Roger Schank

ROGER SCHANK is one of the world's leading researchers in AI, learning theory, cognitive science, and the building of virtual learning envirnonments. He is President and CEO of Socratic Arts, a company whose goal is to to design and implement low-cost story-based learning by doing curricula in schools, universities, and corporations. Socratic Arts works with universities and corporations to develop customized degree and certificate programs. In addition, Socratic Arts works with high schools to create inventive senior years in cooperation with major univeristies, all handled on-line.

Schank is also the Distinguished Career Professor in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University and the Chief Educational Officer of Carnegie Mellon West. In 2000, Schank won the Distinguished Contribution to Workplace Learning and Performance award of the ASTD.

Schank founded the Institute for the Learning Sciences (ILS) at Northwestern University in1989 with support from Andersen Consulting. ILS had a staff of 170, including research and teaching faculty, programmers and content specialists, over 50 graduate students and nearly 30 interns and visiting staff. Schank is a strong critic of today's educational system. His approach to learning, and training in a corporate setting, involves helping people learn by doing, allowing people to make mistakes in a safe learning environment and sharing war stories with leading teachers and experts. This effort has led to his highly successful role as a teacher, consultant, and lecturer, as well as developer of extremely powerful and effective multimedia training tools.

Schank is one of the world's leading researchers in artificial intelligence and applying cognitive learning theory to education. He has written more than 25 books including Virtual Learning: A Revolutionary Approach to Building a Highly Skilled Workforce, Coloring Outside the Lines: Raising a Smarter Kid by Breaking All the Rules, Dynamic Memory: A Theory of Learning in Computers and People, Engines for Education, Designing World-Class E-Learning, Making Minds Less Well Educated Than Our Own, Scrooge Meets Dick and Jane, and Lessons in Learning, e-Learning, and Training.

Schank is the John Evans Professor Emeritus in computer science, education and psychology at Northwestern University, where he founded the Institute for the Learning Sciences. Previously he was a professor of computer science and psychology at Yale University and director of the Yale Artificial Intelligence Project. He was a visiting professor at the University of Paris VII, a faculty member at Stanford University and research fellow at the Institute for Semantics and Cognition in Switzerland. Schank is a fellow of the AAAI and was the founder of the Cognitive Science Society and co-founder of the Journal of Cognitive Science. He holds a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Texas.

Before founding Socratic Arts, Schank founded and served as Chairman and Chief Technology Officer of Cognitive Arts Corp., a provider of goal-based multi-media simulation training to Fortune 500 corporations and Ivy League universities. Cognitive Arts was formed in partnership with Northwestern University to market the software initially developed at the Institute for the Learning Sciences. Earlier, he founded and served as president of two software development companies: Cognitive Systems, Inc. (specializing in the development of knowledge-based natural language computer systems) and CompuTeach, Inc. (creating and marketing educational software for personal computers).


Further reading on Edge:

"Information is Surprises" — in The Third Culture

"The Disrespected Student — or — The Need for the Virtual University": A Talk with Roger Schank.

Beyond Edge:

Engines For Education