Seminar Announcement

Creating Virtual Humans

  • Speaker: Dr. Jan M. Allbeck
  • George Mason University
  • Date: Friday, April 12th, 2013
  • Time: 1:00pm - 2:00pm
  • Location: Room 325 (NVC)


There is an ongoing desire to make virtual humans a more accessible tool for use in entertainment, training, and evaluation. From the graphical level to the animation level to the intelligence level, complexities abound. As research progresses some of these complexities become hidden from the end user. Ultimately, we would like to treat agents as real humans and instruct and interact with them as you might another person.

This talk will outline a few of the challenges encountered when creating virtual humans and approaches for address them. Topics will include crowd simulations, behavior authoring and selection, decision making, commonsense knowledge, learning, and individual differences, such as roles and personality. An open question that pervades is: how does one scientifically evaluate research in virtual humans?

Speaker's Biography

Jan Allbeck is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at George Mason University, where she is also the faculty advisor for their undergraduate concentration in Computer Game Design. She received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 2009. She has had the great opportunity to explore many aspects of computer graphics, but is most drawn to research at the crossroads of animation, artificial intelligence, and psychology in the simulation of virtual humans. Her dissertation focused on the creation and simulation of functional crowds.