NC State University

Department of Computer Science Colloquia 2000-2001

Date: Thursday, September 14, 2000
Time: 4: 45 PM (talk)
Place: 214 Withers, NCSU Historical Campus (click for courtesy parking request)

Speaker: W. Lewis Johnson, USC / Information Sciences Institute

 Recent Advances in Guidebot-Assisted Learning

Abstract: The Center for Advanced Research in Technology for Education (CARTE) at USC / Information Sciences Institute has been working for several years to develop guidebots, i.e., animated agents that help students learn.  The work falls into three general areas: agents for immersive virtual environments, agents to support on-line problem solving, and interactive characters for pedagogical dramas.

This talk will give an update on some current work in each of these areas.  I will give a short preview of current work aimed at providing our guidebot for virtual environments, Steve, with a realistic body and voice.  Then, I will give an update on Web-based guidebots, and describe how we have developed a family of agent reasoning engines designed to model different types of problem solving skills, and have applied them to aid students acquiring scientific problem solving skills at the university level.  Finally, I will present current work aimed at modeling emotion, personality, and story structure, and their realization in pedagogical dramas incorporating animated agents. areas of research.

Short Bio: Dr. P. Lewis Johnson is the Director of the Center for Advanced Research in Technology for Education at the USC / Information Sciences Institute, where he hold the ranks of senior project leader and research associate professor.  His interests center on the use of artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction in education and lifelong learning.

Lewis Johnson received his A.B. degree in Linguistics in 1978 from Princeton University, and his M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from Yale University in 1980 and 1985, respectively.  He is President of the International Artificial Intelligence in Education Society, member of the steering committee of the International Conferences on Autonomous Agents, co-editor of Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems, and past chair of the ACM Special Interest Group on Artificial Intelligence.  In addition to his computer science activities, he has side pursuits as a classical singer (member, AGMA and AFTRA), and a coffee grower (member, Kona Coffee Council).

Host:  J. Lester, Computer Science, NCSU

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