[Elsnet-list] PhD Studentship - "Linguistic Style and Personality of Virtual Dialogue Characters"

Gillian Callaghan g.callaghan at dcs.shef.ac.uk
Thu Apr 29 09:49:35 CEST 2004

Please advertise the following studentship.  Apologies for multiple

PhD Studentship - "Linguistic Style and Personality of Virtual Dialogue
The Department of Computer Science at the University of Sheffield invites
applications for a three-year studentship award to commence in October 2004.
The successful applicant will work on Linguistic Style and Personality of
Virtual Dialogue Characters and will be jointly supervised by Prof. Marilyn
Walker and Dr. Daniela Romano.  

Deadline for applications: Thursday 20 May 2004. 
Linguistic Style and Personality of Virtual Dialogue Characters

Virtual dialogue characters are increasingly becoming a common interface for
communication between humans and computers, enriching communication
modalities to include voice, gestures, and postures, and introducing new
forms of human- computer interaction. inspired by the way humans interact
with each other. These characters can be embodied on different platforms,
from virtual worlds in immersive environments to portable and mobile
computers. The graphic details and interaction modality might change with
the platform, but the sense of co- presence in a shared environment and the
believability of such characters should remain the same. 

The successful applicant will work on the design, construction and testing
of software that can produce different instantiations of an interactive
three- dimensional character for interacting with humans. The proposed
research includes: 
•	the development of a module that can generate spoken contributions
to a dialogue, whose style and form can be varied according to the
character's personality and/or emotional state. 
•	the development of a module for the synchronous generation of
related 3D graphic expressive gestures and postures. 
The ideal candidate will have a good first degree or MSc in a relevant
subject (Computational Linguistics or Linguistics, Computer Science,
Psychology), a strong interest in 3D graphics, and Human Factors. 
Applicants with strong programming skills (e.g., C++, Perl, Java) and
expertise in some of the following will be preferred: 
o	Dialogue modelling 
o	Artificial Intelligence (AI) 
o	3D Graphics 
o	HCI 
o	Psychology 
o	Natural Language Processing 

The EPSRC baseline rate of maintenance is currently approx. GBP £7,500 p.a.,
and the studentship will also pay the three years' tuition fees at UK/EU

The successful applicant will be based at the University of Sheffield's
Department of Computer Science, internationally recognised for the quality
of its research, and will work across the Natural Language Processing (NLP),
Speech and Hearing (SpandH), Machine Learning (ML) and the Computer Graphics
research groups (see http://www.dcs.shef.ac.uk/research for details). 

The Department of Computer Science has close research links with a number of
other academic institutions (e.g., University of Edinburgh, MIT) and
companies (e.g., AT&T) from which the student will benefit. For more
information about the Department see: http://www.dcs.shef.ac.uk/ 

Applicants should apply to the University of Sheffield by submitting the
general PhD application form. Information about the PhD Programme, and how
to apply for a PhD can be found by following the various links from the
following URL: http://www.dcs.shef.ac.uk/research/admissions/index.html.
PLEASE MARK "Linguistic Style and Personality of Virtual Dialogue

For additional information on the PhD project, please contact: 
Marilyn Walker - m.a.walker at sheffield.ac.uk - Tel: +44 (0)114 222 1806 or 
Daniela Romano - mailto:d.romano at dcs.shef.ac.uk - Tel: +44 (0)114 222 1900 
An application form, and details on the method of application, are at

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