, J. Frommel, T. Dreja and E. Rukzio, "VRSpinning: Exploring the Design Space of a 1D Rotation Platform to Increase the Perception of Self-Motion in VR" , In Proc. of DIS 2018 (ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems), Jun. 2018. https://www.uni-ulm.de/in/mi/mi-forschung/uulm-hci/projects/vrspinning/.
T. Hirzle, J. O. Rixen, J. Gugenheimer and E. Rukzio, "WatchVR: Exploring the Usage of a Smartwatch for Interaction in Mobile Virtual Reality", Apr. 2018.