David Reitter

How does the mind work? I would like to understand what makes us intelligent, and why we make mistakes at times. As a computional cognitive scientist, I have contributed to our understanding of language processing in the context of dialogue, to artificial intelligence, and, more recently, to decision-making. I primarily create computational models via inference from large-scale datasets and experiments. My work in cognitive science is aided by computational linguistics; my contributions to computer science are inspired by cognition.

Our work is primarily supported by the National Science Foundation (several recent projects), with some additional projects made possible by the U.S. Air Force.

David Reitter
what's new?
  • NSF grant funded (Perception, Action&Cognition + Robust Intelligence): Inference of the syntactic and semantic relationships between words from an untagged corpus using a distributional model of semantics derived from human memory theory (co-authored by post-doc Matthew Kelly)
  • Alex Ororbia, paper to appear in Neural Computation (with T. Mikolov and D. Reitter), "Learning Simpler Language Models with the Delta Recurrent Neural Network Framework."
  • Yafei Wang: PhD defense 4/2017. Now: IBM Research.
  • SBP-BRiMS 2017 papers: Is Word Adoption a Grassroots Process? An Analysis of Reddit Communities (Cole/Ghafurian/Reitter), and How Emotional Support and Informational Support Relate to Linguistic Alignment
  • ACL 2017 paper by Yang Xu: Spectral Analysis of Information Density in Dialogue Predicts Collaborative Task Performance
  • Cognition paper to appear by Yang Xu: Entropy in conversation: Towards an information-theoretic model of dialogue
  • 2017 TopiCS issue out on Computational Models of Memory
  • The book is out: Big Data in Cognitive Science (M. Jones, ed.) - with a chapter on studies in computational psycholinguistics.
  • ACL 2016 paper accepted "Entropy converges between dialogue participants: explanations from an information-theoretic perspective" (Xu, Reitter)
  • PLOS ONE paper accepted "Crowdsourcing the Measurement of Interstate Conflict" (D'Orazio, Kenwick, Lane, Palmer, Reitter)
  • ACL 2016 paper accepted "Convergence of Syntactic Complexity..." (Xu, Reitter)
  • Social Science Research Institute funds Carlson/Putnam/Reitter to model syntactic processing in bilinguals
  • Talk and Paper at Designing Interactive Systems, Brisbane '16 (Ghafurian, Reitter)
  • I am at SBP-BRiMS as program co-chair, at ACL '16 as area chair
  • ICCM 2016 is coming to Penn State (Ritter and Reitter, general chairs)
  • NSF funding $1M (social/economic): Updating the Militarized Dispute Data Through Crowdsourcing
  • NSF funding CRII (computer science): Alignment in web-forum discourse
Penn State, 2012-:   Asst. Professor, Information Sciences
Carnegie Mellon, 2008-11:  Post-doc, Psychology
Edinburgh, 2008:  PhD, Informatics/Cognitive Science
U. C. Dublin, 2004:  MSc, Computer Science
Potsdam, 2002:  Dipl., Linguistics
Founder, 2005-:  Aquamacs Emacs