In September 2013, I completed the Phd Program in Information Systems and Computer Engineering at the Instituto Superior Técnico, Technical University of Lisbon in Portugal, under the supervision of Prof. Ana Paiva and Prof. Francisco Melo. My thesis focused on building more flexible and robust reward mechanisms for autonomous reinforcement learning (RL) agents. To address such goal we take inspiration from information processing mechanisms present in natural organisms. Specifically, we focus on the role of emotions as an evolutionary adaptive mechanism and also on the way individuals interact and cooperate with each other as a social group.
While at GAIPS I have participated as a developer / researcher in two European Union-funded projects: FearNot! and Orient. In both projects I developed a framework for the integration of the autonomous agents’ architecture with the graphical engine responsible for the representation and coordination of all the characters, objects, sets and cameras of the 3D virtual environment.
I also worked as a lab assistant for the Human-Computer Interaction and Computer Graphics courses, corresponding respectively to the 3rd and 2nd years of the BSc Degree in Information Systems and Computer Engineering at the Instituto Superior Técnico.
During the second year of my PhD I was a research intern at the Institute of Creative Technologies under the supervision of Prof. Stacy Marsella, during which I investigated the influence of emotions, social and cultural factors in the human learning process.