About me

I'm an assistant professor 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 Natural Language Generation. I have also worked on topics in Computational Sustainability, e.g. spatial planning.

Book published!

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

Current projects:

  1. GUI project (EPSRC, 2014-2015): "Generation for Uncertain Information", EPSRC First Grant 
  2. SpeechCity (EPSRC, 2013-2014):  EPSRC Impact Acceleration Award: Spatial Navigation and Spoken Interaction, main PI.
  3. Strategic Conversation (ERC, 2011-2016): ERC grant held by Nicholas Asher
  4. ATME project (Royal Soc., 2013-2014): Summarising sensor data for medical emergencies, Royal Society, main PI.


  1. Andy Taylor (RA on EPSRC Acceleration Award): Open data for conversational agents.
  2. Eshrag Refaee (PhD student since 2012): Sentiment Analysis for Arabic Tweets.
  3. Wenshuo Tang (PhD student since 2013): POMDPs for Strategic Interaction.
  4. Marta Vallejo (PhD student since 2011): Optimisation for Urban Planning.
  5. Dimitra Gatzia (RSE project student): Generating descriptions from medical sensor data.
  6. Amanda Curry (Interconnect summer intern): NLG for uncertain data.
  7. Callum Main (MSc in AI 2014): Deep Learning for State Tracking in Spoken Dialogue Systems.
  8. Aimilios Vourliotakis (MSc in AI 2014): Detecting Deception in Strategic Dialogue.
  9. Nida Farooqi (MSc in Software Engineering): Mobile Multimodal Interfaces for Complex Game Environments.
  • Syxtus Gaál (MSc 2009); 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.

Also see my page on 


  • RSE Young Academy I am a new member of the Royal Society Edinburgh Young Academy.
    Posted 8 Jul 2014 11:59 by Verena Rieser
  • Arabic Twitter Corpus released Manually annotated for Subjectivity and Sentiment. Available from ELRA. Please cite (Refaee & Rieser, 2014)
    Posted 23 Jun 2014 11:09 by Verena Rieser
  • EPSRC First Grant funded GUI project - "Generation for Uncertain Information" got funded under the EPSRC First Grant scheme.
    Posted 24 Apr 2014 13:23 by Verena Rieser
  • Deep Learning workshop My MSc student Callum Main will present his work on "Deep Learning for State Tracking in Spoken Dialogue Systems" at the Deep Learning workshop.
    Posted 9 Apr 2014 02:27 by Verena Rieser
  • PhD scholarships Two places for multimodal interaction.
    Posted 28 Feb 2014 04:36 by Verena Rieser
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