I3S, Face Aging Lab Collect Vital Data for Research

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

A group of UNCW computer science students has taken their research to the streets.

Student researchers with the Face Aging Lab, founded by UNCW computer science professor Karl Ricanek, set up a booth at the Azalea Festival this past weekend to collect data, photos and video clips of faces.

A key research unit of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Identity Science (I3S), the Face Aging Lab is studying how our faces reflect signs of health and wellness. More than 200 festival-goers filled out a short questionnaire about their lifestyles and had their faces filmed.

“We believe that certain attributes about your health and wellness can be obtained from the face and used to develop novel solutions to help find health indicators,” said graduate student Harry Atwal.

The technology researchers are developing could aid people in discovering ailments in the early stages.

“We hope to be able to implement the information gathered from the data collection to develop a health and wellness app,” said junior Ashley Teague. “Eventually, when people use the app to photograph themselves, the app would use their facial patterns to determine if they have a certain health risk that he or she should see a doctor about.”

Participating in the Azalea Festival allowed the students an opportunity to give back to the community through research, Atwal added.

-- Venita Jenkins