Various enterprises and personal interests, such as Man-Machine Interaction (MMI), gesture studies, signs, language, social robotics, healthcare, innovation, music, publications, etc.

Category: Academia Page 1 of 4

Conferences, workshops, publications, etc.

Life Lessons

I Love this great video by Tim Minchin.

The Int. Soc. on Gesture Studies

Sinds 2002 bestaat er een International Society on Gesture Studies Ze organiseren conferenties (Austin 2002, Lyon 2005, Chicago2007) en ondersteunen het internationale journal Gesture. Het Nijmegen Gesture Center is een van de steunpilaren (qua mensen en faciliteiten), alsmede de labs van Janet Bavelas, Susan Goldin-Meadow, David McNeill, en het Berlin Gesture Center.

New Publication about Design Methodology

I just added a new publication to my publication list:

Marc Steen, Jeroen Arendsen, Anita Cremers, Arnoud de Jong, Jacomien de Jong & Nicole de Koning (2013). Using interactive model simulations in co-design: An experiment in urban design. CoDesign: International Journal of CoCreation in Design and the Arts. Volume 9, Issue 1. (Purchase online at the publisher)

Title: Using interactive model simulations in co-design: An experiment in urban design
Abstract: This paper presents an experiment in which people performed a co-design task in urban design, using a multi-user touch table application with or without interactive model simulations. We hypothesised that using the interactive model simulations would improve communication and co-operation between co-design participants, would help participants to develop shared understanding and would positively affect the co-design process and its outcomes. However, our experiment (involving 60 people in 20 co-design sessions) only partly confirmed these hypotheses. People positively evaluated the interactive model simulation tools (an interactive map of an urban area, interactive models for traffic, sound, sight and safety, and ‘tangibles’), and these tools promoted communication and co-operation, and the exploration of design solutions. However, people’s experiences of social cohesion and their satisfaction with their own contribution to the co-design process were better without these tools, possibly because using these tools drew people’s attention towards these interactive model simulations and away from the dynamics between the participants. We therefore advocate using such tools selectively, for example, early on in a co-design process, to improve shared understanding of the contents of the problem, rather than later on, when people need to focus on their fellow participants and on the processes of communication and co-operation.

My contribution was the setup of the experiment, the definition of measurements and the analysis (statistical and discussion) of the results. It was work done while I was working at TNO.

Interesting CHRIS video

An important European robotics project called CHRIS (Cooperative Human Robot Interaction Systems FP7 215805) has received its final review last april. They have also created a very nice video that summarizes their work:

As the video show, the work includes the recognition of speech, gesture (pointing), actions, and objects. All within a context of cooperation and safety. But, I will not try to summarize their work. Just watch the video.

Book Review of: Imitation and Social Learning in Robots, Humans and Animals

In 2007 an interesting book was published that I believe is also relevant to gesture researchers:

Imitation and social learning in robots, humans and animals: behavioural, social and communicative dimensions.
Chrystopher L. Nehaniv, Kerstin Dautenhahn (Eds.). Cambridge University Press, 2007 – 479 pagina’s (available online in a limited way, here)

The book is an excellent volume with many interesting chapters, some with contributions by the editors themselves but also by many other authors. Personally, I found the following chapters most interesting (of 21 chapters):

  • 1. Imitation: thoughts about theories (Bird & Heyes)
  • 2. Nine billion correspondence problems (Nehaniv)
  • 7. The question of ‘what to imitate’: inferring goals and intentions from demonstrations (Carpenter & Call)
  • 8. Learning of gestures by imitation in an humanoid robot (Calinon & Billard)
  • 10. Copying strategies by people with autistic spectrum disorder: why only imitation leads to social cognitive development (Williams)
  • 11. A Bayesian model of imitation in infants and robots (Rao et al.)
  • 12. Solving the correspondence problem in robotic imitation across ambodiments: synchrony, perception and culture in artifacts (Alissandrakis et al.)
  • 15. Bullying behaviour, empathy and imitation: an attempted synthesis (Dautenhahn et al.)
  • 16. Multiple motivations for imitation in infancy (Nielsen & Slaughter)
  • 21. Mimicry as deceptive resemblance: beyond the one-trick ponies (Norman & Tregenza)

I’ll probably update this post with more in-depth review remarks later… But at least chapter 21 has connections to earlier posts here regarding animal gestures, such as here.

Thesis of Mats Andrén

For those among you who are interested in good gesture research it may be of interest to know that Mats Andrén, from Lund University, has published (online) his thesis called Children’s Gestures from 18 to 30 months. So far, I am enjoying reading it very much. Good job, Mats, and good luck with the defense 🙂

Press release and media attention for PhD defenses

The TU Delft sent out a press release about my PhD work and PhD defense next monday and that of Jeroen Lichtenauer, who is defending this afternoon, 15:00u Aula TU Delft. And Gineke ten Holt is the third promovenda who is still working on the project (having started later).

TU Delft nieuwsbericht: Computer helpt dove kinderen met leren gebarentaal
The english press release: Computer helps deaf children learn sign language
In het kort op de TU Delft EWI website

Search google for Dutch news: here
Search google for English news: here
Search google for German news: here

Nederlands nieuws
TU Delta (goed achtergrondverhaal)
Onderwijs Nieuwsdienst
De Telegraaf
De Wereld Draait Door
Kennisnet / Speciaal onderwijs
Omroep West – Westonline (telefonisch interview)
Blik op het nieuws
Delft Nieuws
Gevoelloos (met vergelijk spraakherkenning)

Engelstalig nieuws
Science daily
eScience News

German / Deutsch
Pressetext (good story, email contact, revisions)
Innovations report

Eila Goldhahn

Eila Goldhahn:
What can be learnt from the MoverWitness Exchange for the development of gesture-based human-computer interfaces?

Goldhahn holds a very cloudy talk about people being movers and witnesses, holds up Durer’s famous woodcut of perception drawing. I am totally missing the point. We the engineers should all be ‘movers’ as well? So we can share a more embodied knowledge with each other or with our ‘subjects’. Really, no idea what she is trying to get at. But it must be my limited engineer’s point of view or something.

Fortunately she is going to show us some videos. Perhaps it will become clearer now.
– A man is licking a wall, apprently enjoying a very deep sensory haptic embodied experience…
– A woman is looking like she needs to go to the bathroom…
– Ah, a nice one with people falling/flying. She mentions how associations and imagination can play a role in our perceptions (really?) and how these can mediate between the mover and the witness. Good point.

Asked about a more concrete example of what is missing in ‘our methods’ she points out how, in the talk by Stoessel on the elderly, how they could have engaged the movements of the elderly in a more open way. One could let the elderly talk about how they had experienced the movement and then see if this coincides with the ‘witness’s observation of the movement. Hmm, interesting.

GW2009 Keynote: Antonio Camurri

Keynote: Antonio Camurri (also here)
Toward computational models of empathy and emotional entrainment

Casa PaganiniInfoMusEyesWeb

Camurri has already done a lot of interesting work on movement and gesture, all of it in the ‘expressive corner’, working with dance and with music.

He just talked about a really nice application: He created a system to paint with you body movements, But it does so only if you move without hesitation. So, patients with hesitant movements (Parkinson?) get a stimulus to move better.

Next, about part of Humaine: something about the visibility of emotion in musical movements (not the sounds). There were previous talks in this area:

Florian Grond, Thomas Hermann, Vincent Verfaille & Marcelo Wanderley:
Methods for effective ancillary gesture sonification of clarinetists

Rolf Inge Godøy, Alexander Refsum Jensnius & Kristian Nymoen:
Chunking by coarticulation in music-related gestures

Next work with Gina Castellana (?): influence the way you listen to music through movement and gesture. Nice video.

There is also work on robotic interfaces. A ‘concert from trombone and robot’. Stockhausen, Milano. Robot had a radio, drove around, so spatially and in playing the robot had to be in tune with the trombone player. Collaboration with S. Hashimoto and K. Suzuki (Waseda University), See here for a publication.

He also worked together with Klaus Scherer from Geneva. Gael talked about Scherer’s work on the emotions as being quite good.

Camurri seems to be involved in many European networks and projects.

He is now explaining a project on synchronization. Quite interesting stuff about violin players (as cases of oscillators) try to get synchronized with a manipulated signal or with each other. It is going too fast to write much about it, but it all looks really nice. Violinists synchronizing their movements. And he is making much of a concept called ’emotional entrainment’. There is decent explanantion of the term here, but I’ll quote it:

A Quote by Daniel Goleman on emotional entrainment, influence, charisma, and power
Setting the emotional tone of an interaction is, in a sense, a sign of dominance at a deep and intimate level: it means driving the emotional state of the other person. This power to determine emotion is akin to what is called in biology a zeitgeher (literally, “time grabber”), process (such as the day-night cycle of the monthly phases of the moon) that entrains biological rhythms. For a couple dancing, the music is a bodily zeitgeber. When it comes to personal encounters, the person who has the more forceful expressivity – or the most power – is typically the one whose emotions entrain the other. Dominant partners talk more, while the subordinate partner watches the others face more – a setup for the transmissions effect. By the same token, the forcefulness of a good speaker – a politician or an evangelist, say – works to entrain the emotions of the audience. That is what we mean by, “He had them in the palm of his hand.” Emotional entrainment is the heart of influence.
Daniel Goleman : Harvard PhD, author, behavioral science journalist for The New York Times
Daniel Goleman
Source: Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, Page: 117

Interesting remark about the violinists who synchronize with an adjusted signal: They did not hear their own sound but rather a manipulation of the pitch of the movement. So what they did did not match what they heard. At some point these players got motion sickness…

Now there is a weird video from the opera, where a man and a woman use a chair to communicate (?). He lost me there for a moment.

Announcement: eNTERFACE 2009, European Workshop on Multimodal Interfaces, 13 July – 7 Aug, Casa Paganini (here)

– About publications: you can download them from

Isabel Galhano Rodrigues

Isabel Galhano Rodrigues:
Gesture choreography and gesture space in european vs. african portuguese interactions
her page.

She talked about cultural differences, regarding proxemics, regarding ‘touch gestures’.
Hmmm, she just showed two really nice videos, one with Portuguese students and one with Angolese students, who also talk Portuguese. They differ quite a lot in their gesturing, in the sense of their use of space.
Rodrigues points out that the Africans have little problem with gesturing close to the other people, whereas the Europeans appear to respect a large ‘body buffer’.

Questions: Were they representative of their ‘group’? Answer: this was just a first recording that I analysed.

Page 1 of 4

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén