The University of Newcastle, Australia

Jacqueline Bailey to Present at World’s Largest Modelling, Simulation and Training Conference

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

It would appear that first time was a charm for recent Bachelor of Information Technology (First Class Honours) graduate, Jacqueline Bailey (pictured). Jacqueline was awarded the best research paper prize at premier national technology, academia and industry collaboration event, the Australasian Simulation Congress, which was held in Melbourne from September 26th to 29th.

In addition to receiving $5,000 prize money, Jacqueline has been invited to present her research at this year’s Interservice/ Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC), the world’s largest modelling, simulation and training conference, which will be held in Orlando, Florida from November 28th to December 2nd.

“This recognition was quite unexpected. This was my first conference and my first conference paper, so it is an honour to have been awarded this recognition… I am looking forward to exploring new avenues of information presented at I/ITSEC and having a chance to present my research on a global platform,” Bailey said.

Supervised by Dr Karen Blackmore from the School of Design, Communication and IT, and conducted under a Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Newcastle and the Australian Defence College (ADC) Simulation Centre, Jacqueline’s research, titled, “Exploring Avatar Facial Fidelity and Emotional Expressions on Observer Perception of the Uncanny Valley”, explores how virtual human fidelity or realism influences the emotional experience during user and virtual human interactions. It also examines how the virtual humans’ facial features and emotional expressions affected users’ perceived valance of the virtual human, with the findings indicating that the gender of the avatar has a significant impact on participant responses, and smiling emotional expressions were considered uncannier than their sad counterparts.

As one of the few current female researchers in the discipline of Information Technology, Jacqueline’s success is a testament to her hard work and tenacity. As the first in her family to attend university, Jacqueline gained entry through UON’s Open Foundation program, and is now completing her PhD (Information Technology).

Jacqueline’s collaboration with the ADC continues, with the support of i3 Lab, an alliance established by Dr Karen Blackmore and Dr Keith Nesbitt from the School of Design, Communication and IT, in collaboration with Dr Shamus Smith from the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, to assist in expanding industry engaged research.

“I found working with an industry based partner to be highly valuable and it was reassuring to hear that there was an applicable industry application for the research I was undertaking.” Bailey said.

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