CSC News

April 04, 2008

Robison Receives NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Photo of Jennifer RobinsonCongratulations to Jennifer Robison, a senior in computer science, who has recently been awarded the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program annually selects outstanding graduate students to provide them with three years of funding – up to $121,500 – for research-focused Master’s and PhD degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.

Throughout her undergraduate years in the Department of Computer Science at NC State, Robison has conducted research on intelligent tutoring systems that explores affect expression, a central problem in affective computing and intelligent virtual agents.  In collaboration with her colleagues, Robison designed and conducted a study to investigate parallel and reactive empathy in intelligent virtual agents. She presented the results of her work in two conference papers, one of which was at the International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, and another at the International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems.

The purpose of the NSF’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program is to ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and to reinforce its diversity. The individuals who are selected by the NSF are crucial to maintaining and advancing the nation’s technological infrastructure and national security, as well as contributing to the economic well-being of society at large.

Robison plans to pursue her Ph.D in computer science at NC State beginning in the fall. 

She gives much credit for her success to Dr. James Lester, associate professor of computer science, who has served as her undergraduate research advisor and mentor.  Lester offers his congratulations to Robison saying, “It is a great pleasure working with Jen, who is a truly outstanding student.  Her background in artificial intelligence and cognitive science has prepared her well for research in intelligent tutoring systems.  We’re very excited about continuing our collaboration when she joins the Ph.D. program in the fall.”

Robison also credits her success to graduate student Scott McQuiggan, who served as her research partner and mentor through the NSF STARS program.


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