Campus News in Brief

National Academy of Sciences honors Anderson for learning technology

Carnegie Mellon’s John R. Anderson has dedicated a life of research to developing a unified theory of cognition and using it to create cognitive-based tutors. For his successful work in developing such tutors, the National Academy of Sciences will award Anderson the 2016 Atkinson Prize in Psychological and Cognitive Sciences for his “foundational contributions to systematic theory and optimality analysis in cognitive and psychological science and for developing effective, theory-based cognitive tutors for education,” according to a university press release.
The prize includes $100,000 and a gold-plated bronze medal, which Anderson will receive at the Academy’s annual meeting on Sunday, May 1 in Washington D.C. This year’s other winner of the prize, which goes to two researchers every two years, is Stanford University’s Carol S. Dwek.
“John’s work on the ACT cognitive model is at the heart of intelligent tutoring systems, an innovation that is benefiting hundreds of thousands of students and continues to be a major area of research at Carnegie Mellon,” said Anind Dey, director of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute. “This latest and very significant honor for John is fitting and well-deserved.”

CMU scientists appear in Werner Herzog documentary

At the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, Werner Herzog will premiere his latest film. Herzog’s documentary, “Lo & Behold: Reveries of the Connected World,” will explore society’s dependence on the internet for almost everything.
Of course, there’s no better place to see interconnectivity in action than at Carnegie Mellon. Herzog and his production crew visited Carnegie Mellon’s campuses in both Pittsburgh and Silicon Valley last spring, and even included Carnegie Mellon researchers in the final cut of the film.
The film has been described as a “playful yet chilling examination of our rapidly interconnecting online lives,” and includes a “treasure trove of interviews of strange and beguiling individuals, ranging from Internet pioneers to victims of wireless radiation, whose anecdotes and reflections weave together a complex portrait of our brave new world,” according to a university press release.
The most recent trailer for “Lo & Behold” includes video of the National Robotic Engineering Center’s CHIMP robot, an interview with professor of psychology Marcel Just, and an interview with Joydeep Biswas, a former post-doctoral researcher in the Computer Science Department.