[Elsnet-list] CORRECTED DATE: PhD Studentship on "Gaze and Gesture in Human-Agent-Interaction" at University of Saarland, Germany
mariastaudte at googlemail.com
Wed Dec 11 17:50:23 CET 2013
PhD Studentship "Gaze and Gesture in Human-Agent-Interaction" in
Saarland University, Saarbruecken, Germany
The Embodied Spoken Interaction (ESI) group at the Saarland University,
headed by Dr. Maria Staudte, invites applications for a PhD studentship,
available now - but at the latest to be filled by July 1st, 2014.
People interact using speech as well as other non-verbal cues. Gaze, for
instance, ubiquitously accompanies utterances in face-to-face
interaction and may provide additional referential information from the
speaker or may reveal whether the listener has understood. Following the
partner's gaze and interpreting her posture and gestures can not only
enrich but even be essential for successful and efficient communication.
Understanding and modeling the dynamic interplay of speech and
non-verbal cues such as gaze and how they combine to encode a particular
message is a complex enterprise. The use of virtual characters as
interaction partners provides one way to approach this problem: The
artificial partner introduces a precise, controllable, and yet dynamic
component to the interaction with humans. Using them enables us to
observe, model and test complex multi-modal behaviors.
The proposed PhD project will develop interactive behaviors of a virtual
character that process and respond to the user (e.g. by means of data
capture through modern eye- and motion-tracking systems and/or dialog
systems). Besides the developing component, this research is also
empirical and will involve the design of user studies and data analysis
in order to tackle questions such as how joint attention and/or certain
gestures or facial expressions are or should be employed and how they
affect the spoken content.
Applicants should hold a Master degree in computational linguistics,
computer science, cognitive science, psychology or psycholinguistics (or
equivalent) and should have an interest in modeling and understanding
the dynamics of human interaction. Basic programming skills are
necessary. Experience with experiment design and statistics are an
advantage but not required. Most importantly, the successful applicant
should be enthusiastic about the general research questions and be
prepared to learn new methods.
The Embodied Spoken Interaction (ESI) group is part of the "Multi-modal
Computing and Interaction" Cluster of Excellence
(http://www.mmci.uni-saarland.de/) at Saarland University which provides
a very fruitful and constructive research environment with excellent
opportunities for exchange and cooperation. The group has access to
numerous state-of-the-art eye-tracking laboratories, a 64 channel
EEG/ERP lab, and modern computing infrastructure, and conducts research
at the level of international excellence.
The candidate will be expected to contribute to the high standards of
the group and to be actively involved in the preparation and publication
of new results. Further information about the group can be found at:
Applicants should submit their research statement, a CV, a copy of their
school and university degrees, a representative reprint (thesis or
paper), and names and contact information of two references. The
position remains open until filled, but preference will be given to
applications received by **15 January**2014**.
All documents should be e-mailed as a single PDF to:
Dr. Maria Staudte
e-mail: masta at coli.uni-saarland.de
Department of Computational Linguistics
Saarland University 66123 Saarbruecken, Germany
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