Invited Talks

Marc Swerts
Tilburg University
Faculty of Humanities
Department of Communication and Information Science
Tilburg (the Netherlands)


Facial expressions in human-human and human-machine interactions

Speakers make extensive use of facial expressions for various communicative purposes, while their addressees are sensitive to such expressions when interpreting incoming sentences. In this talk, I will present results of research that shows how facial expressions are exploited for highlighting important pieces of information, for signalling how confident speakers are about what they try to convey, and for marking emotionally sensitive information. These results are primarily based on studies of human-human interactions, where specific techniques were used that ensure that the analysed data were ecologically valid. In addition, I will discuss how facial expressions are useful for improving the naturalness and efficiency of human-machine interactions, as an interface between the human and the machine.


Marc Swerts is a full professor in the Department of Communication and Information Science of the Faculty of Humanities at Tilburg University (The Netherlands). His current research aims to get a better understanding of how speakers exploit verbal of non-verbal forms of communication to exchange information with their addressees. He has served on the editorial board of three major journals in the field of language and speech research, and is the current co-editor-in-chief of Speech Communication. He was also elected as one of the two distinguished lecturers of the International Speech Communication Association (ISCA) for 2007-2008.



Susan Dumais
Microsoft Research.


Supporting Searchers in Searching

Search is the main entry point for an ever-increasing range of information, services, communications and entertainment. During the last decade, there have been tremendous advances in the scale of search systems and the diversity of available resources. Yet the tools that searchers use to express their information needs have changed very little. Search interfaces today look much the same as they did a decade ago. Searchers type a few words into a search box, and the search engine returns a long list of results. When the results fail to satisfy their information needs, they try again, and again with little support from the search engine. We can do much better than this. To do so will require developing techniques to understand queries and pages in context, and to improve the dialog between searchers and search engines. In this talk, I will discuss our recent efforts to address these challenges by: modeling searchers« interests and activities over time, representing non-content attributes such as time or genre, and developing interaction techniques that enable searchers to articulate their information needs more effectively.


Susan Dumais is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research where she heads the Context, Learning and User Experience for Search (CLUES) group. She has been at Microsoft Research since 1997 and has published widely in the areas of human-computer interaction and information retrieval. Her current research focuses on dynamic information environments, personal information management, user modeling and personalization, novel interfaces for interactive retrieval, and implicit measures of user interest and activity. She has worked closely with several Microsoft groups (Windows Desktop Search, MSN Search, SharePoint Portal Server and Office Help) on search-related innovations. Prior to joining Microsoft Research, she was at Bellcore and Bell Labs for many years, where she worked on Latent Semantic Indexing (a statistical method for concept-based retrieval), combining search and navigation, individual differences, and organizational impacts of new technology.

Susan has published more than 170 articles in the fields of information science, human-computer interaction, and cognitive science, and holds several patents on novel retrieval algorithms and interfaces. She is Past-Chair of ACM's Special Interest Group in Information Retrieval (SIGIR), and served on the NRC Committee on Computing and Communications Research to Enable Better Use of Information Technology in Digital Government, and the NRC Board on Assessment of NIST Programs. She is on the editorial boards of ACM: Transactions on Information Systems, ACM: Transactions on Human Computer Interaction, Human Computer Interaction, Information Processing and Management, Information Retrieval, New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia, and the Annual Review of Information Science and Technology, an associate editor for the first and second editions of the Handbook of Applied Cognition, and on program committees for several conferences. She was elected to the CHI Academy in 2005, and an ACM Fellow in 2006. Susan is an adjunct professor in the Information School at the University of Washington, and has been a visiting faculty member at Stevens Institute of Technology, New York University, and the University of Chicago.

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