John Shearer | Teaching Fellow

John Shearer

John Shearer is a human-computer interaction specialist teaching 3D computer graphics and games development at Newcastle University. In addition to teaching and writing software John can't help but get down and get his hands dirty building in the real world - from ambient kitchens and situated learning environments to custom leather work and just about anything that he can get away with. His PhD on interactive non-verbal behaviour in virtual characters was driven by a strong interest in developing more engaging, persuasive, and fun interfaces. John teaches in the School of Computing Science and is a resident in Culture Lab. He has recently revived his dormant interest in live performance through his work on the humanaquarium. Upcoming research developments and collaborations involve technology enhanced learning (ilab:learn), re-viewing art through computer controlled manufacture, and interactive museum installations.
He holds a BEng (Hons) in Computer Science from York University and a PhD in Computing Science from Newcastle University.


MyRun: Balancing Design for Reflection, Recounting and Openness in a Museum-based Participatory Platform
Clarke R, Vines J, Wright P, Bartindale T, Shearer J, McCarthy J, Olivier P, British HCI 2015212-221


<em>Nightingallery</em>: theatrical framing and orchestration in participatory performance
Taylor R, Schofield G, Shearer J, Wright P, Boulanger P, Olivier P, Personal and Ubiquitous Computing1583-1600


Collaborative Strategic Reading on Multi-Touch and Multi-User Digital Tabletop Displays
Maslamani JA, Windeatt S, Olivier P, Heslop P, Kharrufa A, Shearer J, Balaam M, EUROCALL211-216


Designing from within: humanaquarium
Taylor R, Schofield G, Shearer J, Wallace J, Wright P, Boulanger P, Olivier P, 29th Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI)1855-1864


Non-Verbal Behaviour for Believable Synthetic Agents
Shearer J, Heslop P, Olivier P, De-Boni M, AISB Journal3-20
Phantasmagoria: Composing Interactive Content for the humanaquarium
Taylor R, Schofield G, Shearer J, Boulanger P, Wallace J, Olivier P, Smart Graphics: 10th International Symposium on Smart Graphics269-272


[PhD Thesis] Persuasive Interactive Non-Verbal Behaviour in Embodied Conversational Agents
Shearer J,


Exploring persuasive potential of embodied conversational agents utilizing synthetic embodied conversational agents
Shearer J, Olivier P, De Boni M, Hurling R, Persuasive Technology: Second International Conference210-213


Requirements of non-verbal communication in believable synthetic agents
Shearer J, Olivier P, Heslop P, de Boni M, Symposium on Narrative AI and Games62-69
Synthetic Character Fidelity through Non-Verbal Behaviour in Computer Games
Heslop P, Shearer J, Olivier P, DeBoni M, iDiG International Digital Games Conference
Requirements of non-verbal communication in believable synthetic agents
Shearer J, Olivier P, Heslop P, AISB Symposium on Narrative AI and Games

Associated Projects

  • Fiber Chopping Board
    Fiber Chopping Board (FCB) was designed and developed to track people's fresh food preparation activities in a domestic kitchen. The FCB was compactly designed “as normal a chopping board as possible” (i.e. with technology that is effectively invis...
    August 30, 2011
  • Nightingallery
    The Nightingallery was an interactive musical installation featuring an animatronic bird. Members of the public were encouraged to approach and talk to the bird. The human voice was processed and then used to drive a synthesiser that meant the bird cou...
    August 30, 2011
  • humanaquaurium
    humanaquarium is a movable performance space designed to explore the ephemeral yet tangible relationship between artist and audience in the performing arts traditions. Two musicians collaborate with participants, sharing the intimacy of co-cre...
    August 30, 2011
  • CraftCube
    The CraftCube initiative presented new and exciting ways of displaying, interpreting and accessing contemporary craft with a focus on new technology. The aim of the research-based CraftCube series was to champion and expose to a broader audience practi...
    August 30, 2011
  • My Great North Run
    ‘My Great North Run’ is a multimodal museum installation and connected website that archives stories, photographs and drawings from the last thirty years of the Great North Run.
    August 30, 2011
  • Persuasive Dialogue
    Embodied conversation agents (ECAs) are virtual humans that are able to converse with people by producing and responding to verbal and non-verbal communication, including varied facial expressions, hand gestures and other body language. Since face-to-f...
    August 30, 2011
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