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Paúl Pauca

Associate Professor of Computer Science

Pauca has combined his professional research and personal passion to improve the lives of people all over the world.

Biography

An expert in image analysis, mobile application development, and computer science education, Paúl Pauca has combined his professional research and personal passion to help improve the lives of people all over the world. When his son Victor was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Pitt Hopkins Syndrome that makes it difficult for him to… Read More »

An expert in image analysis, mobile application development, and computer science education, Paúl Pauca has combined his professional research and personal passion to help improve the lives of people all over the world.

When his son Victor was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Pitt Hopkins Syndrome that makes it difficult for him to communicate, Pauca and a team of Wake Forest students developed an iPhone/iPad app called VerbalVictor as an affordable alternative to expensive communication devices on the market. One of the first apps for assistive communication, VerbalVictor has been downloaded more than 15,000 times and featured by The Associated Press, USA Today and CNN. Pauca says that the experience of interacting with users of VerbalVictor around the country is particularly rewarding and has given him the impetus to start a new line of research, aiming to help those with special needs. More recently his team developed and tested a wearable device allowing people with ALS to interact with mobile devices via slight motions of the head.

Media Appearances

Paul Pauca dreams up app to communicate with disabled son

NBC Latino

September 18, 2012

“It shattered our world,” remembers Paul Pauca, Victor’s father, a Peruvian-born software engineering professor at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem. “It got dark and very, very negative.” But his wife, Theresa, a special education teacher, helped Pauca see things more clearly, telling him he had the option of “becoming bitter or better” and that waiting for him on the other side was his baby boy.

Example of campus innovations: Bat signal for blind

U.S. News & World Report

January 6, 2015

He talked with computer science professor Paul Pauca, whose 9-year-old son has a rare genetic disorder which limits his language development. Pauca is always looking to find ways to use technology to help people with disabilities, and to make those devices cheaply enough that they can reach those in developing countries who need it.

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More Information

Areas of Expertise

  • Computer Science Education
  • Human-computer interfaces for disabilities
  • Hyperspectral and LiDAR image analysis
  • Mobile and pervasive devices
  • Non-profit organization development
  • Parenting a Child with Special Needs
  • Pitt Hopkins Syndrome
  • STEM and entrepreneurship

Education

Duke University: Ph.D., Computer Science

Wake Forest University: M.S., Computer Science

Wake Forest University: B.S., Computer Science

Contact

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