PEOPLE

Professor

Justine_Cassell

Justine Cassell

Justine Cassell (Ph.D., University of Chicago) is Associate Dean of the School of Computer Science for Technology Strategy and Impact at Carnegie Mellon University, Co-Director of the Simon Initiative, and until recently was Director of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute in the School of Computer Science. Cassell comes to CMU from Northwestern, where she was the founding director of the Center for Technology and Social Behavior joint PhD in Communication and Computer Science, and of the Center for Technology and Social Behavior. Before Northwestern, Cassell was a tenured faculty member at the MIT Media Lab, where she headed the Gesture and Narrative Language research group. Cassell’s research focuses on understanding natural forms of communication, and then creating technological tools for those forms of communication and linguistic expression to flourish in the digital world. In particular, she is credited with developing the Embodied Conversational Agent, a virtual human capable of interacting with humans using both language and nonverbal behavior. More recently Cassell has investigated the role that the ECA can play in children’s lives, as a part of a Story Listening System, an interactive support for learning language and literacy skills.

More information is available on Justine’s website.

Researchers

Timo Baumann
Timo Baumann

Timo Baumann

Timo Baumann is a Systems Scientist at the Language Technologies Institute at CMU. His research focuses on highly responsive dialog agents that engage in conversations beyond simple task-based interaction, including backchannels and other realtime social behaviour. Timo uses incremental processing to increase the flexibility and speed of SDSs and works on all aspects of interactive speech and language technologies, including recognition, synthesis, prosody, parsing, LMs, NLG and the architectures necessary to facilitate building large and incremental systems. Between joining CMU and completion of his PhD at Bielefeld University, Timo worked as a research and teaching associate at Universität Hamburg. Timo’s side projects include a collaboration in Computational Humanities which recently lead to a 3-year project on prosodic analyses for post-modern poetry, and computer science education for kids, teaching concepts through SDS design. Timos bikes to work and produces electricity as a shareholder in a photovoltaics cooperative.

Yoichi Matsuyama
Yoichi Matsuyama

Yoichi Matsuyama

Yoichi Matsuyama is a Post Doctoral Fellow in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute and Language Technologies Institute, Carnegie Mellon University. His research interest lies in computational models of human conversations, which combine artificial intelligence, cognitive science and human-computer/robot interaction. At the ArticuLab, he is leading the SARA (Socially Aware Robot Assistant) and the Yahoo! – CMU InMind projects. His Ph.D dissertation project was the SCHEMA, a multiparty conversation facilitation robot, specifically its computational models of facilitation strategies and language generation, as well as its robotic platform development. Prior to CMU, he was a researcher at the Perceptual Computing Group, Waseda University in Tokyo. He received B.A. in cognitive psychology and media studies, M.E. and Ph.D in computer science from Waseda University in 2005, 2008 and 2015 respectively. He was a visiting researcher at the iCub Facility, Italian Institute of Technology, also a committee member of ACM SIGGRAPH Asia.

Zhen Bai
Zhen Bai

Zhen Bai

Zhen Bai is a post-doctoral fellow at the ArticuLab. She leads the Sensing Curiosity in Play and Responding (SCIPR) project, which focuses on exploring the design space of playful learning environments that foster curiosity, exploration and self-efficacy for science education. Zhen is passionate to design innovative interfaces that augment our cognitive, emotional and social experiences in a playful and accessible way. Her research interests include augmented reality, tangible interfaces, design for children, developmental psychology, education, and computer-supported collaborative work. She received a B.Sc. in Computer Science from Beijing University of Technology in 2006, M.Eng. in Software Engineering from Peking University in 2009, and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Graphics & Interaction Group at the University of Cambridge in 2015. Her Ph.D. research focused on designing augmented and tangible interfaces that support symbolic play for young children with and without autism spectrum condition.

Florian Pecune
Florian Pecune

Florian Pecune

Florian Pecune is a post-doctoral fellow at the Articulab, working on SARA and Yahoo! – inMind projects, both of which focus on building a socially-aware personal assistant. He is mainly interested in designing embodied conversational agents able to build and maintain long-term relationships with humans by adapting their behavior according to the context of the interaction. Prior to the Articulab, he earned a Master`s degree in Cognition and Engineering from Paris 8 University and received a Ph.D in computer science from Telecom Paristech. His Ph.D research focused on building a decision-making model based on both social and task-oriented concerns. In his spare time, he loves to play and watch soccer or any kind of sports. If he is not in his lab or on a soccer field, he is probably playing some board or video games with friends.

Ph.D Students

Samantha Finkelstein
Samantha Finkelstein

Samantha Finkelstein

Samantha is a doctoral student in human-computer interaction who is interested in education, collaborative learning, rapport, and virtual agents. She is interested in studying how real children interact, build relationships, and learn with each other, and how we can design pedagogical virtual peers who can collaborate with and support human children in learning. Samantha is involved with the Program for Interdisciplinary Education Research (PIER) at Carnegie Mellon, as well as the computer science outreach group Women@SCS. When she’s not researching (what?) she’s probably out swing dancing, playing social board games, or crafting magnetic poetry.

Michael Madaio
Michael Madaio

Michael Madaio

Michael is currently a PhD student in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at CMU, focusing on the learning sciences, and is a member of the Program for Interdisciplinary Education Research. He is primarily interested in the ways that technology mediates learning interactions between students, and how a more robust understanding of the dynamics of student collaboration can lead to a more effective design of learning technologies. Prior to the PhD, he completed a Masters of Science in Digital Media at Georgia Tech, focusing on educational technologies, where he was advised by Dr. Ian Bogost. While at Georgia Tech, he conducted research at the Center for 21st Century Universities on faculty usage of educational technology. Before that, he graduated from the University of Maryland with a Masters of Education and a Bachelors of Arts in English Language and Literature, and taught English at a public high school in Maryland for several years.

Master Students

Gabriel Bayomi Tinoco Kalejaiye
Gabriel Bayomi Tinoco Kalejaiye

Gabriel Bayomi Tinoco Kalejaiye

Gabriel is a Brazilian engineer and is currently os his master’s program in Intelligent Information Systems at the School of Computer Science here at CMU. He was previously part of the Stanford Crowd Research Initiative and is currently working in an annotated crowdsourcing framework for multimodal interactions at Articulab. His research focus is on Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning and Multimodal Human-Centered Interactions. Previously, he was an intern of the continuous improvement team at Kraft Heinz, working with applied data analytics and also an intern at the Global Services team at Brightcove in Boston. Gabriel is a Fundação Estudar Fellow, which is a group of Brazilian leaders that wish to connect and empower young talents in Brazil. Gabriel graduated from University of Brasilia in Electrical Engineering in 2017. In his spare time, he enjoys exploring new music: from bossa nova to hip hop!

Alankar Jain
Alankar Jain

Alankar Jain

Alankar is currently pursuing his Master’s in Language Technologies at the School of Computer Science at CMU. At Articulab, he is working on SARA and Yahoo! – CMU InMind projects. More specifically, he is exploring innovative designs for the dialog manager to enable socially aware virtual conversational agents. Prior to joining Articulab, he spent 3 wonderful years at IBM Research, Bangalore working on a variety of machine learning problems involving multi-task learning, Bayesian Networks, time series modeling and sequential pattern mining. He graduated from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay with a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Electrical Engineering in 2014. In his spare time, he enjoys watching and analysing films and TV shows.

Samuel Maskell
Samuel Maskell

Samuel Maskell

Sam is a Master’s of Language Technologies student at CMU and is working on the SARA and Yahoo! – CMU InMind projects at the Articulab. He is interested in studying new and innovative ways that machine learning techniques can be used to better understand and engage with users in order to improve the user experience. Prior to joining the Articulab, he earned a Bachelor of Software Engineering at the University of Victoria and was a Senior Android Engineer at Twitter. In his spare time, he plays guitar & bass and he is a budding cinephile.

Bhargavi Paranjape
Bhargavi Paranjape

Bhargavi Paranjape

Bhargavi is a Master’s of Language Technologies student at CMU and is working on the SCIPR project at the Articulab. She is interested in using machine learning, natural language processing and data mining to build robust and practical solutions in education and healthcare. She completed her Bachelors in Computer Science from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and worked as a Research Fellow at Microsoft Research Labs, Bengaluru. In her spare time, she likes to read, listen to music and binge watch movies and TV shows.

Vasu Sharma
Vasu Sharma

Vasu Sharma

Vasu is presently pursuing Masters in Language Technologies at the School of Computer Science at CMU. He’s working on the SARA and the Yahoo! – CMU InMind projects at the ArticuLab which focus on building a socially aware robotics assistant. His primary focus is on trying to combine the user’s visual, vocal and verbal cues to better gauge the ‘rapport’ between the user and the conversational agent and using it to enable the agent to become socially more aware to the user’s emotional needs. His research interests include Multi Modal Machine Learning and applications of Deep Learning Techniques to Natural Language Representation, Understanding and Generation. Prior to joining CMU, he completed his Bachelors in Computer Science degree from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. In his spare time you may find him playing some sports with friends, swimming or finding his peace of mind by churning out some poetry.

Visiting Scholar

Lab Manager

Lauren Simmons
Lauren Simmons

Lauren Simmons

Lauren Simmons is the lab manager of the ArticuLab. Passionate about education, she is interested in exploring how novel, cross-disciplinary technologies and virtual learning environments can be used to broaden student participation and improve learning outcomes. Prior to joining the ArticuLab, Lauren was a research assistant at the RAND Corporation, Philadelphia Folklore Project, and the University of Pittsburgh, where she studied non-cognitive factors in student engagement. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with minors in Arabic, Social Welfare Advocacy, and Psychology from Indiana University—Bloomington in 2014. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering, traveling, singing along to Kate Bush, and amateur beekeeping.

Staff

David Slebodnick
David Slebodnick

David Slebodnick

David graduated the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 2009 with a Bachelor’s in Media Arts and Animation.After a few animating and illustrating jobs in educational games, he started with the Articulab in January 2013 to work on the Alex project. In his leisure time he enjoys anything from outdoor activities to drawing and painting.

Graduate Research Assistants

Yubin Ge
Yubin Ge

Yubin Ge

Yubin Ge is a second-year master student at University of Pittsburgh majoring in Information Science. He currently works for the SCIPR project and helps with building a reasoning model for the virtual peer. His research interests lie in NLP and deep learning and he wishes to gain more research experiences from this opportunity. During his leisure time, he likes playing games, exercising and spending time with friends.

John Choi
John Choi

John Choi

A recent graduate of the BCSA Computer Science and Arts student and Innovation Scholar at Carnegie Mellon University, John is an artist, engineer, and entrepreneur all in one. Having over 8 years experience developing computer simulations and 4 years experience building robots, John knows what it takes to develop innovative technology projects either independently or as a team.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

  
William Liu

William Liu

William is a sophomore majoring in Cognitive Science. His research within the RAPT project focuses on collecting and expressing user data in the form of virtual agent “memory.” His research interests also extend into computer/memory architecture and operating systems. William is big into musical theatre. Having performed throughout High School, William is continuing that interest here at Carnegie Mellon as stage manager and production manager for various shows put on by Scotch’n’Soda Theatre. William also enjoys sleeping.

  

Ronak Yarapatineni 

Ronak Yarapatineni is a junior Computer Science major at Carnegie Mellon University. He is researching incremental speech synthesis through the InMind Project. Through research, he hopes to learn different applications of the concepts he learns in class. For fun, he likes hanging out with his friends and playing video games.

  
Eugene Choi

Eugene Choi

Eugene is a freshman majoring in Information Systems with a potential minor or major in Computer Science. He loves to code and wants to improve in whatever ways that he can. At the ArticuLab, he’s working on the SARA Inmind project analyzing code, cleaning up logs, and more. In his free time, Eugene likes to exercise, code, and play video games.

  
Saloni Saxena

Saloni Saxena

Saloni is a junior at Carnegie Mellon University studying Cognitive Science. Her interests lie in the creation of intuitive, engaging, and innovative products to solve diverse problems. As a member of the SARA project, she is working to design and develop the UX for the annotation framework team. In her spare time, she loves to explore random Wikipedia articles, binge-watch The Office, and belt out her favorite songs.

  
Alice Duan

Alice Duan

Alice Duan is a junior studying computer science with a minor in learning media. She is working on the SCIPR project this academic year. At the ArticuLab, she is interested in learning more about how software fits into a project within a broader context, as well as testing out the waters of academic research compared to the industry. In her free time, she enjoys running long distances, paddle boarding, backpacking, and climbing.

  
Lauren Duan

Lauren Duan

Lauren is a junior in Cognitive Science at Carnegie Mellon University, currently working on rapport-annotation methods for the InMind project. She hopes to both develop more intelligent technologies and help people improve their cognitive abilities through a deeper computational understanding of the mind. She is particularly interested in language processing in humans and machines. In her free time, she enjoys learning languages, scuba diving, traveling and good food.

  
Nicole Pinto

Nicole Pinto

Nicole is a junior at Carnegie Mellon University studying Cognitive Science. She is currently an intern working on the SCIPR project with behavioral coding and analytics. She’s interested in improving educational outcomes through technology and understanding how we can design products to be more in line with our cognitive processes. In her free time, she loves to memorize useless facts, binge-watch TV, and read NPR.

  
Fengyi Zhang

Fengyi Zhang

Fengyi Zhang is a sophomore majoring in Cognitive Science at CMU. She is interested in the application of cognitive psychology in future techonologies such as interactive robots and AI. She will be analyzing human behavior for the SCIPR project this fall. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring restaurants, watching films and visiting exhibitions.

  
Andy Shen

Andy Shen

Andy Shen is a junior at Carnegie Mellon University majoring in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Through the In-Mind project, he will be exploring how memory can improve the interactions between humans and machines. During his free time, he enjoy playing games, hanging out with friends, and staying active.

  
Alexa Grazio

Alexa Grazio

Alexa Grazio is going into her third year at the University of Pittsburgh studying Linguistics and Spanish. She also studies Quechua. Alexa is very passionate about language and its applications in the world. At the ArticuLab, she is a data analyst for the ALEX project.

  
Melinda Arnold

Melinda Arnold

Melinda is a senior at the University of Pittsburgh studying Linguistics and French with a certificate in Western European Studies. She’s excited to be working on the ALEX project. Her interests include second language acquisition, language variation, French linguistics, dialectology, syntax, morphology and the study of regional variants of French. When Melinda is not in school or working in the lab she spends her free time traveling.

  
Elena Martinez

Elena Martinez

Elena is a junior at the University of Pittsburgh studying Linguistics and Spanish. Her interests include creole languages, early language acquisition and development, bilingualism and descriptive grammar. She is very excited to have the opportunity to work on Project Alex.

  
Michelina Astle

Michelina Astle

Michelina is a senior at Chatham University with a major in Psychology, on the pre-medical track to become a child psychiatrist. Past work includes data analysis for the RAPT project in the Spring of 2016 before she shadowed in a hospital in New Zealand this past summer. She is currently working on the data analysis team of the RAPT project as CREU student. Michelina is the student director of the Chatham Scholars program and, in her free time, enjoys Magic the Gathering and reading.

  
Rishabh Chatterjee

Rishabh Chatterjee

Rishabh is a sophomore majoring in Computer Science. He loves working with numbers and is obsessed (sometimes foolishly) with finding patterns in occurrences. He is currently working on the technical implementation team in RAPT, working to build and iterate on the design of the virtual agent tutoring dialogue system. In his free time he likes to play golf, cook, and travel.

  
Alvaro Granados

Alvaro Granados

Alvaro is majoring in neuroscience with a concentration in premedical studies at the University of Pittsburgh, and he will graduate this December. For his looming graduation, my thesis entails both fascinating and challenging material. He is reading oscillations in the brain’s magnetic field to locate the supplementary motor area in UPMC patients. He seeks to spare this area from injury during surgery. His career aspiration is to be a neurosurgeon. In his free time, he enjoys reading the history of neuroscience. Working in the ArticuLab is a special opportunity for him, because he immigrated from Peru with my family, pursuing the American Dream. Thankfully, in America, he learned the joy of using my knowledge to teach others and make their lives easier.

  
Rae Lasko

Rae Lasko

Rae is a senior studying Cognitive Science and HCI. She is interested in informing ambiguous interfaces, such as voice, with knowledge gained from studying human interaction. Her work on RAPT has primarily been focused on analyzing data collected from human peer tutoring studies.

  
Caroline Wu

Caroline Wu

Caroline is a junior majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Music. She is a part of the RAPT project. As a piano teacher, Caroline is very interested in advancing peer-tutoring strategies. She enjoys singing in a cappella and reading.

Previous Members >>



ArticuLab World Map

The continental distribution of the ArticuLab origins (their previous universities).

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