Paul Mc Kevitt

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Scientist

Professor Paul Mc Kevitt[1] is a Monaghan-born Irish computer scientist. He is Professor of Digital MultiMedia at Ulster University, Magee College, Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland since December, 2000.

Mc Kevitt directed the 23rd International Loebner Prize Contest in Artificial Intelligence, held for the first time on the island of Ireland, on September 14, 2013 at Ulster University, Magee College, Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland, UK with Producer, Dr. Hugh Loebner.[2] [3] The bronze medal and annual prize for best performing chatbot 2013 was $6,000. The $100,000 Prize and solid gold medal for a chatbot which can fool all four judges that it is human still remains intact. Judges were Professor Noel Sharkey, Professor Roger Schank, Professor Mike McTear and Professor Minhua (Eunice) Ma.

He directed (with Professor Fionn Murtagh (now University of Derby) & Dr. Jon Campbell, R.I.P.) the 8th Irish Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science (AICS-97), Ulster University, Magee with keynote speaker Professor John McCarthy (computer scientist) (Stanford University), who first named the field Artificial Intelligence at the Dartmouth Conference in 1956. [4] [5]

He directed the 10th Anniversary Conference of the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behaviour (AISB-95) on April 3–7, 1995 at University of Sheffield, England.

He presented the encomium for Professor Noel Sharkey at Ulster University at Coleraine in July, 2006, for the award of his D.Sc. (Doctor of Science) Honorary degree in recognition of his distinction as a computer scientist and his promotion of the popular understanding of science. [6] [7]

He directed the visit of international singer and songwriter, Enya, to Ulster University, Magee Campus in July, 2007, where she visited the Schools of Creative Arts & Technologies and Computing on the occasion of the award of her D.Litt. (Doctor of Letters) Honorary degree in recognition of her contributions to music and the creative industries. [8] [9]

Personal life

Mc Kevitt resides at Moville, Co. Donegal, Ireland, where he was raised. He is not married and has no children. His religion is Hybrid Precision Logic & Empirical Testing (Boole, Thomas Bayes) and his political views, Social Democratics and anti-Fascist.

His father worked as Customs Senior Preventive Officer at Muff, County Donegal border, and mother as Domestic Science Teacher at Carndonagh Community School. They met on the border at Pettigo, Co. Donegal and he was born in the Year of the Dragon (zodiac) on the border (Monaghan).

Background

Mc Kevitt attended St. Columb's National School (Primary School), Moville, Co. Donegal, Ireland and secondary school at Carndonagh Community School, Carndonagh, Co. Donegal, once the largest secondary school on the island of Ireland.[10]

At age 15, he enlisted in Forsa Cosanta Aitiuil (FCA), Buncrana, Co. Donegal, Ireland for 3-years and performed target practice and drill with the Lee Enfield 0.303 British rifle, graduating as 3-star private.[10]

He has visited the sites where the atomic bomb was developed (Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico, USA), first tested (Trinity (nuclear test) Site, Alamogordo, New Mexico, USA) and first dropped (Hiroshima, Japan, Little Boy). His Grand Uncle, Bill DeBarr, worked on design of the specialised Link Trainer flight simulator for training the pilots who dropped the 2 bombs (Little Boy, Fat Man).

His 1st cousin, once removed, Walter Scott, programmed the first computer (ENIAC) at The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA also programmed by Kathleen Antonelli from Co. Donegal, Ireland.

Career

Mc Kevitt holds the Chair in Digital MultiMedia at the School of Creative Arts & Technologies at Ulster University,[1] Magee College, Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

He holds a doctorate (University of Exeter, England), master's (New Mexico State University, USA) and bachelor's (University College Dublin, Ireland) in computer science and a master's in education (University of Sheffield, England).

He has held academic positions at QUB, Aalborg University (Denmark), University of Sheffield (England), New Mexico State University (USA) and visiting positions at LIMSI, University of Paris-Sud (France) and Dublin City University (Ireland).

Academic contributions

In the academic world, Mc Kevitt is best known for his contribution to natural language processing, multimodal interaction, steganography, computer games, animation, music technology, artificial intelligence and cognitive science. Mc Kevitt has written articles for international journals, conferences and books and has given lectures internationally. [11] [12]

His Master's in Education theisis, ″Ideas for Universities″ (University of Sheffield, 1999), argues that groupwork, project-based learning and problem-based learning are important for universities. Bean accounting and didactic rote learning are out.[13]

His B.Sc. (Hons.) thesis in Computer Science, ″Ad-Hac Inference diagrams″ (1995), supervised by Dr. Arthur Cater (University College Dublin, Ireland) and implemented in Lisp (programming language) focuses on graphical display of inference rules from Dr. Cater's computer program (Ad-Hac) based on Conceptual dependency theory (CD), Professor Roger Schank's theory of semantic primitives and inference.

His M.S. thesis in Computer Science, ″OSCON: An operating System CONsultant″ (1988), [14] supervised by Professor Yorick Wilks (University of Sheffield, Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition), focuses on the design of a system (OSCON) for representing knowledge about, reasoning, and answering questions on computer operating systems.

His Ph.D. thesis in Computer Science, ″Analysing coherence of intention in natural language dialogue″ (1992), [15] supervised by Professor Derek Partridge and Professor Yorick Wilks (University of Sheffield, Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition) focuses on a software system, ″Operating System Consultant″ (OSCON), programmed in Prolog which answers English (text) questions about computer operating systems (Unix, MS-DOS, Vax/VMS) in real-time. OSCON was used to test the hypothesis that analysis of the coherence of intention (frequencies of sequences of intention) in natural language dialogue populate a model of the level of expertise of the user (user model). This later lead to the book, ″Intelligent Help Systems for Unix″ (Springer Verlag),[16] co-edited with Dr. Peter Norvig (now Google), Professor Robert Wilensky (R.I.P.) (University of California Berkeley and Dr. Stephen Hegner (Umea University, Sweden).

Whilst at University of Sheffield, Mc Kevitt was awarded one of two 5-year UK EPSRC Advanced Fellowships in Information Technology (1994), the other being awarded at University of Edinburgh, Scotland. The focus of the fellowship was research on integration of natural language, speech and vision processing.

At Aalborg University, Denmark he directed (with Professor Paul Dalsgaard) a research and education programme on Intelligent MultiMedia (multimodal interaction), bringing together 4 research groups and 2 Departments. This led to one of the first Master's degrees in Intelligent MultiMedia and one of the first software platforms (Chameleon) for the integration of speech and vision processing. A demo of Chameleon is found here: Chameleon demo

His former Ph.D. student (with Dr. Tom Lunney), Dr. Karla Munoz (from Mexico), CoLab, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Co. Donegal, Ireland, produced the first Computer Science thesis[17] from Northern Ireland (Ulster University, QUB) to be runner-up (2013) in the UK British Computer Society Academy of Computing Distinguished Dissertations Competition[18]) in 24 years since the competition began. Her thesis tackles the recognition, representation and reasoning of learners' emotions in an on-line learning system (PlayPhysics) implemented with the Unity (Game Engine) which teaches 1st year University Physics (Kinematics, Analytical dynamics, Newton's Laws, vector mechanics, centripetal/centrifugal force) in game scenarios where students must dock a spaceship (Alpha-Centauri) onto a space-station (Athena). She implemented the first computer program to model Reinhard Pekrun et al's (2007) Control-Value Theory of achievement emotions, employing causal probabilistic Bayesian networks (CPNs) (Hugin (software), Aalborg University), a cognitive theory of educational emotions. A demo of PlayPhysics is found here: PlayPhysics: An Emotional Student Model for Game-based Learning

His former Ph.D. student, Professor Minhua (Eunice) Ma (from China), Professor of Digital Media & Games, University of Huddersfield, developed the first computer system (Confucius) to map natural language text (English) into 3D animated images. Confucius incorporated a new theory of visual semantics, a high-level semantics for natural language and visual integration based on Ray Jackendoff's Conceptual Semantics and Roger Schank's scripts (artificial intelligence). She has directed numerous international conferences and edited books in the field of serious games and entertainment.

His former Ph.D. student (with Dr. Kevin Curran & Dr. Joan Condell), Dr. Abbas Cheddad (from Algeria), Lecturer in Computer Science, Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden developed a software system (Steganoflage) incorporating new methods for steganography which led to 2 UK, European and International patents, the Northern Ireland Science Park (NISP) 25K Awards, Hi-Tech category award (2009) and a spin-out company, HidInImage Ltd.[19] A demo of Stageanoflage can be seen here: Steganoflage

His former Ph.D. student (with Dr. Kevin Curran), Dr. Jonathan Doherty, Lecturer in Computer Science, Belfast Metropolitan College, developed a system of Song Form Intelligence (SoFI) incorporating a model of Western Tonal Music (WTM) (V-C-V-C) and Forward Error Correction through the artificial intelligence Statistical classification technique, K-means clustering. SoFI led to a UK and international patent and the development of Broadcast Language Identification System (BLIS)[20] for automated subtitling (closed captioning) and language identification for TV and film entertainment. A demo of SoFI can be found here: SOFI - An amazing patented streaming audio repair framework

He has championed, ″The Imagineering Quarter″[21] (c) (2010), a physical & virtual quarter comprising 7 adjacent buildings of the North West Regional College (NWRC) and Ulster University, Magee College focused on teaching, research & technology transfer with software demonstrators in Digital Creativity (games, film/TV, music/radio, drama/dance, art/design, virtual worlds, digital storytelling) linking to the Creative Hub, North West Regional Science Park (Northern Ireland Science Park), The Nerve Centre, Fab Lab, Verbal Arts Centre, cross-border Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT), local Digital Media industry & access to Project Kelvin (Hibernia Networks—a secure, high capacity dedicated broadband link (10 G. LanPhy) direct to Canada, USA, Europe & rest of the island with a delay of only 2 ms. [22]

Technology transfer

Mc Kevitt is founder and shareholder of one start-up company (HidInImage Ltd.[19] [23]]) located at the North West Regional Science Park (Northern Ireland Science Park) in the field of stegonagraphy (computer security) and is currently developing speech recognition software technology (BLIS) for performing automated subtitling (closed captioning) and language identification for the TV and entertainment film industry. [20]

He was awarded (with Dr. Abbas Cheddad, Dr. Kevin Curran & Dr. Joan Condell) the Northern Ireland Science Park (NISP) 25K Awards, Hi-Tech category award (2009) for Steganoflage (SDW digital watermarking), [24] a demo of which can be seen here: Steganoflage

Media

Mc Kevitt hosted (with Martin O Lionsigh) a radio show entitled ″Joyce Cary's Dartboard″[25] based around the writer Joyce Cary, born in Derry/Londonderry, who captured places in Inishowen in his writing, on Resonance FM radio with their residence in Derry/Londonderry during First UK City of Culture 2013. Joyce Cary was born in Derry/Londonderry and captured places in Inishowen, Co. Donegal in his writing. The show covered varied topics such as film, books, drama and music with regular guests `SinE', `Wee Mary' (weather forecast) and `Michael Caine' (`Not a lot of people know that').

Administration

Mc Kevitt is Vice-Chairman of Ulster University's Convocation Executive.[26]

He is a Committee Member of the UK Registered Charity, ″Emelia Earhart STEAM Zone North West″, which funds a children's interactive science centre for Derry/Londonderry.

He is Director of Stravaganza Productions, an inclusive company based in Derry/LondonDerry, engaging in practice best described as ‘experiments’ in music, movement & multimedia.

Journals

Books

Software Demos

Patents

Interviews

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Academic Homepage". Ulster University. http://www.ulster.ac.uk/staff/p.mckevitt.html. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
  2. 23rd International Loebner Prize Contest in Artificial Intelligence 14 September 2013 Ulster University, Magee Campus, Derry~LondonDerry~LegenDerry, Northern Ireland, UK
  3. LIVE Google Hangout (Thursday 12th September, 2013, 2.00 PM)
  4. Report on the Eighth Ireland Conference on AI and Cognitive Science, AI Magazine, Vol. 19, No. 4
  5. AICS-97 website
  6. ″Prof. Paul Mc Kevitt's Encomium for presentation of Honorary Doctorate in Science (D.Sc.) to Prof. Noel Sharkey (Sheffield), Graduation, Coleraine, July 3rd, 2006″
  7. ″Honorary Degrees For Distinguished Churchman and for ‘Robot Wars’ Scientist″
  8. Enya address, Graduation, Magee, July 10th, 2007″
  9. ″UU Honours Musician Enya″
  10. 10.0 10.1 ″LinkedIn Page″
  11. ″Google Scholar″
  12. ″Ulster Institutional Repository″
  13. ″Ideas for Universities″
  14. ″M.S. Thesis″
  15. ″Ph.D. Thesis″
  16. ″Intelligent Help Systems for Unix″
  17. "PlayPhysics Distinguished Thesis". BCS. http://interact.bcs.org/academy/game-based-learning.pdf. Retrieved September 25, 2015. 
  18. "BCS Distinguished Dissertations 2013". BCS. http://academy.bcs.org/content/distinguished-dissertations-2013. Retrieved September 25, 2015. 
  19. 19.0 19.1 "HidInImage". HidInImage. http://hidinimage.co.uk/. Retrieved September 25, 2015. 
  20. 20.0 20.1 ″BLIS: where imagination meets engineering″
  21. "The Imagineering Quarter". PM. http://www.paulmckevitt.com/imagineering-quarter/. Retrieved September 25, 2015. 
  22. Desperately Seeking Digital Creativity, 2nd April 2010
  23. ″Security through Obscurity - New Spinout Company gives 21st Century Twist to Ancient Science″
  24. ″University of Ulster Innovators Triumph At £25k Awards″
  25. "Joyce Cary's Dartboard". Soundcloud. https://soundcloud.com/resonance-fm/sets/joyce-carys-dartboard. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
  26. "Ulster University Convocation Executive". Ulster University. http://www.ulster.ac.uk/secretary/secretariat/convocation/convocationmembers.html. Retrieved September 25, 2015. 

External links