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School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science

Dr Julian Hough



Telephone: +44 20 7882 5242
Room Number: Peter Landin, CS 408
Office Hours: Tuesday 11:00-12:00


Interaction Design (Undergraduate)

Traditionally, interactive systems design has focused on enhancing people's efficiency or productivity. For example, to increase the speed with which tasks can be completed or to minimise the number of errors people make. Economic and social changes have led to a situation in which the primary use of many technologies is for fun; ie. in which there is no quantifiable output and no clear goal other than enjoyment. Computer games, mobile music players and online communities are all examples where the quality of the experience is the primary aim of the interaction. This module explores the challenges these new technologies, and the industries they have created, present for the design and evaluation of interactive systems. It moves away from a human computer interaction model, which is too constrained for real world problems and provides you with an opportunity to engage with theories relating to cultural dynamics, social activity, and live performance. It explores the nature of engagement with interactive systems and between people when mediated by interactive systems.

Natural Language Processing (Postgraduate/Undergraduate)

Natural Language Processing (aka Computational Linguistics) has become an important and growing field in the last decade. Many of the most important applications for computing now involve the processing and understanding of spoken or written language: machine translation, question answering, news summarisation, text and opinion mining, and spoken dialogue systems like the iPhone's Siri. This module will introduce the core techniques in language processing, including statistical and rule-based approaches, and show how to apply them to the main application areas.


Research Interests:

My principal research interests are in the study of spoken (and non-verbal) dialogue and in dialogue systems (generally considered a subfield of Computational Linguistics/Natural Language Processing). I am concerned in general with the following questions:
  • How do people repair their own speech in dialogue when encountering trouble or when they are disfluent?
  • How do people combine speech and physical action when communicating in task-orientated settings?
  • What are the best models for putting this information into machines (robots and avatars) to make interaction more natural?
For more details and all publications please see my personal homepage.