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!

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

Current research projects:

  1. Principal Investigator: MaDrIgAL - MultiDimensional Interaction management and Adaptive Learning (EPSRC, EP/N017536/1, 2016-2018)
  2. Principal Investigator: DILiGENt - Domain-Independent Language Generation (EPSRC, EP/M005429/1, 2015-2017).
  3. Principal Investigator: GUI project - "Generation for Uncertain Information", (EPSRC, EP/L026775/1, 2014-2015)
  4. Principal Investigator: SpeechCity -  EPSRC Impact Acceleration Award: Spatial Navigation and Spoken Interaction (EPSRC, 2013-2014).
  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. Jekaterina Novikova (RA on EPSRC Diligent project): Crowd-sourcing NLG data.
  2. Simon Keizer (Research Co-I on EPSRC Madrigal project): Domain-transfer for Spoken Dialogue Systems.
  3. Wenshuo Tang (PhD student since 2013): POMDPs for Strategic Interaction.
  4. Amanda Curry (PhD student since 2016): Evaluating NLG systems.
  5. Xinnuo Xu (PhD student since 2016): Deep Learning for conversational interfaces.
  • Eshrag Refaee (PhD student, gradated 2016) Sentiment Analysis for Arabic Tweets. Now: Assistant lecturer at Jazan University.
  • Dimitra Gkatzia (RA on EPSRC GUI project): Data2Text generation. Now: Lecturer at Edinburg Napier Uni.
  • Nina Dethlefs (RA on SICSA fund): Data-driven Natural Langauge Generation. Now: Lecturer at the University of Hull.
  • Marta Vallejo (PhD student): Optimisation in Urban Planning. Now: RA at Heriot-Watt.
  • 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. Now: Good Apple Digital.
  • 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.


  • EPSRC Peer Review College I am happy to be an invited member to the EPSRC Associate College.
    Posted 23 Sep 2016, 05:55 by Verena Rieser
  • INLG'16 proceedings are now online.
    Posted 5 Sep 2016, 03:51 by Verena Rieser
  • AcademiaNet I am now part of #AcademiaNet. Thanks for the nomination @RSE.
    Posted 26 Aug 2016, 05:44 by Verena Rieser
  • Understanding Uncertainty Read my blog entry here.
    Posted 15 Aug 2016, 04:18 by Verena Rieser
  • NAACL'16 Best Reviewer I am recognised as one of NAACL's best reviewers for this year.
    Posted 10 Jun 2016, 04:50 by Verena Rieser
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