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New center bridges divide between man and machine

A new center dedicated to bridging the divide between man and machine was launched Tuesday at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy. The new Center for Cognition, Communication, and Culture (CCC) will focus on improving ways humans can interact with and learn from computers.

Its research projects include everything from teaching students to speak Chinese through virtual reality, storytelling, and games, to helping emergency responders manage a disaster like a hurricane by using enhanced data visualization to map debris and power outages.

Dr. Jonathan Dordick is the school's vice president for research.

"The CCC truly fits and sits at the nexus of that natural world, the digital world, and the social world," Dordick said.

The center was launched with $200,000 in seed grants from the Rensselaer Office of Research. Three of its projects have also received close to a million dollars in funding from the National Science Foundation.

For more from the Innovation Trail and Marie Cusick, visit their website. You can also follow Marie on Twitter @MarieCusick.

The Innovation Trail is a collaboration between six upstate New York public media outlets. The initiative, funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), helps the public gain a better understanding of the connection between technological breakthroughs and the revitalization of the upstate New York economy.