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 and the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics .
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!

Current research projects (as PI):

  1. MaDrIgAL - MultiDimensional Interaction management and Adaptive Learning (EPSRC, EP/N017536/1, 2016-2018)
  2. DILiGENt - Domain-Independent Language Generation (EPSRC, EP/M005429/1, 2015-2018).
  3. DataLab - Collaborative Innovation project with EmoTech (2016-2017)


  1. Jekaterina Novikova (RA)
  2.  Ondrej Dusek (RA)
  3. Simon Keizer (Co-I)
  4. Xinkun Liu (RA)
  5. Wenshuo Tang (PhD student)
  6. Amanda Curry (PhD student)
  7. Xinnuo Xu (PhD student)
Past research projects as PI:
  1. GUI project - "Generation for Uncertain Information", (EPSRC, EP/L026775/1, 2014-2015)
  2. SpeechCity -  EPSRC Impact Acceleration Award: Spatial Navigation and Spoken Interaction (EPSRC, 2013-2014).
  3. ATME project - Summarising sensor data for medical emergencies (Royal Society, 2013-2014).
  4. QAA Student Enhancement fund to implement technology enhanced learning principles in Computer Science courses (QAA, 2014-2015)
  1. Eshrag Refaee (PhD student, gradated 2016) Sentiment Analysis for Arabic Tweets. Now: Assistant lecturer at Jazan University.
  2. Dimitra Gkatzia (RA on EPSRC GUI project): Data2Text generation. Now: Lecturer at Edinburg Napier Uni.
  3. Nina Dethlefs (RA on SICSA fund): Data-driven Natural Language Generation. Now: Lecturer at the University of Hull.
  4. Marta Vallejo (PhD student): Optimisation in Urban Planning. Now: RA at Heriot-Watt.
  5. Andy Taylor (RA on EPSRC Acceleration Award): Open data for conversational agents.
  6. Yanchao Yu (RA on EPSRC Acceleration Award): Open data for conversational agents. Now: PhD at MACS.
  7. Callum Main (MSc in AI 2014): Deep Learning for State Tracking. Now: Good Apple Digital.
  8. Aimilios Vourliotakis (MSc in AI 2014): Adversarial Modelling. Now: PhD student in the ESSENCE Marie Curie Training Network.
  9. Nida Farooqi (MSc in Software Engineering 2014): Mobile Game Environments.
  10. Syxtus Gaál (MSc 2009): Reinforcement Learning for the GIVE challenge. Now: Hewlett-Packard.

Past projects I was involved in:

  • 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.


  • DSTC6 I am on the steering committee for DSTC6.
    Posted 20 Jan 2017, 02:06 by Verena Rieser
  • Area Chair for ACL'17 I am an area chair for NLG @ACL2017.
    Posted 23 Dec 2016, 12:22 by Verena Rieser
  • SICSA AI conference Our slides are here.
    Posted 23 Dec 2016, 12:20 by Verena Rieser
  • MACS Xmas conference Speaking as the CS invited speaker.
    Posted 28 Nov 2016, 04:32 by Verena Rieser
  • Alexa Challenge Our team was chosen to enter the Alexa prize challenge.
    Posted 14 Nov 2016, 06:02 by Verena Rieser
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