Contact Information

  • Jennifer Hyde née Tam
    Smith Hall 232
    Carnegie Mellon University
    5000 Forbes Avenue
    Pittsburgh, PA 15213

I am a PhD student in Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. I am advised by Jessica Hodgins and Sara Kiesler.

I work on improving interactive animated characters used in education and therapy. Animators follow common practices to create lifelike and engaging cartoon characters, but these methods may not be applicable to realistic characters in non-entertainment related roles. I am focusing my investigation on the standard practice of exaggerating character expressiveness and suggest design options for animated characters used in education and therapy. I have found that small differences in facial motion can create important differences in the inferences of viewers and the trust that people have in animated characters. My research suggests that damped realistic characters may be more appropriate for education and therapy than exaggerated cartoon characters. My dissertation research empirically demonstrates that the common practice of exaggerating animated characters does not have its desired effect when applied to realistic characters that are intended for educational and therapeutic applications.

In the past I have worked on improving audio CAPTCHAs so that they are easier for humans and harder for computers to pass. The new audio CAPTCHAs have the added benefit that they transcribe difficult audio as users solve them, i.e. the audio reCAPTCHA. Check out my paper regarding my analysis of the security of three popular CAPTCHAs. You can read about the audio reCAPTCHA here!