Diane J. Litman

Department of Computer Science Learning Research & Development Ctr.
5105 Sennott Square 741 LRDC
210 South Bouquet Street 3939 O'Hara Street
University of Pittsburgh University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260 Pittsburgh, PA 15260
(phone) 412-624-8838 (phone) 412-624-1261
(fax) 412-624-8854 (fax) 412-624-9149

Faculty: Intelligent Systems Program (Co-Director 2010-present)
Director: Litman Lab


My research is in the area of artificial intelligence, and includes contributions in the areas of artificial intelligence and education, computational linguistics, knowledge representation and reasoning, natural language learning, spoken language, and user modeling. My work has included both fundamental research and applied research resulting in technology transfer and patents.

My most recent research has been in the area of Speech and Natural Language Technology for Educational Applications. Currently funded projects include:

  • (ArgumentPeer) Teaching Writing and Argumentation with AI-Supported Diagramming and Peer Review
  • Peer Review Search & Analytics in MOOCs via Natural Language Processing
  • (CourseMIRROR) Improving Undergraduate STEM Education by Integrating Natural Language Processing with Mobile Technologies
  • (Teams) Entrainment and Task Success in Team Conversations
  • (ArgRewrite) Computational Models of Essay Rewritings
  • Using Natural Language Processing to Study the Role of Specificity and Evidence Type in Text Based Classroom Discussions
  • (RTA) Response-to-Text Tasks to Assess Students' Use of Evidence and Organization in Writing: Using Natural Language Processing for Scoring Writing and Providing Feedback At-Scale


  • 2003-present (also available via Google Scholar, Semantic Scholar)

    Dissertations Supervised

  • Hua Ai, Intelligent Systems, PhD 2009: User Simulation for Spoken Dialog System Develpment (now Consultant, Slalom Consulting)
  • Min Chi, Intelligent Systems, PhD 2009: Do Micro-Level Tutorial Decisions Matter: Applying Reinforcement Learning To Induce Pedagogical Tutorial Tactics (now Assistant Professor, NC State University)
  • Michael Lipschultz, Computer Science, Phd 2015: Adapting the Scheduling of Illustrations and Graphs to Learners in Conceptual Physics Tutoring (now Software Engineer, IBM)
  • Wencan Luo, Computer Science, PhD expected 2017: Automatic Summarization for Student Reflective Responses
  • Huy Nguyen, Computer Science, PhD expected 2017: Context-aware Argument mining and Its Application in Education
  • Mihai Rotaru, Computer Science, PhD 2008: Applications of Discourse Structure for Spoken Dialogue Systems (now Head of Research and Development, Textkernel)
  • Arthur Ward, Intelligent Systems, PhD 2010: Reflection and Learning Robustness in a Natural Language Conceptual Physics Tutoring System
  • Wenting Xiong, Computer Science, PhD 2015: Helpfulness-Guided Review Summarization (now Research Staff Member, IBM)
  • Fan Zhang, Computer Science, PhD expected 2017: Supporting Revision Assistance for Peer Review of Argumentative Writings
  • Recent News

  • November 2016: Invited panelist at AI XPRIZE + Pittsburgh's AI Experts
  • November 2016: Teams Corpus (multi-party and multi-modal dialogue entrainment) is now available for scientific purposes (download)
  • November 2016: Invited speaker at NSF-supported EMNLP workshop on Uphill Battles in Language Processing: Scaling Early Achievements to Robust Methods
  • Fall 2015: Shaw Visiting professor, Computer Science Department, National University of Singapore
  • August 2015: Elected to 3 year term as Councilor, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence
  • August 2015: Summarizing Student Reflection Corpus is now available for scientific purposes (download)
  • January-April 2015: Derek Brewer Visiting Fellow, Emmanuel College, Cambridge University
  • December 2014: Michael Lipschultz defends his dissertation!
  • September 2014: ISCA Best Paper Published in Speech Communication (2011-2013) for "Benefits and challenges of real-time uncertainty detection and adaptation in a spoken dialogue computer tutor" (with K. Forbes-Riley)
  • September 2014: Keynote Speaker, Fifth International Conference on Computational Models of Argument
  • August 2014: Wenting Xiong defends her dissertation!
  • May 2014: Royal Academy of Engineering Distinguished Visiting Fellowship Award
  • May 2014: Invited Speaker, Computational Linguistics and Educational Technology
  • Winter 2014: Google Faculty Research Award (Natural Language Processing) (Pitt Chronicle listing)
  • Archived News


  • CS 0441: Discrete Structures for Computer Science (Spring 2005, Fall 2006, Spring 2007, Spring 2010)
  • CS 1571: Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (Fall 2008)
  • CS 1573: Artificial Intelligence Application Development (Spring 2003, 2004)
  • CS 1590: Social Implications of Computing Technology (Spring 2012, 2013)
  • CS 2001: Research Topics in Computer Science (Fall 2014)
  • CS 2710 / ISSP 2160: Foundations of Artificial Intelligence (Fall 2006, 2009, 2010)
  • CS 2731 / ISSP 2230: Introduction to Natural Language Processing (Fall 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2011, 2013; Spring 2017)
  • CS 3710 / ISSP 3565: Advanced Topics in Artificial Intelligence (Dialog Systems) (Spring 2002)
  • CS 3710 / ISSP 3565: Advanced Topics in Artificial Intelligence (Affective Spoken Dialogue Systems) (Spring 2006)
  • CS 3710 / ISSP 3565: Advanced Topics in Artificial Intelligence (Speech and Natural Language Processing for Educational Applications) (Spring 2009)
  • CS 3710 / ISSP 3565: Advanced Topics in Artificial Intelligence (Natural Language Processing for Extracting Social and Interactional Meaning) (Fall 2012)

    Editorial Positions

  • Associate Editor, International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research
  • Editorial Board, Argument and Computation
  • 2017 Activities

  • Organizing Committee, SIGDIAL/SEMDIAL Special Session on Negotiation Dialog
  • Organizing Committee, 4th Workshop on Argument Mining (EMNLP Workshop)
  • Program Committee, Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
  • Program Committee, Thirty-First AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (Senior Member Track)
  • Program Committee, Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)
  • Program Committee, 13th Workshop on Innovative Use of NLP for Building Educational Applications (EMNLP Workshop)
  • Program Committee, International Workshop on Spoken Dialogue Systems Technology
  • Advisory Committee, Young Researchers' Roundtable on Spoken Dialog Systems
  • Brief Biography

    I am Professor of Computer Science, and a Senior Scientist with the Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC), at the University of Pittsburgh. I moved here from the Garden State (aka New Jersey), where from 1985-2001 I was a member of the Artificial Intelligence Principles Research Department, AT&T Labs - Research (formerly Bell Laboratories); From 1990-1992, I was also an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University. I received my Ph.D. and M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Rochester, and my A.B. in Mathematics and Computer Science from the College of William and Mary in Virginia. Here are my informal and more formal versions of my academic geneology.


  • American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI)
  • Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) (also SIGDIAL, SIGGEN, SIGNLL)
  • International Artificial Intelligence in Education Society (AIED)
  • International Speech Communication Association (ISCA)
  • Provost's Advisory Committee on Women's Concerns at the University of Pittsburgh (2002-2005)
  • American Daffodil Society
    July 2016
    litman at cs dot pitt dot edu