James Lester


Professional Title: 
Distinguished Professor
About Me (Bio): 
James C. Lester is Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Center for Educational Informatics at North Carolina State University. His research focuses on transforming education with technology-rich learning environments. Utilizing artificial intelligence, game technologies, and natural language processing, he designs, develops, and investigates next-generation learning technologies. His work on personalized learning ranges from game-based learning environments and intelligent tutoring systems to affective computing, computational models of narrative, and natural language tutorial dialogue. The adaptive learning environments he and his colleagues develop have been used by thousands of students in K-12 classrooms throughout the U.S. Dr. Lester has served as Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education (2009-2012). He is an Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing. He serves on the editorial boards of Metacognition and Learning and the International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, and he served a ten-year term on the editorial board of Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems (1997-2007). He served as Conference Co-Chair for the International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents (2008), and as Program Chair for the ACM International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces (2001), the International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems (2004), and the International Conference on Foundations of Digital Games (2013). An inductee of the North Carolina State University Academy of Outstanding Teachers (1998), he is the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award (1997). In 2014, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence elected him a AAAI Fellow.
North Carolina State University (NCSU)

The project draws upon intelligent tutoring and narrative-centered learning technologies to produce a suite of intelligent game-based learning environments for upper elementary school science students. The games explicitly model student knowledge and problem solving and dynamically customize feedback, advice, and explanation as appropriate. Unlike its predecessor, the platform is multi-user so it can support collaboration; offer dynamically generated feedback, advice, and explanation; and provide a pedagogical dashboard that generates student progress reports.

Concord Consortium

This project will develop and test a digital monitoring tool that will enable teachers to track student learning within a digital learning system and quickly adjust classroom instructional strategies to facilitate learning. The tool will be developed for use with an existing digital curriculum for high school genetics.

North Carolina State University (NCSU)

The project designs and implements technologies that combine artificial intelligence in the form of intelligent tutoring systems with multimedia interfaces (i.e., an electronic science notebook and virtual labs) to support children in grades 4-5 learning science. The students use LEONARDO's intelligent virtual science notebooks to create and experiment with interactive models of physical phenomena.