TOPIC Modeling Emotional Virtual Humans and Robots
SPEAKER Professor Nadia Magnenat-Thalmann

Director, MIRALab, University of Geneva, Switzerland

Director, Institute for Media Innovation (IMI), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

DATE 16 July 2010
TIME 2:00 to 3:00 pm
VENUE Level 2, Social Robotics Lab, I3 Building, Interactive Digital Media Institute, 21 Heng Mui Keng Terrace, NUS.
FEES No Charge
Research on long-term interaction so far spent little effort on behaviours such as remembering individuals, their names and more importantly remembering important past exchanges. Our ongoing research for realizing long-term affective interactions with a human-like robot named Eva provided by Hanson robotics  involves not only modeling of emotions, social relationships and expressive behaviour but also episodic memory. Eva teaches introductory “computer networks” concepts to users and interacts using natural language and facial expressions. She can also show realistic facial expression as she has a kind of natural deformable skin. A key challenge for long-term interaction is the recall of past important events during current conversation. Therefore, Eva needs to remember past emotional interactions and her terms of her pedagogical goals.

In this presentation, we will show the building of emotional robot Eva that can sing and interact with students.

Professor Nadia Magnenat-Thalmann is currently Director of the research lab MIRALab at the University of Geneva ( and Director of the Institute for Media Innovation (IMI) at NanyangTechnologicalUniversity in Singapore ( After having obtained several diplomas in various disciplines (Psychology, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science and a PhD in Quantum Physics, all from University of Geneva), she moved to Canada in 1977 where she became Professor at the University of Montreal.

Professor Nadia Magnenat-Thalmann has contributed, along with her students, to the publication of more than 550 scientific papers, written more than 40 books and produced more than 25 virtual reality interactive shows. Professor Nadia Magnenat-Thalmann is Editor-in-chief of several scientific journals, among them, the Visual Computer published by Springer and the Computer Animation Virtual Worlds Journal published by Wiley. She is also associate Editor of several others, as for example, the IEEE Transactions Journal on Multimedia.

In January 2009, she received a Dr. Honoris Causa in Natural Sciences from the Leibniz University of Hannover. In April 2009, she received together with her students  the Eurographics 2009 first Medical Prize for a medical application done within the framework of the EU project 3DAH. In May 2010, at Eurographics’2010 in Norrköping in Sweden, Professor Nadia Magnenat-Thalmann received the Distinguished Career Award. In June 2010, she received an honorary doctorate from the University of Ottawa. She was elected at the SwissAcademy of Engineering Sciences in 1997.

The map to the SRL can be found on the link at Within NUS, one can take the internal shuttle bus A1, A2 or BTC and stop at the Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library. The building where the seminar is located is on the hill just next to the Hon Sui Sen Library.