I'm a PhD student at Northwestern University, in the Technology & Social Behavior (TSB) Ph.D. Program. TSB is a joint Ph.D. program between the Dept of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science and the Media, Technology & Society PhD program in the Dept of Communication Studies (School of Communication).
My research focuses on developing computational models of face-to-face conversation. These computational models are implemented in Embodied Conversational Agents (ECAs) - virtual humans capable of communicating using language and non-verbal behavior. An intrinsically interdisciplinary project, this work also involves the collection and analysis of empirical data to inform and motivate the design of these models and their implementation.
In my current work, I am developing computational models for generating coordinated language & iconic gestures. These models are based on careful study and analysis of people using visual & spatial language and gestures, in tasks such as giving directions and describing 3D shapes.
I also work on ECAs that can establish rapport, common ground and interpersonal relationships with their users, based on theories and evidence about how people develop and show rapport in interpersonal communication.
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