100 Institute RD
BS Computer Science Stanford University Departmental honors 2001
MS Computer Science University of the Western Cape Cum Laude 2007
PhD Computer Science University of California, San Diego 2012

My research interests are in applied machine learning, computer vision, data science and their applications to education, affective computing, and human behavior recognition. My work is highly interdisciplinary and frequently intersects cognitive science, psychology, and education. Before joining WPI, I was a research scientist at the Office of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning at Harvard University. In 2012, I co-founded Emotient, a San Diego-based startup company for automatic emotion and facial expression recognition. I also love teaching and have lectured, mentored, and tutored students in the USA, South Africa, Rwanda, and Germany.
College Town: Nichols gets $2M anonymous gift

In its College Town section, The Telegram & Gazette featured how Jacob Whitehill, assistant professor of computer science, is collaborating with colleagues at the University of Colorado Boulder to explore how artificially intelligent (AI) teaching agents might help encourage more meaningful collaboration among students in school classrooms.

Too Hot, Too Cold? Scientists Search For The Optimal Temperature For Learning

Forbes reported online about research led by Shichao Liu to study the optimal indoor conditions for learning. Liu, Jacob Whitehill and Steven Van Dessel received $299,991 develop technologies that detect and boost student engagement in lessons by controlling classroom temperature, ventilation, and lighting.