James C. Lester is the Goodnight Distinguished University Professor in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning at North Carolina State University. He is the Director of the Center for Educational Informatics and the Director of the National Science Foundation AI Institute for Engaged Learning. His research centers on transforming education with artificial intelligence. His current work ranges from AI-driven narrative-centered learning environments and virtual agents for learning to multimodal learning analytics and sketch-based learning environments. He is the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, four Best Paper Awards, and the International Federation for Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems Influential Paper Award. At North Carolina State University, he has been recognized with the Alumni Association Outstanding Research Award, the Outstanding Teacher Award, and the Alexander Quarles Holladay Medal for Excellence. His research is supported by the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, the National Institutes of Health, and the Army Futures Command. He has served as Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education. He is a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI).
- Advanced Learning Technologies
- Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Agents
- Computer and Video Games
- Graphics, Human Computer Interaction, & User Experience
- Ph.D., Computer Science, University of Texas at Austin, 1994.
- M.S.C.S., Computer Science, University of Texas at Austin, 1988.
- B.A. (Phi Beta Kappa, with Highest Honors), Computer Science, University of Texas at Austin, 1986.
- B.A. (Honors Program, with Distinction) History, Baylor University, 1983.
- Alexander Quarles Holladay Medal for Excellence, North Carolina State University - 2022
- Research Leadership Academy, North Carolina State University - 2022
- Alumni Association Outstanding Research Award, North Carolina State University - 2022
- IFAAMAS Influential Paper Award, International Foundation for Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems - 2017
- Best Paper Award, Twenty-Third Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation, and Personalization - 2015
- AAAI Fellow, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence - 2014
- Best Paper Award, Seventh AAAI International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment - 2011
- Best Paper Award, ACM International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces - 1999
- Outstanding Teacher Award, North Carolina State University - 1998
- Academy of Outstanding Teachers, North Carolina State University - 1998
- Best Paper Award, Eighth World Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education - 1997
- NSF CAREER Award, National Science Foundation - 1997