Within the framework of the 17th International conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents in Stockholm this year, we organized the first workshop on Persuasive Embodied Agents for Behavior Change, PEACH2017. Researchers were invited to submit position papers and projects at early stages. Topics ranged from visions on AI guidance in eHealth, agenda-setting in interventions targeting multiple behaviors, and intelligent topic-switching to personalization of instructions using reinforcement learning, induced cognitive dissonance in VR, and chatbot support for obese children. In breakout sessions of half an hour following each presentation, presenters were given the opportunity to ask the audience for feedback on specific aspects of their research or for input on problems they have been struggling with. With more than 20 participants from all over the world, vivid discussions ensued and presenters received diverse and extensive input. Particularly this interactivity was greatly appreciated by participants and authors alike. We therefore hope to host this workshop again at future IVA conferences.
In May, the 4TU.H&T PhD students self-organized a 3-day writing retreat by the beach in Makkum, Friesland, in the north of the Netherlands. Writing is critical to all PhD students, yet it is often a solitary activity. The main goals were to get peer feedback early on and to improve drafts in progress. Both are essential to healthy collaborative research, the greater aim of our 4TU Federation.
On the 7th of April, Dong Nguyen (The Alan Turing Institute, London) and Vincent Traag (Leiden University) gave a 4TU.H&T seminar on Computational Social Science. More than 20 people (researchers, phd students, masters' students) participated! In the first part of the seminar presented by Dong, students learned about computational sociolinguistics and how to apply natural language processing techniques to social data. Using NTLK, students explored methods for tokenization, part of speech tagging, sentiment analysis and topic modelling, and applied these to Reddit data.
After two very interesting get-togethers in 2015 and early 2016, we organized the 3rd “Meeting on the Study of Social and Affective Touch in the Netherlands” - also known as the slightly more convenient “Dutch Touch”. This third meeting was held on December 21st in the Volkshotel in Amsterdam. The series of Dutch Touch meetings was initiated to bring together people from various disciplines who are all working on the topic of touch. Since the start of the series, nearly 60 people – researchers, artists, designers, and people from industry – have already indicated their interest in the meetings. This demonstrates that a lot is happening in the area of social and affective touch in the Netherlands. It also provides interesting opportunities.
Wednesday 21 December 2016
Students from Eindhoven University of Technology, the University of Twente, as well as researchers from Maastricht and Belgium joined the workshop entitled Introduction to Statistics for HCI in R, given by Daniel Lakens on 16 November 2016. There were different levels of expertise to begin with, ranging from those who were installing R and RStudio for the first time to others who were already comfortable doing analysis in R. Daniel went through step-by-step instructions on the interface of R Studio, important commands, helpful libraries, and how to approach statistics in general in R.
Wednesday 16 November 2016