Humans of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science

Wouter Pasman

My role in this type of project is mainly behind the scenes. I work on the technology under the hood.

"A scientific programmer is quite rare. When Catholijn Jonker, professor of Interactive Intelligence, was appointed, she specifically asked for such a programmer," says Wouter Pasman. As a scientific programmer Wouter focuses on software writing, but he also works on web-based applications, in python, php or java scripts.

His work can be found in various systems. An example of such a system is a 'virtual reality' system, where a virtual therapist or virtual scene is projected on a screen. If the patient is afraid of presenting in front of a full classroom, then the virtual scene is a full classroom. In that case, the system not only shows a classroom with individuals, but also the behaviour of the individuals in the classroom. This behaviour can be positive, such as attentive listening, but can also be negative, such as chatting during the presentation. 

"In this project I am building a 'button' that automatically reverses the system. If the patient makes a choice in the system that is experienced as annoying, then the system must be able to be reversed by the therapist," explains Wouter. "Unfortunately, the therapist is not always present, so the program must automatically detect if it seems to go wrong, reverse the system and possibly involve the therapist.”

Another project he is working on together with Catholijn is the design of negotiation systems. One of these systems can be found online under the name Pocket Negotiator. This system can support someone during a negotiation, for example a job application. "Then salary, a lease car or the type of contract are important elements for the applicant and for the employer. In the system it can be indicated what interests the job seeker has and to what extent these are of great importance. But also how important the employer finds a lease car, for example. The system provides support and insight in applications by, for example, showing what the applicant finds important, but also indicates whether the employer considers these matters just as important. "At the moment it is a one-person system and provides insight into which elements are interesting for the different parties.”

"My role in this type of project is mainly behind the scenes. I work on the technology under the hood and not necessarily on the graphical interface of, for example, the virtual reality system.” Students may come across his work in courses. For example, Wouter works on development environments where the students carry out their assignment of the teacher. An existing code about the working of an elevator, for example, is added in the environment. The students’ assignments will be to add, revise or to create new code. “The students first get lectures about the language and what does or does not work. The students come to me when they have questions about the system”.