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Nine public graduation presentations

  • See students present their personal research project
Friday 8 July 2022
Gravensteen building
Pieterskerkhof 6
2311SR Leiden
011 and 111

Nine students present their Media Technology MSc graduation thesis work, in 20-25 minutes and followed by 10-15 minutes public discussion. Everyone is invited to attend!


Public for everyone
40-45 minutes per graduate
Student presenting his graduation research at an international conference in London, 2018.

Media Technology MSc graduation presentations follow a classic conference format. Each student presents their work in 20 minutes. With the primary advisor acting as a conference session chair, the presentation is followed by a moderated public discussion.
Although everyone can ask questions in the discussion, the right to ask the first questions is for the two invited critics. These were personally invited by the graduate to read their thesis before the presentation, and to formulate one or two questions for the discussion. Ambitious students have been known to invite high-profile academic critics.

Presentation Schedule, Room 011

Marinus van den Oever. "Co-Creativity between Music Producers and ‘Smart’ versus ‘Naive’ Generative Systems in a Melody Composition Task"
Roman Guerin. "Reducing the perception of AI bias in human-robot interaction using emphatic curiosity"
Daniel Sigmund. "Tricky throws and pretty patterns: improving upon 40 years up juggling notation"

Presentation Schedule, Room 111

Rebecca Rui. "Forking the Docuverse"
Anastasia Thambwe. "When The Game Chooses the Player – A Study about Games for Leadership Assessment"
Pien Leeuwenburgh. "Misplaced waste: an exploratory study on waste disposed around semi-underground waste containers in relation to the socio-geographical characteristics of four residential areas in Amsterdam"
Vitor Senna.
Xiaoqing Ji. "The Analogy Game: How can a tabletop game be used to improve players’ understanding of analogies to lead to improved analogies for learning?"
Melle Lefferts. "Eat yourself happy"


Co-Creativity between Music Producers and ‘Smart’ versus ‘Naive’ Generative Systems in a Melody Composition Task

Most music generators autonomously produce music, and research focuses mainly on technical performance and subjective quality of the end-products. How this technology functions in collaboration between music producer and AI system is unclear.
This study analyzed creative processes during music production in collaboration with either a ‘smart’ or ‘naive’ system. Producers created melodies using their personal digital audio workstations (DAWs) during two 40-minute sessions in double-blinded random order. Both systems expanded participants’ MIDI-sequences: the smart system modulated their input, whereas the naive system produced unrelated samples. Subjects were unaware of differences between systems, which had identical interfaces. Aspects like novelty and value were rated on 7-point Likert-scales, which guided semi-structured interviews. Each system’s output and producer’s (intermediate) MIDI files were compared for compositional change, dissimilarity (new generated elements) and adoption (into compositions).
Thirteen producers completed both sessions. The smart system was considered most novel and valuable. Participants particularly liked ‘smart’ expansions related to their own melodies, but occasionally also appreciated unexpected ‘suggestions’ from the naive system. ‘Naive’ output was more dissimilar than ‘smart’ expansions. Nonetheless, significantly more smart elements were adopted than ‘naïve’ suggestions. However, changes in intermediate melodies did not differ between systems. Explorations of participants’ evaluations and MIDI-indices provided indications that producers tended to adopt fewer AI-suggestions, if AI-output was either too similar (‘same’) or dissimilar (‘weird’) compared with their own melody.
This study suggests that music producers can benefit from AI-support, particularly if AI-suggestions fit optimally with their own melodies. Unrelated ‘suggestions’ can be useful with creative blocks. This can be used for the development of co-creative AI-plugins for DAWs, which are currently unavailable.

Supervisors: Rob Saunders, Anna Jordanous 


Reducing the perception of AI bias in human-robot interaction using empathic curiosity

Whether used in healthcare, education or at home, social robots will arguably have a future role in our daily lives. Moreover, as these social robots interact more fully with humans, we must carefully examine the role of human-robot trust. The perception of unwanted bias in AI systems, including social robots, is a known problem that erodes trust and has the potential to harm users. Unconscious bias in humans includes a tendency to allow our thoughts and actions to be influenced by cultural generalizations and stereotypes about others, often implicitly or unknowingly. In AI systems, unwanted bias is a known problem in machine learning that often results from unanticipated regularities in training data. In this paper, we explore how applying principles of empathy and curiosity, promoted in human-to-human interaction to reduce unconscious bias, can be translated into design principles for social robots to reduce the perception of unwanted bias in human-robot interactions. In particular, we explore what performing empathy and curiosity looks like for the design of social robots and hypothesize that applying empathy and curiosity to the design of social robots reduces the perception of unwanted bias in human-robot interaction. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a Wizard-of-Oz style study of human-robot interactions under two conditions, one employing existing empathic design principles for social robots, and a second employing design principles drawing on the nature of curiosity to inform human-robot interactions. The results suggest that when a social robot asks follow-up questions based on user responses, users perceive the robot as less biased, more likeable, and safer.

Supervisors: Rob Saunders & Marcelo A. Gómez-Maureira


Tricky throws and pretty patterns: improving upon 40 years up juggling notation

Much like music can be represented on paper as sheet music, so too can juggling tricks be represented by juggling notation. Jugglers use notation to record, instruct, or otherwise communicate juggling with both peers and software, but notation is also a particularly useful tool to analyze tricks and generate new ones.
To improve upon the 25 different juggling notation systems that I have identified, I designed two new systems: A pattern notation called Rhythmic Catches which can be used in place of the popular but limiting system Siteswaps, and a throw notation called IMBO which can be used in place of the clever but ambiguous system Body Trick Notation.

To evaluate these new systems I analyzed the features of ball juggling tricks from expert contemporary jugglers. I found that many of these features, such as tosses and catches with body parts other than hands, are hard or impossible to describe with existing systems but often within reach for my new ones. Also I created a list of 22 common 3 ball tricks which I transcribed in 8 different notation systems, and argue that my new systems are the most suitable ones to represent these tricks.

Not only do I conclude that Rhythmic Catches and IMBO can indeed be used to elegantly describe a wider range of patterns than previously possible, also these systems would be suitable to use in future juggling simulators.


Forking the Docuverse

Documents can be seen as containers of content items (representing ideas, beliefs, facts, and so on). By creating different types of connections among content items, an interconnective structure can be formed. This research explores new approaches to representational and interactive concepts for creating and accessing interconnective structures in documents. These concepts have been derived through examining prominent examples of document systems considered influential in the evolution of information technologies. The method is based on an iterative process of content creation, concept design, and creating interactive prototypes of a digital document system.
Based on the conception of documents as being modular, the resulting prototype comprises three link types developed for establishing connections according to type: tag links, sequence links, and transclusions. The prototype uses sample content developed throughout the process, serving as an example of how these three link types can be applied to realize the interconnective structure of documents and how it can be accessed through interaction.
Two view modes have been developed to deal with the complexity of information, enabling zooming in and out to gain different perspectives on documents at different levels of detail. And tags can be attached to links and documents, enabling a grouping mechanism and the capability to filter to view a subset of the document collection.

Supervisors: Edwin van der Heide & Max van Duijn


When The Game Chooses the Player – A Study about Games for Leadership Assessment

Games tend to be strongly affiliated with entertainment as their main and sole purpose. However, the recent years have shown the potential of games beyond just the entertainment aspect. Indeed, games can also be designed for serious purposes, from there emerged its own genre of games, commonly know as "serious games". This research focuses on the potential of games for leadership assessment in a group context. This paper dives into what leadership is, the potential of serious games and how leadership has been used in game research.
Through an iterative and qualitative design process, a game is designed, prototyped, tested with participants and observed based on a framework of behaviours. Observations show how the game allows an external observer to assess leadership behaviours for each player. However, some traits, such as conflict or stress management, seem to be harder to observe or distinguish among the players. Results also show how the leadership assessment is impacted by the team composition rather than by the game itself. Finally, the limitations and the potential of games for leadership assessment are discussed, as well as how this research could be carried on or what questions it raises when it comes to how games can be used for leadership assessment.

Supervisors: Peter van der Putten & Marcello Gómez Maureira


Misplaced waste: an exploratory study on waste disposed around semi-underground waste containers in relation to the socio-geographical characteristics of four residential areas in Amsterdam.

Litter disposed next to semi-underground waste containers is a problem many municipalities are dealing with, and is caused by either physical problems or behavioural factors. Various studies have examined the effects of socio-economic factors in relation to waste generation, as they are of significant influence on the quantity and composition of household waste in general. However, there is a lack of existing research addressing the social dimensions of particular areas regarding the problem of waste surrounding these containers. The main objective of this study is to include the socio-geographical characteristics of a residential area to provide more context on the waste disposed around semi-underground waste containers. Waste was observed in four residential areas in the city of Amsterdam in an exploratory qualitative manner, using inductive structured observations. The data shows that most waste was found around vacant, functioning containers and in districts with a lower average household income.

Supervisors: Bas Haring & Zane Kripe


This paper aims to explore the potential of serious games applied to the civic integration exam that is mandatory for the non-EU citizens who wish to ask for the Dutch citizenship. For such end, this research will contemplate foreign subjects, and two different methods of preparing for the exam will be compared: the first one consisting of conventional approaches before taking the exam, and the second one consisting in experiencing a serious game version of said exam before taking the original exam. For the serious game, it was opted for the use of Figma platform for the development of a cell phone app inspired by usual social services such as Tinder and Instagram, that go by the principles of simple interactions and high intuitivity, alongside with the use of visual resources (images) an a storytelling approach, reaching for a lower cognitive load and higher engagement experience than the conventional exam. By comparing the grade obtained by the group who studied by conventional approaches and the group that studied by the gamified version, it will be possible to assess if there is any substantial performance difference between the two groups, pointing to different learning curves and information assimilation.


The Analogy Game: How can a tabletop game be used to improve players’ understanding of analogies to lead to improved analogies for learning?

Analogical thinking is a deep part of how we make sense of the world around us in our daily lives and have been widely studied for educational purposes. Encouraging learners to generate their own analogies and discussing them with peers can have a positive impact on learning. However, these studies do not consider students’ understanding of analogies, or their analogy-making skills. No real guidelines or training methods exist for making analogies. This research uses an iterative design process to explore how a tabletop game can be used develop the knowledge and skills to use analogies effectively. The results indicate that players perceive their own understanding of analogies and the quality of their analogies to have improved throughout the game. An analysis of the analogies made by players before and after the game, however, does not indicate any improvement of the quality of the analogies. Nonetheless, the game shows a positive impact on the players in general.

Supervisors: Bas Haring & Evert Hoogeendoorn


Eat yourself happy

This thesis examines how food might improve the mental health of an individual. Several strategies for enhancing mental health are explored. Also highlighted are the ways in which diet may promote mental health and how certain substances which can be found in ingredients might influence mental health.

Supervisors: Bas Haring & Robert Verweij

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