List of Participants

Ido Roll - University of British Columbia

posted May 12, 2014, 9:31 AM by Unknown user   [ updated May 29, 2014, 7:42 PM by Xiangen Hu ]

Ido Roll is a Senior Manager for Research and Evaluation in the Centre for Teaching, Learning, and Technology in the University of British Columbia, and a researcher with the Pittsburgh Science of Learning Centre (LearnLab). Ido studies the use of adaptive technologies to help students become more competent, curious, creative, and collaborative learners in classroom and online settings. He is particularly interested in using large-scale fine-grain data to create computational cognitive models that support personalized instruction and inform theories of learning. Ido’s research utilizes a variety of methodologies from the fields of the learning sciences, cognitive science, learning analytics, human-computer interaction, and education. His work has received numerous awards in these fields and has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), and private foundations. More can be found on his website at


H. Chad Lane - University of Southern California

posted May 12, 2014, 9:30 AM by Unknown user   [ updated May 12, 2014, 12:30 PM by Xiangen Hu ]

Biography: H. Chad Lane’s research involves applications of artificial intelligence to educational problems. He joined the USC Institute for Creative Technologies in 2004 where his work has focused on issues related to learning in game-based and informal learning environments. The central aim of this effort has been to augment systems with automated guidance and feedback, in order to ensure that learners acquire the knowledge that the systems intend to teach. Recently, Lane was a co-PI on the Responsive Virtual Human Museum Guides project where he directed the development of Coach Mike, a pedagogical agent that teaches programming at the Boston Museum of Science. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of his research, Lane has ongoing collaborations with cognitive and educational psychologists from the Army Research Institute (ARI), the USC Rossier School of Education, and the USC Keck School of Medicine. In addition, he has worked closely with U.S. Army instructors and subject-matter experts to both understand their pedagogical approaches, as well as to integrate computer-based training support into Army programs of instruction. The tutoring team, lead by Lane and Mark Core, will next shift their focus to pedagogical authoring tools for virtual-human based systems. The approach, called situated pedagogical authoring, will allow a non-expert to populate models of expert performance and feedback by interacting with a system as the learner will see it. Authors will be asked to simulate expert and novice performance, and from this it will infer appropriate intelligent tutoring interventions. Lane earned his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Pittsburgh in 2004 and has over 40 publications in AI and the learning sciences. For the past two years he has served on the executive committee for the AIED Society and on the Senior Program committee for the AIED and ITS conferences. He is also serving on the advisory board (of 8 members) and was editor for the prestigious NSF Cyberlearning Summit in January of 2012.

James Lester - North Carolina State University

posted May 12, 2014, 9:27 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Jun 17, 2014, 10:49 PM by Xiangen Hu ]

Biography: James C. Lester is Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at North Carolina State University. His research focuses on transforming education with technology-rich learning environments. Utilizing artificial intelligence, game technologies, and computational linguistics, he designs, develops, fields, and evaluates next-generation learning technologies for K-12 science, literacy, and computer science education. His work on personalized learning ranges from game-based learning environments and intelligent tutoring systems to affective computing, computational models of narrative, and natural language tutorial dialogue. He received the B.A. (Highest Honors, Phi Beta Kappa), M.S.C.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Austin, and the B.A. degree in History from Baylor University. He has been recognized with a National Science Foundation CAREER Award and several Best Paper Awards. He has served as Program Chair for the International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems, the ACM International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces, and the International Conference on Foundations of Digital Games, and as Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education.

Diego Zapata-Rivera - Educational Testing Service

posted May 12, 2014, 9:26 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Jun 17, 2014, 10:49 PM by Xiangen Hu ]

Biography: Diego Zapata-Rivera is a senior research scientist in the Research & Development Division at Educational Testing Service in Princeton, NJ. He obtained a bachelors in computer science from EAFIT University in Colombia in 1995. In 2003, he earned a Ph.D. in computer science (with a focus on artificial intelligence in education) from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada.

His current research interests include the design, development, and evaluation of adaptive, assessment–based gaming and learning environments, evidence–centered design and evaluation, virtual communities, English language learning, Bayesian student modeling, open student models and the design and evaluation of innovative score reports that clearly communicate assessment information to educational stakeholders.

Dr. Zapata-Rivera has produced over 90 publications including journal articles, book chapters, and technical papers. He has also served as a reviewer for several international conferences and journals. He has been a committee member and organizer of international conferences and workshops in his research areas.

(Bio source:

Heather Holden - Army Research Lab

posted May 12, 2014, 9:24 AM by Unknown user   [ updated May 12, 2014, 12:35 PM by Xiangen Hu ]

Biography: Heather K. Holden, Ph.D. is a researcher in the Learning in Intelligent Tutoring Environments (LITE) Lab within the U.S. Army Research Laboratory - Human Research and Engineering Directorate (ARL-HRED). The focus of her research is in artificial intelligence and CBTS application to education and training; technology acceptance and Human-Computer Interaction. Dr. Holden's doctoral research evaluated the relationship between teachers' technology acceptance and usage behaviors to better understand the perceived usability and utilization of job-related technologies. Her work has been published in the Journal of Research on Technology in Education, the International Journal of Mobile Learning and Organization, the Interactive Technology and Smart Education Journal, and several relevant conference proceedings. Her PhD and MS were earned in Information Systems from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Dr. Holden also possesses a BS in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore.

Ray Perez - Office of Naval Research

posted May 12, 2014, 9:23 AM by Unknown user   [ updated May 12, 2014, 4:04 PM by Xiangen Hu ]

Dr. Ray S. Perez is a senior scientist and Program Officer at the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in Arlington, VA. In this capacity, he is responsible for and actively manages ONR’s Cognitive Science of Learning Program. This Program has three (3) major multidisciplinary and highly intertwined thrusts. Specifically, he is responsible for (1) Training/Education research and their core technologies, (2) Individual differences research and (3) Neuro-biology of learning research.

The training technologies thrust includes research on the use of various artificial intelligence methods and techniques to enhance the design of adaptive tutors, interoperable and transportable simulations, computer games and web-based instruction. The goal of this thrust is to leverage emerging cognitive theories of learning and teaching during their early instructional design phases. The individual differences thrust consists of research in perceptual (e.g., visual memory) and cognitive abilities (e.g., fluid intelligence). The neuro-biology of learning thrust is a burgeoning field of research that leverages brain-imaging techniques attempting to unravel the complex relationship between behavior and the underlying neural mechanisms responsible for learning and memory.

Dr. Perez is also conducting research in the development of new theories and methods for the assessment of human abilities. Its goal is to provide the underlying science and technology for more robust selection and classification systems while also being able to assess training effectiveness. Recognized as a DoD leader in learning, he was asked by the Chief of Naval research to be the program manager for ONR’s STEM Grand Challenge. This program’s objective is to develop the next generation of Intelligent tutors in the four STEM areas that are faster, cheaper and better (e.g., achieve a 2 sigma improvement in performance).

Dr. Perez research in the areas of technology- based education / training spans over 20 years. Throughout his career, he has received numerous awards for his work in advanced learning technologies for training and education. He has authored four books on the use of technology in education and training. Most recently, he co-edited “Computer Games and Team and Individual Learning Technology” with Dr. Harry O’Neil that is published (2011) by Elsevier. His next book also co-edited with Drs. Harry O’Neil and Eva Baker entitled “Teaching and Measuring Cognitive Readiness “(in preparation) will be published by Springer Publishing Company. A completed list of his numerous book chapters, scientific journal articles, technical reports and presented scientific papers at professional meetings can be found in the reference section of this summary.

Prior to coming to ONR he served as Program Manager for the Presidential Technology Initiative Program at the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA). While at DoDEA he was the Director of the K-12 program within the Advanced Distribute Learning Initiative, sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Readiness and Training. Earlier, he was Principal Scientist in Simulation and Advanced Instructional Systems, at the US Army Research Institute for the Social and Behavioral Sciences (ARI) and was an assistant professor, in the Department of Psychology, at California State University Dominguez Hills, California.

Dr. Perez continues to serve as an educational technology expert on various review panels including the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Academy Sciences (NAS), and the Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA).

Dr. Perez received a Doctorate and Masters degrees in Educational Psychology with emphasis on Cognitive Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles California.

Bruce Roberts - BBN Technologies

posted May 12, 2014, 9:02 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Jun 17, 2014, 10:48 PM by Xiangen Hu ]

Bruce RobertsBiography: Bruce Roberts is a Division Scientist at BBN Technologies in Cambridge, MA, where he has led the development of numerous simulation-based intelligent tutoring systems. Projects include an operational tutor for teaching flight-line troubleshooting to Air Force technicians, and a virtual environment based ship handling tutor. His interest in intelligent tutoring systems extends back to some of the earliest work incorporating simulation, computer graphics, and expert systems in training; namely, STEAMER, which taught principles of operation for steam propulsion plants on Navy ships. As a researcher at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, he implemented one of the first practical knowledge representationsystems. He is currently the Principal Investigator for DARWARS architecture and integration, part of DARPA's Training Superiority program, and led the rapid development and deployment of DARWARSAmbush!, a multi-player game-based training system for convoy operations.

Beverly Woolf - University of Massachusetts

posted May 12, 2014, 8:49 AM by Unknown user   [ updated May 13, 2014, 8:44 AM by Xiangen Hu ]

Biography: Beverly Park Woolf PhD, is a Research Professor in the Computer Science Department of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is the Director of the Center for Knowledge Communication. Many of the three-dimensional graphics and multimedia classes at the University of Massachusetts owe their beginning to Dr. Woolf's efforts to offer students the opportunity to expand both intellectual and practical skills.

Dr. Woolf's research focuses on building systems to effectively train, explainandadvise users. Extended multimedia capabilities are integrated with knowledgeabout the user, domain and dialogue to produce real-time performance support and on-demand advisory and tutoring systems. The tutoring systems use intelligent interfaces, inferencing mechanisms, cognitive models and modifiable software to improve a computer's communicative abilities. These systems have been tested with learners, trainers and other client bases, deployed in education and industry, and demonstrated in more than 50 American industrial, military and academic sites and 15 foreign countries.

Dr. Woolf's research focuses on building systems to effectively train, explain and advise users. Extended multimedia capabilities are integrated with knowledge about the user, domain and dialogue to produce real-time performance support and on-demand advisory and tutoring systems. The tutoring systems use intelligent interfaces, inferencing mechanisms, cognitive models and modifiable software to improve a computer's communicative abilities. These systems have been tested with learners, trainers and other client bases, deployed in education and industry, and demonstrated in industrial, military and academic sites and foreign countries.

(Bio source:

Kurt VanLehn - Arizona State University

posted May 12, 2014, 8:43 AM by Unknown user   [ updated May 13, 2014, 8:45 AM by Xiangen Hu ]

Biography: Kurt VanLehn is the Diane and Gary Tooker Chair for Effective Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University. He received a Ph. D. from MIT in 1983 in Computer Science, was a post-doc at BBN and Xerox PARC, joined the faculty of Carnegie-Mellon University in 1985, moved to the University of Pittsburgh in 1990 and joined ASU in 2008. He founded and co-directed two large NSF research centers (Circle; the Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center). He has published over 125 peer-reviewed publications, is a fellow in the Cognitive Science Society, and is on the editorial boards of Cognition and Instruction and the International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education. Dr. VanLehn's research focuses on intelligent tutoring systems and other intelligent interactive instructional technology.

Neil Heffernan - Worcester Polytechnic Institute

posted May 12, 2014, 8:38 AM by Unknown user   [ updated May 14, 2014, 7:12 AM by Xiangen Hu ]

Biography: Neil Heffernan enjoys doing educational data mining and running the ASSISTments system. ASSISTments helps schools teach better. It’s a web service hosted at WPI that allows teachers to assign nightly homework or daily class work. Students get instant feedback while teachers get live reports. Professor Heffernan enjoys supervising WPI students in creating ASSISTments content and features. Several student projects have resulted in peer-reviewed publications looking at comparing different ways to optimize student learning.

Professor Heffernan also Co-Directs the Learning Science and Technologies Graduate Program. He is always interested in working with new students in solving these problems, and says ASSISTments has been created by WPI students for the world. Professor Heffernan's goal is to give ASSISTments to millions across the US and internationally as a free service of WPI. 

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