The First International Summer School on Animal-Centered Computing


St. Petersburg, Russia


20 - 27 July, 2020

DUE TO COVID-19, THE ACC is going virtual. For details please see program section.

The First International Summer School on Animal-Centered Computing (ACC) will introduce and engage students in the exciting new discipline that focuses on animals at the center of computing system design and development. The field as a whole brings together researchers and practitioners across computing, engineering, veterinary, and behavioral disciplines to promote synergistic interactions that advance hardware, software, and methodologies for technological systems that promote use by, and with, animals.

A partial list of focus areas for the ACC community includes:
Developing technological solutions for improving animal welfare and well-being
Developing technological solutions that enable more effective and efficient communication between human and non-human animal species
Using new and existing technologies to improve our understanding of animal behavior, communication, health and welfare
Advancing veterinary science
Advancing animal science
Supporting animals in tasks they perform in our society
Rob Giraffe.jpg
 Robert Young  
School of Environment and Life Sciences, University of Salford, Manchester, UK
Professor Rob Young has a degree in Biology from the University of Nottingham (1989) and was awarded a PhD in Animal Behaviour and Welfare from the University of Edinburgh (1993). Most of his research is concerned with using animal behaviour to answer questions in animal conservation and animal welfare.  In terms of research he divides his time between field research (mainly in Brazil) and animal welfare research (in the UK and Brazil).  He is the author of more than 120 full scientific papers and of the book, Environmental Enrichment for Captive Animals.  Presently, he is Professor of Animal Conservation at the University of Salford in the UK.
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Eleonora Nannoni
Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy
Eleonora Nannoni works as a senior researcher at the Vet School of the University of Bologna (Italy). Over the years, she worked on animal behavior, minimally-invasive techniques for assessing animal welfare, environmental enrichment, rearing conditions, welfare during transport, and consumer perception of animal-friendly products. Bologna is close to Parma, and that’s the reason why her research, which is focused on animal welfare, often explores the relationships between pig welfare (Italian heavy pigs intended for the production of traditional
products, such as Parma ham) and the quality of animal-derived products.
She graduated in Veterinary Medicine in 2008 and holds a PhD in “Food Science, Animal Nutrition and Food Safety” achieved in 2013. Since 2016 she is a European Veterinary Specialist (Diplomate) at the European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioral Medicine, subspecialty Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law(ECAWBM-AWSEL).
Head of the lab for computational positive psychology, which focuses on using machine learning to automatically and objectively measure and improve positive-welfare and happiness in animals (and some in humans). Oren did his undergraduate studies in physics and mathematics at the Hebrew University and his masters in computer science at the Weizmann Institute. He remained there for a PhD in computational neuroscience while later moving to Germany for a postdoc at the Max-Planck institutes for Psychiatry with Prof. Alon Chen and the MPI for Animal Behavior with Prof. Iain Couzin. His lab uses complex-behavioral readouts which are automatically measured from cameras and other sensors that the lab develops. These measurements are used to help understand how animals learn, interact, form social groups, as well as what is their personality and emotional state. The lab studies various animals from cats and dogs to cows, chickens, mice, and rats.
Ivana Schork
School of Environment and Life Sciences, University of Salford, Manchester, UK
Ivana Schork is a Brazilian zoologist currently living and working in the UK in Collaboration with the University of Salford Manchester. Her research focuses in pure and applied animal behaviour, animal welfare, general zoology and animal computer interaction.  In particular, she is interested in multidisciplinary approaches to gain insight into animal behaviour and welfare of both domestic and wild species under human care and in the development of new methodologies to answer research questions using computer science.  Currently, her research project aims to evaluate sleep as a measure of animal welfare in mammals´ species.
Orit Hirsch-Matsioulas
Kinneret Academic College, Israel
Orit is an anthropologist of Human-Animal Relations and Modern Greece. She is a co-founder of the Human-Animal Studies academic community in Israel (HASI) and a co-founder of the human-animal relations multi-disciplinary research group at Tel Aviv University. Her dissertation examined how human-canine relationships take part in constructing the socio-cultural categories of “belonging to a place”, “foreignness” and “otherness”, in Paros island (Greece) during the economic crisis. This study was funded by the Centre for the Study of European Politics and Society at Ben-Gurion University, as well as the Dean's Excellence Award. Since her Ph. D was achieved in 2019, Orit focuses on two anthropological researches: human-street cat relations and politics of belonging in the mixed city of Acre (Israel), and the effects of canine-human relations on home quarantine experiences in Israel, during the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak. 
Dmitrii Kaplun  
Automation and Control Processes Department, St. Petersburg State Electrotechnical University LETI
Dmitry Kaplun is Vice Head for Research of the Department of Automation and Control Processes at the University of "LETI". His research interests include digital signal processing, and digital image and video processing.
Ivan Tyukin 
Automation and Control Processes Department, St. Petersburg State Electrotechnical University LETI
Ivan Tyukin is a Professor at the University of "LETI" St. Petersburg and a Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Leicester, UK.  In 2019 he has been appointed to the post of an adjunct Professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway, to lead AI and Machine Learning research in the BRU21 Programme.  He is a member of the NERC Programme Coordination Team for £12M Landscape Decisions programme and leads the Next Generation Digital Systems Facility in METEOR, a £13M Research England programme to create sustainable research in Space and Earth Observation.
Prof Tyukin is a member of the IFAC Technical Committee in Adaptive and Learning Systems, and is an Associate Editor of Communications in Nonlinear Science and Numerical Simulations. He is a Deputy Director of the Centre for Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics, and Modelling (AIDAM) at the University of Leicester where he leads research on provably resilient, robust, and trustworthy Artificial Intelligence. Prof Tyukin research interests revolve around challenges of Artificial Intelligence, adaptation, learning, and control.
Admela Jukan  
Chair Professor in Communication Networks, TU Braunschwieg
Prior to that ,she was research faculty member at the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS), University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC) and Georgia Tech (GaTech). Admela received her degree (cum laude) in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Technische Universitat Wien, the M.Sc. degree in Information Technologies from the Politecnico di Milano, Italy, and her Dipl. -Ing. degree from the Fakultet Elektrotehnike i Racunarstva (FER), in Zagreb, Croatia.
Since 2015, Prof. Jukan has been actively working in the combined domains of computer engineering and veterinary medicine, where together with her collaborators, she has been studying the suitability of smart computing and sensing systems that assume presence of networking, big data analytics, pervasive connectivity and computing, and, more recently, the artificial intelligence (AI) to serving the welfare needs of animals, be it domestic, farm, or wild animals. Her research group was recognized in a 2017 IEEE ComSoc Competition Communications Technology Changing the World, for ”Development of a Mobile Application for Animal Welfare” of IEEE Communication Society (2017). She is the director of the newly established lab on Animal-Cyber Systems (ACS), supported by VW Foundation, and established in collaboration with University of Veterinary Medicine in Hannover (Prof. Nicole Kemper). She has successfully integrated her research in computing and animal farming into her course on Information Technologies for Social Good (IT4Good). She has written seminal papers on the cross-roads between computing, sensing and animal welfare.
Patrick C. Shih
Assistant Professor, Department of Informatics, Indiana University Bloomington
Dr. Shih is an Assistant Professor of Informatics in the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering at Indiana University Bloomington. He directs the Societal Computing Lab (SoCo Lab). He's a core faculty of the Health Informatics track, and he's also the Co-Director of the Animal Informatics MS/PhD track and the Animal-Computer Interaction BS Cognate/Minor programs. His research focuses on the study of sociotechnical systems and mechanisms to support health and wellbeing and reduce health disparity of marginalized and underserved populations. Specifically, his lab designs, prototypes, and deploys novel personal health informatics devices, interfaces, and platforms to support people with physical, developmental, and mental conditions. He also designs technologies to amplify human and animal capabilities in animal-assisted interventions and to improve animal welfare. The populations that Dr. Shih is actively studying include people living with HIV, people with epilepsy, adults with ASD, people with substance abuse, opossum rehabilitation, orangutan enrichment, and equine-assisted services.
Daniel Metcalfe
Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel
Daniel is a designer, design researcher and senior lecturer at the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning at the Technion. His PhD, from the University of the Arts London, titled Multispecies Design, looked at design processes that respond to the needs of wild animals within built environments and design’s role in human-animal interactions.
Daniel divides his time between working as a designer and planner - introducing animal perspectives into landscape architecture projects, and the Technion where he teaches and researches topics of social design, nature-centred design, product-service systems, human-animal interactions and somatic design.
Clara Mancini 
Senior Lecturer in Interaction Design, Open University’s School of Computing and Communications
Dr. Clara Mancini is the founder and head of the OU’s Animal-Computer Interaction (ACI) Lab, and has led or supervised a range of ACI projects, including ubiquitous and ambient interfaces for mobility assistance and medical detection dogs, interactive enrichment for captive elephants, and wearable animal biotelemetry. Her ACI work has been published in the leading interaction design and ubiquitous computing venues, and she has lectured on ACI nationally and internationally. She set-up the ACI International Steering Committee and served as general chair for the ACI International Conference in 2016 and 2017, chairing again in 2020. Clara is interested in the design, methodological and ethical challenges and opportunities presented by ACI, and is committed to demonstrating its potential to contribute to animal and human wellbeing, social inclusion, interspecies cooperation and environmental restoration.
Eyal Misha
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Bologna
Specializing in applied research, adapting and proper utilization of automatic computerized systems, Primary research efforts focus on monitoring cow health and welfare through pedometer based systems. Currency function as the R&D Applications Manager for ENGS and as Chief scientist of GOODOG; Service dog training and pet therapy Center
Evgenia Novikova
Department of Information Systems, Saint Petersburg Electrotechnical University "LETI" 
Evgenia Novikova is associate professor of Information Systems department at Saint Petersburg Electrotechnical University "LETI". Her research interests include security visual analytics, security and privacy risk assessment and malware analysis.
Alexandre Rossi is a veterinarian and a Brazilian TV presenter, who also holds a Masters in Psychology from USP. He specialized in Animal Behavior and gained work experience from the University of Queensland, Australia. He is in charge of 'Cão Cidadão' - company specializing in behavioral consultation and training at home, which also offers courses, lectures and workshops.
In addition to several published books, Alexandre Rossi accumulates on his resume works for the cinema, radio and television.
Anna Zamansky  
Information Systems Department, University of Haifa, Israel
Anna has a PhD in Computer Science from Tel Aviv University. After spending two years at the Technical University of Vienna as a Marie Curie postdoctoral fellow, she joined the Information Systems Department at the University of Haifa as a senior lecturer. She is head of the Tech4Animals lab, a multi-disciplinary research group that develops animal-centered technology for improving animal welfare and supporting animal science, and collaborates with numerous research groups and working dogs organizations.
All times are in St. Petersburg, Russia time (GMT+3)  
When is this in my timezone?
Monday, 20 July
09:30 - 10:00
10:00 - 11:00
Robert Young
Introduction to Animal Behavior
11:00 - 13:00
Informal Participants' Presentations 
(grab your own coffee and snacks!)
11:20 - 11:40:
Sarah Webber, University of Melbourne
Designing technology-mediated encounters with zoo animals
11:40 - 12:00:
Michelle Westerlaken, University of Malmo
Imagining Multispecies Worlds
Sabrina Karl, Medical University of Vienna
Investigating the dog-human relationship: a mixed methods approach
Patricia Pons, ITI Valencia
Towards Intelligent Playful Environments for Animals based on Natural User Interfaces
12:40 - 13:00:
Ilyena Hirsky-Douglas, Aalto University
Methods and findings to allow dogs to interact with screens and each other
13:00 - 15:00
19:00 - 20:00
Group work kickoff
Oren Forkosh
Being different, personality and the advantages (and disadvantages) of being different, about group synergy, cooperation, and competition.
Tuesday, 21 July
10:00 - 12:30
13:00 - 15:00
19:00 - 20:30
Eleonora Nannoni
Animal Welfare
Group meetings with experts
Robert Young
Measuring Animal Behavior
Wednesday, 22 July
10:00 - 11:00
Oren Forkosh
Complex systems, how simple and local rules of interaction allow animals to solve complicated problems such as foraging for food, finding mates, or evading predators?
11:00 - 12:30
Ivan Tyukin
Robustness and Trustworthiness of Data-driven Artificial Intelligence
18:00 - 19:00
19:00 - 20:30
Virtual Tour of St. Petersburg
Robert Young
Introduction to Animal Cognition
Thursday, 23 July
10:00 - 11:30
Eyal Misha
From farmer to cow whisperer, Monitoring 5 freedoms using sensors in the dairy industry.
12:00 - 13:30
Admela Jukan
Animal-Cyber Systems (ACS): Gaining Access to Farm Animal Welfare
19:00 - 20:30
Daniel Metcalfe
Multispecies Design
Friday, 24 July
10:00 - 11:00
Oren Forkosh
Social interactions, top-down approaches to looking at behavior: from the group to the individual.
12:00 - 13:30
Evgenia Novikova
Dark Sides of Wearable IoT Devices
19:00 - 20:30
Orit Hirsch-Matsioulas
In the beginning there was a dog: Anthropological perspectives on canine-human relations
Saturday, 25 July
10:00 - 11:30
12:00 - 13:30
Independent group work
Clara Mancini
Animal-Computer Interaction
18:00 - 19:00
Alexandre Rossi
Pets and User Interfaces: do they communicate? do they understand? how can we teach them?
19:00 - 20:30
Patrick Shih
Using Technologies to Amplify the Capabilities of Human-Animal Interaction
Sunday, 26 July
10:00 - 12:00
Group work with experts
17:30 - 18:30
19:00 - 20:30
Virtual Tour of St. Petersburg
Anna Zamansky, Daphna Golan-Shemesh and Tsippy Lotan
Digital Enhancement of Children's Interactions with Therapy Dogs
12:00 - 12:30
Meet the University of "LETI"
Monday, 27 July
10:00 - 12:00
12:00 - 12:30
12:30 - 14:00
Final Presentations of the Groups and Awards Final Ceremony
Wrap up and GoodByes
ACC Steering Committee Meeting
For registration as an official summer school student, follow the link below
For registration as a guest (not participating in student activities of work in groups), fill this form      and send it to Prof. Anna Zamansky  at with subject 'guest ACC registration'.
Anna Zamansky
Information Systems Department, University of Haifa, Israel
David L. Roberts
Computer Science Department, North Carolina State University, US
Dmitrii Kaplun
Automation and Control Processes Department, St. Petersburg State Electrotechnical University LETI
Dirk van der Linden
Department of Computer Science, University of Bristol, UK
Automation and Control Processes Department, St. Petersburg State Electrotechnical University LETI

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