Director for Learning Science Research
Institute for Creative Technologies
Dr. Benjamin D. Nye is the Director of Learning Sciences at USC-ICT. Ben’s major research interest is to identify best-practices in advanced learning technology, particularly for frontiers such as distributed learning technologies (e.g., cloud-based, device-agnostic) and socially-situated learning (e.g., face-to-face mobile use). His research interests include modular intelligent tutoring system (ITS) designs, modeling social learning and memes, cognitive agents, and educational tools for the developing world and low-resource/low-income contexts. He received his Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 2011. In his recent work as a Research Professor at the University of Memphis, Ben led work on the Shareable Knowledge Objects (SKO) framework integrating ITS services such as AutoTutor for the ONR ITS Grand Challenge, helped data mine effort a corpus of 250k human-to-human online tutoring dialogs (part of the ADL PAL initiative), collaborated on ONR’s PAL3 tutoring architecture for supporting life-long learning, and is an advisor and book editor for the ARL Generalized Intelligent Framework for Tutoring (GIFT) advisory panel. Ben's research tries to remove barriers development and adoption of ITS so that they can reach larger numbers of learners, which has traditionally been a major roadblock for these highly-effective interventions. He also believes that the future of learning science depends on large, sustainable platforms with many users, where efficient sampling techniques can be used to drive new designs for experiments. Finally, he is interested in making the process of science more efficient, such as by advanced metadata and analysis for scholarly publications.