Rosalind W. Picard

Professor at MIT Media Lab
Co-founder and Chief Scientist, Affectiva
, M.I.T. Media Lab

Rosalind W. Picard is Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, founder and director of the Affective Computing Research Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Laboratory and co-director of the Things That Think Consortium, the largest industrial sponsorship organization at the lab. She holds a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering with highest honors from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Masters and Doctorate degrees, both in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Prior to completing her doctorate at MIT, she was a Member of the Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories where she designed VLSI chips for digital signal processing and developed new image compression and analysis algorithms. She was honored as a Fellow of the IEEE in 2005.

The author of over a hundred peer-reviewed scientific articles in multidimensional signal modeling, computer vision, pattern recognition, machine learning, and human-computer interaction, Picard is known internationally for pioneering research in affective computing and, prior to that, for pioneering research in content-based image and video retrieval. She is recipient (with Tom Minka) of a best paper prize for work on machine learning with multiple models (1998) and is recipient (with Barry Kort and Rob Reilly) of a “best theory paper” prize for their work on affect in human learning (2001). Her award-winning book, Affective Computing, (MIT Press, 1997) lays the groundwork for giving machines the skills of emotional intelligence. She and her students have invented a variety of new sensors, algorithms, and systems for sensing, recognizing, and responding respectfully to human affective information, with applications that include helping people with autism, improving driver safety, making tutoring and game systems sense and respond to emotion, and handling customers feelings.

Dr. Picard has served on dozens of national and international science and engineering program committees, editorial boards, and review panels, and has worked as a consultant for companies such as Apple, AT&T, BT, HP, i.Robot, and Motorola. She has been the keynote presenter or invited plenary speaker at over fifty science or technology events, and has delivered distinguished lectures and colloquia at dozens of universities and research labs internationally. Her group’s achievements have been featured in national and international forums for the general public, such as The New York Times, The London Independent, Scientific American Frontiers, NPR’s Tech Nation and The Connection, ABC’s Nightline and World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, Time, Vogue, Voice of America Radio, New Scientist, and BBC’s “The Works” and “The Big Byte.” Picard lives in Newton, Massachusetts with her husband and three energetic sons.