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After studying Physics and Computer Science at the University of Utrecht, I did my PhD research at the University of Nijmegen on specification and verification of communicating processes. After a short stay at Philips Research, I joined the University of Twente in 1990 as associate professor in the group then called Theoretical Computer Science, still working on formal methods for parallel and communication processes.
After that, studying “interaction” shifted from theoretical investigations to more applied settings such as interaction between software agents, and eventually towards human-computer interaction. A major research theme became the study of multimodal interaction exploiting verbal as well as non-verbal behavior of humanoid characters. This research derives from many fields in science, and seeks to combine many techniques and a lot of knowledge, ranging from machine learning, agent theory, social sciences to computer graphics, and the physics of human bodily behavior. Applications range from training to (serious) gaming. I have been involved in several research projects, including the Dutch projects GATE (Gaming Research for Training and Entertainment, 2007-2012), ICIS (on Computational Human Interaction Modeling, 2005-2010), and various EU projects including AMIDA (on meeting technology 2004-2010), and Metaverse1 (integration of real and virtual worlds, 2008-2011). Currently, I am participating in the Dutch COMMIT project P2 that started in 2011, focusing on the creation of virtual environments for scenarios where non-verbal interaction is an important means of communication.