Stephania Loizidou Himona (Coordinator)
The positions of program and scientific coordinator for the proposed project are covered by Dr. Stephania Loizidou Himona. Dr. Loizidou is currently an Assistant Professor and the supervisor of the Computer Science department of the Limassol campus of Frederick University; a position that she has held since 2002. Prior to that, she had been running the Computer Science department of both the Nicosia and the Limassol campus over a period of 10 years, until the separation of the two branches. In this position, she had been actively involved in the prolonged accreditation process, which ultimately led to Frederick Institute of Technology becoming Frederick University in October 2007.
To date, she has 20 years of experience in research oriented activities, and she is an active researcher in the areas of computer graphics and animation with particular interest in realistic human locomotion (dynamics of motion). She has published a number of scientific papers in conferences, workshops and journals both in Cyprus and abroad. She has also participated in a number of conferences, workshops and seminars at a national as well as international level. On an academic level, Dr. Loizidou is currently working as an internal supervisor to two of her colleagues who are both working towards completing their PhD’s. Apart from this, she has always supervised a number of graduate students’ projects since the onset of her lecturing position. Dr. Loizidou has maintained academic links with Universities local and abroad.
Under the Host Organisation (HO)
Prof Mel Slater (Individual Researcher)
Prof. Slater has been an active researcher in virtual reality since the early 1990s. He pioneered research in the understanding of presence in virtual environments and the associated experimental methodology of carrying out participant-based studies in this field. His work has shown that people tend to respond realistically to situations and events within immersive virtual environments, which means that they can be used successfully for training for real life events. The major application area in which he has been involved is in clinical psychology, especially regarding social phobia and paranoia. He has also started a new stream of research in the application of virtual reality to hitherto forbidden subjects in social psychology. This resulted from the work on the virtual reprise of the famous experiments by Stanley Milgram in the 1960s on obedience to authority. He has a new funded project in the UK which is the application of these techniques to the portrayal and the study of people’s reactions to violence on the streets. This is highly applicable to the proposed project, including both a technical element (the representation and behaviour of virtual characters) and the scientific evaluation of people’s reactions to violent situations. He has also developed a new method for global illumination in computer graphics, which runs in real-time in virtual reality systems. He leads the 14 partner European Integrated Project PRESENCCIA (www.presenccia.org).
Efstathios Stavrakis (Researcher)
Efstathios Stavrakis is a computer scientist currently based at the University of Cyprus. He holds a PhD in Informatics from the Vienna University of Technology. He has participated in multiple research and development projects, and has conducted, and published, research at the intersection of computer graphics and vision, eye-tracking and psychophisics, as well as 3D audio rendering for virtual environments. He brings a wealth of experience in software development, interface design and graphical algorithms. Previously, he has held posts at Systema Informatics S.A. (Athens, Greece), the Institute of Software Technology and Interactive Systems (Vienna, Austria), the Institute of Computer Graphics (Vienna, Austria), INRIA Sophia Antipolis – Méditerranée (France) and the Glasgow School of Art (Glasgow, UK).
PA1: Yiorgos Chrysanthou
Yiorgos Chrysanthou is an Associate Professor at the Computer Science Department of the University of Cyprus, where he is heading the Graphics and Hypermedia lab. Before coming to Cyprus he was a Lecturer at University College London (UCL), part of the Computer Graphics and Virtual Environments group. He has been a Visiting Researcher at the graphics labs of University of California at Berkeley, USA (1992) and at Tel-Aviv University, Israel (1997). He has led several research projects, related to graphics, virtual reality and application, funded through various sources (UK EPSRC, UK DTI, EU IST, and CY). He has published over 40 papers in journals and international conferences and has been the editor of several special issues and proceedings. He is a co-author of the book “Computer Graphics and Virtual Environments: From Realism to Real-Time”, (Addison-Wesley 2001). He has served as Program co-Chair for the 12th and 13th ACM Virtual Reality Software and Technology (ACM VRST 2005 and 2006) and for the Eurographics Symposium on Graphics and Cultural Heritage (EGSCH & VAST 2004). He is currently heading the Computer Graphics and Virtual Reality Lab at UCY, with several graduate and undergraduate students. Yiorgos will also employ a young researcher that will be responsible for the development and testing of the training platform as well as the integration to the realistic motion of avatars.
Dr Christos Gatzoulis is a Visiting Lecturer at the Computer Science Department of the University of Cyprus, where he teaches Games Programming and other programming and IT courses. He received his PhD on Artificial Intelligence for Computer Animation and Robotics from the University of Teesside. He has presented several publications in the area. During his PhD studies he was also a part-time Lecturer in the areas of computer graphics, computer animation and games programming. Christos has also participated in the past at various IST projects as a researcher and programmer while working at the Institute of Telematics and Informatics, Thessaloniki, Greece. After his PhD he worked for a summer at Siemens Automation and Drives, Cambridge as a Software Engineer before coming to Cyprus to work as a Lecturer at Intercollege College of Higher Education for the year 2007-08.
PA2: Andreas Savva
Dr Andreas Savva received a First Class Bachelor Degree in Mathematics and Computing from the University of North London and a Ph.D. in Computer Graphics from the same institution. Upon completion of his Ph.D. he returned back to Cyprus where he was offered a position of full-time faculty at Intercollege. He has contributed in the accreditation of Intercollege to a University (University of Nicosia) from different positions including that of the Computer Science program coordinator. Today, he is an Associate Professor and the Head of the Computer Science Department of the School of Sciences at the University of Nicosia. His research interests include Geometric Modeling, Knowledge Management and e-Learning. His work in Complex Figure Modeling has resulted into the derivation of a method based on subdivision splines capable of defining surfaces with arbitrary meshes of control points that will be employed in the proposed work.
PA3: Andreas Loizides
Dr Andreas Loizides is an Assistant Professor and Head of the Computing Department at P.A. College. He has led the team that successfully completed accreditation of the bachelor degree in Business Computing. Dr Loizides has a first class honors bachelor degree from University College London (UCL) and a Ph.D. from the same institution. Dr Loizides has substantial experience in the area of facial expressions, work that has been part of his Ph.D dissertation and future research activities to date. He has a number of publications in the area and is regular reviewer of academic journals and conferences in related issues.
PA4: Aristos Chrysanthou, Costas Constantinou, Marios Atteshlis
The aforementioned members of the Cyprus Police Emergency Response Unit a technician and two experienced trainers will be heavily involved during the design phase of the training platform for requirements gathering as well as during the testing and evaluation phase. Their contribution will be valuable in eventually developing a useful pilot system customised to the needs of the police force.