Campus News in Brief

Provost to participate in live webcast of WEF panel

Carnegie Mellon Provost Mark Kamlet will take part in a panel at the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Wednesday.

Though most WEF panels are closed to the public and press, this panel, “The Future of Education,” will be webcast live at 5:15 a.m. EST. Former U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown will also be on the panel, which will discuss the mobilization of information technology, interdisciplinary approaches, and the value of universities.

This is the second time Carnegie Mellon has been represented at the summer meeting of the WEF (known as “Summer Davos” in recognition of the fact that the winter WEF meeting traditionally occurs in Davos, Switzerland).

In 2011, Carnegie Mellon faculty presented at both the summer and winter WEF meetings. This week, five WEF panels, including “The Future of Education,” will contain presentations by Carnegie Mellon faculty or administrators.

Among the panelists and presenters at the meeting are art professor Golan Levin; computer science professors Jeanette Wing amd Emma Brunskill; and Jesse Schell, an entertainment technology professor.

The theme of this week’s “Summer Davos” meeting, running this Tuesday through Thursday, is “Creating the Future Economy.”

HCII officially appoints new Geschke director Cassell

Last Thursday, it was announced that Justine Cassell will be officially appointed as the Charles M. Geschke Director of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII).

The ceremony is set to take place on campus on Monday from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Asian Students Association Conference Room (Gates Center 6115).

Cassell has served as HCII director since 2010, but the post as director has now been officially endowed by Adobe Systems, Inc. co-founder and Carnegie Mellon Ph.D. recipient Charles M. Geschke and his wife.

Cassell’s research looks into computer systems that utilize conversation and storytelling to enhance human communication skills and learning. In addition, Cassell has developed the Embodied Conversational Agent (ECA), which is capable of communicating with humans using both verbal and nonverbal interaction. The ECA has been researched as a virtual peer for children, and autistic children in particular.

Last January, Cassell spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos, and was awarded the Anita Borg Institute’s Women of Vision Award. She also chairs one of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Councils.