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Graesser Will Receive U of M's Presidential Award for Lifetime Achievement in Research
For release: November 18, 2011
For press information, contact Curt Guenther, 901-678-2843.


Dr. Art Graesser
Dr. Art Graesser
Dr. Art Graesser, professor of psychology and founding co-director of the Institute for Intelligent Systems at the University of Memphis, will receive the first Presidential Award for Lifetime Achievement in Research from the University of Memphis. This award is the University’s highest level of research recognition given to its faculty.  It was established as part of the University’s Centennial fundraising campaign in order to recognize the vital role and impact of research at the University of Memphis.

After joining the U of M’s Psychology Department in 1985, Dr. Graesser, along with Dr. Stan Franklin, established the Institute for Intelligent Systems (IIS) as one of the first interdisciplinary research centers on campus. Today, IIS research involves approximately 60 faculty and students from the fields of computer science, mathematics, cognitive psychology, physics, neuroscience, education, linguistics, philosophy, anthropology, engineering, and business. 

Dr. Graesser is globally renowned as a leader in the learning sciences, with particular expertise in the fields of text comprehension, question answering, and intelligent tutoring systems. He has worked on projects funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Office of Naval Research, the Institute of Education Sciences, and other national funders totaling more than $30 million.

Dr. Graesser is a serial collaborator and a devoted teacher, having directly supervised research and chaired committees for 150 undergraduates, 30 masters level students, and 35 doctoral students, as well as 10 post-doctoral researchers. In addition to publishing nearly 500 articles in journals, books, and conference proceedings, he has written two books and edited 11. He and his colleagues have designed, developed, and tested software in learning, language, and discourse technologies, including AutoTutor, AutoTutor-lite, MetaTutor, GuruTutor, DeepTutor, HURA Advisor, SEEK Web Tutor, Operation ARIES!, iSTART, Writing-Pal, AutoCommunicator, Point & Query, Question Understanding Aid (QUAID), QUEST, and Coh-Metrix.

“This honor is clearly is the pinnacle of my career,” said Graesser. “I am deeply appreciative that I am part of a network of talented researchers whose collective talents and support have made it possible to achieve this level of recognition for our contributions to the science of learning.”

In announcing the award, University President Shirley Raines said, “Dr. Graesser is among our most productive researchers and has a significant, exemplary, and sustained record of academic scholarship, research collaboration, mentoring, and university citizenship. I look forward to presenting this award to Art during our Centennial Research Celebration in February.”

The award will be presented to Graesser in a public ceremony during the University’s Centennial Research Celebration on February 28, 2012.

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