UT ECE Prof. Jake Aggarwal was recently awarded a grant from the Science and Technology Foundation of Portugal (FCT) to expand the presence of advanced digital media through educational and research exchange.
The research project, led by Verónica Orvalho of the University of Porto, is titled LIFEisGAME: LearnIng of Facial Emotions usIng Serious GAMEs. The project will embed real-time computer vision/graphics-based facial expression analysis/synthesis into a serious game. The games will be used to teach individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to recognize facial emotions and possibly help in the mitigation of ASD. Significant numbers of children worldwide, including the U.S. and Portugal, suffer from this debilitating communicational, behavioral and social disorder.
University of Texas at Austin researchers from the departments of Advertising, Communication Studies and Radio-TV-Film in the College of Communication, the School of Information and the Cockrell School of Engineering were awarded six grants total, and they will conduct the projects with principal investigators at Portuguese universities through the UT Austin | Portugal International Collaboratory for Emerging Technologies or CoLab.
CoLab is a partnership between the FCT and The University of Texas at Austin in conjunction with several Portuguese universities. Started in 2006, one major goal of this five-year project is to expand the presence of advanced digital media through educational and research exchange. This takes place in three different program areas: digital media, advanced computing and mathematics, in addition to the IC2 Institute's University Technology Enterprise Network, which focuses on training Portuguese technology transfer offices at Portugal's leading research universities and research centers.
Prof. Aggarwal is the Cullen Trust for Higher Education Endowed Professor in Engineering at the Cockrell School of Engineering.