Sinhwa Kang, Ph.D.
email: sinhwa.kang (at)
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I am a senior communication scientist who is working at the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies (USC ICT). I'm currently working for the Mixed Reality (MxR) Group and previously worked for the Medical Virtual Reality (MedVR) Group and the Computational Emotion Group before joining the MxR Group. My research focuses on affective human-agent interaction in social and psychotherapeutic interactions. I adopt interdisciplinary theoretical and methodological approaches to my research, specifically in social and clinical psychological contexts. 

I have been participating in projects funded by the National Science Foundation in which I model a novel approach to explore interactants' perceptions of co-presence as well as the medium of the interaction. This includes integrating virtual humans into emotionally engaging computer-mediated interactions. I am currently doing research on investigating virtual humans as virtual counselors in mixed reality settings including smartphone applications. I appeared in The New York Times with my work (“In Cybertherapy, Avatars Assist With Healing”) and received the "New Investigator Award" for a presentation of outstanding research quality at the CyberTherapy & CyberPsychology conference.

I obtained a M.Sc. from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia and a Ph.D. from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, majoring in Communication with concentration in Human-Computer Interaction. Before coming to the US, I worked in industry including Samsung, researching and developing web applications for online communities, marketing, and industrial training in Seoul, Korea where I earned my bachelor's degree from Ewha Womans University.
"The contemporary multiplication of spaces makes us nomads again . . . we leap from network to network . . . spaces metamorphose and bifurcate beneath our feet, forcing us to undergo a process of heterogenesis."

                                                    - Levy 1998: 31             
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