members of the lab or group


lab: Stager Hall 020

office: Stager Hall 233

email: jrw at fandm dot edu



aka: Jason R. Wilson

Jason ‘‘Willie’’ Wilson is an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department at Franklin & Marshall College, a small liberal arts college in central Pennsylvania, where he leads the F&M CARES Lab. He completed a Joint-Ph.D. in Computer Science and Cognitive Science from Tufts University and was a postdoctoral associate in the Computer Science Department at Northwestern University. His research goal is to ensure that robots behave in a manner that protects the humanity and dignity of individuals, particularly vulnerable populations who are most at risk of harm. Towards this goal, his interdisciplinary research focuses on how a robot’s social behavior and reasoning can foster a healthy and effective interaction. His recent publications include work on interpreting user social signals to understand how much help a user needs, recognizing the goals of a user, and generating a social robot’s assistive behaviors. He is also the recipient of the Best Paper Award at the 2023 AI-HRI Symposium. Willie was a HRI Pioneer in 2016 in Christchurch, New Zealand, and he is one of the lead organizers of the inaugural TAHRI symposium.

In addition to his research, Willie is also passionate about his teaching. He teaches courses across the computer science curriculum, from introductory courses to advanced topics. During his time at F&M, he has taught the following courses:

  • CS0: Introduction to Programming
  • CS2: Data Structures and Algorithms
  • Theory of Computation
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Human-Robot Interaction

In the Spring of 2025, he will introduce a new course: Learning and Teaching Machine Ethics. One of the objectives of this course is to design machine ethics curricular materials that may then be added to other non-CS courses, particularly courses in the humanities and social sciences. The motivation for this course is to broaded access to critical knowledge on the social and ethical implications of AI and other technologies.


Top: Tim, Zach, Sena, Isabelle, Willie

Bottom: Chelsea, Lis, Tracy

CARES Lab 2023

The F&M CARES lab has undergraduate researchers working on a variety of projects. The students shown here worked on analogical reasoning, child-robot interaction, frustration detection, and homework plan recognition. So far, two of these projects have had published papers with students as authors. Students engaged with projects through independent study projects during the semester, paid research assistants during the semester, or summer scholar research positions. All students are mentored by Willie, who regularly meets with every student.