RMIT students make an impact in 2020

RMIT students make an impact in 2020

RMIT University strives to make impactful contributions to Vietnam, especially through the work and lives of the young people the University helps to shape.

These works not only prepare RMIT students for life and work, but also make a positive impact on society.

Supporting children on the autism spectrum

The mobile application EMODO helps children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to develop facial responses that convey emotions, while building caregivers’ understanding of the children’s intentions and emotional development.

news-1-rmit-students-make-an-impact-in-2020 A group of Software Engineering students created a prototype mobile app EMODO, to help children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder to develop facial emotions.

Developed by a group of four Bachelor of Software Engineering students, Nguyen Xuan Hao, Le Minh Truyen, Hoang Quang Huy and Duong Huu Khang, the app shows signs of emotions for children to mirror, and monitors the reactions through a facial expression recognition system.

“We designed and developed the app for ASD-diagnosed children because we wanted to see many more of them able to express their emotions easily and to improve the emotional learning, development and social interaction,” Khang said.

Hao shared the team’s many challenges during the initial development phase, including researching, trialling and completing the project prototype in a short period of time.

“We designed the product using a new programming language developed by Google but there was very little documentation about the language, so we had to figure out the answers and undergo a tough trial-and-error development process to make it to the final,” Hao said.

“Facial emotional recognition is not a new concept but the idea of designing and developing it for this purpose is quite new in the field of computer vision.” 

Raising awareness for those with depression

Bachelor of Design Studies student Dang Minh Khoa created a short film exploring common mental illnesses including depression during the COVID-19 social distancing period this year.

news-2-rmit-students-make-an-impact-in-2020 Bachelor of Design Studies student Dang Minh Khoa created a short film exploring common mental illnesses, including depression.

Khoa said the short video clip depicted a character struggling with depression, and what depression may feel like.

“It is easy to feel overwhelmed by hopelessness and isolation during a turbulent time,” he said. “I wanted to help people understand and empathise with the many ways others experience depression.

“Through my research and observations, I connected sound designs, colour schemes and pacing of cues to deliver the dark and sad sensation that I originally imagined into the movie.”

To enhance the story-telling visual effects, Khoa combined metaphoric concepts, movements and digital materials such as a high level of coherency between the narrative voice and the visuals, text animation and appropriate typography.

He emphasised the goal of the video was to express how a person can suffer from depression, to raise awareness of the impact the illness can have on daily life and on university students’ academic productivity.

Recognising the invisible workers

Bachelor of Communication (Professional Communication) students told the stories of two low-wage workers with low levels of educational attainment in the magazine, Silence to help spread the message that all people deserved appreciation and recognition, regardless of their job.

news-3-rmit-students-make-an-impact-in-2020 A group of Professional Communication students recognised the works of invisible jobs through the magazine, Silence.

The students, Nguyen Le Bach Duong, Nguyen Phuong Trinh, Nguyen Thu Thuy and Ly Ba Phi spoke with a sanitation worker and a security guard who both worked in one of the most difficult environments possible, and whose jobs were considered unskilled.

Nguyen Phuong Trinh had a late-night interview with the sanitation worker: “The worker that we interviewed had been in her job for more than 20 years. She often worked in harsh conditions like freezing nights in a polluted environment, and always had to work extra hours during holidays,” Trinh said.

“She wanted her children to have a brighter future and to not follow in her footsteps as she thought that people still underestimated and even made fun of her job.

“She told us she hoped to have others’ empathy and fair treatment.”

The security guard told Nguyen Le Bach Duong that the wage he received hardly covered his family’s needs in spite of him working 15 hours per day and throughout the holidays.

“He told me that people think all security guards are rude and uneducated,” said Duong.

“But no matter who you are or what kind of job you are doing, your contributions to society deserve appreciation and recognition.”

These projects are being exhibited at the online showcase IMPACT, which introduces more than 100 innovative and impactful works from RMIT students in 2020.

Story: Thuy Le

  • Exhibitions
  • Digital

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