Research Scientist and Lead Engineer at MARi (previously called CarneyLabs). On the research side, I worked on conversational agents whose roles were to either assist users with various instructional tasks for a more effective learning experience; provide access to a knowledge of concepts and relations though simple natural language queries; or support question guided conversations to learn more about the users' needs and abilities. On the engineering side, I worked across the complete spectrum of web development tasks, ranging from: setting up the cloud infrastructure; architect new database models, tighten up security on data and inter-server communication; to front-end and hybrid mobile development using React, AngularJS, SCSS and HTML5. I also worked a bit on an iOS prototype app, built fully in Swift and based on Apple's CoreGraphics framework.
I received my PhD in Computer Science from University of Memphis in 2011 where I was a Research Graduate Assistant at the Institute of Intelligent Systems. My graduate research work focused on solving various natural language processing tasks and building conversation-based, intelligent tutoring systems, that can assist and improve students' learning experience. As a direct product of my graduate work, I built SEMILAR, available at www.semanticsimilarity.org, a UI tool and library for computing semantic similarity between texts. After graduation I continued my research work at University of Memphis for one more year as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, while I worked on DeepTutor, with my adviser - Dr. Vasile Rus - and his team, to research and develop a dialogue based tutoring system for teaching conceptual physics to high school students.
In the summer of 2010 I was an intern at SRI International, working on the HALO Project to build a system that automatically generates natural language questions from maps of semantic concepts.
Before Memphis, I was a Software Engineer for 3 years at SoftVision Inc, where I gained much experience in developing massive database related applications, creating apps for various handheld devices and web based frameworks. For 8 months I was also involved in a project for an online data-backup solution, where my team built a Max OS version of the initial Windows-based client app.
My main research interests are in Natural Language Processing (NLP), with focused applicability on educational technologies such as intelligent tutoring systems. I am particularly interested in measuring semantic similarity between texts, representing knowledge through relational diagrams of concepts, automatic generation of questions, and using various machine learning techniques to solve other complex NLP problems.