The thrill of the ride

Mitacs Globalink intern at Ryerson University researching user experience in amusement park attractions

Xinyue Wu has a love of video games. From playing and designing, to exploring user experience, video games offer her a sense of excitement and escapism. This summer, as a Globalink Research intern at Ryerson University, Xinyue is delving into that passion for user experience, but outside of the virtual world. She’s examining the multiple characteristics of amusement park rides including thrill, enjoyment, and rider behaviour.

In collaboration with professors Kristiina McConville and Kathryn Woodcock at Ryerson’s THRILL Lab (Tools for Holistic Ride Inspection Learning and Leadership), Xinyue is developing a set of ride simulations using software to represent a spectrum of intensity levels and sustained versus intermittent thrills.

After the video simulations are developed, they will be translated into a motion program to be tested in a simulator. The data from Xinyue’s project will help designers optimize user experience before the design of a ride is finalized and constructed.

As a third year undergraduate student in digital media technology at China’s Zhejiang University, Xinyue’s Globalink project offers her a chance to explore an area of research she wouldn’t normally have the chance to study.

Her experience at Ryerson, working in tandem with two Canadian professors, has been a highlight. Says Xinyue: “The freedom I’ve had to explore areas of interest during my Globalink project, in addition to the support I’ve received from my professors and other students in the THRILL Lab, has been the most worthwhile part of my internship. It’s my first taste of what a Canadian graduate experience could be like.”

Mitacs thanks the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario for their support of the Globalink research internship in this story. Across Canada, the Globalink program also receives support from Alberta Innovates, the Government of British Columbia, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Prince Edward Island, the Government of Quebec, the Government of Saskaychewan and Research Manitoba.

Mitacs is pleased to work with international partners to support Globalink, including Brazil’s le Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior, the China Scholarship Council, Campus France, India’s Ministry of Human Resource Development, and Mexico’s Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education and the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

Do you have a business challenge that could benefit from a research solution? If so, contact Mitacs today to discuss partnership opportunities:


Mitacs empowers Canadian innovation through effective partnerships that deliver solutions to our most pressing problems. By driving economic growth and productivity, we create meaningful change to improve quality of life for all Canadians.