Juan Carlos Farah

I am a postdoctoral researcher and software engineer, working at the intersection of conversational agents, human-computer interaction, social neuroscience, and information theory.


Education

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Robotics, Control, and Intelligent Systems
2020 – 2023

Imperial College London

Master of Science (MSc)
Computing
2014 – 2015

Harvard University

Bachelor of Arts (AB)
Economics
2004 – 2008

Experience

Postdoctoral Researcher

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Conduct research in human-computer interaction, neuroscience, and artificial intelligence with a focus on how humans interact with artificial agents when these agents exhibit different anthropomorphic traits.

June 2023 – Present

Software Engineer

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Develop front and backend features, implement integration and end-to-end tests, and maintain server architecture for the Interaction Systems Research Group's web, desktop, and mobile applications, such as Graasp.

April 2017 – Present

Co-Founder, Vice President of Research

Graasp

Participate in the conception, establishment, and management of a non-profit organisation promoting innovation in digital education. Lead software engineering, DevOps, QA, developer advocacy, and training. Support with grant and funding applications.

October 2019 – Present

Researcher

College of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg (HEIA-FR)

Conduct research in human-computer interaction and digital education with a focus on chatbots and how they can be integrated into software engineering education. Design and lead experiments both in the lab and in the classroom. Provide support with the preparation of funding applications.

October 2020 – Present

Lecturer

College of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg (HEIA-FR)

Lecture final-year bachelor students on human-machine interaction, web design, and development. Implement and present guided tutorials using React, Material Design, and other cutting-edge JavaScript technologies. Assess student projects and presentations.

September 2019 – February 2020

Consultant, Teaching Assistant

MongoDB

Worked with in-house and community teams to teach, promote, and translate courses offered by MongoDB University. Moderated discussions, gathered feedback, and answer student queries through the courses’ forums. Assisted in the proofing, debugging and improvement of lecture, quiz, homework and exam materials.

July 2013 – June 2018

Publications

PhD Thesis
Book Chapters
Journal Papers
Peer-Reviewed Conference Papers
Peer-Reviewed Workshop Papers

Software

Neuroimaging
Digital Education

Teaching

Master's Level
  • Guest Lectures for the Social Media Course (EE-593)
    École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). 2018–2023
    • Conversational Agents (2023)
    • Trust and Privacy (2018–2023)
    • Blockchain (2018–2022)
Bachelor's Level
  • Lecturer for the Human-Computer Interaction II Course (IHM2) [French]
    College of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg (HEIA-FR). 2019
Invited Talks
  • ETH / EPFL - Future Learning Initiative Colloquium
    Conversational Agents in Digital Education.
    Zurich. May 2023
  • Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología (UTEC) - Data Talks
    Learning Analytics: Análisis de Datos para Plataformas de Educación Digital [Spanish]
    Lima (Virtual). March 2022
  • EPFL - Data Champions
    An End-to-End Data Pipeline for Managing Learning Analytics
    Lausanne. November 2021
  • EPFL - Center for Learning Sciences
    Active Learning: From Concepts to Blended Implementation
    Lausanne. May 2019
  • Next Lab Consortium - Next-Lab Summer School
    Learning Analytics and Privacy
    Marathon. July 2017
  • MongoDB - MongoDB User Group
    Kickstarting Your Mongo Education with MongoDB University
    London. June 2014
Invited Workshops
  • Université de Lausanne (UNIL) - École de Français Langue Étrangère (EFLE)
    L'IA Dans Nos Vies
    Lausanne. April 2023

Mentoring

Master's Students
  • Malin Svenberg
    Defining and Evaluating User Stories in Learning Experience Platforms
    Master's Thesis. EPFL / KTH Royal Institute of Technology. 2023
  • Víctor González González
    Design and Evaluation of an Open Education Platform's DevOps Orchestration Toolkit
    Master's Thesis. EPFL / Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. 2022
  • Basile Spaenlehauer
    • Conversational Agents for Task-Oriented Support in Education
      Master's Thesis. EPFL. 2022
    • An Observational Study of Human-Bot Interaction on GitHub
      Master's Semester Project. EPFL. 2021
    • A Web-Based Application to Support Code Reviews in Entry-Level Programming Courses
      Master's Semester Project. EPFL. 2021
  • Pedro Torres da Cunha
    Data Anonymization and ML-Based Auditing for Digital Education
    Master's Thesis. EPFL. 2021 (Co-Supervision)
  • Kim Lan Phan Hoang
    • Online / Offline Distributed Data Synchronization for Digital Education
      Master's Thesis. EPFL. 2020
    • Implementation of a Static and Interactive Exporter
      Master's Semester Project. EPFL. 2020
Bachelor's Students
  • Fanny Kim-Lan Lasne
    Designing and Evaluating Conversational Agent Frontends for Task-Based Educational Applications
    Bachelor's Semester Project. EPFL. 2023 (Co-Supervision)
  • Uchendu Nwachukwu
    Web Aggregator for E-Learning Data
    Bachelor's Thesis. HEIA-FR. 2020 (Co-Supervision)
  • Olivier Wenger
    A Contextual Resource Recommendation Chatbot
    Bachelor's Thesis. HEIA-FR. 2018 (Co-Supervision)

Scientific Reviewing

Journals
  • Frontiers in Communication
    2024
  • Entropy
    2023
  • Social Sciences & Humanities Open
    2023
  • International Journal of Human–Computer Interaction
    2023
  • PLOS ONE
    2022
  • Cybernetics and Systems
    2022
Conferences
  • ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI)
    2023
  • International Conference on Interactive Collaborative Learning (ICL)
    2022–2023
  • International Conference on Higher Education Advances (HEAd)
    2022
  • European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning (ECTEL)
    2020
Funding Bodies
  • University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Western Switzerland (HES-SO)
    2023

Academic Memberships & Professional Societies

  • Member of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness (ASSC)
    2023–present
  • Member of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM)
    2022–present
  • Member of Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
    2021–present
  • Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
    2020–present
  • Member of the Board of Experts of the College of Engineering and Architecture of Fribourg (HEIA-FR)
    2018–present

Awards, Certifications, & Funding

Awards
  • Best Paper
    22nd International Conference on Web-Based Learning (ICWL 2023)
  • Best Student Paper
    8th International Conference on Higher Education Advances (HEAd 2022)
  • Best Student Paper Co-Award
    IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON 2022)
  • Honorable Mention Best Short Paper
    4th Conference on Conversational User Interfaces (CUI 2022)
  • Best Paper Award for the Category Innovation, Methods, Teaching, and Learning Experiences in Engineering Education
    IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON 2019)
Certifications
  • MongoDB Certified Developer Associate Exam (C100DEV)
    2016
  • MongoDB Certified DBA Associate Exam (C100DBA)
    2016
Funding
  • Permanent Office on Digital Experimentation at the HES-SO Digital Skills Center
    FRICASSEE: Fieldwork and Research Integrating Chatbots in Applications for Students in Software Engineering Education
    Principal Investigator
    2022
  • BeLEARN Fund
    FREE: Federal Library of Open Educational Resources
    Co-Applicant
    2022
  • Swissuniversities P5 Program Program: Scientific information
    ASPIRE: Graasp for Open Evidence-Based Research in Digital Education
    Co-Applicant
    2020

Skills

Programming Languages & Tools