Sidney D’Mello is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Cognitive Science and the Department of Computer Science at the University of Colorado Boulder (since July 1, 2017). He was previously an Assistant (2012 to 2015) and Associate (2015 to 2017) Professor in the departments of Psychology and Computer Science at the University of Notre Dame

D'Mello's research is at the intersection of the cognitive, affective, computing, and learning sciences. Specific interests include affective computing, attentional computing, intelligent learning environments, speech and language processing, human-computer interaction and computational models of cognition. 


  • Accepting PhD student applications for Fall 2020: I am accepting PhD student applications for Fall 2020 (deadline is December 15, 2019 - details here). I strongly recommend that you read about our research and current projects and send me a note about your interests and fit before you apply or alongside your application. Also check out the Cognitive Science combined PhD option.

  • New paper: Beyond dyadic coordination: Multimodal behavioral irregularity in triads predicts facets of collaborative problem solving in Cognitive Science  [PDF]

  • New paper: A Commentary on Construct Validity when using Operational Virtual Learning Environment Data in Effectiveness Studies in the Journal of Educational Effectiveness  [PDF]

  • New paper: Differentiating Higher and Lower Job Performers in the Workplace Using Mobile Sensing in IMWUT (Ubicomp 2019)  [PDF]

  • New paper: Automatic Detection of Mind Wandering from Video in the Lab and in the Classroom in IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing  [PDF]

His team conducts basic research on affective and cognitive states (e.g., confusion, boredom, mind wandering) during complex learning and problem solving, develops real-time computational models of these states, and integrates the models in learning environments that intelligently respond to learner mental states. 

This research uses a range of techniques such as eye tracking, speech recognition, physiological sensing, computer vision, nonlinear time series analyses, discourse modeling, and machine learning. The interaction contexts include intelligent tutoring, educational games, collaborative problem solving, classroom discourse, text, scene, and film comprehension, and everyday life. Data is collected in the lab, online, in schools, and the workplace.

D'Mello has co-edited seven books and has published over 250 journal papers, book chapters, and conference proceedings in these areas. He is an associate editor for IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, the International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, and PLoS ONEand formerly for IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing and IEEE Access. He serves on the editorial boards of the User Modeling & User-Adapted Interaction and Discourse Processes. D'Mello also serves on the executive board of the International Artificial Intelligence in Education Society, the International Educational Data Mining Society, and the Association for the Advancement of Affective Computing.

Download CV here