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AURA - Ascertaining Un-Reported Affect

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
21st Century Technologies Inc.
6011 West Courtyard Drive Bldg 5, Suite 300 Austin, TX -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: AURA - Ascertaining Un-Reported Affect
Agency: DOD
Contract: D12PC00005
Award Amount: $749,880.00


Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITSs) functions as virtual tutors that adapt to student responses. Such ITSs, however, do not yield student learning improvements equivalent to students tutored by human instructors. Ascertaining Un-Reported Affect (AURA) is a closed-loop, platform-independent"front-end"for informing ITSs with near real-time inferences of student engagement and affect during learning sessions to further improve student learning and minimize student frustration. AURA leverages low-cost, non-invasive sensors to monitor students without disrupting their learning experience. Such an approach enables the large-scale deployment of AURA to students using ITSs. The key innovation in AURA is the ability to serve as a modular component that informs an ITS of changes in a student"s emotional or physical state that can affect the learning process by leveraging audio, video, and user interface feedback. During AURA Phase 2 we will implement an engineering prototype composed of established signal processing algorithms selected during Phase 1. We will evaluate the prototype using operational data collected from student"s interacting with a computer tutorial. AURA leverages 21st Century Technologies expertise developing systems for the military in speech and audio processing, image processing, and creating machine learning algorithms.

Principal Investigator:

Ron Larcom
Principle Investigators
(512) 682-4730

Business Contact:

Irene Williams
(512) 682-4700
Small Business Information at Submission:

21st Century Technologies Inc.
6011 West Courtyard Drive Bldg 5, Suite 300 Austin, TX -

EIN/Tax ID: 541719551
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: Yes
HUBZone-Owned: No