Sidney D’Mello is a Professor at the Institute of Cognitive Science and the Department of Computer Science at the University of Colorado Boulder (since 2017). He was previously an Associate Professor in Psychology and Computer Science at Notre Dame (2012-2017). He received his PhD in Computer Science at the University of Memphis in 2009.

D'Mello has published more than 300 articles, of which 16 received awards (4 others were finalists). D'Mello received the 2018 Young Investigator Award from the Society for Text & Discourse and was a Scholar at the Student Experience Research Network. He also directs the NSF National Institute for Student-Agent Teaming (iSAT) and a Learning Engineering Virtual Institute (LEVI) called Hybrid Human-Agent Tutoring (HAT) Platform to Accelerate Middle School Math Achievement for Low Income Students.


D'Mello's research is at the intersection of the cognitive, affective, computing, and learning sciences. His team is interested in the dynamic interplay between cognition and emotion while individuals and groups engage in complex real-world tasks. The team applies insights gleaned from this basic research program to develop intelligent technologies that help people achieve to their fullest potential by coordinating what they think and feel with what they know and do. 

This research uses a range of techniques such as eye tracking, speech and language processing, physiological sensing, computer vision, time series analyses, discourse modeling, and machine learning. The interaction contexts include educational games, collaborative problem solving, classroom discourse, computerized reading, and workplace activities. Data is collected in the lab, online, in schools, and the workplace.

NSF National Institute for Student-Agent Teaming (iSAT) 

iSAT's vision for student-AI teaming and classroom orchestration. An AI-partner collaborates with student teams and helps teachers orchestrate collaborative learning in their classrooms.

D'Mello directs iSAT, which aims to develop AI technologies to facilitate rich socio-collaborative learning experiences for all students by blending foundational AI and use-inspired research with responsible innovation, broadening participation, workforce development, & community engagement. iSAT integrates approximately 70 researchers, associates, and students from nine nationally-distributed universities and seven other collaborating organizations and partners.

learning engineering virtual institute (levi

scaling human tutoring to Accelerate Math learning

Using learning engineering methods, the project aims to rapidly transform tutoring from a one-on-one, human or technical solution to a multimodal, multi-party, human and computer synergy, reaching over 275,000 diverse, low-income students within 5 years. We are excited to partner with Saga Education, a large non-profit provider of tutoring services to Title 1 schools.

Hybrid Human-Agent Tutoring (HAT) Platform

We aim to bring together the best of what human tutoring and AI have to offer. Drawing on the profound benefits of a human tutor our HAT platform recommends challenging tasks, facilitates rich discussions, fosters relationships among students and tutors, provides feedback and guidance, and promotes collaborative learning.

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Recent Papers

outreach & service

D'Mello enjoys organizing international conferences, most recently the 2018 ACM International Conference on Multimodal Interaction in Boulder CO (ICMI 2018) and previously the 2011 Affective Computing & Intelligent Interaction (ACII 2011) conference in Memphis, TN.

He is an associate editor for Discourse Processes and formerly for IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, PLoS ONE, and IEEE Access. He also serves on the editorial board of Affective Science

D'Mello also serve(d) on the executive board of the International Artificial Intelligence in Education Society, the International Educational Data Mining Society, and the Association for the Advancement of Affective Computing.