Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Computer Science


School of Computer Science and Engineering

First Advisor

Schubert, Keith Evan

Second Advisor

Gomez, Ernesto

Third Advisor

Qiao, Haiyan


The purpose of this thesis is to describe an algorithm and implement a software system based upon facial expression recognition that will accurately determine the specific need of a handicapped individual pertaining to the eating process. Then based upon that need, determine the appropriate action that should be executed. This thesis aims to present a solution to allow a special needs individual to eat more efficienty and foster independence, while providing a platform for further research in the area of feature detection to assist individuals with special needs.