November 15, 2013
VL2 and BL2 hosted the “NSF Avatar & Robotics Signing Creatures Workshop” on November 15-16, 2013. This event brought together top researchers, scientists, and professionals from the fields of robotics, avatars, educational technology, and the science of visual language and visual learning. Participants came from institutions and organizations including Yale University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Southern California, PBS KIDS Interactive, Rutgers University, Disney Research, Augsburg University of Applied Sciences, and Stockholm University. The workshop included a 1½ -hour “Knowledge Explosion,” which was open to the public to foster public awareness of current state-of-the-art research. Researchers had two minutes each to share exciting developments in their respective fields and recommend potential applications of robotics and avatars to sign language and the creation of educational technology learning tools for all young visual learners. During the remainder of the workshop participants presented their research during 25-minute “Knowledge Cells”, joined in open discussions about possible applications of current science and technology, and engaged with each other during breakout sessions to recommend new research priorities and directions to the National Science Foundation This rare collaboration opportunity was organized by Dr. Laura-Ann Petitto, the Workshop Chair, Dr. David Traum (University of Southern California), Workshop Co-Chair, and Adam Stone (Ph.D. student in Educational Neuroscience), Workshop Manager, and sponsored by NSF Information and Intelligent Systems Program Director Dr. Tatiana D. Korelsky.