The Rosenkranz Centre for Excellence and Achievement

For the past two terms, a small team of four Year 9 students have been involved in The 9th BrainSTEM’s Innovation Challenge.  BrainStem is an organisation that connects students with lecturers or PhD students from universities within Melbourne to explore an area of interest.  Our students have travelled weekly to Swinburne University in Hawthorn to work with Muneera Bano, Senior Lecturer in Software Engineering now positioned at Deakin University and on Thursday 21 November they shared their project at BrainSTEM’s 9th Innovation Presentation Evening. Ms Bano specialises in the field of socio-technical domains of software engineering focusing on human-centred technologies. She works at the intersection between computers and humans – looking for ways to engineer technology to work better with the people that use it. Her research interests include requirements engineering, service orientation, sentiment analysis and evidence based software engineering.

Our students chose to design and create a prototype of an app, called CONNECT, to support communication between children with autism spectrum disorder and their families, carers and guardians. The app uses AI and deep learning, via a game, to learn the person’s communication patterns and emotions. Based on the data collected from the game and interactive tasks, the app creates a personalised dictionary for the families and carers to refer to. It also aims to develop the person with ASD’s language and communication skills.  The app also has links to community support and events and the capacity for deep learning, to follow and measure any patterns in emotions and behaviours of the person with ASD. Although in its infant stages, we believe our app will have a positive impact on people within the ASD community; supporting them in communicating with their carers and families.

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