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David Touretzky, AI4K12 Team Will Receive Outstanding Educator Award

Aaron AupperleeMonday, November 15, 2021

Faculty member David Touretzky will receive the 2022 AAAI/EAAI Outstanding Educator award for his work with the Artificial Intelligence for K-12 Initiative, which included establishing "Five Big Ideas of AI" that provide a more welcoming way to teach AI to K-12 students.

David Touretzky, a research professor in Carnegie Mellon University's Computer Science Department, will receive the 2022 AAAI/EAAI Outstanding Educator award for his work with the Artificial Intelligence for K-12 Initiative.

The award is presented annually by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and the Educational Advances in Artificial Intelligence (EAAI) conference to individuals or teams who have made major contributions to AI education. The award includes a $1,000 honorarium, membership in AAAI and complimentary registration to upcoming AAAI/EAAI conferences.

Touretzky, the founder and chair of AI4K12, shares the honor with the other members of the AI4K12 Steering Committee: AI4K12 co-Chair Christina Gardner-McCune, an associate professor in the University of Florida's Department of Computer and Information Science and Engineering; Fred Martin, associate dean for teaching, learning and undergraduate studies in the Kennedy College of Science at the University of Massachusetts Lowell; and Deborah Seehorn, who co-chaired the Computer Science Teachers Association's (CSTA) national computing standards effort before retiring.

The winners are invited to deliver a talk at the 36th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, scheduled for February 2022 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The AI4K12 Initiative is jointly sponsored by AAAI and CSTA and receives funding from the National Science Foundation. It began in 2018 with the goal of developing national guidelines for AI education in grades K-12; establishing an online, curated resource directory to facilitate AI instruction; and creating a community of practitioners, researchers, and resource and tool developers focused on the AI for K-12 audience.

The team identified the "Five Big Ideas of AI" — perception, representation and reasoning, learning, natural interaction, and societal impact — which provide a welcoming way to understand AI. They also developed an infographic to visually communicate these ideas. The infographic has been translated into 16 languages and is available for download at AI4K12.org.

The team's most influential paper, "Envisioning AI for K-12: What Should Every Child Know About AI?," has been cited more than 100 times since its publication in 2019, and the Five Big Ideas have guided the development of primary and secondary AI education initiatives around the world.

The annual AAAI/EAAI Outstanding Educator award was created in 2016. Touretzky is the first person from Carnegie Mellon to receive it.

For More Information

Aaron Aupperlee | 412-268-9068 | aaupperlee@cmu.edu