Panagiotis D. Ritsos

MEng PhD Essex, FHEA

Lecturer in Visualization

Visualization, Modelling and
Graphics (VMG) research group,

School of Computer Science
and Electronic Engineering,

Bangor University,
Dean Street, Bangor,
Gwynedd, UK, LL57 1UT

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Interpreting in Virtual Reality (IVY)

Project IVY was a European funded project with 6 partners (EU Lifelong Learning Progamme - Project 511862-2010-LLP-UK-KA-KA3MP). The aim was to develop a virtual collaborative training environment for interpreters and explore the usage of Virtual Reality in interpreting scenarios. The IVY Virtual Environment encompases a number of predefined interpreting scenes, where the participants/users can perform various interpreting tasks for educational and training purposes, as well as challenging simulation scenarios.

The IVY Virtual Environment offers a powerful tool for Interpreters by allowing scenario and dialogue customization, enhancement of sense of presence through the immersion in a virtual world an ultimately, a platform to examine the merits of Virtual Environments usage compared to other methods such as traditional face to face interviews, or video conferencing interviews.

The IVY Virtual Environment uses Second Life to create a prototype environment. Users can teleport to a chosen scenario, where the room is modelled in a suitable way for the scenario, and then the user can hear the scenario and can interact with the world to understand how to act as an interpreter.

Collaborators (in various publications)

University of Surrey, Bangor University, University of Cyprus, Adam Mickiewicz University, Steinbeis GmbH & Co. KG für Technologietransfer Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Bar-Ilan University

P. D. Ritsos, R. Gittins, S. Braun, C. Slater, and J. C. Roberts, “Training Interpreters using Virtual Worlds,” in Transactions on Computational Science XVIII, vol. 7848, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2013, pp. 21–40. With the rise in population migration there has been an increased need for professional interpreters who can bridge language barriers and operate in a variety of fields such as business, legal, social and medical. Interpreters require specialized training to cope with the idiosyncrasies of each field and their potential clients need to be aware of professional parlance. We present ‘Project IVY’. In IVY, users can make a selection from over 30 interpreter training scenarios situated in the 3D virtual world. Users then interpret the oral interaction of two avatar actors. In addition to creating different 3D scenarios, we have developed an asset management system for the oral files and permit users (mentors of the training interpreters) to easily upload and customize the 3D environment and observe which scenario is being used by a student. In this article we present the design and development of the IVY Virtual Environment and the asset management system. Finally we make discussion over our plans for further development.
[Abstract]   [PDF]   [BibTex]   [doi:10.1007/978-3-642-38803-3_2]  

P. D. Ritsos, R. Gittins, J. C. Roberts, S. Braun, and C. Slater, “Using Virtual Reality for Interpreter-mediated Communication and Training,” in Proceedings of International Conference on Cyberworlds (CW’12), Darmstadt, Germany, 2012, pp. 191–198. As international businesses adopt social media and virtual worlds as mediums for conducting international business, so there is an increasing need for interpreters who can bridge the language barriers, and work within these new spheres. The recent rise in migration (within the EU) has also increased the need for professional interpreters in business, legal, medical and other settings. Project IVY attempts to provide bespoke 3D virtual environments that are tailor made to train interpreters to work in the new digital environments, responding to this increased demand. In this paper we present the design and development of the IVY Virtual Environment. We present past and current design strategies, our implementation progress and our future plans for further development.
[Abstract]   [PDF]   [BibTex]   [doi:10.1109/CW.2012.34]  

P. D. Ritsos and J. C. Roberts, “Towards more Visual Analytics in Learning Analytics,” in EuroVis Workshop on Visual Analytics (EuroVA), Swansea, UK, 2014, pp. 61–65. Learning Analytics is the collection, management and analysis of students’ learning. It is used to enable teachers to understand how their students are progressing and for learners to ascertain how well they are performing. Often the data is displayed through dashboards. However, there is a huge opportunity to include more comprehensive and interactive visualizations that provide visual depictions and analysis throughout the lifetime of the learner, monitoring their progress from novices to experts. We therefore encourage researchers to take a comprehensive approach and re-think how visual analytics can be applied to the learning environment, and develop more interactive and exploratory interfaces for the learner and teacher.
[Abstract]   [PDF]   [BibTex]   [URL]