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Along with sketch recognition, Dr. Tracy Hammond also works on Sketchitivity technology that helps engineering students improve their drawing skills. | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

The way people draw can reveal a lot about them, from how old a child is, if a person has had a stroke and more. Dr. Tracy Hammond, professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and director of the Sketch Recognition Lab, researches these human motions to help improve strategies in a number of fields, including education.

“Sketch recognition is the automated understanding of your sketches,” Hammond said. “One perspective is what did they draw, which is pretty straightforward. But then there's this other perspective of what are they intending to draw? You get a lot of interesting things that you can get underlying information from isn’t obvious.”

Using machine learning and artificial intelligence, Hammond’s lab is developing several systems in education, including a system that can analyze a student’s sketches to ensure they understand the problem-solving process.

“I'm very interdisciplinary myself,” Hammond said. “I am fascinated with how people work and how people interact. I do feel that the intersection of these disciplines is really where you get those little magic little nooks and crannies that do make a huge difference in the world.” 

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