What Does It Mean to Be Human?

A Vertias Forum Event

When: Thursday, Mar. 22nd at 7:00 pm

Where: Annenberg School, Rm 110


Collegium joins the Veritas Forum of the University of Pennsylvania to welcome Dr. Rosalind Picard (MIT)to the 2018 Vertias Forum, in conversation with UPenn’s “Year of Innovation.”  Dr. Picard’s lecture will address what it means to be human in light of advancing technologies, such as those researched in the Affective Computing Research Group at the MIT Media Lab, of which Dr. Picard is the founder and director.  Dr. Michael Platt (Penn) will offer a response following the lecture.

Registration Opening Soon!

Any questions or comments may be directed to Elizabeth Feeney at


Dr. Rosalind Picard

Professor Rosalind W. Picard, Sc.D. is founder and director of the Affective Computing Research Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab, co-director of the Media Lab’s Advancing Wellbeing Initiative, and faculty chair of MIT’s Mind+Hand+Heart Initiative. She has co-founded Empatica, Inc. creating wearable sensors and analytics to improve health, and Affectiva, Inc. delivering technology to help measure and communicate emotion.   Picard holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering with highest honors from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and master’s and doctorate degrees, both in electrical engineering and computer science, from MIT.  Picard has authored or co-authored over 250 scientific articles and chapters spanning computer vision, pattern recognition, machine learning, human-computer interaction, wearable sensors and affective computing.  Picard is an active inventor with multiple patents, including wearable and non-contact sensors, algorithms, and systems for sensing, recognizing, and responding respectfully to human affective information.  Additionally, Picard has served on numerous international and national science and engineering program committees, editorial boards, and review panels, including the Advisory Committee for the National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) division of Computers in Science and Engineering (CISE), among many others.

Dr. Michael Platt

Professor Michael Platt is the James S. Riepe University Professor, Professor of Neuroscience, Professor of Psychology, and Professor of Marketing. With appointments in the Perelman School of Medicine, the School of Arts & Sciences, and the Wharton School, Platt works at the intersection of economics, psychology, and neuroscience.   Michael Platt’s principle questions focus on the biological mechanisms that underlie decision-making in social environments, the grasp of which has broad-scale implications for improving health and welfare in societies worldwide. Platt’s unquenchable quest for answers has led him outside the traditional boundaries of neuroscience: his broad expertise in psychology, economics, evolutionary biology, and ethology have enabled him to reach ever-deeper levels of understanding about the neural bases of cognitive behavior.  A former president of the Society for Neuroeconomics, Platt publishes regularly in top-tier scientific journals and has been featured in prominent TV, radio, print, and online media. With the support of such agencies as the National Institutes of Health, Sloan Foundation, and others, he’s produced seminal articles that have been collectively cited over 4,000 times. Platt’s expertise is sought after outside the realm of academia, as well, leading him to serve in science advisory roles for three major motion pictures and the acclaimed PBS TV series, NOVA.