Deutsch Intern
Chair of Computer Science V

Prof. Dr. Birgit Lugrin

Research Profil:

Birgit Lugrin's research is interdisciplinary and lies at the intersection of computer science and psychology. She is deeply committed to crafting technology that serves individuals or humanity as a whole. Within her research endeavors, she concentrates on the implementation and assessment of socially interactive agents across diverse domains that hold significant social relevance amidst ongoing technological advancements. These domains include education, interactive storytelling, assisted living, support for aging populations, and the promotion of cultural understanding. To achieve these goals, she adeptly synthesizes methodologies and insights from human-computer interaction, artificial intelligence, psychology, and cognitive science.

Birgit Lugrin is an active member of the research community focused on SIAs. She served as one of the editors of ACM’s "The Handbook on Socially Interactive Agents”, a comprehensive compilation of surveys that provide in-depth introductions, summaries, and discussions spanning the last two decades of research across the domains of embodied conversational agents, intelligent virtual agents, and social robotics. Authored by leading experts in their respective fields, this publication serves as a pivotal resource for scholars and practitioners alike. The book is accessible via the ACM digital library, with over 1000 downloads to date, or through freely available preprints of individual chapters.

In 2015, Birgit Lugrin was appointed as the first female professor at the Institute of Computer Science, and since 2024, she is the first female chairholder. She strives to serve as a role model for female students and staff in her work. Since 2015, she has alternated with the Mathematics department as the Faculty Women's Representative or Deputy Faculty Women's Representative.

Short Bio:

Birgit Lugrin heads the Socially Interactive Agents Group (Chair for Computer Science V) since May 2024. Prior she lead the Media Informatics Group at the Chair for Human-Computer Interaction (Chair for Computer Science IX) at JMU.

She completed her studies at Augsburg University, earning both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science degree in computer science. Following this, she pursued her doctoral thesis (Dr. rer. nat.), entitled "Cultural Diversity for Virtual Characters", at the Chair for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence. She also conducted a post-doctoral phase at the same chair. During this period, Birgit undertook research visits at esteemed research institutes including the Institute for Creative Technologies (University of Southern California), the National Institute of Informatics (Tokyo University), and INESC-IS (University of Lisbon).


  • Best Paper Award, International Conference on Multimodal Interaction 2022 (David Obremski, Helene Hering, Paula Friedrich, Birgit Lugrin. Exploratory Study on the Perception of Intelligent Virtual Agents with Non-Native Accents using Synthetic and Natural Speech in German)
  • Best Presentation Award, International Conference on Persuasive Technologies 2020 (Andrea Deublein, Birgit Lugrin. (Expressive) Social Robot or Tablet? – On the Benefits of Embodiment and Non-verbal Expressivity of the Interface for a Smart Environment)
  • Best Paper Finalist, International Conference on Social Robotics 2017 (Hendrik Striepe, Birgit Lugrin. There once was a Robot Storyteller: Measuring the Effects of Emotion and non-verbal Behaviour)
  • Best Late Breaking Report Nomination, International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction 2017 (Stephan Hammer, Elisabeth Andre, Kim Kirchner, Birgit Lugrin. Touch or Talk? - Comparing Social Robots and Tablet PCs for an Elderly Assistant Recommender System)
  • Best Paper Award, International Conference on Culture and Computing 2015 (Birgit Lugrin, Julian Frommel and Elisabeth André. Modeling and Evaluating a Bayesian Network of Culture-Dependent Behaviors)
  • IFAAMAS-12 Victor Lesser Distinguished Dissertation Award
  • Research Award of Augsburg University (best Dissertation in 2012)
  • PhD grant from the Elite Network Bavaria

Current activities in the scientific community:

Contact Details

Prof. Dr. Birgit Lugrin
Chair for Computer Science V
Socially Interactive Agents
Universität Würzburg
Am Hubland (Campus Süd) 
D-97074 Würzburg, Germany

Tel: +49 931 31-84602

Room: B110, Building M2
Consultation-Hour: by appointment