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Sahba Zojaji

Profile picture of Sahba Zojaji

DOCTORAL STUDENT


About me

Sahba Zojaji is a Ph.D. fellow of Computer Science at the Department of Computational Science and Technology (CST). He received his M.Sc. in Computer Engineering with a specialism in Artificial Intelligence & Robotics from Iran University of Science & Technology (IUST) in 2011. After his ten-year career as an engineer and researcher in different companies and universities in Iran, Sahba joined the LITIS laboratory in 2016, where he accepted a research engineer position at INSA of Rouen Normandy, France. He focused on Embodied Conversational Agents, story-telling, and Child-agent multi-modal interaction during his over two years of work for LITIS Lab. Eventually, he started his Ph.D. at KTH Royal Institute of Technology on the first of November 2018.

His Ph.D. topic, under the supervision of Professor Christopher Peters, is "Socially compliant behavior modeling for artificial systems and small groups of teachers and learners" which is a part of the ANIMATAS project. His doctoral research focused on investigating the pivotal role of politeness behaviors in human-agent interactions, particularly within small conversational groups involving humanoid robots, virtual agents, and immersive virtual reality environments. Through a series of studies, he investigated the impact of diverse politeness strategies on individuals' decisions to join conversational groups, utilizing various embodiments such as humanoid robots and virtual agents. In exploring the influence of multimodal communication, encompassing voice, gestures, and gaze, his work pioneered the development of persuasive yet polite strategies aimed at enhancing group interactions in shared environments. These investigations highlighted the significance of politeness in shaping human-agent interactions, paving the way for designing effective communication systems that integrate diverse modalities while emphasizing the importance of direct and explicit politeness strategies. Furthermore, his studies underscored the balance required between persuasive success and maintaining a positive perception of the agent, offering insights for future designs in human-agent interactions.

Alongside his research endeavors, he was elected as a board member and served as the Event/Business Manager for the Ph.D. Chapter (Doctoral Student Union) at KTH from December 2021 to December 2023. During this period, he initiated and pioneered the idea of industrial research visits for Ph.D. students, organizing several successful visits to prominent Swedish and international companies, including ABB, Scania, Ericsson, Microsoft, Microsoft Research, NKT, Hitachi Energy, InterTek, and Resolution Games. These visits garnered exceptional feedback from students and industry partners alike. As a result, they led to several recruitments and collaborations.

Additionally, during his tenure as a board member of the PhD Chapter for two years, he actively represented Ph.D. students within the KTH ISP Focus group, striving to enhance the Individual Study Plan system. Furthermore, he was elected as the Chairperson of the Supervisor of the Year award at KTH for two consecutive years, from January 2022 to December 2023, dedicated to recognizing exemplary Ph.D. supervisors and fostering appreciation for commendable mentorship practices. Additionally, he continued to be actively involved in an ongoing project as a member of the workgroup tasked with designing the official template for KTH's PhD theses until the end of his PhD studies.

Finally, he has established himself as a reviewer for prestigious international conferences and journals, including CHI, ICRA, IROS, HRI, IVA, AAMAS, ICMI, HAI, MUM, CASA, IEEE Transactions in Affective Computing, and ACM Transactions on Interactive Intelligent Systems, while also serving as a PC member at the ACII conference.

Master thesis supervision

If you are a master's student interested in doing your thesis in the areas of virtual characters, social robotics, virtual and mixed reality interfaces, motion capture, and psychological studies involving the human perception of animated artificial agents, you can contact me to discuss potential thesis ideas.

Areas of interest:

#hci , #humancomputerinteraction , #vr , #ar , #xr , #virtualreality , #augmentedreality , #mixedreality, #affectivecomputing , #socialrobotics , #motioncapture , #educationaltechnology , #design , #evaluation , #ux , #userstudies , #innovation ,  #interaction , #interactiondesign , #ui , #uxdesign , #sustainability , #research2business


Courses

Advanced Graphics and Interaction (DH2413), assistant | Course web

Computer Graphics and Interaction (DH2323), assistant | Course web

Introduction to the Philosophy of Science and Research Methodology (DA2205), assistant | Course web

Programming Techniques (DD1310), assistant | Course web