Prof. David Harel has been at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel since 1980. He was Department Head from 1989 to 1995, and was Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science between 1998 and 2004. He was also co-founder of I-Logix, Inc. He received his PhD from MIT in 1978, and has spent time at IBM Yorktown Heights, and sabbaticals at Carnegie-Mellon, Cornell, and the University of Edinburgh. In the past he worked mainly in theoretical computer science (logic, computability, automata, database theory), and he now works mainly on software and systems engineering and on modeling biological systems. He is the inventor of Statecharts and co-inventor of Live Sequence Charts (LSCs), and co-designed Statemate, Rhapsody, the Play-Engine and PlayGo.

Among his books are "Algorithmics: The Spirit of Computing" and "Computers Ltd.: What They Really Can't Do", and his awards include the ACM Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award (1992), the Israel Prize (2004), the ACM Software System Award (2007), the Emet Prize (2010), and five honorary degrees. He is a Fellow of ACM, IEEE and AAAS, a member of the Academia Europaea and the Israel Academy of Sciences, and a foreign member of the US National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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Maria Florina Balcan is an Associate Professor in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. Her main research interests are machine learning, computational aspects in economics and game theory, and algorithms. Her honors include the CMU SCS Distinguished Dissertation Award, an NSF CAREER Award, a Microsoft Faculty Research Fellowship, a Sloan Research Fellowship, and several paper awards at COLT. She is currently a board member of the International Machine Learning Society and was recently Program Committee chair for COLT 2014.

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Catherine Pelachaud is a Director of Research at CNRS in the laboratory LTCI, TELECOM ParisTech. She participated to the elaboration of the first embodied conversation agent system, GestureJack, with Justine Cassell, Norman Badler and Mark Steedman when being a post-doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania. She went to  Università di Roma "La Sapienza” with a Marie-Curie CEE scholarship. Her research interest includes embodied conversational agent, nonverbal communication (face, gaze, and gesture), expressive behaviors and socio-emotional agents. With her research team, she has been developing an interactive virtual agent platform GRETA that can display socio-emotional and communicative behaviors. She has been involved and is still involved in several European projects related to believable embodied conversational agents, emotion and social behaviors.  She is associate editors of several journals among which IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, ACM Transactions on Interactive Intelligent Systems and Journal on Multimodal User Interfaces. She has co-edited several books on virtual agents and emotion-oriented systems. She participated to the organization of international conferences such as IVA, ACII and AAMAS, virtual agent track

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