CSC News

September 14, 2009

Robison Receives Best Student Paper Award at ACII-2009

Jennifer Robison, a second year PhD student in the NC State University Department of Computer Science, has been recognized with the Best Student Paper Award at the International Conference on Affective Computing & Intelligent Interaction (ACII-2009) in Amsterdam.  Her paper, "Evaluating the Consequences of Affective Feedback in Intelligent Tutoring Systems," which was co-authored with Scott McQuiggan, and professor of computer science, Dr. James Lester, investigates the link between affect, learning, and feedback. 

The paper reports on two studies conducted with students interacting with affect-informed virtual agents.  Virtual agents are synthetic characters driven by artificial intelligence.  The studies revealed that emotion-specific risk/reward information is associated with particular affective states and suggests that future systems might leverage this information to make determinations about affective interventions.

Robison’s project is supported by the National Science Foundation's Human-Centered Computing Program.  The project is investigating computational models of affect using machine-learning approaches to automatically learn models of student affect and models of affect expression in virtual agents.  The models are being used to recognize and predict students' emotional states as they interact with game-based learning environments, and to control the synthesis of affect in intelligent virtual agents that interact with the students.

Robison obtained her undergraduate degree from the NC State Department of Computer Science in 2008 and was a Valedictorian.  She was recognized with the College of Engineering Senior Award for Scholarly Achievement, and she currently holds a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation.


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