Prof. Sid Fels of UBC visits DGP

Professor Sid Fels from the ECE department at UBC, a DCS PhD alumnus, visited the DGP to talk about his work on the intersections between HCI, human anatomy, and forms of expression.


Sid has been in the department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of British Columbia since 1998. Sidney received his Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Computer Science at the University of Toronto in 1994 and 1990 respectively. He received his B.A.Sc. in Electrical Engineering at the University of Waterloo in 1988. He was recognized as a Distinguished University Scholar at UBC from 2004. He was a visiting researcher at ATR Media Integration & Communications Research Laboratories in Kyoto, Japan from 1996 to 1997. He also worked at Virtual Technologies Inc. in Palo Alto, CA. He is internationally known for his work in human-computer interaction, biomechanical modeling of human anatomy, and new interfaces for musical expression and interactive arts. He was a principal investigator on the Canadian Networks Centre of Excellence on Graphics, Animation and New Media (GRAND) from 2010-2014. He was the Director of the Media and Graphics Interdisciplinary Centre (MAGIC) from 2001-2012.


Design for Human Experience and Expression: Research at MAGIC and the HCT Laboratory


Research at the Media and Graphics Interdisciplinary Centre (MAGIC; and the Human Communications Technology (HCT) laboratory ( has been targeting design for human experience and expression. In this presentation, start with a discussion of gesture-to-speech and voice explorations, including Glove-TalkII and the Digital Ventriloquized Actors (DIVAs). connect these to other explorations of the new interfaces for musical and visual expression that we have created.  then show some more work on new forms of personalized video viewing that we call the MyView system. MyView creates a new viewing experience though integrating human memory patterns into the navigation, browsing, annotation, authoring and sharing mechanisms. I will briefly discuss our work on modelling human anatomy ( and function, such as speaking, chewing, swallowing and breathing ( with biomechanical models using our toolkit Artisynth ( This work is motivated by our quest to make a new vocal instrument that can be controlled by gesture. I’ll discuss some of the activities we have been doing on some new 3D displays: pCubee and Spheree. Finally, these investigations will be used to support a theory of designing for intimacy and discussions of perspectives on human computer interaction for new experiences and forms of expression.

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