Brian Scassellati, recently appointed as the A. Bartlett Giamatti Professor of Computer Science, focuses his research on building embodied computational models of human social behavior, especially the developmental progression of early social skills.
Using computational modeling and socially interactive robots, Scassellati’s research evaluates models of how infants acquire social skills and assists in the diagnosis and quantification of disorders of social development, such as autism. His work resides at the intersection of artificial intelligence, robotics, and cognitive science.
Scassellati received his Ph.D. in computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He also holds an M.E. in computer science and electrical engineering, and bachelor’s degrees in computer science and electrical engineering and brain and cognitive science, all from MIT. Following postdoctoral research at MIT, he began his academic career at Yale in 2001 as an assistant professor of computer science. In addition to his new appointment, Scassellati also serves as professor of mechanical engineering and materials science.
Scassellati’s research in social robotics and assistive robotics has been recognized within the robotics community, the cognitive science community, and the broader scientific community. He was named an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow in 2007 and received a National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2003. His work has been honored with eight best-paper awards.