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V. Paúl Pauca

Associate Professor of Computer Science

More information

  • Biometric image recognition
  • Digital image processing
  • Scientific software design
  • Human computer interfaces for elderly and disabled children
  • App development
  • Pitt Hopkins Syndrome
  • Parenting a child with special needs
  • Object-Oriented Software Engineering
  • Image Processing
  • Computer Vision
  • Theory of Computation
  • Introduction to Computer Science: Mobile Computing and Entrepreneurship
  • Introduction to Numerical Methods
Selected Publications
  • V. P. Pauca, M. Forkin, X. Xu, R. Plemmons, and A. Ross. “Challenging Ocular Image Recognition,” in Biometric Technology for Human Identification VIII, Proc. of SPIE, Vol. 8029 80291V-1 – 80291V-13, Orlando, FL, April 2011.
  • V.P. Pauca, K. Smith, A. Ross, J. van der Gracht, and T.C. Torgersen. “Wavefront Coded Iris Biometric Systems,” Encyclopedia of Biometrics, Springer, 2009.
  • M.W. Berry, M. Browne, A.N. Langville, V.P. Pauca, and R.J. Plemmons. “Algorithms and Applications for Approximate Nonnegative Matrix Factorization,” Computational Statistics and Data Analysis, Vol. 52, pp. 155-173, 2007. (Most Cited Article Award, Computational Statistics and Data Analysis, 2006-2010)
  • MS, BS, Wake Forest University
  • PhD, Duke University

An expert in computational imaging, data mining, application development and numerical software design, Paúl Pauca has combined his professional research and personal passion to 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 Verbal Victor as an affordable alternative to expensive communication devices on the market. Downloaded more than 3,000 times and featured by The Associated Press, USA Today and CNN, Verbal Victor gives a voice to children from Korea to Switzerland. Pauca says that the experience of interacting with users of Verbal Victor 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.

Paúl Pauca says:

On the benefits of computer technology …
“As a scientist, I know of the many things we can now do with machine learning, imaging, and related technology for military and other purposes. So much of it can be used to benefit society in ways that are a little closer to home.”

On the accessibility and affordability of mobile technology …
“Mobile technology can revolutionize the way parents of special needs children face several of their everyday challenges – more accessibly, more affordably, and frankly, more stylishly. I am hopeful we can make this change a reality in the near future.”

On helping those with special needs …
“My wife likes to say, I can choose to be bitter or better, and I choose to be better. Because of my son and through Verbal Victor, we have found a mission to help give a voice to those without one.”