EVANSTON, Ill. --- Justine Cassell, professor of communication studies at Northwestern University, has been named the AT&T Research Professor.
Cassell also serves as professor of electrical engineering and computer science director of the new Center for Technology and Social Behavior at Northwestern.
Her research focuses on the development of the concept of embodied conversational agents (“virtual humans”) and the implementation of computer programs that generate them.
She specializes in computer-mediated communication, interface design, gender studies, discourse and media theory and nonverbal communication.
She co-edited “Embodied Conversational Agents,” considered the most important anthology on the subject. She has investigated the role that ECA can play in children's lives as support for learning language and literacy skills.
A prolific author, Cassell has published numerous chapters, articles and software on ECA in such journals as Applied Developmental Psychology and the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. She has been an invited speaker at many conferences and workshops.
Cassell also maintains interests in gender studies and computer gaming and co-edited an influential anthology on that topic, “From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games.”
Her research is funded by the National Science Foundation, the Cure Autism Now foundation, the Kellogg Foundation and Motorola.
Cassell joined the Northwestern faculty in 2003.