D'Mello's 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.
His 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 learning contexts range from advanced learning technologies such as intelligent tutoring systems and educational games to simpler interfaces for reading, text-diagram integration, and writing. Data is collected in the lab, online, and in schools.
D'Mello has co-edited five books and has published over 180 journal papers, book chapters, and conference proceedings in these areas. He is an associate editor for IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, and IEEE Access. He serves on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education and Frontiers in Psychology and ICT (Information and Communications Technology) – Human Media Interaction Special Section. D'Mello also serves on the executive board of the International Artificial Intelligence in Education Society and the International Educational Data Mining Society.