Ron Cole's guest lecture on Intelligent Tutoring Systems, 6 Sept 2013

Lecture: Intelligent Tutoring Systems
Professor Ronald Cole
Friday 6 September 2013, at 13:20
Lea Pulkkinen’s hall, Agora Center, University of Jyväskylä

Professor Ronald Cole, director of Boulder Language Technologies Inc (, Boulder, Colorado, is a distinguished researcher within the field of spoken language technologies.  Ron, along with his software developer Eric Borts, will visit Agora Center at University of Jyväskylä on the 4-8th September. Currently, BLT is collaborating with prof Heikki Lyytinen’s research group at Agora Center in a project entitled: Global Cyber Tools for Improving Young Learners’ Reading Comprehension, Scientific Discourse and STEM Learning (GROMINDS). In this project the efficiency of GraphoGame developed in JYU will be studied in American-English and Spanish language environments in the United States, while the Finnish versions of Virtual Tutor –technology developed in BLT will be developed and tested in Jyväskylä.

The GROMINDS research project is part of Academy of Finland’s and National Science Foundation’s (US) joint funding program entitled Science Across Virtual Institutes.

For more information, contact
Jarkko Hautala
+358 50 589 5302
Agora Center
University of Jyväskylä

More about the speaker:
Ronald Cole ( received his undergraduate degree in experimental psychology from the University of Rochester in 1967 and his PhD in psychology in 1971 from the University of California Riverside. He worked first at the University of Waterloo between 1970 and 1975 and in the psychology department at Carnegie Mellon University between 1975 and-1980. In 1980, Ron moved to the computer science department at CMU to work with Raj Reddy and the CMU speech group developing speech recognition systems. In 1988, he moved to the Oregon Graduate Institute where he established the Center for Spoken Language Understanding . While at CSLU, he obtained funding for and managed development of the CSLU Toolkit and over 20 different speech corpora ; these resources have been distributed worldwide to support research and development of human language technologies. In 1998, Ron moved to the University of Colorado Boulder where he established the Center for Spoken Language Research with Dr. Wayne Ward. Research at CSLR led to state of the art spoken dialog systems, the SONIC speech recognizer, the CU Animate character animation system, and over a dozen projects that produced virtual tutors and therapist that incorporate these technologies. Summaries of these systems can be found here:

Ron has published approximately 60 articles in peer-review journals and 150 papers in archived conference proceedings. He is the recipient of over $40 million in individual investigator awards from the NSF, NIH and IES. For the past 15 years he has led research projects that aim to create a new generation of learning tools that feature conversational interaction with virtual teachers and therapists. His work using a virtual tutor to facilitate vocabulary learning by children with profound hearing loss at an oral deaf school was featured on ABC TV’s Prime Time and the U.S. National Science Foundation’s home page. In 2007, after 37 years as an academic, Ron left the University of Colorado to work at Boulder Language Technologies and Mentor Interactive Inc., two companies founded by Ron and Wayne Ward, with the goal of developing accessible and affordable tutoring and therapy programs for use by the general public. Ron is currently chief scientist at Mentor Interactive ( and President of Boulder Language Technologies.

Boulder Language Technologie’s website:

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