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 study language processing, dialogue, and decision-making.
My work is computational in two ways. (1) I use data science techniques for inference from large-scale datasets
and experiments. (2) I create computational, cognitive and statistical models to contribute to a unified theory of cognition.
My work in cognitive science is aided by
computational linguistics; my research in computer science is
inspired by cognition.
My research group at Penn State is primarily supported by
the National Science Foundation (several recent
In January 2019, I will be joining Google. I will
continue my work as a tenured Associate Professor of
Information Sciences and Technology.
new in our research group?
- Dr. Jeremy Cole, thesis defense passed:
Incremental planning and buffering in
language production: modeling large-scale
data. Now: Software Engineer, Google
- Dr. Alexander G. Ororbia II, thesis
defense passed: Coordinated local learning
algorithms for continuously adaptive neural
Now: Assistant Professor
Computer Science, Rochester Institute of
- Reitter, Tenured, Associated.
- New Postdoc: Welcome, Jesus Calvillo
(joining from U. Saarland, Saarbrücken, Germany)
- Dr. Yang Xu, thesis defense passed:
Towards an Information-Based Theory of
Language Production in Dialogue.
Next: Assistant Professor of Computer Science, San Diego State University.
- Penn State IST Junior Excellence in Research Award 2017/2018
- Y. Xu, J. Cole, D. Reitter, Not That
Much Power: Linguistic Alignment is Influenced
More by Low-Level Linguistic Features Rather
than Social Power (ACL 2018)
- J. Cole, D.Reitter The Timing of Lexical
Memory Retrievals in Language Production
- PhD candidate Yang
Xu wins 2018 College of IST Ph.D. Award for Research Excellence.
- McDonnell Foundation funds grant in
education and understanding dialogue engagement
(with Co-PIs at Sherice N. Clarke, UCSD and Amy Ogan, CMU).
- Dr. Moojan Ghafurian PhD defense 11/2017.
Next: U Waterloo, Computer Science.
- 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). Post-doc filled.
- Alex Ororbia, new paper in
Neural Computation (with T. Mikolov and
D. Reitter), "Learning
Simpler Language Models with the Delta Recurrent
Neural Network Framework."
- 2018 Cognition paper by Yang Xu has appeared: Entropy in conversation: Towards an information-theoretic model of dialogue
Penn State, 2018-:
Assoc. Professor (tenured),
Penn State, 2012-2018:
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