REACT Group – Interaction Systems


The Interaction Systems Group (REACT) deals with the design, the implementation, and the adoption of innovative information systems (algorithms, services, platforms, and apps). Interdisciplinary domains of deployment are cyber physical systems, social media for digital education and knowledge management, capacity building for development and social action, as well as explainable artificial intelligence. The REACT Group is affiliated with the EPFL School of Engineering (STI) and the Center for Learning Sciences (LEARN).

The current investigations focus on supporting the creation, the personalization, and the sharing of open educational resources and open access platforms integrating learning and impact analytics, with applications to inquiry-based learning, as well as critical, design and computational thinking. The adaptation of interactive tools and conversational agents for blended learning in classroom settings and in under-connected areas is also considered. Finally, privacy-aware digital affordances against bullying are investigated.

New research collaborations on explainable artificial intelligence with applications to trust & privacy have been launched.

The underlying academic domains are Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Systems Engineering, Data sciences, and Digital Education.

React is affiliated with the EPFL doctoral programmes in Computer and Communication Sciences (EDIC), Electrical Engineering (EDEE), Robotics, Control, and Intelligent Systems (EDRS), Digital Humanities (EDDH), as well as Learning Sciences (EDLS).


EPFL has launched a new Doctoral Program in Learning Sciences. Denis Gillet hosts and supervises PhD candidates in this framework. Feel free to contact him if interested.

Ezequiel González Debada got the 1st Best Student Paper Award at the 2019 IEEE Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITSC 19) held in Auckland, New Zealand, October 27-30, 2019. It is the annual flagship conference of the IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Society.

Contributions of REACT on the collision-free positioning of astrobots are acknowledged on the EPFL news.

The Graasp nonprofit Association has been created on October 25th, 2019, to promote the open access digital education platforms developed at REACT.

Juan Carlos Farah has presented his vision regarding Open Data in Digital Education Platforms during the Swiss Open Science Kick- Off Forum on October 17, 2019,  at EPFL (video).

IEEE Std 1876 Working Group promoting the smart devices paradigm developed at EPFL by Christophe Salzmann and Denis Gillet has been selected as a recipient of the IEEE-SA Emerging Technology Award “For the development of IEEE 1876 – 2019 on networked smart learning objects for online laboratories, the first IEEE standard of its kind to recommend and guide its stakeholders for widespread development and use of online laboratories in support of science technology and engineering education.

Matin Macktoobian got the best paper award of the 15th Conference on Ph.D. Research in Microelectronics and Electronics (PRIME 2019), held in Lausanne, Switzerland for the joint REACT and LASTRO paper entitled “The Navigation of Robotic Fiber Positioners in SDSS-V Project: Design and Implementation”.

Juan Carlos Farah got the best paper award at the IEEE EDUCON 2019 conference in the area of “Innovation, Methods, Teaching and Learning Experiences in Engineering Education for a joint GO-GA contribution entitled “Promoting and Implementing Digital STEM Education at Secondary Schools in Africa”.

The Swiss EdTech Collider Association has been created on November 18, 2016, to promote solutions for Digital Education. Co-founders are Pierre Dillenbourg, Denis GilletFrancesco Mondada and Marcel Salathé.

Denis Gillet is the Deputy Coordinator of the H2020 Next-Lab Project supporting Next Generation Stakeholders and Next Level Ecosystem for ColLaborative Science Education with Online Labs (6.3M€).

Denis Gillet was interviewed by the RTS in “InterCités” about SpeakUp, the mobile app supporting digital interaction in large classrooms.

The React Group got the best paper award at the EC-TEL Conference 2016 for its contribution on Best paper award at EC-TEL 2016: Examining the effects of social media in co-located classrooms: A case study based on SpeakUp”, by María Jesús Rodríguez-Triana, Adrian Holzer, Luis P. Prieto, and Denis Gillet.

Denis Gillet was interviewed by the Swiss television about the ongoing work on autonomous and connected vehicles crossing at intersections (investigations carried out by Laleh Makrarem and Ezequiel Debada).

Feel free to try our release of our Graasp social media platform for collaborative learning and knowledge management.