The Positive Computing Lab

The Positive Computing Lab is an interdisciplinary initiative of researchers & practitioners based at the University of Sydney with collaborators at institutions in Australia and worldwide.  The lab's mission is to support the research and development of technology that supports psychological wellbeing.

DirectorRafael Calvo

Creative LeaderDorian Peters
Postdoctoral Researchers: David Milne, Simon Hoermann
Developers: Ming Li, Yunyao Yao

Black Dog Institute
Brain and Mind Centre
Cambridge Wellbeing Institute
Charles Perkins Centre 
Microsoft Research 
Virtual Human Interaction Lab, Stanford

Current Projects

EQ Clinic - Communication skills for future doctors

An intelligent online environment where medical students can conduct video consultations. Students receive real-time feedback from patients, feedback from teachers, and automated feedback from the system on non-verbal behaviors such as gestures, expressions and tone of voice. See the EQ Clinic website.

Moderator Assistant - Support for Mental Health Moderators

Working with on the use of intelligent web technologies with social media, we've developed Moderator Assistant (see paper) and CyberMate, two projects which apply NLP to support support positive mental health in young people by increasing efficacy and resilience in the peer-support staff who do life-saving work via mental health forums and chat lines.

Kiss myAsthma

Co-designing directly with young people and with researchers in Medicine and Pharmacy, we have developed an app (user-named "kiss myAsthma") to support goal-setting and increase autonomy for adolescents with asthma.  The project has been funded by Asthma Australia.

Well@Work - Workplace wellbeing

nform the design and evaluation of an e-Mental Health Clinic for young people aged 16 to 25 years. The e-Mental Health Clinic aims to place the young person at the centre of care and use technologies to enhance engagement and reduce the traditional barriers to accessing services. - See more at:
The Well@Work project is dedicated to  improving mental health in the workplace, with a focus on male-dominated workplaces such as Fire and Rescue for which work-related depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress are critical issues, and stigma is a powerful barrier to help-seeking.  The project is funded by Movember and BeyondBlue.  See the Well@Work website.

VR Rides - Combating dementia with VR

For the Charles Perkins Centre (CPC) (whose mission is to ease the burden of  disease through research that translates into real-world solutions) we do research into technology that promotes the psychological factors that make physical health outcomes possible.  We are currently piloting a VR cycling experience for seniors intended to provide both cardiovascular and cognitive exercise and to reduce the risk of dementia. See the VR Rides website.

Affective computing and emotion detection

We have multiple projects building systems that detect and adapt to our emotional and cognitive states. This includes work with affect-aware intelligent tutoring systems, automated individual feedback, emotion tracking through mobile and social media, as well as JSiento, a low-cost portable  open-source platform that provides resources for researchers to collect physiological signals, extract features and classify affective states.