2021-06-08 :: Ronald Chun Hua Tsai receives best paper award at ACM Learning at Scale 2022
Ronald Chun Hua Tsai received ACM Learning at Scale 2022 Best Paper award as a part of a larger team for the paper "Picturing One's Self: Camera Use in Zoom Classes during the COVID-19 Pandemic". Find the paper here.
2021-06-23 :: PAWS team receives Best Demo Award at ACM RecSys 2021
PAWS team including Behnam Rahdari, Alireza Javadian Sabet, and Peter Brusilovsky receives ACM RecSys 2021 Best Demo Award for "Connecting Students with Research Advisors Through User-Controlled Recommendation". Check the paper and the demo itself here.
2021-06-23 :: Kamil Akhuseyinoglu and Peter Brusilovsky win best paper award at UMAP 2021
PAWS paper by Kamil Akhuseyinoglu and Peter Brusilovsky "Data-Driven Modeling of Learners’ Individual Differences for Predicting Engagement and Success in Online Learning", wins best paper award at UMAP 20201 conference! The paper uses a sequence-based "genome" approach for user modeling developed earlier in the lab. Find the paper here.
2021-05-08 :: Chun-Hua Tsai joins UN Omaha as Assistant Professor
PAWS congratulates Chun-Hua Tsai who will be joining the College of Information Science & Technology at the University of Nebraska Omaha as a tenure-track assistant professor in Fall 2021.
2021-05-06 :: Sherry Sahebi receives NSF CAREER award
Sherry Sahebi, a PAWS alumna and an assistant professor at the University of Albany received NSF CAREER award to work on Time-Aware Multi-Objective Recommendation in Online Learning Environments. Learn more at SCI News
2021-02-21 :: Rosta Farzan appointed Associate Dean for diversity, equity and inclusion at the School of Computing and Information
Rosta Farzan, an associate professor in the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Computing and Information, is appointed Associate Dean for diversity, equity and inclusion at the school. Learn more at SCI News
2019-08-25 :: Chun-Hua Tsai defends his PhD Thesis and joins Penn State as Assistant Research Professor
Congratulations! Chun-Hua successfully defends his thesis "Controllability and explainability in a hybrid social recommender system" on 8/22/2019 and joins the College of Information Science and Technology at Penn State. PAWS Lab wishes you well in your new role!
2019-06-25 :: Hung Chau wins the Best Paper award at the ACM, Association for Computing Machinery Learning at Scale Conference!
2019-03-04 :: Peter Brusilovsky is awarded AMiner Most Influential Scholar Award "in recognition of his outstanding and vibrant contributions to the field of Recommender System"
2018-08-13 :: Two PAWS graduates' papers were short-listed for the best paper award at EC-TEL 2018.
Paper titled Learning by Reviewing Paper-based Programming Assessments co-authored by Sharon Hsiao and paper titled Detection of Student Modelling Anomalies by Sergey Sosnovsky short-listed for the best paper award at EC-TEL 2018 . Congratulations to PAWS alumni Sharon and Sergey for having nominations for best paper award. Your contribution is an inspiration for current PAWS students...
2018-07-31 :: Peter Brusilovsky awarded NSF grant under the program Cyberlearn And Future Learn Tech.
Congratulations Peter Brusilovsky for NSF Award for Project: Collaborative Research: CSEdPad: Investigating and Scaffolding Students' Mental Models during Computer Programming Tasks to Improve Learning, Engagement, and Retention. See more at SCI News or check Award Abstract.
2018-07-24 :: Roya Hosseini defended her Ph. D. Thesis
Roya Hosseini defended her Ph. D. Thesis: Program Construction Examples in Computer Science Education: From Static Text to Adaptive and Engaging Learning Technology.
2018-07-05 :: Yun Huang defended her Ph. D. Thesis
Yun Huang defended her Ph. D. Thesis titled Learner Modeling for Integration Skills in Programming.
2018-03-08 :: PAWS Lab scores thrice at IUI 2018
PAWS Lab took almost the whole podium at IUI 2018 award ceremony. Hyman Tsai receives an honorable mention for the best student paper award. Denis Parra with now his own advisee Ivania Donoso also got an honorable mention. And finally, our recent visitor Cecilia di Sciascio did win the best student paper award for a paper "A Study on User-Controllable Social Exploratory Search" with Peter Brusilovsky and Eduardo Veas. See more at SCI News.
2017-10-24 :: Julio Guerra defended his Ph. D. Thesis
Julio Guerra defended his Ph. D. Thesis: Open Learner Models for Self-Regulated Learning: Exploring the Effects of Social Comparison and Granularity.
2017-08-17 :: Danielle H. Lee moves to Sangmyung University as an assistant professor
Dr. Danielle H. Lee has joined Sangmyung University (Korea) as an assistant professor at the Department of Software on August 17, 2017. Previously, Danielle was an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington, Bothel.
2017-07-11 :: Two PAWS papers were nominated and one received Best Paper Awards at UMAP 2017
Two papers - Stereotype Modeling for Problem-Solving Performance Predictions in MOOCs and Traditional Courses and Fine-Grained Open Learner Models: Complexity Versus Support were nominated for the best paper award at UMAP2017 – 25th Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization. The second paper lead by Julio Guerra and Jordan Barria-Pineda received James Chen Best Student Paper award. Congratulations to Julio and Jordan who now joined former PAWS lab members Rosta Farzan, Michael Yudelson's, and Denis Parra as recipients of this prestigious award. This is 6th James Chen award won by PAWS lab members! Rosta Farzan received this award twice as a student and once more as a senior co-author.
2017-02-21 :: Peter Brusilovsky received the 2017 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring
Congratulations to our mentor at PAWS, Dr. Peter Brusilovsky, on receiving the 2017 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring! Read more on University Times
2016-11-23 :: Sergey Sosnovsky moves to Utrecht University as a tenure-track professor
Dr. Sergey Sosnovsky has joined the Department of Information and Computing Sciences at Utrecht University (the Netherlands). The tenure-track position in computer science with the focus on educational technology started on November 1st, 2016.
2016-08-15 :: Maria Harrington moves to University of Central Florida as an Assistant Professor
Dr. Maria Harrington has joined University of Central Florida as an Assistant Professor at the School of Visual Arts and Design. This is a great place to continue her work on educational virtual reality.
2016-07-21 :: Shaghayegh (Sherry) Sahebi defended her Ph. D. Thesis
Shaghayegh (Sherry) Sahebi defended her Ph. D. Thesis: 'Canonical Correlation Analysis in Cross-Domain Recommendation'. More details on the thesis can be accessed here. She will join the University of Albany as an Assistant Professor in September 2016.
2016-05-13 :: Dr. Peter Brusilovsky and Rosta Farzan are on new Association for Computing Machinery journal’s editorial board
Two SIS faculty members on new Association for Computing Machinery journal’s editorial board.
Peter Brusilovsky, professor and current chair of the Information Sciences program, and Rosta Farzan, assistant professor of Information Sciences & Technology, have been selected as associate editors of the Association for Computing Machinery’s (ACM) new journal titled “Transactions on Social Computing.”
This quarterly journal will publish works encompassing theoretical, empirical, systems, and design research on social computing. It will be part of the ACM Digital Library, which is the most comprehensive collection of full-text articles and bibliographic records covering the fields of computing and information technology.
2016-03-04 :: Congratulations to Yun Hung and Roya Hosseini for receiving Andrew Mellon Pre-doctoral Fellowship
Yun Huang and Roya Hosseini received prestigious Andrew Mellon Pre-doctoral Fellowship Award for the academic year 2016-2017.
2016-02-23 :: Dr. Ioanna Lykourentzou gave a talk on the topic of "Personalized Crowdsourcing"
Dr. Lykourentzou illustrated the potential that personalization has for the improvement of crowdsourcing systems, through two example applications. The first application was about making personalized task recommendations to crowd workers, and the second application was about personalizing team building, i.e. a method that brings people to work together on a collaborating task taking into account their individual personalities.
At the time, Dr. Ioanna Lykourentzou was a researcher at the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology and was collaborating with the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, as Visiting Researcher.
2015-08-15 :: Peter Brusilovsky and Daqing He awarded NSF grant to work on Open Corpus Personalized Learning
Peter Brusilovsky and Daqing He (project lead and co-lead respectively) has been awarded a Nation Science Foundation Information and Intelligent Systems grant for their project titled “Open Corpus Personalized Learning.” The project will focus on streamlining and expanding the reach of effective adaptive educational hypermedia, which allows students and independent learners without access to traditional classrooms to gain a personalized education.
2015-04-15 :: Chirayu Wongchokprasitti defended his Ph. D. Thesis: 'Using External Sources To Improve Research Talk Recommendation In Small Communities'.
More details on the thesis can be accessed here.
2014-11-11 :: Dr. Denis Parra won the contest for an invited talk at the "Chilean Computing Conference 2014".
Dr. Denis Parra won the contest for an invited talk at the "Chilean Computing Conference 2014", and presented his research on Recommender Systems. Please find the slides here. The abstract of the talk is also available at the home page of the event, JCC 2014. (more).
2014-09-19 :: PAWS won the best paper award at the 9th European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning (EC-TEL 2014).
Congratulations to Tomek, Julio, Roya, and Peter! Their paper entitled "Mastery Grids: An Open Source Social Educational Progress Visualization" has won the best paper award of EC-TEL 2014 conference. More details on the paper can be accessed here.
2014-05-06 :: Sharon Hsiao is appointed as Assistant Professor in CIDSE @ ASU this Fall.
On completing 2 years successful post-doctoral innovation fellow position in EdLab, Teachers College @ Columbia University, Sharon is moving onto a tenure-track position in School of Computing, Informatics, Decision Systems Engineering (AKA: Engineering school) in Arizona State University, Phoenix, Arizona. She anticipates to continue working on the emerging topics of computational technologies in learning. Meanwhile, persistently dedicate to the course - Data Visualization, which she established in QMSS (Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences), School of Arts & Sciences in Columbia University. For more details see SIS news.
2014-03-01 :: Peter Brusilovsky to deliver a keynote at a WWW 2014 workshop.
Peter will deliver a keynote titled "Addictive Links: Engaging Students through Adaptive Navigation Support and Open Social Student Modeling" at WebET 2014 - Workshop on Web-based Education Technologies at the Word Wide Web Conference in Seoul, Korea. The talk will present PAWS work on such systems as QuizGuide, NavEx, JavaGuide, Progressor, and Progressor+.
2014-03-13 :: Yi-Ling(Jennifer) Lin started her new position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Information Management at the National Sun Yat-Sen University in Taiwan.
Yi-Ling (Jennifer) joined the Information Management faculty at the National Sun Yat-Sen University  where she is an Assistant Professor. She is teaching Java course and continues to cooperate with Paws Lab to explore the social comparison in cyberlearning.
2013-08-13 :: Denis Parra started a new position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.
Denis joined the faculty at the School of Engineering in Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, ranked 2nd among Latinamerican Universities, where he is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Computer Science. At the undergraduate level, he is teaching a course that explores several topics for the major in Computer Science, and at the graduate level he teaches Data Mining in the Master for Information Processing and Management. He continues doing research on Recommender Systems, the topic he investigated while a student at the PAWS lab, and is also Analyzing Social Media, collaborating with PAWS lab student Xidao Wen, studying how Twitter is used in academic Conferences. In addition, he is fostering collaboration between professor Brusilovsky and some areas of teaching such as Databases in the CS department at Catholic University.
2013-07-18 :: KnowledgeZoom paper receives ICALT 2013 Best full Paper Award
Congratulations to paws! "KnowledgeZoom for Java: A Concept Based Exam Study Tool with a Zoomable Open Student Model" won the best full paper award of ICALT 2013 conference.
2013-07-09 :: Mohammad Falakmasir won EDM 2013 Best Student Paper
Congratulations to Mohammad! His paper with Zachary A. Pardos, Geoffrey J. Gordon, and Peter Brusilovsky entitled "A Spectral Learning Approach to Knowledge Tracing" won the best student paper award of EDM 2013 conference. In his paper, he proposed using Spectral Learning (SL) to learn the BKT parameters. Results of his study showed that SL can improve knowledge tracing parameter fitting time significantly while maintaining the same prediction accuracy. For more details on his paper please refer to his article 
2013-06-12 :: Peter Brusilovsky selected as a Fulbright-Nokia Distinguished Chair.
Peter Brusilovsky, has been selected as a Fulbright-Nokia Distinguished Chair by the Fulbright Commission. With this Award Peter will spend 5 month in FInland collaborating with researchers from University of Helsinki, Aalto University, and Helsinki Institute of Information Technology. Read the news story on SIS Web site: 
Peter Brusilovsky, Professor at the iSchool, has been awarded a contract by the United States Army Contracting Command to participate in the Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Initiative. Brusilovsky’ s contract, for $623,005 over a three-year period, will support the project Adaptive Navigation Support and Open Social Learner Modeling for PAL that will focus on the architecture, algorithms, and interfaces for a Personal Assistant for Learning (PAL), one of the major endeavors undertaken by the ADL Initiative. Through a PAL, the Initiative will provide state of the art education and training -- using technology and innovative learning methodologies -- for workforce members in the Department of Defense and the federal government. Read the news story on SIS Web site: 
2013-04-01 :: Sergey Sosnovsky profiled in International Innovation
Sergey Sosnovsky, who earned his PhD in Information Science in 2012, was recently profiled in International Innovation Magazine about his work on eLearning systems research and tools. Sosnovsky is the Principal Researcher and Head of the Intelligent e-Learning Technology Lab at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence in Saarbruken, Germany. The article explored his work on the Intelligent Support for Authoring Semantic Learning Content project funded by the European Commission’s Community Research and Development Information Service. The magazine article (published March 2013) discussed how Sosnovsky’s project will enhance adaptive e-Learning by making it possible to develop smart instructional material for a broader audience of content authors. The article can be viewed at [] , beginning on page 71.
2013-01-01 :: Peter Brusilovsky appointed the Editor-In-Chief of IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies.
Peter is appointed the Editor-In-Chief of IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, a journal dedicated to advancing the state of the art in technology-enhanced learning. This quarterly publication covers leading edge research on topics such as educational software applications, online learning systems, and simulation systems for education and training. Read the news story on SIS Web site: 
2012-08-26 :: Rosta Farzan started her new position as an Assistant Professor at the School of Information Sciences.
Congratulations to Rosta! After 3 years as a postdoc at CMU, she is now back to Pitt as an Assistant Professor. During her first semester at SIS she is teaching IS2430 Social Computing course. Read the news story on SIS Web site: 
A large number of educational resources is now made available on the Web to support both regular classroom learning and online learning. However, the abundance of available content produced at least two problems: how to help students to find the most appropriate resources and how to engage them into using these resources and benefit from them. Personalized and social learning have been suggested as potential ways to address these problems.
This work attempts to combine the ideas of personalized and social learning by providing navigation support through an open social student modeling visualization. A series of classroom studies exploited the idea of the approach and revealed promising results, which demonstrated the personalized guidance and social visualization combined helped students to find the most relevant resources of parameterized self-assessment questions for Java programming. Thus, this dissertation extend the approach to a larger collection of learning objects for cross content navigation and verify its capability of supporting social visualization for personalized E-Learning.
The study results confirm that working with the non-mandatory system, students enhanced the learning quality in increasing their motivation and engagement. They successfully achieved better learning results. Meanwhile, incorporating a mixed collection of content in the open social student modeling visualizations effectively led the students to work at the right level of questions. Both strong and weak student worked with the appropriate levels of questions for their readiness accordingly and yielded a consistent performance across all three levels of complexities. Additionally, providing a more realistic content collection on the navigation supported open social student modeling visualizations results in a uniform performance in the group. The classroom study revealed a clear pattern of social guidance, where the stronger students left the traces for weaker ones to follow. The subjective evaluation confirms the design of the interface in terms of the content organization. Students’ positive responses also compliment the objective system usage data.
download it from here
2011-11-30 :: Sergey Sosnovsky Thesis Defence: Ontology-Based Open-Corpus Personalization for E-Learning
Conventional closed-corpus adaptive information systems control limited sets of documents in fixed subject domains and cannot provide access to the content outside the system. Such restrictions contradict the requirements of today, when most of the information systems are implemented in the open document space of WWW and are expected to operate on the open-corpus content. In order to maintain personalized access to open-corpus documents, an adaptive system should be able to model the documents and the relations between the documents and the domain knowledge automatically and dynamically. This dissertation explores the problem of open-corpus personalization and semantic modeling of open-corpus content in the context of e-Learning. Information on WWW is not without structure. Many collections of online instructional material (tutorials, electronic books, digital libraries, etc.) have been provided with implicit knowledge models encoded in form of tables of content, indexes, headers of chapters, links between pages, and different styles of text fragments. The main dissertation approach tries to leverage this layer of hidden semantics by extracting and representing it as coarse-grained models of collections. A central domain ontology is used to maintain overlay modeling of studentsÕ knowledge and serves as a reference point for multiple collections of external instructional material. In order to establish the link between the ontology and the open-corpus content models a special ontology mapping algorithm has been developed. The proposed approach has been applied in the Ontology-based Open-corpus Personalization Service (OOPS) that recommends and adaptively annotates online reading material. The domain of Java programming has been chosen for the proof-of-concept implementation. A controlled experiment has been organized to evaluate the developed adaptive system and the proposed approach overall. The results of the evaluation have demonstrated several significant learning effects of the implemented open-corpus personalization. The analysis of log-based data has also shown that the open-corpus version of the system is capable of providing personalization of similar quality to the close-corpus one. Such results indicate that the proposed approach supports fully-scale open-corpus personalization for e-Learning. Further research is required to verify if the approach remains effective in other subject domains and with other types of instructional content.
2011-07-15 :: Denis Parra earns a James Chen Best Student paper award in UMAP 2011
In the last conference of User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization (UMAP 2011) Denis Parra won one of the 2 James Chen Best Student paper awards for his paper Walk The Talk: Analyzing the relation between implicit and explicit feedback for preference elicitation that he co-authored with Dr. Xavier Amatriain. In this paper, the authors present a study on the music domain with last.fm users, which results leads them to create a regression model that maps implicit information (such as playcounts and how recently a user listened to albums) with explicit information in the form of ratings. More details in the conference proceedings in Springer. Denis is the third PAWS Lab member to receive this prestigious award. Prior to that, Rosta Farzan and Michael Yudelson won this award at earlier User Modeling conferences. Rosta also won another James Chen award at Adaptive Hypermedia conference.
2011-06-12 :: Peter Promoted to Rank of Full Professor
Congratulations to our head of PAWS lab! [Read more ]
2011-05-01 :: Sharon received 2011 Allen Kent Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Graduate Program in Information Science
She has worked with Dr. Glenn Ray several years in designing and teaching undergraduate courses. She's affiliated as teaching fellow and teaches in our school now.
2010-12-15 :: Peter received Google grant to work on Personalized Social Systems for Local Communities
The grant will support our efforts to increase user participation in social systems designed for local communities. In the course of the project will explore two innovative ideas for increasing participation. The first idea is to provide access to information “beyond the desktop,” by adding a mobile location-based interface to access information. This will increase both the number of active users and the volume of their contributions. The second idea is to provide personalized access to information to increase the chance to gather relevant information. This work will be based on two existing social systems that were developed and maintained by PAWs lab: the CoMeT system for sharing information about research talks at Carnegie Mellon and University of Pittsburgh and Eventur, a social system for recommending cultural events in the Pittsburgh area.
2010-09-17 :: Michael Yudelson's Thesis Defence: Providing Service-Based Personalization In An Adaptive Hypermedia System
The dissertation proposes a novel way of speeding the development of new adaptive hypermedia systems. The gist of the approach is to extract the adaptation functionality out of the adaptive hypermedia system, encapsulate it into a standalone system, and offer adaptation as a service to the client applications. Such a standalone adaptation provider reduces the development of adaptation functionality to configuration and compliance and as a result creates new adaptive systems faster and helps serve larger user populations with adaptively accessible content. [details] The electronic version of Michael Yudelson's dissertation has been approved by the School of Information Sciences. ETD is accessible worldwide from the online library catalog of the University of Pittsburgh (link).
2010-09-15 :: Peter Brusilovsky received NSF grant to work on Modeling and Visualization of Latent Communities
This EAGER grant will allow us to investigate how to model and visualize latent communities – those groups of people who form communities based on their similar interests. This work will consider how to elicit latent communities from various kinds of data about individuals available in the modern social Web and deliver the results in a manner suitable for interactive exploration through interactive visualizations. This will be one of the first attempts to use a variety of social Web data and approaches to community modeling. [details]
2010-09-08 :: Jae-wook's Thesis Defence: Adaptive Visualization for Focused Personalized Information Retrieval
Jae-wook Ahn's dissertation proposes to incorporate interactive visualization into personalized search in order to overcome the limitation. By combining the personalized search and the interactive visualization, we expect our approach will be able to help users to better explore the information space and locate relevant information more efficiently. [details]
This one-year grant will support a project exploring personalization and social networking for short-term communities. Using academic research conferences as a test bed, our team will explore new methods to leverage information about user interests (available from multiple external resources) and develop techniques to facilitate use of existing social technologies. [details]
2010-08-15 :: SIGWeb Newsletter published an interview with Peter Brusilovsky
The Summer 2010 issue of SIGWeb Newsletter (a magazine of ACM Special Interest Group on Hypertext and the Web) published an interview with Peter Brusilovsky. The interview provides some personal view on research project performed at PAWS.
2010-07-01 :: Jae-wook has received Computing Inovation Fellowship
Jae-wook Ahn was chosen as a CIFellow (Computing Innovation Fellow) supported by the Computing Community Consortium (CCC), the Computing Research Association (CRA), and the National Science Foundation. Starting from the fall 2010, he is going to work with Dr. Ben Shneiderman at the Human Computer Interaction Lab, University of Maryland.
2010-05-01 :: Sergey has received EU Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship
Sergey Sosnovsky's proposal for EU Marie Curie Fellowship is approved by the EU Research Executive Agency. The funding starts in July, 2010 and will last until July 2012. The project "Intelligent Support for Authoring Semantic Learning Content" will focus on implementation of author-friendly technologies for learning content development, including collaborative authoring support, metadata authoring support, open-corpus content discovery, interactivity authoring, and gap detection.
2009-06-27 :: Rosta receives her second James Chen Award
Rosta Farzan received James Chen Best Student Paper Award at the 12th International Conference on User Modelling, Adaptation and Personalization, UMAP2009, in Trento, Italy for the paper Social Navigation Support for Information Seeking: If You Build It, Will They Come? by Rosta Farzan and Peter Brusilovsky. This is her second James Chen Award, congratulations!
2009-06-26 :: PAWS Caught on UMAP 2009 Video
2009-05-28 :: Peter awarded honorary doctorate by the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava
At a ceremony in Bratislava today, Peter Brusilovsky was honored by the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava with the degree of Doctor honoris causa. The university, founded in 1937 in Bratislava, is one of the most significant institutions of higher education in Slovakia. Peter was selected for this recognition for "his contributions to the fields of Informatics and Information Technologies".
2008-07-31 :: Peter receives Best Paper Award at AH 2008
Peter Brusilovsky received Best Paper Award at the 5th International Conference on Adaptive Hypermedia and Adaptive Web-Based Systems, AH 2008, in Hannover, Germany for the paper Social Information Access for the Rest of Us: An Exploration of Social YouTube by Maurice Coyle, Jill Freyne, Peter Brusilovsky, and Barry Smyth
2007-06-28 :: Michael receives James Chen Best Student Paper Award at UM 2007
Michael Yudelson received James Chen Best Student Paper Award at the 11th International Conference on User Modelling, UM07, in Corfu, Greece for the paper A User Modeling Server for Contemporary Adaptive Hypermedia: an Evaluation of Push Approach to Evidence Propagation by Michael Yudelson, Peter Brusilovsky, and Vladimir Zadorozhny