Dr. Diane Litman is Professor of Computer Science, Senior Scientist with the Learning Research and Development Center, and Faculty in the Intelligent Systems Program, all at the University of Pittsburgh. She has been working in the field of artificial intelligence since she received her Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from the University of Rochester in 1986. Before joining Pitt, she was a member of the Artificial Intelligence Principles Research Department, AT&T Labs - Research (formerly Bell Laboratories).
Dr. Litman's research has included both fundamental research resulting in over 175 scholarly publications, as well as applied research resulting in both AI software licensing and 3 patents. Most of her research has been in the area of natural language processing, and for the last 10 years largely in the area of dialogue systems applied to artificial intelligence and education. Dialogue systems support real-time, typically goal-oriented interaction between humans and computers via (speech and) natural language, and are an important and exciting testbed for artificial intelligence research. They are also an essential interface of the future. Dr. Litman has collaborated on the development of dialogue systems in both traditional and new application areas, including tutoring, chat and database/web access. Her research contributions include both knowledge-based and data-driven methods for dialogue system design, and methods for experimental evaluation.
Papers co-authored with Dr. Litman's graduate and postdoctoral students have won and been nominated for best paper awards at the Annual Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics, the International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems, the International Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation, and Personalization, the Annual Meeting of the Special Interest Group on Discourse and Dialogue, and the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association. With colleagues at AT&T, Dr. Litman was also a recipient of the Speech Communication 2003-2004 best paper award. Dr. Litman has been invited to give keynote talks on her research at the 2006 Human Language Technology Conference / North American chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics Annual Meeting (NAACL-HLT), the 2006 SIGdial Meeting on Discourse and Dialogue, and at a 2008 Symposium of the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour (AISB). Her current laboratory is supported by a variety of federal (National Science Foundation, Department of Education, and Office of Naval Research) grants. Dr. Litman was also awarded a Visiting Professorship Award to the University of Edinburgh, funded by the Leverhulme Trust of the United Kingdom.
With respect to service, Dr. Litman's most significant service contribution has been as Chair of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics; she was twice elected for a total of 4 years as Chair, then served 2 more years as Past Chair. For the 2010-2011 academic year, Dr. Litman served as (elected) Director (i.e. Department Chair) of the Graduate Program in Intelligent Systems, which serves as a center at the University of Pittsburgh for advanced education and research in artificial intelligence. Finally, Dr. Litman has performed significant service for many AI technical organizations. She has been a member of the Executive Committee of the Association for Computational Linguistics, as well as a board member for several of its Special Interest Groups (Dialogue and Discourse, Natural Language Learning). She is also on the board of the International Speech Communication Association's Special Interest Group on Speech and Language Technology in Education. In addition, she has served as a member of the editorial boards of Computational Linguistics and User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction. Finally, Dr. Litman has served as chair, organizer, and (senior) member on numerous program and conference committees of numerous AI-related organizations.