Professor Barbara Di Eugenio Receives Funding from NSF for Using Robots to Serve the Elderly at Home

Barbara Di Eugenio is co-PI on a new NSF award (PI: Milos Zefran, co-PI: Jezekiel Ben-Arie) that aims at developing assistive robots for the elderly. The team will focus on the technological challenge of creating an effective interface that can seamlessly integrate speech, gestures and haptic signals (force exchange). These different modalities co-constrain the interpretation of what the user is communicating to the robot. This project aims at robots that can assist elderly people in performing mundane, daily activities, from the more basic (getting out of bed), to the more complex (cooking). Such robots would help the elderly stay in their homes longer, with great benefits to the elderly people themselves, their caregivers, and society at large. This award is a collaboration between ECE and CS at UIC, and Mark Foreman, a UIC professor emeritus who is now with the Department of Gerontological Nursing at Rush University.

The UIC Press Release can be found here.

The Chicago Tribune news can be found here

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 May 2010 18:10
Davide Fossati receives the "50 for the Future" award from the Illinois Technology Foundation

Davide Fossati, Computer Science PhD student, received the prestigious "50 for the Future" award from the Illinois Technology Foundation. This award is designed to recognize and honor the most promising technology students in Illinois.

Davide is currently working in the Natural Language Processing Lab, directed by professor Barbara Di Eugenio. His research focuses on Intelligent Tutoring Systems, which are computer systems that can interact with students and help them learn. His latest project, iList, is a system that helps college students practice and learn linked lists, a fundamental topic in Computer Science curricula. The system has been already used in several classrooms at UIC and the US Naval Academy.

The Illinois Technology Foundation’s mission is to support the development of a technology talent pipeline that begins in elementary school, is refined in high school, and is fully developed in our region’s higher education graduates. The Foundation facilitates relationships and efforts across industry, academia, students, and government, developing and managing targeted programs within the talent pipeline. Through action, leadership, and collaboration, the Foundation supports and nurtures the technology talent to ensure a viable and a regional wealth creating economy. The Foundation is the philanthropy arm of the Illinois Technology Association (ITA), a membership organization of more than 500 Illinois technology companies who support the development of a stronger technology talent pipeline in the region.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 May 2010 18:14
Professor Barbara Di Eugenio receives funding from Motorola to develop intelligent summarizer

The NLP laboratory(Dr. Barbara Di Eugenio, director) has obtained new funding from the "Motorola University Partnership in Research" program for "Intelligent Aggregation for Mobile Search." The project focuses on developing resources and algorithms to perform aggregation, i.e., summarization of long lists of concepts. The problem is important for effective mobile search, since long lists can overwhelm small displays, are difficult to remember when spoken, and are difficult to navigate on a small device. The problem is challenging, since it touches on unsolved research issues. First, we will need to develop new algorithms to generate meaningful groupings of the items that appear on long lists; in many cases, such as aggregating email messages, the possible dimensions are too numerous to define a priori and must be dynamically determined. Second, mobile search cannot be conceived of as a sequence of isolated queries: a user will follow up to an answer from the mobile search engine with further requests. Hence, the system must be able to address new requests from the user that will refer to the entities dynamically created by the system.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 May 2010 18:20
Expert Tutoring and Natural Language Feedback in Intelligent Tutoring Systems

Xin Lu will be defending her thesis this thursday. Details about her defense are outlined below:

Location: SEO 1000
Time: 2:00 pm, Thursday, June 21, 2007.
Speaker: Xin Lu
Advisor: Barbara Di Eugenio
Committee: Barbara Di Eugenio, Bing Liu, Tom Moher, Stellan Ohlsson, Martha
Evens (IIT)


Intelligent tutoring systems can provide benefits of one-on-one instruction automatically and cost effectively. To make the intelligent tutoring systems as effective as expert human tutors, this research aims at investigating what type of natural language feedback an intelligent tutoring system should provide and how to implement the feedback generation to engender significantly more learning than unsupervised practice. This research demonstrates the utility of a computational model of expert tutoring in generating effective natural language feedback in intelligent tutoring systems.

This presentation will start from a comprehensive study of the difference between one expert tutor and two non-expert tutors in effectiveness, behavior and language. Then it will present a rule-based model of expert tutoring which takes advantage of a machine learning technique, Classification based on Associations. The tutorial rules are automatically learned from a set of annotated tutorial dialogues, to model how the expert tutor makes decisions on tutors attitude, domain concepts and problem
scopes to focus on, and tutor moves. This presentation will also describe a framework of feedback generation with 3-tier probabilistic planning to employ the model of expert tutoring in the natural language feedback generation for intelligent tutoring systems. The 3-tier planning automatically generates, selects and monitors plans for generating
effective tutorial feedback based on the rule-based model and the information state which keeps track of the interaction in the intelligent tutoring system. At last, an evaluation of the framework will be discussed.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 May 2010 18:17
Davide Fossati receives award for Volunteer Service

The Chancellor's Student Service Award Committee presents its awards for volunteer service on Wednesday, April 18, 2007 in the Illinois Room of UIC Student Center East. The reception will begin at 5:00 p.m. and the program will follow at 6:00 p.m.

Davide Fossati is among the few gradute and undergraduate students who have been recognized by the College of Engineering for their commitment to volunteer Service. Davide is actively involved with various volunteer organizations in the University. He was recognized for his contribution as a member of the Engineering without Borders volunteer organization.

Last Updated on Saturday, 23 September 2017 22:54
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