The 15th Annual Lynford Lecture

Lecture / Panel
For NYU Community

The Science of Cause and Effect

Featuring Dr. Judea Pearl '65

NYU-Poly alumnus and winner of the 2011 ACM Turing Award, the highest distinction in computer science, "for fundamental contributions to artificial intelligence through the development of a calculus for probabilistic and causal reasoning."  Pearl is currently a professor of computer science and statistics and director of the Cognitive Systems Laboratory at UCLA.

Pearl will speak on the science of cause and effect, the field in which he did his Turing Award-winning work. He is widely lauded for building the representational and computational foundation for the processing of information under uncertainty, and his studies have not only revolutionized the field of artificial intelligence, but have also become an important tool for many other branches of engineering and the natural sciences.

“Though it is basic to human thought, causality is a notion shrouded in mystery, controversy, and caution, because scientists and philosophers have had difficulties defining when one event truly causes another,” Pearl has said. “We all understand that the rooster's crow does not cause the sun to rise, but even this simple fact cannot easily be translated into a mathematical equation.”

Panel Discussion moderated by NYU-Poly Trustee Jeff Lynford and featuring:

Katherine Isbister, Associate Professor, New York University

Katherine Isbister has a joint appointment between the NYU Game Center and the NYU-Poly Computer Science Department, where she is Research Director of the Game Innovation Lab. Her research focuses on designing games that heighten social and emotional connections for players, toward innovating design theory and practice. Isbister's book on game character design—Better Game Characters by Design: A Psychological Approach—was nominated for a Game Developer Magazine Frontline award. Her edited volume, Game Usability, brings together best practices in game playtesting and user research. Isbister's research has been covered by many mainstream outlets including Wired, Scientific American, Forbes, and NPR, as well as by game press including Kotaku, Kill Screen, and EGM.

Patrick E. Shrout, Professor of Psychology, New York University

Dr. Patrick Shrout is a Professor of Psychology at New York University.  He earned his PhD in Quantitative Psychology at the University of Chicago.

He is a past President of the American Psychopathological Association, and organized the 2008 meeting around the theme of "Causal thinking and psychopathology research".  He is also past President of the Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology, a small research society that publishes the jounal, Multivariate Behavioral Research.  He is currently an Associate Editor of Psychological Methods, which is published by the American Psychological Association.

At NYU he runs the NYU Couples Research Lab in the Social Psychology area. Their lab continues to collaborate with the lab of Niall Bolger at Columbia University.

Reception immediately following the lecture.

The Lynford Lecture is sponsored by Jeffrey and Tondra Lynford and the Institute of Mathematics and Advanced Supercomputing (IMAS).  More information about previous lectures can be found here.

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