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Sept. 7: ETC Partners With Harrisburg University, Central PA Technology Council To Boost Regional Economy


Eric Sloss

Anne Watzman

Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center Partners With Harrisburg
University, Central Pennsylvania Technology Council To Boost Regional Economy

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) has announced a partnership with the Harrisburg University of Science and Technology and the Technology Council of Central Pennsylvania to create the Center for Advanced Entertainment & Learning Technologies. Based at Harrisburg University's Strawberry Square campus, the center aims to benefit education and the region's economy.

"The Entertainment Technology Center is excited to partner with Harrisburg University and the Central Pennsylvania Technology Council. This interstate collaboration will benefit the ETC by building new opportunities for our faculty and students," said Don Marinelli, executive producer of the ETC. "This collaboration is placing Western and Central Pennsylvania on the cutting edge of new technology implementation that may impact higher education in truly significant ways."

This semester, students and faculty from both universities will begin to work on two projects, one for Harrisburg University and a second for the Technology Council of Central Pennsylvania (TCCP). In the first project, the ETC will help design a multimedia tour of Harrisburg University's new Academic Center. For the TCCP project, the ETC will use its Synthetic Interview technology for TCCP's TechQuest Internship program to match students with internships.

Synthetic Interview was invented and patented by Carnegie Mellon researchers. The Synthetic Interview captures information from a database so the person accessing it appears to have a natural conversation with a video persona. For the TCCP project, students will use Synthetic Interview technologies to record their answers to a series of questions that commonly arise in an internship interview.

"This allows interviewers and human resource professionals to converse in-depth with a student's virtual self, permitting them to ask questions in a conversational manner — just as they would if they were speaking to the student face-to-face — and receive relevant, pertinent answers," said Kelly Lewis, president of the TCCP. "This project brings together technologies, resources, students, companies and education leaders to facilitate a vibrant internship and co-op system. Our regional goal is to help attract, retain and train the best technology workforce in the nation," Lewis said.

The ETC was established in 1998 as a joint program between Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Science and the College of Fine Arts. Among the ETC's many collaborators and sponsors are Walt Disney Imagineering, Industrial Light & Magic, Intel, Electronic Arts, Kodak, Microsoft, MTV U, the New York City Fire Department and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. For more information on the ETC, visit