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Vic One Plenary | Rhonda McEwen

Oct. 05 4:00p.m.

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“Alexa: Are you my friend?” The Rise of the Social Robots

Date: Oct. 5, 2022
Speaker: Rhonda McEwen

Dr. Rhonda N. McEwen is the 14th President and Vice-Chancellor of Victoria University in the University of Toronto; Canada Research Chair in Tactile Interfaces, Communication and Cognition; a Professor of Emerging Media & Communication; and a faculty member at the Institute of Communication, Culture, Information & Technology.

With an MBA in IT from City, University of London, England; an MSc in Telecommunications from the University of Colorado; and a PhD in Information from the University of Toronto, Dr. McEwen combines communication studies, and applied and behavioral sciences to examine the social and cognitive effects of technologies. Her pioneering approach to communication research employs experimental techniques, eye tracking, observations, sensor data, and interviews to investigate Human-Machine Communication involving children and adults across the user spectrum, including those diagnosed with communication and learning disorders.

Dr. McEwen has worked with and researched digital communications media for over 20 years, both in companies providing services, and in management consulting to those companies. Journalists from CBS news magazine 60 Minutes covered McEwen’s research in 2012 and 2013, and she has over 47 publications, including articles in Human-Robot Interaction Companion; Information, Communication & Society; Computers and Education; Learning & Instruction; New Media and Society; and information science journals. 

About Vic One Plenary

The Vic One Plenary session is a weekly guest lecture series, exposing students to different areas of investigation. The plenaries are meant to encourage open-minded discussion and ignite intellectual curiosity. Rather than an academic commitment, these sessions present another opportunity for students to gather and reflect.

2022-2023 Plenary Sessions