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Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Switzerland

The Virtual Reality Lab (VRlab), at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) was created in July 1988 and is directed by Professor Daniel Thalmann. The laboratory includes a staff of 35 people. This group is a world-leading pioneer in research related to Virtual humans since its creation. Focus is on the Modeling and Animation of Interactive and Intelligent Virtual Humans. The user will be able to interact with these intelligent creatures in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. More advanced models are being developed for group behaviour, crowds modelling especially in emergency situation, social behaviour, and interaction with Virtual Humans. One challenge is to include all these aspects not only in Virtual Environments but also in Real Environments using Augmented Reality methods. Finally, the group’s ultimate research objective is the simulation of Virtual Worlds inhabited by a Virtual Human Society, where agents will co-operate, negotiate, make friends, communicate, group and ungroup, depending on their likes, moods, emotions, goals, fears, etc. VRlab has a strong international cooperation through several European projects in the areas of Virtual Reality, shared environments, Computer Animation, and Medical applications, and is also involved in 4 national projects.

Professor Dr. Daniel Thalmann is full Professor and Director of the Virtual Reality Laboratory at EPFL. He is coeditor-in-chief of the Journal of Visualization and Computer Animation and member of the editorial board of several journals. Daniel Thalmann was member of numerous Program Committees, Program Chair and Conference Chair of several conferences. He has served as Program Cochair for IEEE VR 2000. He has also organized four courses at SIGGRAPH on human animation. Daniel Thalmann is a pioneer in research on Virtual Humans. He has published more than 200 papers, is co-editor of 25 books, and co-author of several books on Computer Animation, Image Synthesis and Networked Virtual Environments.

Dr. Frederic Vexo is currently senior researcher at the Virtual Reality Laboratory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland. He received his Ph.D. from Reims University, M.S. and B.S. degrees from METZ University. His research is focused on the production and animation of standard compliant virtual characters. He has contributed to various European projects.

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