Sunny Avry

PhD student in psychology - TECFA & SIMS - University of Geneva  research gate profilegscholar profilelinkedin profilegithub profile
Teaching assistant in Computer Science and Instructional Technology / Neuropsychologist

Thesis advisor: Prof. ass. Gaëlle Molinari
   co-advisor: Prof. Mireille Bétrancourt

My area of research relates to the psychology of collaboration.

Psychology focus

  • Collaborative acts, i.e., collaborative intentions and effects behind communicative exchanges
  • Socio-cognitive and socio-relational aspects of collaborative problem solving
  • Socio-metacognitive and socio-metarelational aspects of collaborative problem solving
  • Role of emotion (subjective emotional experience, emotional sharing, and emotional competencies) in collaboration

Computer science focus

  • Semantic and sentiment analysis: developing algorithms to infer collaborative acts behind speech content
  • Process analysis: developing algorithms to discover patterns of collaborative acts and their relationships with problem-solving efficiency

Current Research

Collaborative problem-solving

Collaborative problem solving means approaching a problem responsively by working together and exchanging ideas. Collaboration is a useful tool, especially when specific expertise is needed (and available), and relies on factors such as a readiness to participate, mutual understanding, and the ability to manage interpersonal conflicts. Collaborative problem solving is particularly useful when dealing with problems that are complex.

In the learning sciences there was a major shift in the 1990s to move from “cooperative learning” towards “collaborative learning”. While many authors use these terms interchangeably, a key difference was identifi ed by Dillenbourg and colleagues (1996). According to their distinction, cooperation is referred to as an activity which is accomplished through division of labour. In other words, while cooperative learners might coordinate at some points of their activity, they often work in parallel. Many scholars have noted that cooperative learning neither makes full use of a group’s potential nor requires the whole set of social skills that people rely on when working together.

Interplay between emotions and collaborative problem-solving

In academic settings, learners are regularily required to solve problems together. As Barron (2003) brillliantly demonstrated in her article, put learners together, as smart as they are, is not sufficient to guarantee sucessful group outcomes. On the contrary, group success heavily depends on the kind of interaction, especially the responsiveness to the other group members. Which kinds of group processes forge successful collaboration is still an open question in research. In such context, emotions experienced by collaborators could give insights on what is going on, both in terms of working atmosphere and in the way people bring into play collaborative problem solving strategies.



Teaching Assistant

TECFA - University of Geneva

Course: Digital learning and Distance Education (Master) with Prof. ass. Gaëlle Molinari

Examples of Instructional Software Prototyping (Supervision as part of the course ADID - Master MALTT)

2018 - Present
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Teaching Assistant

Department of Computer Sciences - University of Geneva

Course: Software Engineering (Bachelor) with Prof. Philippe Dugerdil

2019 - 2020
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Teaching Assistant

Department of Computer Sciences - University of Geneva

Course: Data Structure (Bachelor) with Prof. Stéphane Marchand-Maillet

2016 - Present
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Teaching Assistant

Department of Computer Sciences - University of Geneva

Course: Algorithms Programming (Bachelor) with Prof. Thierry Pun

2014 - 2018
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Teaching Assistant

Distance Learning University Switzerland

Course: Methodology in Experimental Psychology (Bachelor) with Prof. ass. Gaëlle Molinari

2014 - 2018
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PhD student - 2014-PRESENT

TECFA - University of Geneva

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Master degree in neuropsychology - 2013

University Paris Descartes

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Master degree in cognitive science (Cogmaster) - 2012

Ecole Normale Supérieure Ulm

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Bachelor in Psychology - 2010

University Rennes 2 & University of Montreal

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Contact Information

Sunny Avry

email: sunny.avry[at]
Phone: +41 (0)22 379 08 85

Uni Pignon, Bureau 510
40, Bd Pont d'Arve
CH-1211 Genève, Switzerland

Collab Toolbox : useful tutorials for collaboration analysis (and more... :-))


Compute intraclass correlation to check non-independance of dyadic data (R)

Compute a permutation test (R)

Mutiple comparisons correction with Bonferroni and Benjamini-Hochberg procedures (R)

Paired Samples Wilcoxon Test in R (R)


Restructure a dyadic data table (Python)


Blur part or all of a video (ffmpeg)

Extract audio from video (ffmpeg)

Couper une vidéo en plusieurs parties avec FFMPEG (ffmpeg) (in french)

Text to speech

Convert text into speech with the Google Text To Speech API (Python)


Intégrer un notebook Jupyter dans un wiki (in french)

Coding Tips

Create a variable from a string and vice versa (R)

Manage environments and variables (R)

Continuous training


Professional English writing B2-C1



Certificate of Advanced English C1



Research and teaching

Presentation training

SEA - Soutien à l'enseignement et à l'apprentissage - Université de Genève

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Research communication

SEA - Soutien à l'enseignement et à l'apprentissage - Université de Genève

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Enhancing Ph.D. skills

SEA - Soutien à l'enseignement et à l'apprentissage - Université de Genève

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Computer Sciences and statistics

R programming

Coursera - Johns Hopkins University

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Other stuff

My Decks Memrise courses : Fun, fast ways for English Speakers to effectively learn and memorise vocabulary.


Canoe polo materials and softwares

Coming soon, some of my projects in canoe polo, a kayaking team sport. If you want to learn more about canoe polo ?