About

I am Chee Siang Ang (also known informally as Jim Ang), Senior Lecturer (equivalent to the North American Associate Professor) in Multimedia and Digital Systems in the School of Computing, University of Kent. Before joining Kent, I was a research fellow at the Centre for Human Computer Interaction Design City University London, where I completed my PhD in the area of social gaming. I hold a Master’s degree (Information Technology) from Multimedia University Malaysia and I obtained my BSc. (computing) from the Technology University of Malaysia.

My main research interest lies in the general area of HCI (human-computer interaction) with an emphasis on digital health. Specific areas include:

  • Games and immersive media (such as VR and AR).
  • Sensing technologies.

Due to the multidisciplinary nature of my work, I work with exciting people from a wide range of areas, including electronic and mechanical engineering, medical science, psychology, sociology, and digital arts.

I am an investigator of several research projects:

  • Digital Brain Switch. Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
  • Kinetic User Interfaces and Multiuser 3D Virtual Worlds for Older People. Funded by EPSRC.
  • An interactive computer-based intervention to increase condom use: intervention development and pilot trial. Funded by National Institute of Health Research (NIHR).
  • Epilepsy Networks – Joined-Up Thinking For Better Care (InnovateUK).

Research interests

My main research area is in digital health, where I investigate, design and develop new technologies which can provide treatment and (self-) management of health conditions, through effective prevention, early intervention, personalised treatment and continuous monitoring of the conditions. I am particularly interested in immersive media technologies (virtual or augmented reality), computer games, and sensing technologies. 

GAMES AND IMMERSIVE MEDIA

Computers applications today are not restricted to conventional 2D displays, but can be in forms of 3D immersive visualisation and augmented information embedded in the physical world. Traditionally, this new form of computing has mostly been found in entertainment applications such as games but is increasingly making an impact in other more “serious” application domains such as training and healthcare. I work with psychologists and psychiatrists looking into how virtual reality (VR) and gaming technologies can be used in assessment and interventions in mental health. Recently, we have developed VR applications for anxiety disorder training, eating disorder therapy, pain management and emotion detection with VR eye-tracking. 

SENSING TECHNOLOGIES

I collaborate closely with researchers in electronic and mechanical engineering to develop integrated hardware and software online systems with an aim to solve people’s and societal problems through smart technology. For instance, I have developed a tangible interface using RFID tag on day-to-day objects that allows people with dementia to immerse in a 3D virtual world for reminiscence. I have also worked on projects designing and developing low-cost monitoring devices using skin-like sensors and 3D visualisation for biofeedback for Dysphagia therapy. A recent project involves the use of skin-like EMG and EEG sensors for eating behaviour tracking and real-time wheelchair control. 

Teaching

EL542 INTERACTIVE AND TANGIBLE MEDIA

This undergraduate module introduces the practical techniques for creating interactive visual display using Processing, a Java-based IDE. We will also develop interesting tangible interfaces using Arduino IDE, with a range of sensors and actuators. Students will learn to manipulate images, create realistic motions, use motion sensing and speech recognition, in a series of lectures and exciting workshops. 

EL645 VIDEO GAME DEVELOPMENT

This undergraduate module covers a range of topics in video game design and development, including game physics, AI, level design, player behaviour, game rules and mechanics, as well as user interfaces. This module introduces students to game development using Unity3D and C#. Students will also learn about mobile game development and optimisation issues. 

EL884 IMAGE ANALYSIS WITH SECURITY APPLICATION

This MSc module covers topics in computer visions, focusing on image analysis techniques and pattern recognition. I teach the section on pattern recognition/machine learning, covering topics including kNN, Bayes rules, linear and logistic regressions. 

Supervision

  • Completed: Panote Siriaraya (currently assistant professor in Kyoto Institute of Technology, Japan), Investigation of Virtual Worlds as a Platform to Support Healthy Ageing.
  • Completed: Anthony Emeakaroha (currently deputy energy manager in Medway NHS), Analysis of Energy Conservation through product-integrated persuasive feedback using a smart sensor.
  • Complete: Pruet Pjorn (Royal Thai Scholar, currently Assistant Deputy President of Mae Fah Luang University, Thailand), Internet of Educational Things for Primary School Science Education in Rural Thailand. Winner of Anglo-Thai Society Educational Awards for Excellence 2017.
  • Completed: Maria Matsangidou (currently postdoc in University of Sheffield), Impact of Visual Imagery in Human Perceptions of Pain.
  • Completed: Ben Nicholls (EPSRC DTC, Currently Data scientist in FinTech), Skin Electronics and 3D biofeedback for Swallowing and chewing detections.
  • Submitted: Boris Otkhmezuri, Design of Virtual Reality for psychological interventions.
  • 2015 – present: Luma Tabbaa, Virtual Reality and dementia care.
  • 2016 – present: Jittrapol Intarasirisawat (Royal Thai Scholar), Mobile games for cognitive assessment.
  • 2016 – present: Deogratias Mzurikwao (Commonwealth Scholar), Convolutional Neural Network for human physiological data analysis.
  • 2018 – present: Saber Mirzaee, Mask R-Convolutional Neural Network for microscopic cells segmentation and classification.
  • 2019 – present: Raya Al-Habsi (Royal Oman Scholar), Crowd-sourcing Virtual Reality content generation for dementia care.
  • 2019 – present: Ethan Cheung (EPSRC DTC), AI-driven Virtual Reality personalisation for dementia care for large scale deployment.
  • 2019 – present: Ryan Searle (EPSRC DTC), Deep Learning analysis of wearable sensor data for depression tracking.
  • 2019 – present: Derry Bass, Long-term large-scale evaluation of Virtual Reality use for dementia care in care homes.

I am currently interested in supervising PhD projects in all the above areas, specifically in a) Study, design and evaluation of novel virtual reality/augmented reality/gaming technology for health and well being; b) Creative and innovative use of integrated hardware-software systems in various domains, with a focus on healthcare.

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