Keynote Speakers and Discussants

blascovich photo Professor Jim Blascovich, UC Santa Barbara, USA
Jim Blascovich is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara where he is the and Director of the Research Center for Virtual Environments and Behavior. He is past president of both the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and the Society of Experimental Social Psychology. He has written several books including Infinite Reality: Avatars, New Worlds, and the Dawn of the Virtual Revolution (with Jeremy Bailenson) and has over 150 scientific and theoretical publications. Dr. Blascovich’s research has received continuous funding from the United States National Science Foundation for more than 24 years as well as periodic funding from many other agencies.


CarterDr Michael P Carter, Twin Learning LLC, USA
Michael Carter is an independent consultant specializing in strategy, design and development of learning solutions based on emerging technology, particularly when they involve games. He currently advises game projects in Europe, the US and the Philippines focused on diversity and international project management, health policy, rehabilitation for traumatic brain injury victims, and general education and 21st century skills for homeless children. He directed Oxford, Stanford and Yale’s online offerings and published research on digital media and learning with the MIT Press. He has designed and produced games for kids and grownups about history, science, mathematics, storytelling, and ecology.


Vinay_ChaudriDr. Vinay K. Chaudhri, SRI International, USA
Dr. Vinay K. Chaudhri is a program director in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Center at SRI International. His research focuses on the science and engineering of large knowledge base systems and spans knowledge representation and reasoning, question answering, knowledge acquisition, and innovative applications. His most recent work has been on creating an intelligent textbook in biology that answers a student’s questions and leads to significant learning gains.  He has co-edited a volume on the theory and application of conceptual modeling, and two special issues of AI Magazine — one on Question Answering Systems, and another on application of AI to Contemporary and Emerging Education Challenges.


DillenbourgProfessor Pierre Dillenbourg, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
A former teacher in elementary school, Pierre Dillenbourg graduated in educational science (University of Mons, Belgium). He started his research on learning technologies in 1984. He obtained a PhD in computer science from the University of Lancaster (UK), in the domain of artificial intelligence applications for educational software. He has been professor assistant at TECFA, University of Geneva. He joined EPFL in November 2002. He has been the director of CRAFT, the pedagogical unit for 10 years and is now the academic director of the EPFL Center for Digital Education and head of the CHILI Lab: “Computer-Human Interaction for Learning & Instruction”


DonaldEmeritus Professor Merlin Donald, Queen’s University, Canada
Merlin Donald is Professor Emeritus at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Adjunct Professor at Case Western Reserve University, and Honorary Professor at Aarhus University, Denmark. A cognitive neuroscientist with a background in philosophy, he is the author of many scientific papers, and two influential books: Origins of the Modern Mind: Three stages in the evolution of culture and cognition (Harvard, 1991), and A Mind So Rare: The evolution of human consciousness (Norton, 2001). He is a Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association, the World Academy of Art & Science, and the Royal Society of Canada.


Gullberg_125x125pxProfessor Marianne Gullberg, Humanities Lab, Lund University, Sweden
Marianne Gullberg is professor of linguistics and director of the Humanities Lab at Lund University, Sweden. Her research targets adult second language acquisition and bilingualism, especially aspects of (multimodal) processing. She headed a research group on multilingual language processing at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics 2002-2009. She is also the co-founder of the Nijmegen Gesture Centre, the first of its kind in the world. She has published extensively on second language acquisition, bilingualism and gestures, and also edited special issues and volumes on these topics. She is the editor of three international journals, and she served as vice-president of the European Second Language Association 2003-2007. She currently holds a Wallenberg Scholar grant to examine embodied bilingualism.

 Professor Kai Hakkarainen, University of Turku, Finland

ketamo_photoDr Harri Ketamo, SkillPixels ltd., Finland
Harri Ketamo, Ph.D., is a founder & chief scientist at SkillPixels ltd. and Adjunct Professor at Tampere University of Technology. During his academic career, he has specialized in Complex Adaptive Systems, Cognitive Psychology of Learning, Neural Computing and Educational Technology. Prior to founding SkillPixels, Dr. Ketamo has been e.g. a Director of Education at Satakunta University of Applied Sciences and CEO & founder at GameMiner ltd, a company focused on Data Mining and game AI. He has published over 70 international peer-reviewed research articles and had more than 100 presentations on his studies in international forums. He has received several awards and nominations related his R&D activities.


LeinonenProfessor Teemu Leinonen, Aalto University, Finland
Professor Teemu Leinonen (b. 1969) holds over a decade of experience in the field of research, design and development of web-based collaboration and learning. His areas of interest and expertise cover design for learning, computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL), online cooperation, learning software design, educational planning and educational politics. Currently Teemu Leinonen is a professor of New Media Design and Learning at the Media Lab of the Aalto University School of Art and Design in Helsinki Finland. Teemu has worked as a researcher in the Digital Media Institute at the Tampere University of Technology designing learning environment for secondary education.  Since 1998 Teemu has led the Learning Environments research group of the Media Lab, Aalto University School of Art and Design Helsinki. Teemu’s and his research group’s approach to research and design of New Media and learning is theory-based but design-oriented. This means that besides the academic research papers the outcomes of the group are often software systems, software prototypes, applications and scenarios.


MaritaLjungqvistAssistant Professor Marita Ljungqvist, Lund University, Sweden
Marita Ljungqvist is an assistant professor in Chinese at the Centre for Languages and Literature, Lund University. In 2000, she became involved in the development of online courses in Chinese and started to develop an interest in online learning. In 2010 she received the Lund University pedagogical award for her work with new technologies for Chinese language teaching. For the past years she has been working at the university Centre for Educational Development with projects concerning among other things e-learning, virtual worlds as learning spaces, personal learning environments and teaching with visual media. She is particularly interested in research areas such as massive open online course design, motivational psychology and gamification of education.


Lonka1Professor Kirsti Lonka, University of Helsinki, Finland
Kirsti Lonka is Vice Dean (PR) of the Faculty of Behavioural Sciences and professor of educational psychology and Director of the Research Group of Educational Psychology at  University of Helsinki, Finland. Lonka is also the scientific director of the research  project Mind the Gap between Digital Natives and Educational Practices. Her specialties are higher education, medical education and postgraduate education (PhD students). Previously she was a professor of medical education in Karolinska Institutet, Sweden (2001-2005), where she continued as a visiting professor until 2011. She was also a honorary professor, J.H. Bijtel Chair in University Medical Centre Groningen (2006-2008). Kirsti Lonka has published numerous refereed articles, conference papers and book chapters.


Exif_JPEG_PICTUREProfessor Heikki Lyytinen, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Heikki Lyytinen, Professor of developmental neuropsychology, led EU-COST A8 “Learning Disorders as a Barrier to Human Development” action from 1994-1998, co-lead with Lea Pulkkinen the Centers of Excellence “Human Development and its risk factors” 1997-2006 and with Jari-Erik Nurmi “Learning and Motivation” 2006-2011, both funded by the Academy of Finland. He has also directed the Jyväskylä Longitudinal study of Dyslexia (JLD) from 1993. He was Vice President of the University of Jyväskylä (UJ) in 1997-2000. Today he is the Chair of the Boards of the Agora Human Technology Centre of UJ and that of Niilo Mäki Foundation maintaining the Niilo Mäki Institute ( He is a member of the Academy of Sciences and Letters (of Finland, 2003-).  He has published extensively in international journals in his main domains of interest, viz. psychophysiology / cognitive neuroscience, dyslexia and reading acquisition and has most recently focused his research on preventive training for children at risk of reading difficulties or dyslexia  through the Grapholearn project.


frans_mayra_125pxProfessor Frans Mäyrä, University of Tampere, Finland
Frans Mäyrä, PhD, is the Professor of Information Studies and Interactive Media, with specialization in digital culture and game studies in the University of Tampere, Finland. He is heading the University of Tampere Game Research Lab, and has taught and studied digital culture and games from the early 1990s. His research interests include game cultures, meaning making through playful interaction, online social play, borderlines, identity, as well as transmedial fantasy and  science fiction.


NymanProfessor Göte Nyman, University of Helsinki, Finland
Göte Nyman is Professor of Psychology from the University of Helsinki. He has an academic, multi-disciplinary, business and technology background in the fields of human vision, imaging and image quality, psychology of the virtual and games, distributed/virtual collaboration, media behavior and human-centered design in hci. He has been an active academic leader in
building the strategy of academic management and innovation, especially in business-university collaboration. Currently Göte works with, among others, projects on  “What is an image” (Academy of Finland), future Dynamic Value Networks (Tekes and Aalto University) and Peace innovation (Stanford University). He is the founder of POEM (Psychology of Evolving Media and technology) and a member of the Finnish Pattern Recognition Society.


RajagopalanMr Sridhar Rajagopalan, Educational Initiatives, India
Sridhar Rajagopalan, Managing Director of Educational Initiatives, is an educational entrepreneur who has helped change the way student learning outcomes are seen in India. Sridhar co-founded and ran Eklavya School in Ahmedabad. In 2001, Sridhar founded Educational Initiatives (EI) which researches and creates diagnostic assessments and learning tools. EI’s ASSET test is taken by over 350,000 students in India and neighbouring countries, the Middle East and Singapore. Mindspark, EI’s adaptive learning program is used by over 60,000 students in India, the Middle East and the USA. In 2006, India’s largest weekly newsmagazine, India Today carried a cover story titled ‘What’s Wrong with our Teaching?’ based on EI’s study on student learning in India’s 5 largest metros.


SONY DSCProfessor Mika Seppälä, University of Helsinki, Finland and Florida State University, USA
Professor Seppälä’s original mathematical interest is in the study of Riemann surfaces, Algebraic curves, and their moduli spaces. More recently Seppälä has developed  learning analytics for Massive Open Online Courses like the ones offered by the service. Fundamental concepts of Complex Analysis, such as quadratic differentials, Riemann surfaces, and their Jacobians, have surprising applications in building mathematical models for MOOCs. This is a part of the US-Finnish Science Across Virtual Institutes collaboration supported by the NSF and by Finnish funding agencies. Professor Seppälä is the author of a Calculus MOOC and he has published a large number of Calculus YouTube videos.


Mike_Sharples_portrait_mediumProfessor Mike Sharples, The Open University UK
Mike Sharples is Professor of Educational Technology in the Institute of Educational Technology at The Open University, UK. He also has a post as Academic Lead for the FutureLearn company. His research involves human-centred design of new technologies and environments for learning. He inaugurated the mLearn conference series and was Founding President of the International Association for Mobile Learning.  He is Associate Editor in Chief of IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies. His projects include the Wolfson OpenScience Laboratory  which is an international virtual laboratory for practical science teaching, the JUXTALEARN project on science learning through creative media, and the nQuire project to develop online inquiry science learning for young people.  He is author of over 300 papers in the areas of educational technology, science education, human-centred design of personal technologies, artificial intelligence and cognitive science.


BobSmith_headshot2013Mr Robert Smith, Wallenberg Hall, Stanford University, USA
Robert Emery Smith is the Director of Technology Services in the Office of the Registrar at Stanford University.  He works with faculty, instructors, IT professionals and engineers to design, implement and support the use and evaluation of classroom activities using contemporary tools and media.  An experienced electromechanical engineer, Bob returned to Stanford University in 2000 to direct the design team that created Wallenberg Hall, where he has overseen learning space research operations since the facility opened in 2002.


mitchell_stevens_edfAssociate Professor Mitchell Stevens, Stanford University, USA
Mitchell L. Stevens is Associate Professor of Education and (by Courtesy) Business and Sociology at Stanford, where he also serves as Director of Digital Research and Planning and Director of the Scandinavian Consortium for Organizational Research (SCANCOR).



svenssonProfessor Patrik Svensson, Umeå University, Sweden
Patrik Svensson is a Professor in the humanities and information technology, and director of HUMlab at Umeå University. As the director of HUMlab, Svensson is deeply engaged in facilitating cross-sectional meetings and innovation, in the future of the humanities and the university, in reaching out to others, and in the intersection of the humanities, culture and information technology. Svensson’s research interests span information technology and learning, research infrastructure, screen cultures, and the digital humanities as an emerging field.


roger-saljoProfessor Roger Säljö, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Roger Säljö is Professor of Education and Educational Psychology at the University of Gothenburg. His research interests include learning, reasoning and communication in a sociocultural perspective. Recently, he has worked extensively with issues on the role of artifacts in human practices, in particular how human reasoning relies on mergers with increasingly complex external tools. Roger Säljö is Director of the national centre of excellence Linnaeus Centre for Research on Learning, Interaction and Mediated Communication in Contemporary Society (LinCS) and Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Gothenburg.


tony-wan-125Mr Tony Wan, EdSurge & Luckybird Games, USA
Tony Wan is the Associate Editor at EdSurge, where he reports on the education technology industry and can often be found getting caffeinated at conferences and events. He is also a co-founder at Luckybird Games where he helped build Equatia, an RPG-style game focused on arithmetic fluency (think Zelda with math). He was previously a publications coordinator for a public policy think tank and an editor at the Stanford Journal of East Asian Affairs. He spends whatever time left climbing rocks to give his literati hands a workout.


(The list is updated in the run up to the symposium.)