Celso M. de Melo

USC Institute for Creative Technologies
12015 Waterfront Drive, Building #4
Playa Vista, CA 90094-2536


I am interested in creating machines that show the kind of intelligence we see in humans. For over 10 years, I have (a) created computational systems that support multimodal expression via face, body, and words, (b) developed cognitive (or AI) models of complex human behavior (e.g., emotion), and (c) explored new media and pushed the boundaries of human-machine interaction (e.g., augmented/virtual reality). My work has practical implications in health, social training, education, games, robotics, etc.

I recently finished a postdoc at the USC Marshall School of Business. This research was funded by an NSF Grant and focused on:

  • The interpersonal effects of emotion expression on people's decision making and corresponding implications for the design of intelligent human-computer interaction systems;
  • Virtual humans, or three-dimensional characters that look and act like humans, as a computational interface for the future and a basic research tool for the behavioral sciences;
  • How perceptions of cognitive and affective ability in others influences decision making and its consequences for human-computer and computer-mediated decision making.

I earned my Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Southern California. This work consisted of creating cognitive computational models of emotion and decision making using various artificial intelligence techniques (e.g., machine learning). This work was done at the Institute for Creative Technologies with Jonathan Gratch.

Previously, I received a M.Sc. in Computer Science at the Technical University of Lisbon (IST) with Ana Paiva at the Synthetic Characters and Intelligent Agents Group (GAIPS). There, I began developing my virtual humans framework that supports multimodal expression through face, gesture, and voice.

I was born in beautiful Mozambique and also am proud to be Portuguese.


Last updated: February 19th, 2017