Gale Lucas

Research Assistant Professor

Gale Lucas's Headshot


The research I conduct falls into these areas.

  1. Human-computer interaction (HCI)
    In HCI, we design computer technology to interact with human users, and in particular, study that interaction.

  2. Affective computing (AC).
    In AC, we develop technology that can recognize, interpret, process, and simulate human affective states.
    For more on AC, see the website of the research group that I belong to, Affective Computing @ USC: Click Here

  3. Human-building interaction (HBI)
    In HBI, we focus on technology for built environments and, in particular, the interaction between smart buildings and their occupants.
    For more on HBI, see the website of the HBI center that I co-direct, Center for Intelligent Environments: Click Here

For more detail on my work in these areas, please see Projects and/or Publications


One of my original contributions to the area of affective computing and human-computer interaction was developing models outlining how to encourage reporting of stigmatized health information and using technology to design interventions based on those models. Some of those publications included:

  1. De Gennaro, M., Krumhuber, E. G., & Lucas, G. M. (2020). Effectiveness of an empathic chatbot in combating adverse effects of social exclusion on mood. Frontiers in Psychology, 10:3061.
  2. Lucas, G. M., Rizzo, A. S., Gratch, J., Scherer, S., Stratou, G., Boberg, J., & Morency, L. P. (2019). Reporting mental health symptoms: Breaking down barriers to care with virtual human interviewers. Slater, M., Sanchez-Vives, M. V., Rizzo, A., Bergamasco, M., eds. The Impact of Virtual and Augmented Reality on Individuals and Society, pp. 256-264. Lausanne: Frontiers Media.
  3. Mell, J., Lucas, G. M., & Gratch, J. (2017). Prestige questions, online agents, and gender-driven differences in disclosure. Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents, 273-282.
  4. Lucas, G. M., Gratch, J., King, A. & Morency, L. P. (2014). It’s only a computer: Virtual humans increase willingness to disclose. Computers in Human Behavior, 37, 94-100.

We also develop technology for teaching interpersonal negotiation and communication. In particular, we build agents that can not only teach users skills that can be used in negotiations and to resolve social dilemmas, but also afford them opportunities to practice these skills in a safe environment. Some of those publications included:

  1. Chawla, K., Clever, R., Ramirez, J., Lucas, G. M., & Gratch, J. (2021). Towards emotion-aware agents for negotiation dialogues. Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction.
  2. Lucas, G. M., Stratou, G , Lieblich, S., & Gratch, J. (2016). Trust me: Multimodal signals of trustworthiness. Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Multimodal Interaction, 5-12.
  3. Johnson, E., Lucas, G. M., Kim, P. H., & Gratch, J. (2019). Intelligent Tutoring System for negotiation skills training. Proceedings of the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education, 122-127.
  4. Gratch, J., DeVault, D., & Lucas, G. M. (2016). The benefits of virtual humans for teaching negotiation. Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agent, 276-287.

My research has also explored the value of various social tactics, especially rapport building, to allow technologies to better support human workers to complete joint tasks. Some of those publications included:

  1. Gratch, J. & Lucas, G. M. (2022). Rapport between humans and machines. ACM Handbook on Socially Interactive Agents, pp 433-462. New York: ACM Books.
  2. Bellas, A., Perrin, S., Malone, B., Rogers, K., Phillips, E. K., Tossell, C. C., de Visser, E., & Lucas, G. M. (2020). Rapport Building with Social Robots as a Method for Improving Mission Debriefing in Human-Robot Teams. Proceedings of the IEEE Systems and Information Engineering Design Symposium, 160-163.
  3. Lucas, G. M., Lehr, J., Kraemer, N., & Gratch, J. (2019). The effectiveness of social influence tactics when used by a virtual agent. Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents, 22-29.
  4. Lucas, G. M., Boberg, J., Artstein, R., Traum, D., Gratch, J., Gainer, A., Johnson, E., Leuski, A., & Nakano, M. (2018). Getting to know each other: The role of social dialogue in recovery from errors in social robots. Proceedings of the Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, 344-351.

Finally, I also conduct research to understand how technology can improve health, well-being and safety of workers in their workspaces. In particular, we focus on how “smart spaces,” such as intelligent office buildings and smart desks, can support workers in these areas. Some of those publications included:

  1. Adami, P., Rodrigues, P. B., Woods, P. J., Becerik-Gerber, B., Soibelman, L., Copur-Gencturk, Y., & Lucas, G. M. (2021). Effectiveness of VR-based training on improving construction workers’ knowledge, skills, and safety behavior in robotic teleoperation. Advanced Engineering Informatics, 50, 101431.
  2. Awada, M., Zhu, R., Becerik-Gerber, B., Lucas, G. M., & Southers, E. (2021). An integrated emotional and physiological assessment for VR-based active shooter incident simulations. Advanced Engineering Informatics, 47, 101227.
  3. Aryal, A., Becerik-Gerber, B., Anselmo, F., Roll, S. C., & Lucas, G. M. (2019). Smart Desks to promote comfort, health, and productivity in offices: A Vision for future workplaces. Frontiers, 5:76.
  4. Khashe, S., Lucas, G. M., Becerik-Gerber, B., & Gratch, J. (2019). Establishing social dialog between buildings and their users for enabling human-building interactions. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 35.


Check all the publications here: Google Scholar