James C. Lester is Distinguished University Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Center for Educational Informatics at North Carolina State University. His research centers on transforming education with artificial intelligence. His current work ranges from AI-driven narrative learning environments and virtual agents for learning to multimodal learning analytics and sketch-based learning environments. He is the author of more than two hundred publications, primarily in the area of AI technologies for education. The AI-driven learning environments he and his team create have been used by thousands of K-12 students around the globe.
Dr. Lester’s foundational work on pedagogical agents has been recognized with the IFAAMAS Influential Paper Award by the International Federation for Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems. He is the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award and Best Paper Awards at the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education, the ACM International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces, the AAAI International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment, and the International Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation, and Personalization. He has been recognized with the North Carolina State University Outstanding Teacher Award.
Dr. Lester has served as Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education. He served on the 2020 National Educational Technology Plan Technical Working Group. His research program is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the US Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Institute of Standards and Technologies (NIST), and the Army Futures Command. He is a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI).