JOBS

If you are interested in any of the jobs listed below (other than the Project Manager job, which must be submitted through Taleo – see below), please contact the lab via the contact page, by selecting the subject “Job at the ArticuLab”. In the “Message” body, please indicate the projects or jobs that interest you most from the list below, or from our projects page. We will reply and request your latest CV/resume, listing all relevant coursework and research experience.

Project Manager Position at the ArticuLab

We are seeking a Project Manager to join our interdisciplinary team of researchers in computer science, social science, and animation, to oversee and ensure that the various work streams deriving from the Socially Aware Robot Assistant (SARA) portfolio are planned, executed, and managed according to specification and project timelines. A demonstrated background and acumen in strategic planning requirements gathering, project planning, project execution management, communication of project milestones to stakeholders, and project resource management is critical. The successful candidate will have a comprehensive understanding of software implementation life cycles and experience leading multiple software and/or hardware implementations in parallel. The incumbent will also have a very strong, demonstrated ability to develop and maintain working relationships with a broad and diverse range of stakeholders, including research staff, faculty, students, and industry representatives. The successful candidate will be able to develop a team ethic amongst the different technical staff and students. The successful candidate will also act as a primary project contact for external stakeholders, such as funding agencies. Creativity, ability to think outside the box, strong work ethic, outstanding communication skills, and the ability to work independently without supervision, but also in a team, will be critical.

The project team is primarily composed of academic researchers and students for whom the goal of implementing fully working software is a means towards the end of publishing papers and other indices of academic success, sometimes rather than an end in and of itself. The project manager will therefore need to understand and manage the differing goals of funders, researchers and other stakeholders. Soft skills and flexibility is a desired qualification in order to improve the success of the project management.

The incumbent will work under the direction of Dr. Justine Cassell (Language Technologies Institute, Associate Dean of Computer Science) as well as the members of her research lab (primarily postdocs and graduate students, with a number of undergraduate interns).  Management experience and success at managing diverse teams is key. Because the primary PI travels frequently, ability to communicate progress and obstacles by email is essential, as is the ability to know when to call in Dr. Cassell to help overcome obstacles.

This position is initially for one year, renewable based on availability of funding and performance.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develop project goals in partnership with research team and potentially corporate sponsors
  • Gather sponsor requirements and team goals through meetings, feedback, and participating in technical demonstrations and requirements workshops
  • Use best practices and tools to document and review project personnel
  • Develop and maintain project risk management and mitigation plans
  • Develop full-scale project plans, budgets, and schedules
  • Lead project team meetings, coordinate and communicate plans and expectations to all project stakeholders
  • Design and produce reports and minutes for project team meetings
  • Identify, communicate, escalate, and resolve project issues as needed; ensure the proper communication and documentation of problem resolutions.
  • Develop technical proficiency in new applications and technologies where appropriate in order to assist in decision making and configuration
  • Serve as a professional source of advice and assistance on managing projects and best practices in software development platforms and version control, such as GitHub.
  • Train and coach other project members on the most important elements of project management, and assist them in implementing those elements
  • Train, coach and oversee best practices in software development, such as use of version control, code repositories, annotating code, testing, etc.
  • Manage project changes and control processes throughout the project life cycle, from conception to implementation
  • Adapt development methods based on changing priorities
  • Lead all aspects of project closure and lessons learned
  • Maintain records by documenting program development and revisions

Minimum Education and Competences:

  • A Bachelor’s degree, preferably in Computer Science, Information Technology, Information Systems, or Business
  • 5 years of related experience, with at least 2 years of project management experience required
  • Demonstrated experience in leading diverse teams
  • Demonstrate experience with at least one technical tool commonly used in project management
  • Proven ability to prioritize development methods and tasks in order to meet project deadlines
  • Excellent understanding of project interdependencies and financial complexity
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills with the proven ability to build strong relationships with partners, and build team cohesion within the technical staff
  • Demonstrated experience in ability to coordinate people from many stakeholder organizations through the use of soft skills
  • Effective, organized, and concise written and verbal communication with executive presentation skills, including the ability to explain technology concepts to external stakeholders, and project management concepts to the research team
  • Extensive knowledge and success with leading efforts in system configuration, solution design, testing, and implementations

Preferred Qualifications:

  • 7+ years of professional experience, with 3+ years’ experience managing complex, interdepartmental projects in a senior role
  • Experience working in academia, where hierarchies are not rigid, frequent demos are important, and there may be student turnover
  • PMP/PSM/PSPO Certification
  • Demonstrated experience with one or more project management methodologies; i.e. PMI PMBOK, PRINCE2 or Agile

Carnegie Mellon University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer committed to excellence through diversity and strongly encourages applications from women, minorities, and other under-represented groups. CMU is responsive to the needs of dual career couples and is dedicated to work-life balance through an array of family-friendly policies.

 

Fall Internship Positions

RAPT Project

Building and Improving the Design of a Rapport-Building Intelligent Tutoring Agent

Intelligent conversational agents are all around us, from Siri, to Alexa, and many more. In the Articulab, we study human behavior using computational linguistics and machine learning, to build virtual agents that can respond to people in increasingly more natural, social ways. What if you could have a virtual agent as a teacher? How would you want it to respond to the anxieties and social dynamics inherent in learning? In the Rapport-Aware Peer Tutor (RAPT) project, we study how the interpersonal closeness, or rapport, between people improves their learning, using computational tools to detect the verbal and nonverbal behaviors that contribute to that rapport, in order to build a socially-responsive virtual tutor.

This fall, we’re looking for students with backgrounds in computer science, natural language processing, machine learning, psychology, or HCI to help us build and improve the design of a rapport-building virtual agent, as part of an intelligent tutoring system. If you’re interested in applying for a research internship at the Articulab working on the RAPT project this summer, please contact the project lead, Michael Madaio (mmadaio@cs.cmu.edu) with your resume and a cover letter expressing your interest in the position.

Validation of the Thin-Slicing Method for Sequential Social Signal Annotation.

We are looking for one or two talented students to help us validate the quality of annotations of rapport (and other social signals) using the thin-slicing method. We are investigating how social signals advance and control an interaction and the long-term bond between people. Social measures such as rapport or engagement change slowly during a conversation (however it remains unclear just how slowly) and human judgements on social behaviours have been shown to reach high levels of accuracy with only 30 seconds of observation (similar to basing judgements e.g. on full conversations). As a consequence, rapport is frequently annotated on consecutive 30s stretches of video/audio of interactions. However, it is unclear how well 30s intervals are suitable to capture the rate of change of rapport over the course of a conversation, and how the placement of relevant cues within the intervals influences the overall ratings.

In this internship you will learn how to prepare and analyse data, how to collect crowdsourced annotations, how to use NLP and multi-modal analysis tools to find relevant cues in a conversation. In addition, you will learn about the theories of social behaviours in conversation. Interested students should send a resume/CV and cover letter to Dr. Timo Baumann (tbaumann@andrew.cmu.edu) and Lauren Smith (lsmith1@cs.cmu.edu) in an email with the subject heading “RAPT Sequential Social Signal Annotation Internship”.

 

SCIPR Project

Developing an Intelligent Virtual Child to Raise Curiosity in Small Group Game Play

Curiosity inspires you to study your favorite subjects, and stay up late nights reading about topics you’re passionate about. Sadly, curiosity is becoming less common in elementary and middle schools in our increasingly test-oriented society. Our lab is developing an intelligent virtual child and interactive tabletop that will evoke curiosity, exploration, and self-efficacy through collaboration in a playful learning environment. For more details about the project, see the project description on our website.

We are looking for several interns with Computer Science background who are interested in Human-Computer Interaction, Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing, as well as students in Linguistics, Psychology, Social science to take part in designing and developing the virtual child that can engage in the multi-party tangible tabletop game, and carry out verbal and non-verbal behaviors to elicit curiosity during the gameplay. Below we list the desired skills for each of the three sub-projects:

User interface design and development

  • Hands-on experience in user interface design (required), system development (required) and usability evaluation (preferred)
  • Strong programming skills with Java (required), JavaScript (required) and Python (preferred)
  • Experience in hardware programming (e.g. Arduino, RFID) (preferred)

Decision making module design and implementation

  • Hands-on experience in system development (required)
  • Course experience in Artificial Intelligence (preferred) and Natural Language Processing (preferred)
  • Strong programming skills with Java (required) and Python (preferred)

Human-human behavior analysis

  • Course or project experience with human behavior analysis through transcription and annotation
  • Previous experience with research on child development and STEM education (preferred)

Interested students should send a resume/CV and cover letter to Dr. Zhen Bai (zhenb@cs.cmu.edu) and Lauren Smith (lsmith1@cs.cmu.edu) in an email with the subject heading “SCIPR Internship”.

 

SARA/InMind Project

We are inventing a personal assistant of the future – SARA, Socially-Aware Robot Assistant that can build a relationship with a user, and then employ that relationship to better achieve the user’s goals. SARA is an embodied intelligent personal assistant that analyses the user’s visual (head and face movement), vocal (acoustic features) and verbal (conversational strategies) behaviors to estimate, in real time, the level of interpersonal closeness that the user feels for the system, and then uses its own appropriate nonverbal behaviors (body movements synthesized on an intelligent agent), vocal (acoustic features) and verbal behaviors (language)  to maintain or increase interpersonal closeness so that the user is willing to disclose information that will allow the system to better serve the user’s goals. SARA was presented at the World Economic Forum 2017.

We are also implementing a virtual personal assistant that lives on your phone and gives you access to all that the web has to offer while learning about you and your preferences and using that information to get you to what you want more quickly, and to talk to you increasingly like an old friend rather than a brand-new business client. Indeed, Siri, Cortana, or even Alexa all act as if they have just met you. They never change the way they talk to you – or even how much they know about you. Our hypothesis is that virtual agents that build a relationship with users will generate loyalty to the brand AND be more effective at the task they’re performing.

For more information about these projects, see the InMind or SARA project description.

We are currently looking for interns who will work on the following aspects of the projects:

Data Collection for the Next Next Generation of Personal Assistant

In this internship, you’ll work in a team to collect longitudinal data from human/human interactions. The goal of this data collection is to understand how individuals’ interpersonal style evolve over time, and how the social strategies expressed by the participants are related to what they know about each other. While doing this you’ll learn what it takes to set up a data collection, make sure that all the audio and video inputs are synchronized, analyze the data collected, and use those data to improve the system. During the data analysis, you’ll determine and annotate the different conversational strategies used by both participants, and investigate how participants use their model of the other to change the course of the interaction.

Developing Web based Annotation Tool for Multimodal Social Interactions

We are looking for students to build a web tool allowing people to annotate multimodal social interactions online. This tool should allow to load data recorded from different sources (audio, video, textual transcriptions, skeleton, facial features…). This tool should be customizable and allow people to label different phenomenon such as dialogue acts, conversational strategies, non-verbal behaviors, and store all this information in a database.

  • Natural language processing (e.g. natural language understanding, natural language generation)
  • Web design (e.g. front-end / back-end architecture)
  • Cognitive science (e.g. social brain, cognitive architecture)
  • Data visualization (e.g. visualizing large-scale data for discovery and understanding)

If you’re interested, please send your resume and cover letter referring to the SARA or InMind project to the project lead Dr. Yoichi Matsuyama (yoichim@cs.cmu.edu) and Dr. Florian Pecune (fpecune@cs.cmu.edu).

 

2017 ArticuLab: we had 21 summer interns, some of whom are shown here,
as well as our lab director, graduate students, postdocs and staff.

2016 ArticuLab: we had 26 summer interns, some of whom are shown here,
as well as our lab director, graduate students, postdocs and staff.

2015 ArticuLab

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