Cal State San Bernardino personnel from the university’s Extended Reality for Learning (xREAL) Lab participated in Cal State Tech Connect 2022, a virtual conference held in late July that showcased CSU campuses and their notable work in technology.

The event highlighted how campuses enhance privacy and security; foster diversity, equity and inclusion; evolve technology, infrastructure and services; lead, partner and collaborate; and teach and transform the student experience.

Mihaela Popescu, professor of communication studies, Wagner Prado, assistant professor of kinesiology, and instructional technologists Bobby Laudeman and Yutong Liu were invited to speak at Cal State Tech Connect on July 26.

Their presentation, titled “VR meets AI meets the Matrix: Using ‘smart avatars’ for experiential learning,” covered how the xREAL Lab at CSUSB uses embodied conversational agents (ECA) in virtual reality (VR) to simulate realistic conversations for increasing students’ empathy and engagement.

Their presentation, which is now available to view through Aug. 31 on Zoom,  was a variation of the one they gave at the EDUCAUSE ELI 2022 annual meeting in early June in San Diego.

About xREAL: Extended Reality for Learning (xREAL) Lab with Information Technology Services (ITS) at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) is an interdisciplinary technology innovation hub that brings together faculty, students and staff to imagine and design immersive learning experiences with 3D modeling and printing, augmented reality, mixed reality, virtual reality, motion caption and machine learning technologies. Each year, xREAL works with faculty fellows and undergraduate and graduate students across disciplines to provide a vision for future teaching and learning, mentorship and hands-on experience for the students, and sustainable innovation for the larger campus community. xREAL work is made possible thanks to generous support from CSUSB President Tomás D. Morales and VP for IT Samuel Sudhakar.