In high-school, teachers could easily sanction you for not attending class. At university, most students come and go as they please, especially since they are so many in a class, the teacher doesn’t even bother with attendance anymore. But one professor from China is confronting this trend with a facial recognition algorithm he built to figure out quickly who’s missing #softwaremagic
Professor Wei Xiaoyong came up with the software in order to stop wasting time calling everyone out from the list. Now, he’s done much more than just doing attendance. He can identify the level of interest in his class, by analyzing students’ faces. His technique labels emotions and produces a “curve” for each student. This can help the professor understand at which point they’re getting bored and when they’re most attentive and happy.
Instead of teaching regardless of who listens, Xiaoyong wants to make sure the information gets to every student, in one way or another. That might mean sneaking in a joke or two or making the class more interactive and less of a lecture.
The professor has already shared his findings with other colleagues and believes that it could have major benefits for psychology and social sciences.