Academic Profile

Academic Profile

Prof Nadia Magnenat Thalmann

Director, Institute for Media Innovation
Visiting Professor

School of Computer Science and Engineering
College of Engineering

Phone: (+65)6592 1892
Office: RTP-XF-03 [IMI]

  • PhD (Quantum Physics) University of Geneva 1977
  • Postgrad Cert (CompSc & Math) Ecole Polytechnique Federale De Lausanne 1977
  • Postgrad Cert (Stat & CompSc) University of Geneva 1975
  • MSc (Dip) Biochem University of Geneva 1972
Professor Thalmann joined NTU in August 2009 as the Director of the interdisciplinary Institute for Media Innovation. She has authored dozens of books, published more than 600 papers on virtual humans/virtual worlds and social robots (jointly with her PhD students), organised major conferences as CGI, CASA, and delivered more than 300 keynote addresses, some of them at global events such as the World Economic Forum in Davos.

During her illustrious career, she also established MIRALab in Switzerland, a ground-breaking interdisciplinary multimedia research institute. She participated in more than 50 European research projects, helping MIRALab to develop revolutionising interdisciplinary research in computer graphics, computer animation, and virtual worlds and producing impactful work that synergises art, fashion, computer graphics. Her work is regularly displayed at museums, galleries and fashion shows. Her most recent work includes the 3D virtual patient, including a case study on visualizing the articulations of ballerinas while dancing or soccer players.

In NTU, Singapore, recently, she revolutionized social robotics by unveiling the first social robot Nadine that can have mood and emotions and remember people and actions. (See

Besides having bachelor's and master's degrees in disciplines such as psychology, biology, chemistry and computer science, Professor Thalmann completed her PhD in quantum physics at the University of Geneva. She has received honorary doctorates from Leibniz University of Hannover and the University of Ottawa in Canada and several prestigious other awards as the Humboldt Research Award in Germany.

She is Editor-in-Chief of The Visual Computer, co-Editor-in-Chief of Computer Animation and Virtual Worlds, and editor of many other scientific journals. She is a life member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences.
(See Professor Nadia Magnenat Thalmann)
Research Interests
Nadia Magnenat-Thalmann’s interests are mainly on Virtual humans, both on the creative and the algorithmic side. One recent interest is to model the physiological Virtual Human, including specific individual modelling of organs.

Among recent topics of interests :

- Interactive Autonomous Virtual Humans and Social Robots
- Modelling personalities, emotions, memory processes and relationship models
- Physics-based modelling of deformations of soft tissue
- Segmentation methods for MRI data
- 3D Fabrication
Current Projects
  • 3D Interactive Visualization of the Human Body In An Immersive Situation
  • Advanced Immersive Medical Environments Project (AI-MEP)
  • Autonomous Virtual Humans and Social Robot For Telepresence
  • BeingTogether
  • Realistic Immersion with Virtual Humans
  • Towards More Social Robots: Understanding Human Behaviours with 2D and 3D Sensors
Selected Publications
  • Nadia Magnenat Thalmann, Li Tian, Fupin Yao.(2017). Nadine: A Social Robot that Can Localize Objects and Grasp Them in a Human Way. Frontiers in Electronic Technologies(1-23). Springer Singapore.
  • Xingce Wang, Jiale He, Na Liu, Shaolong Liu, Zhongke Wu, Mingquan Zhou, Peng Cheng, Chunyan Miao, Nadia Magnenat Thalmann. (2016). Proceedings of the 15th ACM SIGGRAPH Conference on Virtual-Reality Continuum and Its Applications: Crowd Formation via Hierarchical Planning. The 15th ACM SIGGRAPH Conference on Virtual-Reality Continuum and Its Applications (pp. 251-260)New York, NY, USA: ACM.
  • Lazhari Assassi, Nadia Magnenat Thalmann. (2016). Assessment of cartilage contact pressure and loading in the hip joint during split posture. International Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery, .
  • J. Zhang, J. Zheng and N. Magnenat Thalmann. (2015). PCMD: Personality-characterized Mood Dynamics Model Toward Personalized Virtual Characters. Computer Animation and Virtual Worlds, 26(3-4), 237-245.
  • N. Magnenat Thalmann and Z. Zhang. (2014). Social Robots and Virtual Humans as Assistive Tools for Improving Our Quality of Life. The 5th International Conference on Digital Home (ICDH 2014)Guangzhou, China.

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