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Research

TEACHING:

Fall 2016: Picard is leading a new class Tools for Improving Wellbeing, Mondays 10:30-12.

Spring 2016: Picard led a reading seminar "Tools for Causal Inference," Tuesdays.

Fall 2015: Picard taught MAS.630 Affective Computing.

Spring 2015: Picard taught a new course MAS.S62 Health behavior change lab.

Fall 2014: Picard taught a new course MAS.S63 Tools for Wellbeing.



RESEARCH:

Affective Computing. Picard coined the term "Affective Computing" in 1994 describing a new direction of research. She published a broad vision of the research as a technical report in January 1995 and launched the first Affective Computing Research Group in fall 1995. Picard published the first book on Affective Computing in 1997, describing a vision of technology that would have the skills of emotional intelligence, with wearable and other computers that would help measure and understand human emotion, always prioritizing the respect of human feelings.

Today she leads a team at MIT pioneering research in developing new technologies for sensing, communicating, modeling, and responding intelligently to people's emotions, and for enabling people to better communicate, reflect on and learn more about emotion. Her research has been commercialized by several businesses, including Affectiva Inc, and Empatica Inc., both of which she co-founded. Practical applications of her work have included improving driver safety, helping people manage stress, reducing frustration, improving seizure detection, recognizing when ads are boring, confusing or entertaining, and enhancing customer experience. Her team has also conducted research on the ethics of affective computing.

Her current research aims at creating technology that improves the interaction between emotion and health - especially social-emotional communication, autism, learning & decision-making, affective disorders such as anxiety and depression, autonomic disturbances, and health behavior change.

Findings and results of her research are found primarily in peer-reviewed publications and occasionally in the press.


PRIOR RESEARCH:

Texture and Pattern Modeling
Video and Image Libraries: Browsing, Retrieval, Annotation


RESEARCH GROUP:

I have the privilege of working with many outstanding students, postdoctoral associates, and visiting scientists in my group at MIT as well as with other Media Lab faculty, students, staff, corporate members, and other collaborators elsewhere at MIT and at many other universities, hospitals, and medical centers worldwide. Some of my favorite collaborators, both inside and outside MIT, include people on the autism spectrum. Our research has been enormously enriched by the diversity of backgrounds, cultures, personalities, and perspectives of very different individuals working together. AT MIT the more different you are, the more you fit in.