Dr. Sidney D'Mello, University of Colorado, Boulder


Understanding Human Functioning & Enhancing Human Potential
through Computational Methods 




It is generally accepted that computational methods can complement traditional approaches to understanding human functioning, including thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and social interactions. I suggest that their utility extends beyond a mere complementary role. They serve a necessary role when data is too large for manual analysis, an opportunistic role by addressing questions that are beyond the purview of traditional methods, and a promissory role in facilitating change when fully-automated computational models are embedded in closed-loop intelligent systems. Multimodal computational approaches provide further benefits by affording analysis of disparate constructs emerging across multiple types of interactions in diverse contexts. To illustrate, I will discuss a research program that use linguistic, paralinguistic, behavioral, and physiological signals for the analysis of individual, small group, multi-party, and human-computer interactions in the lab and in the wild with the goals of understanding cognitive, noncognitive, and socio-affective-cognitive processes while improving human efficiency, engagement, and effectiveness. I will also discuss how these ideas align with our new NSF National AI Institute on Student-AI Teaming and how you can get involved in the research.

Sidney D’Mello (PhD in Computer Science, 2009) is an Associate Professor in the Institute of Cognitive Science and Department of Computer Science at the University of Colorado Boulder. His work lies at the intersection of the computing, cognitive, affective, social, and learning sciences. D’Mello is interested in the dynamic interplay between cognition and emotion while individuals and groups engage in complex real-world activities. He applies insights gleaned from this basic research program to develop intelligent technologies that help people achieve to their fullest potential by coordinating what they think and feel with what they know and do. D’Mello has co-edited seven books and published more than 300 journal papers, book chapters, and conference proceedings (16 of which received awards at international conferences; four others were award finalists). His work has been funded by numerous grants and he currently serves(d) as associate editor for six journals, serves(d) on the editorial board of four others, and was elected to the leadership team of three professional organizations.