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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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* Center for Cognition, Communication, and Culture Opening

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 11:00 a.m.
Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center Theatre

If you plan to attend,
please register here:

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Rensselaer will launch the Center for Cognition, Communication, and Culture (CCC) on Tuesday, Nov. 13, with a program of multimedia presentations on the initial core research areas—cross-modal displays, mixed reality, and synthetic characters—and an open house. Jonas Braasch, associate professor of architecture and chair of the CCC Planning Group, has been named center director.

The launch will begin at 11 a.m. in the Theater of the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center. Speakers will introduce specific research projects. The presentations will include:

  • Cogito—Selmer Bringsjord, professor and head of the Department of Cognitive Science, will discuss his work in the creation of a “self-conscious” synthetic character: one that has a genuine personality, knows that it has it, can come to know “your” personality, and can interact with you as a genuine individual.

  • Augmented Reality & Data Visualization—Barb Cutler, associate professor of computer science, has assembled a series of applications that demonstrate how augmented reality and data visualization can aid collaborative processes. In one such application, multiple users armed with laser pointers work together to assemble the pieces of a puzzle projected onto a large screen. As Cutler will explain, the same technology offers tremendous promise in any collaborative process from engineering and design to emergency response.

  • Emergent Reality: The Lost Manuscript—Ben Chang, associate professor of arts and co-director of the Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences Program, will review a pilot project in which researchers use a mixture of narrative, game design, and augmented and virtual reality to teach Mandarin Chinese.

  • Embodied Conversational Agents—Mei Si, assistant professor of cognitive science, will introduce embodied conversational agents: what they are, what they can do, and the challenges and fun in creating them. Si will give brief demonstrations of such agents in three different forms: 3-D human realistic digital characters, 2-D cartoon-styled digital characters, and robotic characters created by combining a robot lower body with a digital upper body. Si will also briefly present two different AI approaches for modeling the mind and the behaviors of the characters.

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