Summer Signings at QxLab

The sporting transfer season my be on hold but QxLab has two new additions for the summer. Every year summer interns join the lab to gain experience working in a research environment.

Last year’s summer intern, Matthew Parker, from Texas Tech University, developed a Unity application for VR experiments using an Oculus Quest to investigate the effect of the spatial audio on the perception of speech. This led to a 2019 publication at AICS. Matthew was in touch to let us know that he has been offered a PhD position beginning later in the year at Rice University.

This year, Khushboo Satpute and Qijian Zhang join the lab from the UCD MSc programme. Khushboo has over 6 years of experience working in academia. She is working on a chatbot system for mental health research using the Google DialogFlow Cloud Platform. This work is in collaboration with Prof. Louise McHugh in the UCD School of Psychology.

Qijian has experience in front end web development and is developing of web-based listening and speech test platform.

This year our interns are the first to experience remote internships due to the COVID-19 campus closure. The lab social Zoom sessions and Slack channels keep us in touch and we hope that they will enjoy their experience working in QxLab.

QoMEX 2020 “hosted” in Ireland

QoMEX was broadcast and hosted virtually from Athlone Institute of Technology and UCD, Dublin

Andrew Hines (QxLab, UCD) and Niall Murray (AIT) hosted the International Conference on Quality of Multimedia Experience (QoMEX) in a virtual online format last week.

The conference provides an annual forum for experts from academia and industry to present and discuss current and future research on multimedia quality, quality of experience (QoE) and user experience (UX). The 12th edition, in 2020, was a conference unlike any that has gone before it. As a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic and associated travel restrictions, QoMEX 2020 was be held online as a virtual event. Without the planned “céad míle fáilte” or one hundred thousand welcomes for visitors to Athlone, Ireland, a three day technical programme and adapted social events were delivered in a novel and memorable experience for all attendees.

Curating an online conference programme was very different from a face-to-face event. But live streaming oral sessions, social zoom breakouts and virtual reality poster and pitch sessions through Mozilla Hubs gave attendees many of the regular conference experiences in a slightly repackaged way. There was even a traditional Irish style social music jam session.

Stephen Brewster (University of Glasgow), Hayley Hung (Delft University of Technology ) and Mel Slater’s (University of Barcelona) delivered keynotes to the largest ever number of attendees in the history of the conference with over 330 participants registered.

A big thanks to all of the support team based in UCD and AIT without whom the conference would never have made it into the cloud!