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Future of Robots in Education

The Future of Robots in Education symposium is co-located with SIGCSE 2009 in Chattanooga, TN. It will occur before the SIGCSE main program and run all day on Wednesday March 4th, 2009.

This one-day symposium, held as SIGCSE-2009 pre-conference activity, aims to bring together educators, researchers, and curriculum designers to discuss successful strategies for incorporating robots into the undergraduate curriculum. The symposium will be designed to be highly interactive, taking place entirely in plenary session. In addition to paper presentations, it will include invited speakers, open-ended round-table discussions, and panels of CS curriculum experts.

The presymposium is sponsored by the Institute for Personal Robots in Education and is free to all participants.

Call for Participation

Participation in this pre-symposium doesn't require a paper submission, and is open to anyone who is interested. We are especially looking for those willing and able to discuss:

  • Examples of introductory or advanced courses that use Robots as a main topic or organizing principle
  • Examples of Robot based curriculum initiatives
  • Robot assignments in introductory and advanced courses
  • Robot based pedagogical resources for introductory and advanced courses
  • Other planned or deployed educational initiatives involving Robots

In addition, we will have a number of invited experts in robots and education give presentations and discuss these topics.


Keynote Speaker: Deepak Kumar, Bryn Mawr College

What can we learn from robots?

I will present several perspectives on the use of robots in classrooms, and offer several issues for discussions: pedagogy, technical issues, and software and hardware challenges.

Invited Speakers


The pre-symposium will take place in the Marriott, Meeting Room 17. The Marriott is the SIGCSE Technical Symposium conference location.

 8:00- 8:45: Breakfast & Registration 
 8:45- 9:15: Introductions
 9:15- 9:30: Keynote: Deepak Kumar, What can we learn from robots?
 9:30- 9:45: Discussion
 9:45-10:00: Andrew Williams, Spelman College
10:00-10:15: David Miller, University of Oklahoma
10:15-10:30: Mid-morning snack
10:30-10:45: Robbie Berg, Wellesley College
10:45-11:00: Myles McNally, Alma College
11:00-11:15: Discussion
11:15-11:30: Jennifer Kay, Rowan University
11:30-11:45: Jim Marshall, Sarah Lawrence College
11:45-12:00: Jerry Weinberg, Southern Illinois University
12:00- 1:30: Lunch (on your own)
 1:30- 1:45: Zachary Dodds, Harvey Mudd College
 1:45- 2:00: Dave Touretzky, Carnegie Mellon University
 2:00- 2:15: Discussion
 2:15- 2:30: Fred Martin, University of Massachusetts Lowell
 2:30- 2:45: Sheila Tejada, Brooklyn College, City University of New York
 2:45- 3:00: Frank Klassner, Villanova University
 3:00- 3:15: Afternoon snack
 3:15- 3:30: Jeffrey Forbes, Duke University
 3:30- 4:30: Future of Robots in Education: The Next Generation
             Tom Lauwers, Carnegie Mellon University
             Keith J. O'Hara, Georgia Institute of Technology
             Leigh Ann Sudol, Carnegie Mellon University
             Jay Summet, Georgia Institute of Technology
             Ethan Tira-Thompson, Carnegie Mellon University
 4:30- 5:00: Hardware exhibit
 5:00      : Symposium adjourns


PreSymposium Registration

The SIGCSE regular meeting requires a separate registration at

Also see Travel Information for the SIGCSE conference.


The Marriott, the SIGCSE Technical Symposium conference hotel, is full with only a few rooms left on odd nights. You may be able to get a room for the night of the Tuesday, March 3, 2009 or Wednesday, March 4, 2009.

The Sheraton if reported to be a beautiful historic hotel about 3 minutes walk from the convention center - with a Starbucks on the ground floor.

A less expensive option, we also have space available at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Holiday Inn. Train enthusiasts can even rent a train car to sleep in.

More information at SIGCSE 2009. Remember: book at the hotel conference rate by Feb. 1.

See more at SIGCSE Hotels.