Prof. Deng Wins Google Faculty Research Award

Prof. Zhigang Deng, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and the Director of UH Computer Graphics and Interactive Media Lab (, has won a one-year Google Faculty Research Award to work on the development of a novel talking avatar interface for mobile computing platforms such as Apple iPhone and Google Nexus. Currently, creation of a socially engaging human-human communication interface on increasingly powerful mobile devices has become a much-needed, yet challenging, research problem. In this project, the research team led by Prof. Deng will design a real-time, acoustic speech driven talking avatar generation system on smart mobile phone platforms. With the proposed research system, a mobile phone user is able to watch a real-time "animated custom talking avatar" (an animated 2D cartoon face, or even an animated caricature) characterizing his/her friend (the conversational partner).