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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

MIT Robot Designer and Author To Speak at NJIT for Women's History Month

Join robot designer, researcher, author and inventor Cynthia Breazeal, PhD, when she introduces her robotic world to students, faculty and staff at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) on March 20, 2006. The public is invited to the event which will take place 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Jim Wise Theatre.

Breazel, an associate professor of media arts and sciences at MIT who directs the robotic life group in the media lab there, was an expert consultant for the Steven Spielberg/Stanley Kubrick film A.I. Artificial Intelligence. She also recently appeared with her robot “Leonardo” on Alan Alda’s recent PBS television series.

Breazeal has built autonomous robots for more than a decade. The robots range from insect-like planetary micro-rovers to highly expressive anthropomorphic robots. Her work is informed by scientific theories of natural behavior and incorporates artistic insights to create capable and appealing robots. “These robots can socially interact and communicate with people in a manner that intrigues us intellectually and touches us emotionally,” said Nancy Steffen-Fluhr, executive director of the Murray Center.

Breazeal’s first book, Designing Sociable Robots, was published by The MIT Press in 2002. Recognition of Breazeal’s creativity as a designer includes exhibits of her work at museums such as the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.

The talk is part of a month-long series of events celebrating Women’s History Month and sponsored jointly by both NJIT and the Constance R. Murray Center for Women in Technology at NJIT.  Later that afternoon, Breazeal will speak at NJIT’s annual ceremony honoring high school girls who excel in science, math and technology. The all-female FIRST Robotics Team from Montclair High School will join Breazeal at the later event.

NJIT, New Jersey's science and technology university, enrolls approximately 10,000 students pursuing bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in 120 programs. The university consists of six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, College of Architecture and Design, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, College of Computing Sciences and Albert Dorman Honors College. U.S. News & World Report's 2012 Annual Guide to America's Best Colleges ranked NJIT in the top tier of national research universities. NJIT is internationally recognized for being at the edge in knowledge in architecture, applied mathematics, wireless communications and networking, solar physics, advanced engineered particulate materials, nanotechnology, neural engineering and e-learning. Many courses and certificate programs, as well as graduate degrees, are available online through the Division of Continuing Professional Education.