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Kristy Boyer

Meet Kristy Boyer

Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science

Bio: Dr. Kristy Boyer

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at NC State University. I conduct research on intelligent systems that engage humans in rich natural language dialogue. I am particularly interested in how dialogue systems can help people learn.

Because computers are not inherently good at understanding or producing natural language, the goal of creating intelligent conversational agents presents a vast set of exciting challenges. I believe one of the most promising ways to address these challenges is to enable a computer to acquire its dialogue expertise from observing humans. To accomplish this, I create computational models of the cognitive, emotional, and social phenomena in human dialogue. I am particularly interested in exploring how to use these models to help humans learn. This research primarily involves artificial intelligence and computational linguistics, with emphasis on machine learning and data mining. It also features an interdisciplinary focus with computer science education and psychology.

In addition to my research, I am also actively involved with STARS (Students and Technology in Academics, Research, and Service), a project that aims to broaden participation in computing disciplines through core principles including technical excellence, community service, and local outreach. I am faculty advisor to the STARS Student Leadership Corps at NC State. I also serve on the steering committee of the STARS Alliance.

My work experience includes software development within the Operations Research department at Delta Air Lines. I have also taught mathematics and computer science as a full-time instructor at Valdosta State University. These experiences inspire me to advance the state of the art in dialogue systems with the goal of benefitting education and industry in our nation and around the world.

Honors & Awards

• National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship
• Best Student Paper Award (International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education, 2007)

Areas of Interest

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Computational linguistics
  • Intelligent turoring systems
  • Computer Science education
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