People of the DSG



David Schlangen

When I am not teaching, or grading, or sitting on committees, or reviewing, or doing one of the many other exciting things that no one told me about before I got this job, I pretend to know what the rest of the Dialogue Systems Group is doing and to be able to give good advice, while the rest of the Dialogue System Group pretends to care about said advice, but keeps doing what they were doing anyway — the awesome stuff you can read about elsewhere on this site.


Sina Zarrieß; Post-Doc

sina2I studied Computational Linguistics and French Philology in Potsdam and Toulouse. I received a Master’s degree from Potsdam University in 2008, for a thesis on “Classifying Clause-embedding Verbs for Computational Semantics”. After working in the PTOLEMAIOS project on topics in computational semantics and parallel corpora, I moved to IMS in Stuttgart in 2009. I joined the SFB-732 “Incremental Specification in Context” working in a project on statistical ranking models for disambiguation and choice in (mostly LFG-based) parsing and generation. My PhD thesis on “Syntactic and Referential Choice in Corpus-based Generation” is about to be submitted to the Faculty of Computer Science at Stuttgart University.
In October 2014, I joined the DSG lab in Bielefeld. My ongoing research interests are on incremental generation in the context of situated dialogue, multimodal systems and grounded semantics.



Soledad Lopez Gambino PhD student

14 _S.LopezI am a PhD student and a member of the Dialogue Systems Group and of CITEC Graduate School. Before moving to Bielefeld, I got a BA in the Teaching of English as a Foreign Language at Instituto de Enseñanza Superior en Lenguas Vivas “Juan Ramón Fernández”, Buenos Aires, and an Erasmus Mundus MA in Natural Language Processing and

Human Language Technology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) and the University of the Algarve, Portugal. My master´s thesis focused on the impact of language variety, speaking style and gender on speech recognition in the Spanish version of Windows 7. I am currently starting to work on the generation of disfluencies in incremental spoken dialogue systems.

Nikolai Ilinykh; PhD student

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Being part of the DSG group from October 2017, I work under the supervision of Prof. Dr. David Schlangen. Currently, my main research focus is the MeetUp challenge, a new visual and conversational grounding dialogue task. The primary idea of this project is to naturally model human-human interaction, that is dependent on visual input (images) and also goal-oriented. I am largely interested in research on situated dialogue, grounded semantics, multimodal interaction, and machine learning. I have received MSc in Cognitive Science from the University of Osnabrück (Germany) with two majors being artificial intelligence and computational linguistics. My Master Thesis’s focus was on modelling of scalar conversational implicatures in a human-human dialogue. I have also received my Bachelor Degree in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics from the Perm State University in Russia in 2015. The primary focus of my Bachelor Thesis was devoted to the process of automated summarization and use of WordNet as the source of words for paraphrase when creating abstract summaries. I also studied Linguistics at Leiden University (the Netherlands) in the first half of 2015.

Reading some classic literature, playing piano, or going out with friends are my free time activities. I also like animals and hiking.

Nazia Attari; PhD student

In March 2018 I embarked on my PhD journey at Dialogue Systems Group. I am part of the CINEMENTAS project cluster with CoR Lab funded by HRI-EU. In 2013, I completed my MSc in Artificial Intelligence at University of Southampton, UK and worked in industry and research lab for about 4 years.
I am interested in understanding ‘human learning’ and how artificial agents can learn in a co-operative environment. My research focuses on explainability and multi-modal (language and vision) learning using dialogues.

I enjoy adventure travels (hiking, camping) and in my leisure time I paint and sketch.

Simon Betz; PhD student

04 S.BetzI am a PhD student and a member of both the phonetics group and the dialogue systems group.
After having finished my MA in Münster, Germany with my thesis experimentally examining speech rhythm, I joined the Bielefeld groups in October 2013. My PhD project aims at improving incremental speech synthesis systems in terms of naturalness by implementing disfluencies.
In other words: “If you want to teach a machine to speak properly, teach it errors first.” (Don’t know who said that, but it sounds cool. Let’s do that.)


Birte Carlmeyer; PhD student

08 B.CarlmeyerI studied Cognitive Computer Science and Intelligent Systems at Bielefeld University and received my Bachelor of Science in 2011 and the Master of Science in 2013. The title of the Master’s thesis is “Integration and evaluation of a component for multimodal emotional expressions”.
In December 2013 I joined the Dialogue Systems Group and I am also a member of the research group for Applied Informatics at Bielefeld University.
At present I am a PhD student of “Intelligent Systems” supervised by Prof. Dr.-Ing Britta Wrede and Prof. Dr. David Schlangen.
My current field of research is incremental dialogue management for human/robot interaction.

Web page:


=== Alumni ====

Casey Kennington; PhD student

03 C.KenningtonMy PhD topic is “Situated Statistical Incremental Natural Language Understanding” (NLU) in spoken dialogue systems where I attempt to ground language with the world such that a dialogue system can automatically interpret spoken utterances (e.g., to automatically identify an object referred to by a speaker). I use speech as well as other modalities, such as gaze and gestures. My current work extends our model of NLU to work better with linguistic processing, as well as better fusion with gaze and gestures. I am interested in speech recognition, language modeling, semantics, understanding and interpreting language, dialogue systems, psycholinguistic motivations behind model approaches, multi-modal processing for interpreting intention, as well as fully-interactive incremental systems that have some notion of their surroundings (and can be used in robots, virtual agents, cars, smart phones, etc.).
I earned my undergraduate degree at Brigham Young University in computer science, minor in Japanese. I comlpeted my masters in the Erasmus Mundus Language and Communication Technology program, where I spent one year at Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany and my second year at Nancy 2 University (now Lorraine University) in Nancy, France. My masters thesis was in language modeling and was supervised by Martin Kay. I have been in with CITEC, Bielefeld University, and the DSG group since October 2011.

I like running, pine trees and miso ramen.

Web page:


Ting Han; PhD student

tiff infomationI got my bachelor and master degrees from LanZhou University in northwest China.
I worked on image processing from Sep. 2010 to June 2013. My master thesis is about image dehazing.
Last October I joined the DSG group. Now I am working on hand gesture recognition and also interested in dialogue systems and machine learning.

 Dr. Iwan de Kok; Post-Doc

10 I.DeKokI have received my B.Sc. degree in Computer Science and my M.Sc. degree in Human Media Interaction from the University of Twente, the Netherlands. Here I also received my PhD on the subject of nonverbal listening behavior for human-agent interactions. During my studies I did internships at TNO Defense, Safety & Security in Soesterberg (NL) and USC Institute for Creative Technologies, Los Angeles (USA). In March 2014 I joined the Sociable Agents (CITEC) and Dialog Systems group from University Bielefeld to work on the ICSPACE-project. The goal of the project is to build an incremental online virtual coach to assist in sensorimotor learning tasks. Within this project I am building the incremental dialog system for the virtual coach. My further research interests lie in social signal processing, social behavior synthesis and virtual agents.

When not working you might find me at an (indie) rock concert, watching a movie, playing floorball or some videogame.


Julian Hough; Post-Doc

05 J.JoughBefore arriving in the DSG in April 2014, I worked in the Cognitive Science group at Queen Mary University of London as a PhD student under Matthew Purver, investigating models of self-repair processing in dialogue, and also as a researcher with Matthew and Arash Eshghi on the RISER project on the automatic learning of incremental grammars. Prior to that I did an MA in Linguistics at University College London. I’m currently working on DUEL (‘Dysfluencies, exclamations and laughter in dialogue’), a David Schlangen and Jonathan Ginzburg (Paris 7) headed project and the ICSPACE (‘Intelligent coaching space’) project with David, Stefan Kopp and Iwan de Kok from the CITEC group. I’m confident with the collective brains of the amazing people I’m lucky enough to work with, we can head towards the elixir of embodied intelligent agents which truly understand us.

Random fact: Enjoys karaoke a bit too much.

Julian Hough’s Website


Dr. Spyros Kousidis; Post-Doc

I was a post-doctoral researcher in the Dialogue Systems Group, based in the University of Bielefeld, until 2015. Now at carmeq, Berlin (subsidiary of Volkswagen, human-machine interfaces).

Research Interests:

  • Study of naturallly occurring human-human and human-computer interaction, in view of speech technology applications.
  • Obtaining natural interaction data in lab settings, using task-based interaction and minimally invasive sensors.
  • Development of methods for multimodal data acquisition and analysis.
  • Understanding interaction phenomena such as turn-taking and alignment in dialogue.
  • Developing systems to test hypotheses on dialogue phenomena.

Web page:


Okko Buss

12 O.BussI was part of the dialogue systems group from 2008 to 2012, working on incremental dialogue management modules for the InproTK toolkit.
Currently I am working at Carmeq GmbH building in-car spoken dialogue systems.



Dr. Timo Baumann

01 T.BaumannI studied computer science, phonetics and linguistics in Hamburg, Geneva, and Granada, and received my master’s-level diploma in 2007 for work at IBM research on automatic accentuation detection in speech synthesis corpora. Then I joined David Schlangen’s “Inpro” project (then at U Potsdam) on incremental and projective processing in dialogue systems. My task was to develop InproTK, the toolkit for incremental spoken dialogue processing, spearheading the work on incremental speech recognition, architecture, and speech synthesis. This work resulted in my PhD from Bielefeld University in 2013. I returned to Hamburg in 2011 as a researcher and instructor at Universität Hamburg with Wolfgang Menzel, continuing my work on incremental speech in close collaboration with the DSG group, and is picking up on the prosody/syntax interface.

I cycle to work, no matter the weather and ride my bike around town at practically every Critical Mass.



Gerdis Anderson; Student assistant

06 G.AndersonI joined the DSG in october 2013 and support the team in acquiring and analyzing multimodal linguistic data. Moreover, I assist in the test-driven advancement of the mumodo software package.
Besides my work for the DSG, I am studying for a Master’s degree in linguistics at Bielefeld University, with a special focus on computational linguistics and speech technology. In 2012, I received a Bachelor’s degree in clinical linguistics from the same university. My studies included a nine-month internship in a hospital for neurorehabilitation.
Topics of special interest to me are the application of computational linguistic methods and models to clinical problems and the treatment of erroneous speech in dialogue systems.


Oliver Eickmeyer; Student assistant

07 O.Eickmeyer- studying physics
- joined the group in September 2013 as a student assistant for programming
- currently working on experiment data collection and replaying tools (Venice)
- interested in programming (data processing from experiments, mostly using Java, Python, C and MatLab)


Michael Bartholdt; Student assistant

09 M.BartholdtI am a student assistant in The Dialogue Systems Group at Bielefeld University and joined the group in April 2011 after I met Prof. David Schlangen for the first time in a tutorial called “Dialogsysteme”.
Currently I am doing my Bachelor’s degree in Computational Linguistics and Text Technology.
I am mainly working in the mint.Lab, which is a laboratory the DSG established in 2011 and where experiments and research studies take place.
At some point I would like to write my Bachelor’s thesis about multimodal communication
between humans and – in general – computers.

Web page:




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