By: J.D. Ross
(315) 443-3094

A faculty member and a student from the School of Information Studies (iSchool) have been invited to speak at the University’s first TEDx event to be held next week.

Organized completely by students, the TEDx talks will occur on Wednesday, April 9 from 5:00 to 8:00 PM in the Joyce Hergenhan Auditorium.

iSchool faculty member Scott Nicholson, and senior Bob O’Brien will each speak, along with Syracuse city mayor Stephanie Miner, University Professor Carl Schramm, and nine others.

Nicholson will be talking about the “Gamification Journey,” where concepts from games and play are used to help someone engage in something in the real world.  In his talk, he'll address the problems with using reward-based systems to motivate and present more playful and social ways to help people find meaningful connections.  

“The TEDx platform is a great way for me to raise awareness about the harm that rewards can do in the long term,” explained Nicholson. “Using rewards is easy to do in the short term, but can end up damaging people's desire to do something after the rewards are no longer relevant.”

O’Brien’s talk is entitled “Diamond Minds: What baseball statistics can teach us about student evaluation.” In it, O’Brien will Draw parallels between baseball player evaluation and student evaluation, seeing how MLB clubs improved their player evaluation, and how those principles might be applied to evaluation of students.

“I'm really excited to get a chance to deliver another talk on campus,” said O’Brien. “I spoke at #140Cuse in 2012 and had a great experience, so to speak under the TED brand at the University I love is really special to me. “

O’Brien also noted that the feeling of speaking is bittersweet, as it is, “essentially the last major thing I will do on campus, as I am graduating in May.”

Tickets for the TEDx event sold out within an hour of being offered, however the talks are being streamed live. More information is available on the TEDx Syracuse website.