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Webinar "ROBOT is 100!"

Thursday, February 4th at 12:00 PM (PST)
100  years ago, the Czech writer Karel Čapek premiered his iconic drama R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots), which introduced the word "robot" to the world, at Prague's National Theater. The UCLA Library and the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Los Angeles are delighted to invite you to a virtual panel discussion "Robot is 100!”on Thursday, February 4th, 2021 at 12:00 noon.

Robot is 100!

Webinar exploring the influence of Karel Čapek's play "R.U.R." on other forms of art, and the future of robotics
Thursday, February 4th at 12:00 pm (pst)

Learn more about the future of artificial intelligence with distinguished Professor of Computer Science, Neuroscience, and Pediatrics at USC and the founding director of the USC Robotic and Autonomous Systems Center Ms. Maja Matarić, and two established science fiction writers Mr. Alvaro Zinos-Amaro and Mr. Jaroslav Veis, who will give insight into Karel Čapek's revolutionary play R.U.R and its heritage.

The online panel will be hosted by the Czech Consul General Amb. Jaroslav Olša, Jr. who is also an editor of numerous anthologies of science fiction, including ROBOT100, a collection of stories by primarily Czech writers inspired by R.U.R.

To further explore the past, present, and future of artificial intelligence, visit UCLA Library’s virtual exhibit Robot is 100! Karel Čapek's R.U.R. and the Robot in Pop Culture. You can learn more about Karel Čapek’s life and R.U.R. in a complementary UCLA Library Research Guide.

Enjoy an audio created by the BBC Sounds: “The Robots are Us.” This BBC Radio Documentary features Jesse Brown O’Dell, PhD. graduate from the UCLA Department of Slavic, East European and Eurasian Languages and Cultures.

Join our webinar

Registration is required. To receive the link to join, please register here:





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 Alvaro Zinos-Amaro 

is a Hugo- and Locus-award finalist who has published some forty stories, as well as over a hundred essays, reviews, and interviews, in a variety of professional magazines and anthologies, including Analog, Galaxy's Edge, Lightspeed, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Nature, and volumes such as The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, Cyber World, The Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper Stories, Humanity 2.0, This Way to the End Times, Shades Within Us, The Unquiet Dreamer: A Tribute to Harlan Ellison, 18 Wheels of Science Fiction, Overruled!, It Came from the Multiplex, and Seasons Between Us (forthcoming). Alvaro's Rhysling-nominated poetry has appeared in markets like Apex and Star*Line, while his more than one hundred reviews, essays and interviews have been published in venues like Clarkesworld, Locus, Tor.com, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Strange Horizons and Foundation. 


 Dr. Maja Matarić 

(robotics.usc.edu/~maja) is Chan Soon-Shiong Distinguished Professor of Computer Science, Neuroscience, and Pediatrics at USC, founding director of the USC Robotics and Autonomous Systems Center and interim Vice President of Research at USC. Her PhD and MS are from MIT, BS from the University of Kansas. She is Fellow of AAAS, IEEE, and AAAI, recipient of the US Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics & Engineering Mentoring from President Obama, Anita Borg Institute Women of Vision Award, NSF Career Award, MIT TR35 Innovation Award, and IEEE Robotics and Autonomous Systems Early Career Awards.  She has a long history of being active in K-12 STEM and diversity outreach. A pioneer of socially assistive robotics, her team’s research is developing personalized human-robot interaction methods for convalescence, rehabilitation, training, and education that have been validated in autism, stroke, Alzheimer’s, healthy elderly, and many other domains.  She is also co-founder of Embodied, Inc.



 Jaroslav Veis 

is a sought-after Czech journalist, freelance writer, scriptwriter, translator and editor. He attained his degree in Journalism at the Charles University. As a science fiction enthusiast, he is the author of five SF short story collections published in a time span of more than four decades, starting with  "Experiment for the Third Planet". He also writes essays on science, some of which were collected in “How the World Holds Together." 


Veis was also an Editor-in-Chief of one of the most recognized Czech newspapers Lidové noviny. In 1990's, he was a Fellow at the Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University. He also served for over a decade as the Chief Advisor to the President of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic. He widely publishes on politics, and among his many achievements are the translations to Czech language of such books as Thomas L. Friedman’s “The World is Flat” and Fareed Zakaria’s “In Defence of a Liberal Education.”

This program is organized by the UCLA Library and the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Los Angeles and co-sponsored by the UCLA Department of Slavic, East European and Eurasian Languages and Cultures.

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