UW launches new school of computer science, responding to student demand and workforce need

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The lab is directed by Bilge Mutlu, associate professor of computer science, psychology and industrial engineering, and focuses on the study of how humans interact with robots including specialization in human-robot collaboration, robot-mediated communication and designing robot peers for children. The University of Wisconsin-Madison announced on Thursday the creation of its first new school in two decades, responding to high demand from students and a burgeoning need in the state's workforce. The vision for a new School of Computer, Data and Information Sciences reflects a number of forces coming together on the flagship campus. Computer science is now the most popular undergraduate major at the university, growing to 1,560 students in 2018. Over several years, massive increases in student enrollment strained the computer science department's resources.


Kids connect with robot reading partners

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Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have built a robot, named Minnie, to serve as a reading buddy to middle school kids, and Minnie's new friends grew more excited about books and more attached to the robot over two weeks of reading together. "After one interaction, the kids were generally telling us that, sure, it was nice to have someone to read with," says Joseph Michaelis, a UW-Madison graduate student studying educational psychology. "But by the end of two weeks, they're talking about how the robot was funny and silly and afraid, and how they'd come home looking forward to seeing it again." Michaelis and computer sciences professor Bilge Mutlu published their work with Minnie on Wednesday (Aug. Research shows that social learning -- pairing up with a peer to complete math problems or read a chapter in a textbook -- is a powerful way to help students develop skills and interests, according to Michaelis.


Introduction to the Special Issue on Dialogue with Robots

AI Magazine

This special issue of AI Magazine on dialogue with robots brings together a collection of articles on situated dialogue. The contributing authors have been working in interrelated fields of human-robot interaction, dialogue systems, virtual agents, and other related areas and address core concepts in spoken dialogue with embodied robots or agents. Several of the contributors participated in the AAAI Fall Symposium on Dialog with Robots, held in November 2010, and several articles in this issue are extensions of work presented there. The articles in this collection address diverse aspects of dialogue with robots, but are unified in addressing opportunities with spoken language interaction, physical embodiment, and enriched representations of context. Research on computational models and mechanisms for supporting spoken dialogue dates back to the earliest days of AI research, including Alan Turing's reflection about how machine intelligence could be evaluated.


Introduction to the Special Issue on Dialog with Robots

AI Magazine

This special issue of AI Magazine on dialog with robots brings together a collection of articles on situated dialog. The contributing authors have been working in interrelated fields of human-robot interaction, dialog systems, virtual agents, and other related areas and address core concepts in spoken dialog with embodied robots or agents. Several of the contributors participated in the AAAI Fall Symposium on Dialog with Robots, held in November 2010, and several articles in this issue are extensions of work presented there. Others include invited contributions. The articles in this collection address diverse aspects of dialog with robots, but are unified in addressing opportunities with spoken language interaction, physical embodiment, and enriched representations of context.