UHCS Summer Seminar
The role of affective computing in affectivism July 16th, 11am CDT/ POSTPONED
Zoom link

Daniel Dukes, PhD

Postdoc, chEERS lab, University of Fribourg

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Following the publication of a recent opinion piece in Nature Human Behaviour (Dukes et al., 2021) we propose to discuss here how affective computing is an important element of a broader academic evolution in which research in emotion and other affective processes has impacted on areas of research previously seen as being either cognitive or behavioral in nature. Our proposed notion of affectivism captures the idea that research on affective processes, having previously dismissed as irrelevant or unmeasurable, actually provides substantial explanatory power to models of cognition and behavior. While research in cybernetics and computer sciences were key for the transition from behaviorism to cognitivism, we will ask whether affective computing could be one of several signs of a new era, the era of affectivsm.

Armed with an MSc in Economic and Social History from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, Danny worked for ten years in special education in different countries, in various settings and with individuals with different special educational needs and disabilities, before returning to academia. He obtained a Masters degree (Open University, UK) in Psychology while working full time as the coordinator of a validation project of an emotion remediation programme for individuals with autism and/or intellectual disabilities in Geneva, Switzerland.
He obtained a doctorate (summa cum laude) from the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland in June, 2017, under the supervision of Professor Fabrice Clément. During that time and since, he has enjoyed extended research stays sponsored by the Swiss National Science Foundation at UC Berkeley, USA with Professor Joseph J. Campos, at the University of Amsterdam. Netherlands with Professor Agneta Fischer and the University of Oxford, UK with Professor Brian Parkinson.
He is currently carrying out postdoctoral research at Professor Andrea Samson’s chEERS lab in the Institute of Special Education in the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. He is also affiliated to the Swiss Center for Affective Sciences where he works most closely with Professor David Sander and Dr Marcello Mortillaro. His primary research interest is in developmental socio-emotional processes and how they motivate and are motivated by behavioral and cognitive mechanisms, but he is easily distracted and, as a consequence, works on other things too.

To be added soon after the seminar.

Acknowledgement: This project is sponsored by NSF under CNS-1551221 and CCF-1950297. Special thanks to the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics for its financial support. The University of Houston is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.