A Historical Perspective: From Bell Labs to Analog Avatars (feat. Dr. Ramesh Lakshmi-Ratan)


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By Rabindra Ratan and SPARTIE Lab. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

This week host Robby Ratan speaks with his dad, Dr. Ramesh Lakshmi-Ratan, about his perspective on avatars. They also cover his more than three decades in communications at companies like Bell Labs/AT&T, VocalTec and YellowPages.

About this week's guest:
Dr. Ramesh Lakshmi-Ratan spent over three decades in communications.

He worked at companies like Bell Labs/AT&T (inventors of the telephone and transistor,) VocalTec (inventors of Voice over IP and the Internet messaging app ICQ,) YellowPages, Pitney Bowes, American Printer and Bell & Howell (a pioneer in projectors and broadcast media.)

His work spanned the divide between digital and physical communication, as well as mass and targeted communication.

About the SPARTIE Lab:

The Social and Psychological Approaches to Research on Technology-Interaction Effects (SPARTIE) Lab performs research on the effects of human-technology interaction, examining how the use of media technologies (e.g., avatars, agents, automobiles) influences meaningful outcomes (e.g., education, health/safety, persuasion).

The SPARTIE Lab is part of the greater academic community at the College of Communication Arts & Sciences at Michigan State University. More information on the lab's research projects, staff, and work can be found on the SPARTIE Lab website.

About the host:

Dr. Rabindra (Robby) Ratan, Ph. D., is an associate professor and AT&T Scholar at Michigan State University’s Department of Media and Information and is the director of the SPARTIE Lab.

He is also an affiliated faculty member of the MSU Department of Psychology, the MSU College of Education’s program in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology, and the MSU Center for Gender in a Global Context. Ratan received his Ph.D. from USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, his M.A. in Communication from Stanford University, and his B.A. in Science, Technology and Society, also from Stanford University.

Dr. Ratan conducts research on the effects of human-technology interaction, examining how media technologies (e.g., avatars, agents, automobiles) influence meaningful outcomes (e.g., persuasion, education, health/safety). He is particularly interested in the Proteus effect, media-rich transportation contexts, perceptions of media as self-representations and/or social others, avatarification for health and education, and gender stereotypes in gaming contexts.

Dr. Ratan lives near Lansing with his family. More information on his work can be found on his website.

26 episodes