Jacqueline wearing sunglasses, arms open, looking at the sky

Jacqueline Kory Westlund

Jacqueline is a Ph.D. student in the Personal Robots Group under Dr. Cynthia Breazeal. She earned her Master’s of Media Arts and Sciences in September 2014.

Her research focuses on educational technologies: how robots, tablet games, and other tech can help engage and support children in learning, reading, talking, and emoting.

She also asks questions about how and why people interact with social robots (and other technologies) as social others, how the context and framing of an interaction affects the interaction, the ethics of using robots in children’s lives, as well as the ethics of the use of technology in education and society more generally.

Motivating her work are broader questions about the nature of personal identity, how we understand and perceive others, and the importance of empathy and social-emotional skills in learning. She has found that HRI – being such a multidisciplinary field – is a fantastic avenue for studying how people understand and interact with their world.

She was awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship to support her research at the Media Lab.

Prior to coming to the Media Lab, Jacqueline spent a year researching human emotion and learning with Dr. Sidney D’Mello’s Emotive Computing group at the University of Memphis and the University of Notre Dame. She worked at NASA for two summers, developing autonomous vehicles and laser space robots. She holds a BA in cognitive science from Vassar College.