Sarika Gopalakrishnan, PhD FAAO

Research Fellow

Dr. Sarika Gopalakrishnan is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow with the Envision Research Institute, investigating different methods of providing augmented reality assistive technology for people who are visually impaired. In 2008, Sarika completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Optometry from the Elite School of Optometry, Sankara Nethralaya, in Tamil Nadu, India. She then joined Sankara Nethralaya as an Optometrist and initiated, as well as directed, a low vision care department for 14 years. Sarika has many accolades, peer-reviewed publications and awards including being recognized as the first Indian woman to be honored as a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry (FAAO) in the field of low vision in 2014. 

Sarika then became the first Indian female to pursue a PhD in the field of low vision care investigating virtual and augmented reality assistive technology in head mounted displays. Sarika’s PhD work focused on the application of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) for improving the quality of life of individuals with low vision. In her thesis, she designed a 3D virtual bank scenario in which various functional vision parameters like visual search behavior, head movements and spatial orientation were assessed. She used augmented reality technology for understanding the improvement in vision and quality of life of people with low vision. Currently, her research will investigate the improvement of the visual resolution of objects and navigation in everyday environments while using augmented reality assistive technology for people with low vision to perform their everyday life activities independently.