About me

I'm an Associate Professor (Reader) at the School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences (MACS) at Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh. 
I am part of the Interaction Lab.

My main research is on Spoken Dialogue Systems, especially interactive Natural Language Generation. I have also worked on topics in Computational Sustainability, e.g. spatial planning.

Book published!

NEWS: I've completed my sabbatical at Nuance Communications, Research Lab.

Current research projects:

  1. Coordinator: DILiGENt - Domain-Independent Language Generation (EPSRC, EP/M005429/1, 2015-2017) with UCL.
  2. Principal Investigator: GUI project - "Generation for Uncertain Information", (EPSRC, EP/L026775/1, 2014-2015)
  3. Principal Investigator: SpeechCity -  EPSRC Impact Acceleration Award: Spatial Navigation and Spoken Interaction (EPSRC, 2013-2014).
  4. Co-Investigator: Strategic Conversation - ERC advanced grant held by Nicholas Asher (ERC, 2011-2016).
  5. Principal Investigator: ATME project - Summarising sensor data for medical emergencies (Royal Society, 2013-2014).
  6. Principal Investigator: QAA Student Enhancement fund to implement technology enhanced learning principles in Computer Science courses (QAA, 2014-2015)


  1. Hiring!
  2. Dimitra Gkatzia (RA on EPSRC GUI project): Data2Text generation.
  3. Eshrag Refaee (PhD student since 2012): Sentiment Analysis for Arabic Tweets.
  4. Wenshuo Tang (PhD student since 2013): POMDPs for Strategic Interaction.
  5. Marta Vallejo (PhD student since 2011): Optimisation for Urban Planning.
  6. Amanda Curry (Interconnect summer intern, Honours student 2014/15): NLG for uncertain data.
  7. Graeme Reid: student assistant on QAA Teaching Enhancement grant.
  • Nina Dethlefs (RA on SICSA fund): Data-driven Natural Langauge Generation. Now: Lecturer at the University of Hull.
  • Andy Taylor (RA on EPSRC Acceleration Award): Open data for conversational agents.
  • Yanchao Yu (RA on EPSRC Acceleration Award): Open data for conversational agents. Now: PhD at MACS.
  • Callum Main (MSc in AI 2014): Deep Learning for State Tracking.
  • Aimilios Vourliotakis (MSc in AI 2014): Adversarial Modelling. Now PhD student in the ESSENCE Marie Curie Training Network.
  • Nida Farooqi (MSc in Software Engineering 2014): Mobile Game Environments.
  • Syxtus Gaál (MSc 2009): Reinforcement Learning for the GIVE challenge. Now: Hewlett-Packard.

Past projects:

  • CLASSiC Project: Computational Learning in Adaptive Systems for Spoken Conversation, EC FP7, 2008-2011.
  • TALK Project: Talk and Look - Tools for Ambient Linguistic Knowledge, EC FP6, 2004-2006.
  • CLIMSAVE Project: Climate Change Impacts, vulnerability and adaptation. EC FP7, 2010-11.
  • Sustainable Gaming, Royal Society, 2012.


  • RSJ Guest Editor I'm guest editor at RSJ Advanced Robotics Special Edition on Spatial Interaction.
    Posted 9 Nov 2015, 12:51 by Verena Rieser
  • WeatherGame publicity The GUI WeatherGame is featured by the MetOffice blog and tweeted about by D. Spiegelhalter!
    Posted 18 Oct 2015, 08:51 by Verena Rieser
  • Reviewing I'm reviewing for NAACL'16 , ACL'16 and LREC'16.
    Posted 9 Nov 2015, 12:05 by Verena Rieser
  • GUI project @Zoo. The WeatherGame at European Researcher's Night Edinburgh Zoo.
    Posted 25 Sep 2015, 09:54 by Verena Rieser
  • Hiring! See here for more details and how to apply.
    Posted 24 Sep 2015, 03:16 by Verena Rieser
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