UTCS Colloquium/AI-James Lester/North Carolina State University: "Narrative-Centered Learning Environments," ACES 2.402, Friday, March 26, 2010, 11:00 a.m.

Contact Name: 
Jenna Whitney
Date: 
Mar 26, 2010 11:00am - 12:00pm

There is a sign-up schedule for this event that can be found
at http://www.cs.utexas.edu/department/webeven

t/utcs/events/cgi/list_events.cgi

Type of Talk: UTCS Colloquium/A

I

Speaker/Affiliation: James Lester/North Carolina State University <

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Date/Time: Friday, March 26, 2010, 11:00 a.m.

Location: ACES
2.402

Host: Bruce Porter

Talk Title: Narrative-Centered Learn

ing Environments

Talk Abstract:

The long-term goal of the intel

ligent tutoring systems community is to
create adaptive learning techn

ologies that bring about fundamental
improvements in education. For th

e past several years we have been
investigating a family of intelligen

t tutoring systems that have a dual
focus on learning effectiveness an

d student engagement: narrative-centered
learning environments. Narrat

ive-centered learning environments marry the
inferential capabilities

of intelligent tutoring systems with the rich
gameplay supported by co

mmercial game engines. In this talk we will
introduce the principles m

otivating the design of narrative-centered
learning environments, des

cribe their roots in interactive narrative,
explore the role of compu

tational models of affect recognition and affect
expression in their i

nteractions, and discuss their cognitive and affective
impact on stud

ents through empirical studies conducted in public school
systems. The
discussion will be illustrated with two narrative-centered
learning e

nvironments, Crystal Island (elementary science education, middle
sc

hool science education), and the Narrative Theatre (middle school
wri

ting).

Speaker Bio:

Dr. James Lester is Professor of Computer S

cience at North Carolina State
University. He received his Ph.D. in Co

mputer Sciences from the University
of Texas at Austin in 1994. He has
served as Program Chair for the ACM
International Conference on Intel

ligent User Interfaces (2001), Program
Chair for the International Co

nference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems
(2004), Conference Co-Chair

for the International Conference on Intelligent
Virtual Agents (2008)

, and on the editorial board of Autonomous Agents and
Multi-Agent Syst

ems (1997-2007). His research focuses on intelligent
tutoring systems

, computational linguistics, and intelligent user
interfaces. It has

been recognized with a CAREER Award by the National
Science Foundation
and several Best Paper Awards. His current interests
include intellig

ent game-based learning environments, affective computing,
creativit

y-enhancing technologies, computational models of narrative, and
tut

orial dialogue. He is Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of

Artificial Intelligence in Education.