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Heli Väätäjä
University of Tampere

or firstname.lastname@staff.uta.fi

Biographies of organizers

Heli Väätäjä is a postdoctoral researcher at the Research Group for Emotions, Sociality, and Computing (ESC), Faculty of Communication Sciences, at the University of Tampere. She is currently carrying out research on activity and welfare monitoring of dogs, everyday technology for pets, and virtual reality services in media sector. Her research interests in ACI include experience design and evaluation, and innovative use of technology for animal welfare, human-animal relationship, and daily activities.

Päivi Majaranta is a researcher at the at the Research Group for Emotions, Sociality, and Computing (ESC), Faculty of Communication Sciences, at the University of Tampere. Her research interests include human-technology interaction, human-animal-technology interaction and multimodal interaction methods. She has special knowledge in eye tracking based gaze interaction. She teaches courses on usability and user-centered design methods.

Heini Törnqvist is a researcher at University of Helsinki, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Finland. She is currently working in a project studying dog’s cognitive processes with eye-tracking and EEG methods, and in a project developing technical devices for monitoring dog’s well-being. Her research interests include developing animal friendly research methods for dog studies, and comparative cognition studies between humans and dogs.

Mari Ainasoja works as a researcher and project coordinator at the research team of Information, Customer, and Innovation Management (CIRCMI), Faculty of Natural Sciences, at the University of Tampere. Her work focuses at transmitting the voice of customers into business development. Her research interests cover e.g. customer experiences, service development and digital customer journeys. Currently, she studies these topics in the project “Buddy and the Smiths 2.0” that develops technology related to dogs.

Veikko Surakka received the MA, Lic, and PhD degrees in psychology in 1990, 1993, and 1999, respectively from the University of Tampere. He is a Professor of interactive technology (2007-present) and the head of the Research Group for Emotions, Sociality, and Computing (http://www.cs.uta.fi/hci/esc/), Tampere Unit for Computer-Human Interaction, Faculty of Communication Sciences, University of Tampere. The research group focuses especially on research on emotion, cognition, human-human as well as human-technology interaction research.

Oskar Juhlin is a Professor at the Department of Computer and Systems Sciences at Stockholm University. His research interest include human animal interaction, social media and road traffic, video interaction and fashion. He is one of the leading founders of ACI research and community. He has studied, e.g., interaction between dogs and humans in urban environments as well as in the wild.

Clara Mancini is a Senior Lecturer at The Open University and the founding director of the Animal-Computer Interaction (ACI) Laboratory. Clara is especially interested in ACI’s methodological challenges, innovation opportunities and potential for contributing to human and wellbeing, social inclusion, interspecies cooperation and environmental restoration.

Background of the workshop theme

This workshop and its theme is a spin-off from a Finnish 2-year research project (2017-2018) on dog-related technology and digital services – Buddy and the Smiths 2.0. The project is a joint co-operation of three Finnish universities headed by Prof. Mikko Ruohonen (University of Tampere),  Prof. Veikko Surakka (University of Tampere), Prof. Outi Vainio (University of Helsinki) and Prof. Jukka Lekkala (Tampere University of Technology). The project team, besides Heli, Päivi, Heini and Mari, includes Sanna Rytövuori, Poika Isokoski, Antti Vehkaoja, Sanni Somppi and Miiamaaria Kujala, giving inspiration and support to this workshop. Furthermore, research collaboration with Prof. Oskar Juhlin at Stockholm University is part of the project.