Faculty Profile  Faculty ProfileLast Modified Time: 11:25:19 PM Thu, 19 Sep 2013 
 Contact Information
Rodney D Nielsen
Associate Professor-Computer Science and Engineering
Contact address   1155 Union Circle #311366, Denton, TX 76203-5017     Office LocationUNT Discovery Park, Computer Science & Engineering, Room No.: F246 
Email  Rodney.Nielsen@UNT.edu    Contact Number (940) 565-4879    Fax No: (940) 565-2799    HomePage HomePage   
Keywords Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning, Cognitive Science, Education Technology, Companion Robots, Companionbots   
toggle toggle  Professional Preparation
 Degree Major/Thesis/Dissertation Institution Year
Dual Ph.D. Computer Science & Cognitive Science University of Colorado at Boulder 2008
M.S. Computer Science University of Colorado at Boulder 2005
B.A. Mathematics Minot State University 1986
B.S. Computer Science Minot State University 1986
toggle toggle Courses Taught By Semester --- Organized Classes will be uploaded from THECB Data file
SemesterSubjectCourse NumberSectionCourse NameCalculated Semester Credit HoursSyllabus 
Fall 2015CSCE4999812Senior Thesis  
Fall 2013CSCE1040002Computer Science II Download Syllabus
Fall 2012CSCE4930005Topics in Computer Science and Engineering  
toggle toggle  Research and Expertise
Cognitive Science
Educational Technology
End-User Software Engineering
Health & Biomedical Informatics
Machine Learning
Natural Language Processing
Spoken-Dialogue Educational Health & Wellbeing Companion Robots
toggle toggle Appointments
Duration (YYYY - YYYY or Present)RankDepartment / SchoolCollege / OfficeUniversity / Company
2012-PresentAssociate ProfessorComputer Science and EngineeringEngineeringUNT
2011-2012Research Collaborator  Mayo Clinic Rochester
2009-2012Research ScientistInstitute of Cognitive ScienceGraduate CollegeUniversity of Colorado at Boulder
2009-2012Assistant Professor AdjunctComputer ScienceEngineeringUniversity of Colorado at Boulder
2008-2012Research Scientist  Boulder Language Technologies
2007Research AssistantComputer ScienceEngineeringUniversity of Colorado at Boulder
2006Research AssistantInstitute of Cognitive ScienceGraduate CollegeUniversity of Colorado at Boulder
1995-2005CTO  Athena Systems
1997-2000Technology Research and StrategyInformation Technology Jefferson
1992-1995ManagerKnowledge Technologies Group Andersen Consulting
1990-1992Senior ConsultantArtificial Intelligence Group Andersen Consulting
1988-1990ConsultantArtificial Intelligence Group Andersen Consulting
toggle toggle Publications
  Type  Publications per page   
1  2 3 4 5 6 7 
  YearPublication  Type
Towards effective tutorial feedback for explanation questions: A dataset and baselines. In Proceedings of the 2012 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, (NAACL HLT 2012), Montreal, Québec, Canada, June 3-8, 2012.
Myroslava Dzikovska, Rodney D. Nielsen, and Chris Brew
Conference paper
Annotating a clinical narrative corpus
Daniel Albright, Rodney D. Nielsen, James Martin, Matha Palmer, Wayne Ward, Guergana Savova
Refereed(Peer reviewed) Journals
Methods for enhanced identification and detection of suicidality outcomes in observational comparative effectiveness and safety research. In the Third Symposium on Comparative Effectiveness Research Methods (Methods for Developing and Analyzing Clinically Rich Data for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research).
Heather D. Anderson, Wilson D. Pace, Elias Brandt, Rodney D. Nielsen, David R. West, Richard R. Allen, Anne M. Libby, and Robert J. Valuck
Abstracts and Proceedings
The Multi-source Integrated Platform for Answering Clinical Questions (MiPACQ). Abstract and presentation at Advances in Clinical Question Answering: Watson meets Healthcare, John Hurdle and Guergana Savova moderators, at American Medical Informatics Association Annual Symposium (AMIA 2011).
Rodney D. Nielsen, Wayne Ward and James H. Martin
Abstracts and Proceedings
The MiPACQ clinical question answering system. American Medical Informatics Association Annual Symposium (AMIA 2011).
Brian L. Cairns, Rodney D. Nielsen, James J. Masanz, James H. Martin, Martha S. Palmer, Wayne H. Ward, and Guergana K. Savova
Conference paper
toggle toggle Lectures/Symposia
2011Fine-grained semantic analysis of text and dialogueSpeakerUNT
2011Active learning in the classroom, in the living room, and in the computerSpeaker 
2011Spoken-dialogue Companionbots for eldersSpeaker 
2011From cognition and student learning to cognitive decline and backSpeaker 
2011Example selection for active and semi-supervised learningSpeaker 
2009Combining statistical and knowledge-based approaches to improve information extractionSpeakerComputational Bioscience Program, Denver Health Sciences Center / Anschutz Medical Campus
2006Learner answer assessment in intelligent tutoring systemsSpeakerInstitute of Cognitive Science
1994AI and Knowledge Technologies relevant to DisneySpeakerDisney
1991Artificial neural networks in credit card fraud detectionSpeakerAT&T Credit Card Services
toggle toggle Patents
Year of AwardTitle of PatentDescription
1988DominardsMathematics education game
toggle toggle External Funding
 Performance PeriodTitleSponsorFundingRoleStatus
2011-2015Collaborative research grant: Companionbots for Proactive Therapeutic Dialog on DepressionNSF$1,960,000Principal InvestigatorActive
2011-2014Comprehension SEEDING: Comprehension through Self-Explanation, Enriched Discussion, and INquiry GenerationIES$1,830,000Principal InvestigatorActive
2010-2011"Expanding DARTNet to Conduct a Comparative Effectiveness Study on Major Depression", sub to CU-Boulder for computational semantics to detect mentions and severity of depression and suicide(AHRQ to) UCD-Health Science Center$45,142Principal InvestigatorActive
2009-2011MiPACQ: Multi-source Integrated Platform for Answering Clinical QuestionsNIH$1,000,000Research ScientistActive
2007-2011Improving Science Learning Through Tutorial DialogsIES$3,100,000Research ScientistCompleted
2007Undergraduate research: Required inference types in student answer assessment (supervised undergraduate students)NSF via an Institute of Cognitive Science summer research grant$3,000OtherCompleted
2006Learner answer assessment in intelligent tutoring systemsNSF via an Institute of Cognitive Science summer research grant$4,500Principal InvestigatorCompleted
toggle toggle Consulting Activities
 Performance Period (YYYY - YYYY or Present)*Company/OrganizationRoleFundingWork Performed
1988-2000Allstate, AT&T, Disney, FedEx, Great West, Helene Curtis, An intelligence organization, Jefferson CO, Manville, Meridian Oil, Nestle', Sears, McAllen ISD TX, XeroxOther Various Artificial Intelligence (AI) projects
1993-1995Dade County, FloridaSenior Personnel$2,500,000Judicial Case Scheduling AI (Wrote the proposal’s AI portion)
1992-1994Newell CorpCo-PI$2,000,000Custom Sales, Configuration, Shop-floor Scheduling, Routing & Packaging AI. (PD of AI R&D)
1992-1993Illinois State Chamber of CommerceCo-PI$750,000Workforce Matchmaking and Training Recommendation AI. (PD of AI R&D)
1991-1992Baltimore Gas & ElectricSenior Personnel$1,000,000Service Scheduling and Routing AI. (PD of AI R&D)
1991-1992Tennessee Department of CorrectionsSenior Personnel$1,500,000Offender Sentencing AI. (PD of AI R&D; won AAAI Innovative Applications of AI award)
toggle toggle Peer Reviewer Activities
YearAgency/OrganizationField of Expertise
2012NAACL ws NLP for Building Educational ApplicationsAI in Edu Tech; NLP
2012EACLNLP - Semantics
2012Journal of Natural Language EngineeringNLP
2011ACLNLP - Applications
2011Question GenerationNLP
2011Journal of Dialog and DiscourseNLP
2010Journal of Natural Language EngineeringNLP
2010ITS ws on Question GenerationAI in Edu Tech; NLP
2009EACLComputational semantics and textual entailment
2009AIEDAI in Edu Tech; NLP
2009Journal of Natural Language EngineeringNLP
toggle toggle Teaching
2009, Machine Learning (CSCI 5622, CU-Boulder, Fall 2009)

2010, Information Retrieval, Guest Lecture (CSCI 5417, CU-Boulder, Fall 2010)

2010, Question Answering, I.S. (CSCI 6900, CU-Boulder, Spring 2010)

2011, Machine Learned Ranking, I.S. (CSCI 5900, CU-Boulder, Spring 2011)

2011, Perspective Analysis, M.E.P. (CSCI 6800, CU-Boulder, Spring 2011)

2012, Perspective Analysis, M.E.P. (CSCI 6800, CU-Boulder, Spring 2012)

Artificial Intelligence (1989-1994)

Calculus (NDSU, Fall 1987, Winter & Spring 1988)

Knowledge Technologies (1989-1994)

Object-Oriented Analysis and Design (1990-2001)

Software Engineering & Process Analysis and Modeling (1990-2001)

toggle toggle Mentoring/Advising
Duration (YYYY - YYYY or Present)Student NameClassificationTypeProject/Thesis/Dissertation
2011-2012Matt PicoM.E. (Chair)Graduate Research"Classifying documents by perspective using adaptor grammars and polarized part-of-speech tags"
2009-2011Gregory BrownM.S. (committee)Graduate Research"Co-reference relation features"
2009-2011Brian CairnsM.S.Graduate ResearchQuestion answering and Machine learning
2008-2011Lee BeckerPh.D. candidateGraduate ResearchRecognizing textual entailment and question generation
2006-2011Dmitriy DligachPh.D.Graduate ResearchActive learning and word sense disambiguation
2009-2010Nirav DesaiM.S.Graduate ResearchInformation Retrieval and Machine learning
2009-2010Jena HwangPh.D. candidateGraduate ResearchSemantic representation with construction grammar
2009-2010Philip OgrenPh.D. (committee)Graduate Research"Coordination resolution in biomedical texts"
2008-2009Les SikosPh.D.Graduate ResearchConventionalization in nominal coercion
2003-2008Jason Buckingham, Amy LeMessurier, Alan Mishler, Gary Knoll, Ben Marsh, Aaron VanBergUndergrads (Computer Science, Linguistics, Psychology, Cognitive Science)Undergraduate ResearchVarious human language technologies projects
toggle toggle Committees
Duration (YYYY - YYYY or Present)CommitteePositionClassification
1990-1992Artificial Intelligence (AI) practice educationDirector 
toggle toggle Memberships
Duration (YYYY - YYYY or Present)OrganizationPositionClassification
2011-PresentAmerican Medical Informatics Associationmember 
2008-PresentInternational Artificial Intelligence in Education Societymember 
2004-PresentAssociation for Computational Linguisticsmember 
1988-PresentAssociation for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligencemember 
1986-PresentAssociation of Computing Machinerymember 
1986-PresentInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineersmember 
toggle toggle Honors and Recognitions
YearTitleHonoring Organization
1993Innovative application of artificial intellegenceAAAI
1989U.S. patentUS PTO
1986Magna cum LaudeMinot State University
toggle toggle Professional Community Engagement
YearOrganizationRoleType of Service
2012Human Research and Engineering Directorate of Army Res. Lab and Advance Dist. Learning Center for ITS R&D in the Inst. for Intelligent Systems, Univ. of MemphisLearner Modeling Techniques Advisory Board memberAdvisory
2011-2013Joint Student response assessment (SemEval) and 8th RTEOrganizerOrganizer
2009-2010Question generationSteering committeeAdvisory
2008-2009Board of advisors: NSF DR K-12 proposalMemberAdvisory
2008Question generation shared task and evaluation challengeEvaluation team leadResearch
1992International ws of the AI practice at AccentureChairOrganized workshop
toggle toggle Biographical Sketch
Research Interests:
Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning, and Cognitive Science with an emphasis on Spoken-Dialogue Educational Health & Wellbeing Companion Robots, Educational Technology, Health & Biomedical Informatics, and End-User Software Engineering

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