Mark ter Maat

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Function:PostDoc (Former)

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Born (1983) and raised in Ede I moved to Enschede to study Computer Science at the University of Twente in 2002. After 3 years I received my bachelor and continued with the master Human Media Interaction at the same university. During this master, I did an internship in Los Angeles at the Institute of Creative Technologies (ICT) under the supervision of Jonathan Gratch. Here I worked on a virtual doctor, and especially on giving it human-like listening behaviour (mostly focused on backchannels). In 2007 I received my MSc degree on a virtual conductor. In this project a virtual character was put in front of a real orchestra with the goal to conduct it. Its input was the musical score (the notes) and the music played by the orchestra. I studied the interaction between a conductor and the orchestra and used this information to design and implement a flexible architecture for the virtual.

In 2011 I received my PhD degree from the University of Twente in the Human Media Interaction group on turn taking behaviour and response selection for a listening virtual character. I did this work in the Semaine project. This project aimed to build a virtual character that can listen to human speakers while performing appropriate listening behaviour and motivating the speakers to keep on talking. I mainly worked on the dialogue management of this system, which has to decide how the virtual character should behave based on the detected behaviour of the human speakers.

From December 2011 until December 2012 I started as a postdoctoral researcher at HMI. My goal is to combine software we made or use at HMI into a full multimodal virtual character with video and audio input, different ways of processing this information, and an avatar that can gesture and speak.