Teachers College to Host Global Human-Robot Collaboration Experts for IEEE’s 25th International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN 2016)

From a boot camp for teachers using virtual reality as learning tools to the robotic seal "PARO," that provides animal assisted therapy, some of the freshest innovations and most sophisticated minds in robotics will be present at Teachers College, Columbia University, as it becomes the first graduate school of education to host the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)'s 25th International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN 2016), August 26-31, 525 West 120th Street, Manhattan, New York City.

Teachers College to Host Global Human-Robot Collaboration Experts for IEEE's 25th International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN 2016)


Symposium Opens with "Teacher Tinker Technology Boot Camp," a 3-Day Hands-On, How-To Workshop for K-12 educators on Games, Robotics, Virtual Reality, Apps, and Interactive Websites for Use in the Classroom

[Manhattan, August 23, 2016] - From a boot camp for teachers using virtual reality as learning tools to the robotic seal "PARO," that provides animal assisted therapy, some of the freshest innovations and most sophisticated minds in robotics will be present at Teachers College, Columbia University, as it becomes the first graduate school of education to host the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)'s 25th International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN 2016), August 26-31, 525 West 120th Street, Manhattan, New York City.

"Robots have evolved so much that they can collaborate, assist and learn with humans on a wide variety of scientific, technical, educational and creative endeavors," says Sandra Okita, Associate Professor of Technology and Education at Teachers College, and General Chair of
IEEE RO-MAN 2016. "The Symposium will highlight new collaborative partnerships between humans and robots, and explore best practices when optimizing for human-robot performance and communication."

This 25th anniversary year, RO-MAN 2016, will gather robotic experts from across the globe to examine the latest research, design and development of robots in STEM education, art, assistive robotics for elderly independent living, special needs education, rehabilitation robotics, robot ethics and trust, and cognitive and mental models in robots.

In addition to 159 oral paper presentations, 66 poster presentations and 14 workshops, the symposium will feature three keynote speakers in the school's Cowin Auditorium:

• Dr. Yuichiro Anzai, President, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and pioneer in Human-Robot communication and information sharing research. (8/28, 2:30-3:30pm)
• Dr. John H. Long, Professor of Biology and Cognitive Science at Vassar College, builds robots to generate hypotheses, and understand about the behavior, development and evolution of living things. (8/29, 2:30-3:30pm)
• Dr. Ken Goldberg, Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at the University of California, Berkeley, on how Cloud Robotics can accelerate creativity and collaboration between humans and machines. (8/30, 2:15-3:30pm)

Injecting Ed-Tech into the program, RO-MAN 2016 will open on August 26 with "Teacher Tinker Technology Boot Camp," a three-day training session for teachers led by Dr. Joey Lee, a lecturer in Technology and Education in the Communication, Media and Learning Technologies Design (CMLTD) program, and director of the Games Research Lab at Teachers College.

In this interactive, hands-on boot camp, 23 teachers - most from New York City-area schools - are scheduled to work with Lee and other top education technology experts from Teachers College to explore virtual reality (VR), coding, game tools, web design and other innovative educational technologies. Participants will use Google's "Expeditions" app to create VR field trips to places as exciting and far-flung as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the human vascular system and even Mars, through the use of VR headsets. Teachers will learn to design and create their own educational technology for immediate use in their classrooms.

"The increasing affordability of augmented and virtual reality devices has inspired new directions for robotics, beyond traditional laboratory settings, and more into the K-12 classrooms. Teachers College is not a school of engineering; it's a graduate school of education, and the distinction between the two is getting smaller. Robots are not just for engineers and computer scientists any more. They're for educators, creative artists, designers, entrepreneurs, and healthcare professionals -the field has become quite interdisciplinary in nature," says Okita.

The symposium's banquet dinner, taking place at the United Nations on August 29th will feature guest speakers: Matthew Kam, leader of Google for Education's user experience; and Masashi Kawamura, Director and Founder of the creative lab "PARTY NY," and inventor of the "Song Wig," a wearable head device with earphone cords that resemble the hair from a wig. The tip of each "strand" allows multiple listeners to simultaneously share and co-experience the music.

For a full schedule of workshops and presentations, visit http://ro-man2016.org and click the tab labeled "RO-MAN 2016 Program."

About Teachers College
Founded in 1887, Teachers College, Columbia University, is the first and largest graduate school of education in the United States and is perennially ranked among the nation's best. Through its three main areas of expertise—education, health and psychology—the College is committed to disciplinary and interdisciplinary research, the preparation of dedicated public service professionals, engagement with local, national and global communities, and informing public policy to create a smarter, healthier, and more equitable and peaceful world. Teachers College today has more than 5,000 students, more than 20 percent of whom come from outside the U.S., representing 77 different countries. Among students who are U.S. citizens, 43 percent are people of color. There are 171 full-time faculty members at the College and 58 full-time instructors and lecturers. The school's funded research expenditures in 2014-2015 totaled nearly $58 million. www.tc.edu.

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