W. Lewis Johnson, Ph.D

Co-Founder and Board Member

Dr. W. Lewis Johnson co-founded Alelo in 2005 as a spinout of the University of Southern California, under his leadership Alelo has developed into a major producer of innovative learning products focusing on communication skills. Alelo has developed courses for use in a number of countries around the world, all using the Virtual Role-Play method.

Dr. Johnson holds a B.A. in linguistics from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in computer science from Yale University. He is an internationally recognized leader in innovation for education and training. In 2012 he was keynote speaker at the International Symposium on Automated Detection of Errors in Pronunciation Training in Stockholm. In 2013 he was keynote speaker at the IASTED Technology Enhanced Learning Conference and was co-chair of the Industry and Innovation Track of the AIED 2013 conference. In 2014 he was keynote speaker at the International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems, and was Distinguished Lecturer at the National Science Foundation. In 2015 he was keynote speaker at the ACT Insight Analytics and Emerging Technologies Symposium. When not engaged in developing disruptive learning products Lewis and his wife Kim produce Kona coffee in Hawaii.

Languages

Fluent in English, French, German, Chinese, Italian and Spanish.

Working knowledge of Russian, Arabic, Portuguese, Japanese, Dutch, Malay, Pashto, Dari, and Indonesian.

Professional preparation

Princeton University: A.B. Linguistics, Summa Cum Laude, 1978

Yale University: M.Phil. Computer Science, 1980

Yale University: Ph.D. Computer Science, 1985

Appointments

Chief Scientist, Alelo Inc., 2006-present

Chief Executive Officer, Alelo Inc, 2005-2006; 2010-present

Senior Project Leader and Director, Center for Advanced Research in Technology for Education (CARTE), Information Sciences Institute (ISI), University of Southern California — 2000-2007

Research Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Southern California — 2004-2007

Research Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Southern California — 1996-2004

Project Leader, Information Sciences Institute (ISI), University of Southern California — 1987-2000

Research Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Southern California — 1987-1996

Research Scientist, Information Sciences Institute (ISI), University of Southern California — 1985-1987

Selected Publications

Expecting the Unexpected: Warehousing and Analyzing Data from ITS Field Use
W. Lewis Johnson, Naveen Ashish, Stephen Bodnar, Alicia Sagae. March 2010

Integrating Cross-Cultural Decision Making Skills into Military Training
W. Lewis Johnson and LeeEllen Friedland. March 2010

A Simulation-Based Approach to Training Operational Cultural Competence
W. Lewis Johnson. Proceedings of ModSIM 2009. October 2009

Tactical Language and Culture Training Systems: Using AI to Teach Foreign Languages and Cultures
W. Lewis Johnson, Andre Valente. As published in AI Magazine (link to site). Summer 2009

Culture-Driven Response Strategies for Virtual Human Behavior in Training Systems
Alicia Sagae, Baylor Wetzel, Andre Valente, W. Lewis Johnson. Proceedings of SLaTE-2009. July 2009

Scaling up in Speaking Proficiency by Supporting Robust Learning Behaviors
Alicia Sagae, Rohit Kumar, and W. Lewis Johnson. Proceedings of AIED 2009 Workshop: Scalability Issues in AIED. July 2009

Evaluating an Authoring Tool for Mini-Dialogs
Kumar, R., Sagae, A., & Johnson, W.L. Proceedings of AIED 2009 (Poster). July 2009

Intelligent Tutoring and Pedagogical Experience Manipulation
H.C. Lane and W.L. Johnson. In D. Schmorrow (ed.) Intelligent Tutoring in Virtual Environments. May 2008

The Politeness Effect in an intelligent foreign language tutoring system
Wang, N. and Johnson, W.L.. Proceedings of ITS 2008. April 2008

Assessing aptitude for learning with a serious game for foreign language and culture
Johnson & Wu. ITS 2008, Montreal. April 2008

Tactical Language and Culture Training Systems: Using Artificial Intelligence to Teach Foreign Languages and Cultures
Johnson & Valente. In Proceedings of IAAI 2008. March 2008

Collaborative Authoring of Serious Games for Language and Culture
W.L. Johnson & A. Valente. SimTecT 2008. March 2008

The Politeness Effect: Pedagogical Agents and Learning Outcomes
N. Wang, W.L. Johnson, R.E. Mayer, P. Rizzo, E. Shaw, & H. Collins. Int. J. Human Computer Studies, in press. February 2008

Multi-platform delivery of game-based learning content
W. Lewis Johnson, Andre Valente, Robert Heuts. Procedings of the New Learning Technology Conference, Society for Applied Learning Technology (SALT). 2008

Improving the authoring of foreign language interactive lessons in the Tactical Language Training System
Joram Meron, Andre Valente, W. Lewis Johnson. Presented at the Speech and Language Technology in Education Workshop (SLaTE). 2007

Serious use of a serious game for language learning
W. Lewis Johnson In R. Luckin et al. (Eds.), Artificial Intelligence in Education, Amsterdam: IOS Press, 2007.

Experience with serious games for learning foreign languages and cultures
W. Lewis Johnson, Ning Wang, Shumin Wu. Procedings of the SimTecT Conference. Australia. 2007

Constructing computer-based tutors that are socially sensitive: Politeness in educational software
Richard E. Mayer, W. Lewis Johnson, Erin Shaw, Sahiba Sandhu. In International Journal of Human-Computer Studies. Volume 64 , Issue 1, January 2006

Serious games for language learning: How much game, how much AI?
W. Lewis Johnson, Hannes Vilhjalmsson, Stacy Marsella. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education. Amsterdam: IOS Press. 2005

Iterative evaluation of a large-scale, intelligent game for language learning
W. Lewis Johnson, Carole Beale.In Proceedings of the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education. Amsterdam: IOS Press. 2005

A pedagogical agent for psychosocial intervention on a handheld computer
W. Lewis Johnson, Catherine LaBore, Yuan-Chun Chiu. In Proceedings of AAAI Fall Symposium on Health Dialog System. 64-70. Menlo Park, California: AAAI Press. 2004

The DARWARS Tactical Language Training System
W. Lewis Johnson, Stacy Marsella, Hannes Vilhjálmsson. Proceedings of I/ITSEC 2004.

Generating socially appropriate tutorial dialog
W. Lewis Johnson, Paula Rizzo, Wauter Bosma, Sander Kole, Mattijs Ghijsen, Herwin van Welbergen. In E. André et al (Eds.): Proceedings of 2004 Affective Dialogue Systems, Tutorial and Research Workshop. 254-264. Berlin: Springer. 1004. 2004

Tactical Language Training System: An interim report
W. Lewis Johnson, Carole Beal, Anna Fowles-Winkler, Ursula Lauper, Stacy Marsella, Shrikanth Narayanan, Dimitra Papachristou, Hannes Vilhjalmsson. Intelligent Tutoring Systems 2004. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. 2004

Tactical language detection and modeling of learner speech errors: The case of Arabic tactical language training for American English speakers
Nicolaus Mote, W. Lewis Johnson, Abhinav Sethy, Jorge Silva, Shrikanth Narayanan. Proceedings of the InSTIL Symposium, 47-50. 2004

Socially intelligent learner-agent interaction tactics
W. Lewis Johnson, Sander Kole, Erin Shaw, Helen Pain. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education. Amsterdam, IOS Press. 2003

Interactive pedagogical drama for health interventions
Stacy Marsella, W. Lewis Johnson, Catherine M. LaBore. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education, Amsterdam, IOS Press, 2003

Animated pedagogical agents: Face-to-face interaction in interactive learning environments
W. Lewis Johnson, Jeff W. Rickel, James C. Lester. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 11, 47-78. 2000

Virtual humans for team training in virtual reality
Jeff Rickel, W. Lewis Johnson. Proceedings of the Internation Conference of Artificial Intelligence in Education, IOS Press. 1999

Building a case for agent-assisted learning as a catalyst for curriculum reform in medical education 
Shaw, E. Ganeshan, R. & Johnson, W.L. In S.P. Lajoie and M. Vivet (Eds.), Artificial Intelligence in Education, 509-516. Amsterdam: IOS Press. 1999

Synergistic activities

Co-chair of the Industry and Innovation track at International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education, 2013

Sponsorship co-chair, International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education, 2011

Local Arrangements Chair, International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education, 2007

Secretary and President, International Artificial Intelligence in Education Society, 2000-2003

Program Co-Chair, International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems , 2002

Program Chair, Intelligent User Interfaces Conference, 2003

Chair, ACM Special Interest Group for Artificial Intelligence (SIGART), 1995-1999

Collaborators and other affiliations

Collaborators
Eric Surface, SWA Consulting
Andre Valente, BDere Inc.
Ning Wang, Curious Lab LLC
Naveen Ashish, UC Irvine
Hannes Högni Vilhjálmsson, Reykjavik University
Eva Baker, UCLA
Harold O’Neil, USC
Mark Lepper, Stanford University
Richard Clark, USC
Maged Dessouky, USC
John Faure, Modus Operandi
Greg Johnson, Northrop Grumman
Ed Kazlauskas, USC
Ernest Katz, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
James Lester, North Carolina State University
Azad Madni, Intelligent Systems Technology, Inc.
Christoph von der Malsburg, USC
Stacy Marsella, USC / ISI
Richard Mayer, UC Santa Barbara
Allen Munro, USC Behavioral Technology Labs
Hartmut Neven, USC / ISI
Helen Pain, University of Edinburgh
O.J. Sahler, University of Rochester
Erin Shaw, USC
John Silvester, USC
Randy Stiles, Lockheed Martin
William Swartout, USC

Graduate Advisor
Elliott Soloway, University of Michigan

Sponsored Students and Post-Doctoral Scholars 
Lei Qu
Shumin Wu
Ning Wang
Rogelio Adobbati
Richard Angros (Raytheon)
Kevin Benner
Ali Erdem
Rajaram Ganeshan (Virtual Tutor, Inc.)
Randall Hill (USC ICT)
Paola Rizzo (CNR, Rome)
Chon Yi (Rare Media, Inc.)
Lorna Zorman (HP Labs)
Total number of students advised: 10
Total number of postdocs sponsored: 2