UNCC Software and Information Systems
I am a native of a small twin island state called Trinidad and Tobago, which is located in the Caribbean. I was born on the island of Trinidad, where I spent my childhood and teen years. I migrated to the United States in 1991 and became a citizen in 2000. I received my Bachelor of Science Degree from New York University in 1995, where I majored in Mathematics and minored in Computer Science. I received my Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy Degrees from Auburn University in 2003 and 2006 respectfully. I am currently a Teaching Associate Professor in the Department of Software and Information Systems at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. My research interests include Human Centered Computing (HCC), Virtual Agents and Speech Technologies.
My research interests include the topics of affective computing, speech interfaces and virtual agents. Speech has been identified as the most fundamental medium by which humans communicate. As babies, we instinctively develop the skills required to both understand and produce speech. As a result, speech provides one of the most natural forms of interaction. My research investigates conversational question answering and its applications. Affective computing refers to the development of machines that can display and convey emotions to the user. I am interested in the development of machines that can perceive emotions and convey them from one user to another. I am investigating the impact of technology on highly emotional interactions. Virtual agents are currently being used in many venues as: museum guides, real estate agents, armed forces recruiters and patient treatment, to name a few. I am investigating the role that virtual agents can play in highly emotional interactions and social encounters.
AVARI (Animated Virtual Agent Retrieving Information)
Avari was developed at an REU program during summer '07. She answers general questions about the computer scientist faculty at UNCC. We are currently investigating the user interactions with Avari.
iTech (Interactive Technical Assistant)
iTech uses an animated agent to provide a more natural medium for manuals. iTech accepts natural questions about the vi editor and displays the solutions. iTech uses a new methodology for conversational question answering called Answers First (A1).
The Dr. C.H.E.S.T.R. Show
Dr. Chestr (Computerized Host Encouraging Students To Review) is the current summer REU project. Dr. Chestr is a virtual game show host. The topic for the game show is based on the introductory course to C++ at UNCC.
University of North Carolina Charlotte
Department of Software and Information Systems
9201 University City Boulevard Charlotte, NC 28223
(704) 687-7988 (Office)