Congratulations to Dr. Skanda Muralidhar for defending his thesis

On April 4th 2019, Skanda Muralidhar obtained the PhD degree at EPFL after successfully defending his thesis, advised by Prof. Daniel Gatica-Perez at Idiap’s Social Computing group

Behind the cryptic title of the thesis – "Social Sensing Methods for Analysis of Dyadic Hospitality Encounters" – there is a whole field of applications for real-life human behavior understanding. Usually people behave differently in different situations. With the advances in ubiquitous sensing technologies, it is now easier to capture human behavior across multiple situations automatically and unobtrusively. In his thesis Skanda focused on two situations that are ubiquitous in hospitality: job interview and reception desk, with the objective of inferring performance on the job. Using a dataset of specific interactions, played by students from the Vatel hospitality management school in Martigny, he studied the connections between automatically extracted nonverbal cues, linguistic content, and various perceived variables of soft skills and performance in these two situations. His work has implications for the creation of behavioural training systems with focus on specific behaviors for hospitality students.