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AAAC Executive Committee Elections 2015/16

Every two years, one third of the members of the AAAC's Executive Committee is elected for a term of six years. In 2015, the following members' terms expired: Arvid Kappas, Jeffrey Cohn, Cristina Conati and Maja Pantic. On this page, the candidates for the new term present themselves; the link to the ballot can be found at the bottom of the page.

Candidates are listed in alphabetical order.


Ronald Böck

Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, DE

The Association of the Advancement of Affective Computing as an active community encourages researchers from various disciplines to discuss the different aspects of affective computing. This lively character of AAAC, already shown on international scales and usually during the ACII, will be fruitful on smaller scales as well. Therefore, as EC-member one of my aspects is to strengthen the SIGs and LIGs. Especially, LIGs are a perfect option to connect researchers in their countries. Based on such incubator networks interdisciplinary research on affective computing will be fostered. Furthermore, encouraging young researchers to participate in the research community and inspiring them with the ideas of AAAC is the second aspect which is on my agenda as EC-member. The described two topics, interest groups and young researchers, will promote AAAC in the research community.

Jeffrey Cohn

University of Pittsburgh, USA

I am a professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh and an adjunct professor of computer science at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.   I lead interdisciplinary and inter-institutional efforts to develop advanced methods of automatic analysis and synthesis of facial expression and prosody and apply those tools to research in human emotion, social development, non-verbal communication, psychopathology, and biomedicine. I have served as co-chair of the IEEE International Conference on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition (2008, 2015, and 2017), the International Conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction (2009), the ACM International Conference on Multimodal Interfaces (2014), and the steering committee chair for the IEEE International Conference on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition.  I am an associate editor of IEEE Transactions in Affective Computing (TAC).

I have a long-standing commitment to inter-disciplinary research and service in affective computing and would welcome the opportunity to work with President Dirk Heylen and the Executive Committee to promote the Society and affective computing more broadly. As a member of the Executive Board, I would promote inter-disciplinary efforts of computer and behavioral scientists in affective computing and seek to increase the field's reach among psychologists. New methods of feature processing and machine learning make possible major advances in our understanding of human dynamics and affective computing. The IEEE's new journal on affective computing, made possible in part by the efforts of ACII members, presents an exciting opportunity in this regard.  The Association and its Executive Board exercise a critical leadership role in promoting inter-disciplinary efforts in affective computing and its clinical applications.

Cristina Conati

University of British Columbia, CA

I have been an active member of the affective computing community since 2000, as a researcher, as well as former President and continuing member of the AAAC executive committee.   I am deeply committed to contribute to the development and advancement of our association, and one of my objectives is to find new ways to ensure that other relevant research communities around the world know about and engage with AAAC.
As a member of  executive/advisory committees   of  some of these communities.   including  UMAP (User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization), AIED (Artificial Intelligence in Education) and IUI (Intelligent User Interfaces)  I want to leverage opportunities for fostering interaction between AAAC and these communities. I am also interested in  attracting and supporting young researcher in affective  computing, by exploring, for instance, mentoring initiatives and funding sources to sponsor student participation at relevant events. Last but now least, I would like to work on bolstering the AAAC conference, which I believe has great potential to become  one of most prominent  publication venues in affective computing.

Hatice Gunes

University of Cambridge, UK

I have been doing research on affective computing for over 10 years. I have been serving the AC community by undertaking various roles – as the Co-Treasurer of the AAAC, a member of the Steering Committee and an Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, Area Chair for ACII’13 and Workshop Chair for ACII’15. I have also been actively promoting emotion recognition research within the IEEE Face and Gesture Recognition (FG) community through organising the EmoSPACE Workshops bi-annually since 2011. I envision my future contributions to the AC community in two directions: within the UK and internationally. Based in London before, and having joined the University of Cambridge recently, I am very well connected to the AC community in the UK. I organised the very successful AC@UK one-day workshop in December 2013 in London. Following on from this, I would like to establish a growing and self-sustained local AAAC-UK chapter, with the aim of having annual events that bring together AC students and researchers, and strengthening our ties with the industry and other fields. Over the last couple of years, I have been observing some of the issues that the FG, ICMI and ACII communities are facing in terms of quality and visibility. I would therefore invest time and effort to investigate the major issues, identify the commonalities, and propose and implement solutions. One possible solution would involve investigating whether some aspects of these conferences could be merged, and what would be the seamless way to do this. To further contribute to the AC community internationally, I would like to organise ACII at the University of Cambridge in the very near future (i.e., ACII 2019).

Bin Hu

Lanzhou University, CN

I believe my expertise and interest quite well meeting with requirements of the Executive Committee. If I were elected to be a member, I am able to do the following contributions to AAAC: 1. To organize a Special Interest Group on Computational Psychophysiology, which is a multi-disciplinary research subject and very relevant to the topics of AAAC, e.g. Affective Computing, Emotions and Human-Machine Interaction. This SIG may encourage more social and cognitive people in the world to participate in research and academic activities in AAAC. 2. To setup a Local Interest Group for AAAC members in and from P.R.China. This group will build a network and provide opportunities to all parts research people around China to exchange ideas, technologies and products through funded workshops, summits and other social affairs, also to enroll more Chinese research people in AAAC and to participate in the ACII conference. Biography: Dr. Bin Hu, Professor, Dean, School of Information Science and Engineering, Lanzhou University, China; IET Fellow; Member at Large of ACM China, Vice Chair of International Society for Social Neuroscience (China Committee) and Member of IET Healthcare Technology Network; Co-chairs of IEEE SMC TC on Cognitive Computing; Chair Professor of the National Recruitment Programme of Global Experts; Chief Scientist of the National Fundamental Research Program of China (973 Program); Board Member of the Computer Science Committee, Ministry of Education, China; Member of the Division of Computer Science Review Panel, Natural Science Foundation China. His research interests include Computational Psychophysiology, Pervasive Computing, Mental Health Care. His work has been funded by the “973”, National Science Foundation China, Natural Science Foundation China(NSFC), European Framework Programme 7 and HEFCE UK. He has published more than 200 papers in peer reviewed journals, conferences, and book chapters including Science (Suppl.), Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, PLoS One, IEEE Trans., IEEE Intelligent Systems, AAAI, UbiComp, BIBM, etc. He has served as guest editor in a supplement to Science, “Advances in Computational Psychophysiology” in 2015, and associate editor in peer reviewed journals such as IEEE Trans. Affective Computing, IET Communications, Cluster Computing, Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing, The Journal of Internet Technology, Wiley’s Security and Communication Networks, Brain Informatics etc.

Arvid Kappas

Jacobs University Bremen, DE

I would like to continue to serve in the AAAC as a member of the executive committee. One of the functions I have had in the past and that I continue to do for the association is to provide a connection to the emotion research community at large, for example in my position as the current president of the International Society for Research on Emotion, a position I hold until the summer of 2017. I have started to connect to a potential new community in the context of the pre conference on Nonverbal Communication at the Conference of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology 2016 by giving an invited key note about the possibilities and challenges of AC and the role that nonverbal communication researchers could play and offered to facilitate communication and joint activities. Thus, I play an active role in fostering the multi-disciplinary nature of AC and relate this to the general public in mass media.

Peter Robinson

University of Cambridge, UK

I have been leading work on affective computing in Cambridge since 2002, and have supervised 10 successful PhD students in the area. We have participated in several major collaborative projects and has contributed to all six ACII meetings. I have also served on EC panels shaping their research agenda, where I have been able to promote the importance of affective computing. I will continue to promote the subject and, if elected to serve on the executive committee, would particularly work to raise the profile of the ACII Conference. We need to understand why it has such a weak position in international rankings and work to raise its standing.

Mohammad Soleymani

University of Geneva, CH

I have been an active member of this community for more than 7 years.  I helped with the organization of the last two ACII conferences and have been actively contributing to our journal in different roles. My research lies between affective computing and multimedia. Through my activities including organizing and promoting affect-related tasks at MediaEval benchmarking campaign, editing special issues and chairing the affect and social signals area at ACM MM, I tried to bridge these two communities. By joining this executive committee, I will try to further strengthen the ties between these two communities. I believe I can bring a new perspective to the EC discussions and participate in broadening its activities and membership base.

Zerrin Yumak

Utrecht University, NL

I am an active researcher in the area of interactive virtual characters, social robots and serious games. I am an assistant professor at Utrecht University, located at the heart of Netherland’s serious gaming research and industry community. I am a program committee member of several international conferences such as CASA, CGI, INTETAIN and Motion in Games.  As an Executive Committee member, I would like to increase the visibility of AAAC in other related research communities in particular computer animation and serious games. I am currently leading Task 3.2 Embodiment and Physical Interaction in the Horizon 2020 RAGE (Realising an Applied Gaming Ecosystem) project which creates an ecosystem of reusable applied gaming assets including emotion and animation related components. I believe communications and connections between these two communities can strengthen the AAAC’s current outreach not only in research but also towards the gaming market. Thanks to my past research activities in several countries including Switzerland, Singapore and Netherlands, I also wish to create awareness of AAAC internationally. I am also willing to strengthen my connections with the already existing AAAC community and take role in the ongoing activities.:


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