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 Grace Hopper Lecture Series 


University of Pennsylvania

School of Engineering and Applied Science

Grace Hopper Lecture Series



Justine Cassell

Director of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute

in the School of Computer Science at CMU


"Building Rapport between People and Machines: Why and How"


In thinking about the interaction between computers and people we often concentrate on the task or cognitive aspects of the collaboration. However,the social aspects of interaction that characterize human-human collaboration also come into play in human-computer collaboration, and understanding the nature of that social interaction can help us to design computational systems that are most effective in real world contexts. To that end, in this talk I report on a series of studies that look at the building of rapport between humans, and between humans and virtual humans. I look at the effects of this rapport building on tasks as concrete as giving directions and educational tutoring. From the results of these studies I draw conclusions about the need for studies of actual human-human interaction to inform the design of robots and graphical agents and, more generally, the need to have models of the interaction between humans and computers to draw on not just technical but also social and cultural phenomena.

Justine Cassell is the Charles M. Geschke Director of the Human Computer
Interaction Institute in the School of Computer Science at CMU. Before coming to CMU, Cassell was faculty at Northwestern University from 2003 to 2010 where she was the founding director of the Center for Technology and Social Behavior. Before that she was a tenured professor at the MIT Media Lab. Cassell received the Edgerton Prize at MIT, is an ACM and CRA Distinguished Lecturer, was honored in 2008 with the "Women of Vision" award from the Anita Borg Institute, and in 2011 was named to the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Robotics and Smart Devices. She spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2012 on the promises and perils of online learning.


Monday, November 19, 2012

337 Towne Bldg.

3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.



Learn more about the life and work of Admiral Grace Murray Hopper:




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