Cryptoassets and the Metaverse: A Non-Technical Introduction

Code: SL51507

Dates: April 21, 2023

Meets: 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM

Sessions: 1

Location: ONLINE

Course Fee: $39.00

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What are digital currencies and the metaverse and how are they related? Join us for an introduction to blockchain technology and a description of how cryptoassets have been established through global decentralized networks of computers (e.g., Bitcoin, Ethereum). These concepts will then be connected to the metaverse, an emerging network of interoperable immersive virtual environments where people will meet, socialize and play. Conclude with a description of how research is conducted on these technologies and how teaching in virtual reality is in preparation for the future metaverse..
Fee: $39.00
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Dar Meshi

Dar Meshi (PhD, Columbia University; BS, UCLA) is an assistant professor at Michigan State University. He investigates how our brains process socially communicated information. In particular, he is interested in how information conveyed through social media motivates us and influences our decisions—humans are drawn to positive, rewarding social information, such as “likes” on social media. Social media platforms are a relatively new phenomenon, but they tap into social cognitive processes that have been hardwired into our brains over years of evolution. Social media platforms themselves are also evolving, with a new breed of social network being built upon blockchain technology. Thus, Dar's research program focuses on overall social media use, considering the brain and behavior of both adults and adolescents. To answer his research questions, he conducts behavioral experiments both in the lab and online. He also conducts neuroimaging experiments with an MRI scanner to examine brain activation and structures related to social information processing. Ultimately, with the knowledge gained by this research, Dar hopes to contribute to a better understanding of socially motivated human behavior.


Rabindra Ratan

Rabindra (Robby) Ratan (PhD, University of Southern California: MA/BA Stanford University) is Associate Professor and Director of the SPARTIE Lab at Michigan State University. (CV). Dr. Ratan conducts social and psychological research on the effects of human-technology interaction, focusing on how media technologies (e.g., avatars, video games, agents/AI, VR) influence meaningful outcomes (e.g., equity, well/being, motivation) across societal contexts, (e.g., education, health, industry). He is particularly interested in the Proteus effect (i.e., avatar characteristics influencing user behaviors), gender, stereotypes in gaming, and virtual meetings. He has published over 60 peer reviewed articles and receives regular grant funding, including from NSF. Dr. Rutan has also received multiple teaching awards and presently teaches his classes in VR. He engages in public outreach as an expert interviewee (e.g., for Marketplace on NPR) an op–ed author (e.g., for, Wired), and serves as an expert consultant and invited speaker on future media technology.



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