University of Applied Sciences Ruhr West (Bottrop, Germany) University of Applied Sciences Ruhr West (Bottrop, Germany)

Sabrina C. Eimler

Sabrina C. Eimler is a professor for Human Factors and Gender Studies at the University of Applied Sciences Ruhr West (Hochschule Ruhr West, HRW) in Bottrop and Mülheim an der Ruhr (Germany). She completed her studies in Applied Communication and Media Sciences as well as Cultural Studies and Economics in 2009. After her PhD on the role of gender stereotypes in the production and reception of profiles in online business networking sites at the University of Duisburg-Essen, supervised by Prof. Dr. Nicole Krämer, she became a professor at HRW in 2015. Since then she is actively engaged in creating and shaping study programmes like Human-Machine-Interaction at HRW and the Master study programme Innopreneurship at the University of Duisburg-Essen. She is especially interested in interdisciplinary research, in creating modern and innovative learning environments and creative research environments. Her focus is on human-technology-interaction, diversity and stereotypes (and their reduction), technostress and social robotics mediated by e.g. Virtual and Agumented Reality. Sabrina C. Eimler is one of initiators of the Institute of Positive Computing. 

Sarah Moder

Sarah Moder (née Zielinski) holds a B.Sc. in Human-Computer-Interaction and a M.Sc. in Computer Science. Based on her passion for Human-Computer-Interaction research, she engaged early into an academic carrier. Already during her master studies, she worked as a research assistant at the University of Applied Sciences Ruhr West and actively participated in international conferences (e.g. CHI Play, CHI). Her main interests are user experience research and users’ flourishing experience with interactive systems. She also is interested in the research of interaction design between human and artificial intelligence (e.g. chatbots, intelligent agents, companions). 
She organized SFSF2020, a junior scientist conference, and taught the lecture on User Experience Design. Before her academic career, she worked in public service for the library and cultural events. She completed an internship semester in the field of conceptual design and gamification. In the COURAGE  project she works on the research of human-companion-interaction and user experience design of mini games.

L'Istituto per le Tecnologie Didattiche - CNR-ITD (Palermo, Italy) L'Istituto per le Tecnologie Didattiche - CNR-ITD (Palermo, Italy)

Davide Taibi

Davide Taibi

Davide Taibi is a researcher of the Institute for Educational Technologies at the National Research Council of Italy. His research activities are mainly focused on the application of innovative technologies in the e-learning field, with particular emphasis on: Mobile Learning, Semantic Web and Linked Data for e-learning, standards for educational processes design, Open Education and Learning Analytics. He is coordinating for the Institute for Educational Technologies the activities of the EU funded projects: CIM (Promoting Creativity and Innovation Management in an innovative blended learning and validation programme at the interface between higher education and business), FabLabSchoolNet (STEAM education and learning by Robotics, 3D and Mobile technologies), REVEAL (Reconstructing an Environment for continuing professional development and Validation for Educators in Adult Learning), IceVET(Integration to competitive Europe through VET). I was also responsible of the EU funded projects: VecNET (Vocational Education Cooperation and Network), IMPACT (IT based Methodology for Promoting, Assessing and validating Competence oriented learning and Training) and NecVET (New approaches to strengthened cooperation facilities for VET institutions and labour market). He also collaborated as an associated partner in the following European projects: mEducator best practice network and LinkedUp (“Linking Web Data for Education”). He is contract professor at the University of Palermo.

Elisa Pulvia

Elisa Puvia

Dr Elisa Puvia is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Cognitive Psychology at the Institute of Educational Technologies of the National Research Council of Italy (CNR-ITD). She received her Ph.D. in Cognitive Sciences from the Department of Psychology of the University of Padua.

As a Ph.D. student her primary research goals were directed toward understanding of the cognitive mechanisms underline the phenomenon of sexual female objectification especially the particular case in which it involves the denial of humanness of the objectified.  During her Ph.D. training she was Visiting Scholar at the Department of Psychology of the University of South Florida (USF).

Dr Puvia has also been postdoctoral Research Associate at the School of Psychology of the University of Kent, further investigating the phenomenon of female objectification and its moral implications for the victims of sexual assault, and Visiting Academic at the Psychological Science Department of the University of Melbourne. Before to join the ITD she has been postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Psychology of the University of Brussels (ULB), investigating both the cultural and religious foundations of the phenomenon of female objectification.

These periods abroad have offered her the opportunity to develop inter-disciplinary research and to conduct research projects and objectives in collaboration with different internationally renowned experts around the world. 

Giovanni Fulantelli

Giovanni Fulantelli

Giovanni Fulantelli is a researcher at the Institute for Educational Technologies at the National Research Council of Italy, and member of the Institute scientific board. He graduated with honor in Computer Science at the University of Milan in 1990. His research activities are mainly focused on innovative and creative uses of technologies in educational processes.

He is in charge of several national and international research projects concerning the application of IT in education; amongst others, he has been the European coordinator of the EU-funded project Sloop2desc - Sharing Learning Objects in an Open Perspective to Develop European Skills and Competences, and responsible of the CNR research team for the EU-funded projects Sloop (“Sharing Learning Object in an Open Perspective”), Tenegen (“Connect the teachers to reach and teach the Net Generation”), and OpenQAsS (Open Source Quality Assurance System for Vocational Education). He has been contract professor at the University of Palermo.

Vito Monteleone

Vito Monteleone is currently a Postdoctoral Research at the Institute for Educational Technologies at the National Research Council of Italy (CNR-ITD). He received his PhD in Technological Innovation Engineering from the Department of Computer Engineering of the University of Palermo (UNIPA). His research interest span from time-series analysis and computer vision to data mining and machine learning.
During his PhD training he was Visiting Scholar for a period of 6 months at Sorbonne Université in Paris, at the Institut des Systèmes Intelligents et Robotiques (ISIR) Pyramide. In Paris he participated also to The SMART School on Computational Social and Behavioral Sciences to contribute to bridge the gap between the areas of social neuroscience, psychology and educational sciences on the one hand, and mathematics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, autonomous agents and social signal processing on the other hand. This school required a background in human behavior analysis, modeling and/or synthesis.

University of Essex (Colchester, UK) University of Essex (Colchester, UK)

Dimitri Ognibene

Dimitri Ognibene

Dr Dimitri Ognibene​, is a Lecturer in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence at University of Essex since October 2017. His  research interests span from Robotics and Machine Learning to Computational Neuroscience.  He aims to endow adaptive artificial systems with the exploratory skills and active perception capabilities necessary to tackle unconstrained social environments. He also studies how these skills are realised in living organisms together with the causes and consequences of their failures.  He was Marie Curie Cofund UPFellow at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, focusing on the development of algorithms for intelligent social agents with bounded sensory and computational resources. Before he has been developing social active perception algorithms  at Centre for Robotics Research, Kings College London and at the Personal Robotics Laboratory in Imperial College London. He also collaborated with Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging (UCL) to study how to model exploration in the Active Inference neuro-computational paradigm. During his PhD he studied the interaction between active perception and autonomous development through neuro-robotic models at the Institute of Cognitive Science and Technologies of the Italian Research Council (ISTC CNR).  Dr Ognibene has been Visiting Researcher at Bounded Resource Reasoning Laboratory in UMass and at University of Reykjavik (Iceland) exploring the symmetries between active sensor control and meta-reasoning. These studies have shown interesting potential to model and explain some neuropsychological disorders, such as addiction. He is now actively researching how such models can help preventing or ameliorating such conditions.

Aline Villavicencio

Aline Villavicencio is a Professor at the Department of Computer Science, University of Sheffield (UK) and also affiliated to the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, University of Essex (UK) and the Institute of Informatics, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil).  She received a PhD from the University of Cambridge (UK) in 2001, and held postdoc positions at the University of Cambridge and University of Essex (UK). She has also been a Visiting Scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA, 2014/2015 and 2011/2012), at the Labo­ra­toire LaTTiCe at the École Normale Supé­rieure (France, 2013), at Saarland University (Germany, 2012/2013) and at the University of Bath (UK, 2006-2009). Her research interests are in Natural Language Processing (NLP), in particular in lexical semantics, multilinguality, and cognitively motivated NLP.

Ansgar Scherp

Since January 2019, I am a Professor for Natural Language Processing and Data Analytics and member of the interdisciplinary Language and Computation group with the University of Essex, England, UK. Prior to my current position, I was a Associate Professor for Data Science and Predictive Analytics with the University of Stirling, Scotland UK, from August to December 2018. I had a fixed-term Professorship of Knowledge Discovery at Kiel University (W2 level, roughly equivalent to associate professor) and ZBW—Leibniz Information Centre for Economics in Kiel, Germany from January 2014 to July 2018. In Kiel, I was scientific leader of the EU Horizon 2020 project MOVING, enabling young researchers, decision makers, and public administrators to employ and use machine learning and data mining tools to search, organize, and manage large-scale information sources on the web such as scientific publications, videos of research talks, social media, etc. Before joining Kiel University, I was Juniorprofessor (W1 level, roughly equivalent to assistant professor) at the University of Mannheim, and Postdoctoral research associate as well as Juniorprofessor at the University of Koblenz-Landau in Coblenz, Germany. In Coblenz, I was work package leader for the EU FP 7 projects—WeKnowIt and Social Sensor. Previously, I acquired a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship of the EU for a 1-year research stay at the University of California at Irvine, California.

Ansgar has an excellent research reputation in Text and Graph Mining, specifically in the combination of symbolic and subsymbolic (statistical) methods for data analysis. He has won the Billion Triples Challenge at the International Semantic Web conference in 2008 and 2011. The goal of the Billion Triple Challenge is to demonstrate scalability of semantic technologies. Ansgar is elected speaker at the ACM SIGMM Rising Stars Symposium of the Special Interest Group on Multimedia (SIGMM) of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) that was held in October in Amsterdam honoring his 10 years of research in metadata mining and semantics. He published over 150 peer reviewed conference papers and journal articles.

Rodrigo S. Wilkens

Rodrigo S. Wilkens is currently a Senior Research Officer at School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (CSEE) in the University of Essex. He has a PhD in Computer Science, in the field of Natural Language Processing, obtained in 2016 from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil). His interests include language profiling, cognitive computational models, computer-assisted language learning, knowledge extraction, question answering, information retrieval, knowledge representation, chatterbots, text classification, text simplification, word embedding, and user modelling; for both Portuguese and English. During his career he also worked in research groups in the Federal University of the University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Université Catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain), and University of Strasbourg (Unistra).

Francesco Lomonaco

Francesco joins the COURAGE project in October 2019. He is 26 years old. After a bachelors' degree in economics, he moved to Bologna (Unibo) for a 2 years master in political economy. Currently is enrolled at the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (CSEE) at the University of Essex as a Ph.D. student. His main interests are user modeling, time series, neural networks, in particular Graph Neural Nets. 

Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona, Spain) Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona, Spain)

Core Members

Davinia Hernandez-Leo

Davinia Hernández-Leo

Davinia Hernández-Leo is Associate Professor and Serra Húnter Fellow at the Department of Information and Communications Technologies Department (DTIC) at UPF, the coordinator of the Interactive and Distributed Technologies for Education group (TIDE), Vice-Dean of the UPF Engineering School and the Head of its Unit for Teaching Quality and Innovation. She obtained a degree and a Ph.D on Telecommunication Engineering at University of Valladolid, Spain, and has been visiting researcher at Open University of the Netherlands, Fulbright Scholar at Virginia Tech and visiting academic at the University of Sydney. Her has (co-)authored over 100 scientific publications and received several awards, including best paper awards and the European award for excellence in the field of CSCL technology. Currently, she is the Vice-President of the European Association for Technology-Enhanced Learning, a member of the editorial board of the IEEE Transactions of Learning Technologies and the Steering Committee of the European Conference on Technology-Enhanced Learning.

Pablo Abenia

Pablo Abenia

Pablo Abenia has a degree in Computer Engineering by the UPF. Incorporated in the group since 2012 he is a senior developer and IT admin. Responsible for ILDE platform current development he has made several contributions among them application design, code refactoring, speed optimization, interoperable API design and implementation, web services, usage monitoring and analytics visualization. He has also developed several interactive web applications required for our group projects leveraging technologies like PHP, Python, TypeScript, WebSockets, Node.js or WebGL. Developments include PyramidApp, which allows real time collaborative learning flow decisions, the ChangeMakers game, which is a browser based educational game in the context of the European project ChangeMakers and finally a modification of the ILDE platform in collaboration with UNESCO Catalonia to support the creation of problem based learning designs focused on the UNESCO sustainable development goals. On the IT front he is in charge of the group server infrastructure management which includes virtual machines set up, software deployment and administration of databases and storage resources needed in order to provide the services required for all of the groups projects.

Emily Theophilou 

Emily Theophilou is a Ph.D. student in the Interactive and Distributed Technologies for Education (TIDE) Group at the Information and Communication Technologies Department of Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), in Barcelona. She holds a BSc in Multimedia Computing from Coventry University in the UK. For her bachelor thesis, she developed a personalized assessment platform to enhance learning. She then obtained her Master’s in Cognitive Systems and Interactive Media from the UPF. Her master thesis focused on teaching computational thinking to elementary school children using distributed learning. Her research interests are focused on Technology-Enhanced Learning, Social Emotional Learning, Music and Education and how social media can be used to support and educate students.

René Lobo

René Lobo is a PhD student in the Interactive and Distributed Technologies for Education (TIDE) Group at the Information and Communication Technologies Department of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF). He received his BSc in Systems Engineering (2011) and MSc in Systems Engineering and Computing from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia (2015). Then he worked as an assistant professor and researcher in the department of Systems Engineering at Universidad Autonoma de Bucaramanga in Colombia for four years. He is also a mobile applications developer and entrepreneur, designing and developing apps for transportation, delivery, entertainment and education services. His research interests are focused on Educational Technologies, Learning Analytics and Gamification.

Jesus Roberto Sanchez

J. Roberto Sánchez-Reina is a communication specialist trained in media studies. His professional background encompasses both academic research and teaching, as well as corporate consultancy. Along his trajectory, he has covered different research fields such as Media Education, Communication for Development, and Public Relations. He currently performs as a postdoctoral researcher at the Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona and as an external advisor for corporations and non-profit organizations. He is a permanent contributor to different research networks and the founder of the consulting firm Rizoma RedEs.



Associate Members

Patricia Santos

Patricia Santos

Patricia Santos has a Computer Engineering degree and a PhD in Information, Communication and Media Technologies, focused on the research areas of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) and Human Computer Interaction (HCI). From 2007-2013 she was a researcher member of the Interactive Technologies Group (GTI, UPF) involved in European and national projects (e.g. TenCompetence, Learn3, EEE). In 2011 she obtained her PhD with an Excellent – Summa cum Laude – qualification. From 2013-2016, she was a post-doc researcher at the University of the West of England (UWE, Bristol, UK), member of the European research project FP7 (Learning Layers: Scaling up Technologies for Informal Learning in SME Clusters) co-leading the research line based on understanding how to support and scaffold learners at their workplace. She also continued her research in the field of m-learning, e.g.: co-chairing the Ideas in Mobile Learning Symposium (Bristol) and collaborating with international m-learning companies such as Tribalgroup or Agylia. Since 2017, she is a senior researcher at the Interactive and Distributed Technologies for Education (TIDE, UPF) group. Throughout her professional career, the quality and innovativeness of her work has been recognized with many awards and publications. She has consistently positioned her research in the field of Technology-Enhanced Learning (TEL) with a focus on Human Computer Interaction (HCI), User-centered design and Learning Design (LD). Currently, she is exploring how relevant design techniques and methodologies from the fields of LD and HCI such as Design Thinking can be learnt and applied at school levels. 

Judit Martínez Moreno

Judit Martínez Moreno

Judit Martínez Moreno is a research assistant in the Interactive and Distributed Technologies for Education (TIDE) Group at the Information and Communication Technologies Department of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. She received her BSc in Psychology from the University of Girona where she was already involved in several research projects. She is currently studying the Master in Cognitive Systems and Interactive Media in Universitat Pompeu Fabra and working on the Maker Methodology for her master thesis. Her research interests are focused on Educational Technologies, Technology-Enhanced Learning, Educational Psychology, Applied Neuroscience and Artificial Intelligence and Society. 

Laia Albó

Laia Albó is a postdoctoral researcher in the TIDE research group within the Department of Informationand Communications Technologies (DTIC) at the University Pompeu Fabra. She was a visiting Pre-doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh (2019) and a YERUN visiting scholar at Maastricht University (2019). One of the outputs of her doctoral thesis has been the design and development of the tool edCrumble (, a social lesson planning tool for educators. The tool is framed in a community platform which allows teachers to explore, create, co-create and share lessons with other teachers – facilitating communication among teachers in the community and contributing in the improvement of their teaching practices. Laia has participated as researcher in several European projects (Erasmus+: BLENDI “Blended learning for inclusion”, DE-TEL “Doctoral
Education for Technology-Enhanced learning”, SMARTLET “Learning analytics to enhance the design and orchestration in scalable, IoT-enriched, and ubiquitous Smart Learning Environments”, RESET “Reformulate Scalable Educational Ecosystems Offering Technological Innovations”; H2020: CS-Track “Expanding our knowledge on Citizen Science through analytics and analysis”) and in national projects (Communities of Teaching: Communities of teaching as a data‐informed design science and contextualized practice). Access Laia’s ORCID ( and Google Scholar profile (

Vicenç Gómez

Vicenç Gómez

Vicenç Gómez is a faculty member and research scientist at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF). His research interests are in machine learning and artificial intelligence with applications on areas such as social networks, robotics and brain computer interfaces. He received his PhD from the UPF in 2018, followed by postdoctoral fellowships at the Radboud university medical center (2009-2011) and at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior (2011-2014) in Nijmegen (The Netherlands). He has held visiting appointments in Los Alamos National Laboratory (USA), the IAS group at Technische Universitaet Darmstadt (Germany), and at University College London (UK). In 2014 he obtained a transnational academic career grant (FP7 Marie Curie Actions) and joined the Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning group at the Department of Information and Communications Technologies (UPF). In 2016 he was awarded with a Ramon y Cajal fellowship. He is currently a tenure-track professor at UPF. His work has been published in top AI/machine learning (JMLR, MLJ, NIPS, WWW, UAI) venues.

Carlos A. Scolari

Carlos A. Scolari has a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics and Communication Languages (Catholic University of Milan, Italy) and a Degree in Social Communication (University of Rosario, Argentina). He is Associate Professor (tenure) at the Department of Communication of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Barcelona. Researcher specialized in digital interactive media, transmedia storytelling and media ecology/evolution. He coordinated the Latin American Network of Digital Communication (ALFA Programme, 2004-06) and the H2020 Transmedia Literacy project (2015-18). Author of more than 15 books about interactive media, theories of communication and semiotics of media. His articles have been published in New Media and Society, Communication Theory, International Journal of Communication, Semiotica, Information, Communication & Society, etc. Professor in different master and PhD courses in Europe and Latin America.

University of Regensburg (Regensburg, Germany) University of Regensburg (Regensburg, Germany)

Udo Kruschwitz

Udo Kruschwitz

Udo Kruschwitz is the Chair of Information Science at the University of Regensburg and a Visiting Professor in the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering at the University of Essex. His main research interest is the interface between information retrieval (IR) and natural language processing (NLP).  He has led research projects developing algorithms to turn unstructured and partially structured textual data into structured knowledge and user/cohort models that have been applied in a variety of applications including search, navigation and summarisation. He has furthermore been involved in successful joint university/industry projects that turned NLP and IR research into practical commercial applications, for example as PI on a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project with Signal Media. The collaboration won the Best Knowledge Transfer Partnership Project of the Year Award at InnovateUK's 'Best of the Best 2015' event, and another KTP project with Signal Media started earlier this year. Professor Kruschwitz has a keen interest in bringing industry and academia closer together and has (co-)organised a variety of events such as Industry Days at top IR conferences and he is part of the organising team of the Search Solutions event held annually at the British Computer Society's London HQ.


Rhein-Ruhr Institute (RIAS), (Duisburg, Germany) Rhein-Ruhr Institute (RIAS), (Duisburg, Germany)

H. Ulrich Hoppe

Dr. H. Ulrich Hoppe holds a full professorship in the area “Collaborative and Learning Support Systems” at the University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany). After his PhD on computational thinking and interactive programming in math education in 1984, Ulrich Hoppe has worked for about ten years in the area of intelligent user interfaces and cognitive models in HCI, before he re-focused his research on intelligent support in educational systems and distributed collaborative environments in 1995. With his COLLIDE Research Group he has participated in more than ten European projects on Technology-enhanced learning. He was one of the initiators of the European Network of Excellence Kaleidoscope (2004-07). Currently he is engaged in as a PI in a Research Training Group on “User Centred Social Media” funded by the German National Science Foundation since 2015. His research is focused on computational techniques for learning and knowledge building. He is particularly interested in combining network analysis techniques with other data mining methods in the study and support of online (learning) communities.

Farbod Aprin

Farbod Aprin studied “Software Engineering” (B.A.) 2014 at the University of at QIAU (International Qazvin Azad University) and studied “Computer Eng. Interactive System” (M.A.) 2019 at the UDE (University of Duisburg Essen) with a focus on the research areas of E-Learning with the combination of OER (Open Educational Resources).

Currently, he works at RIAS institute and COLLIDE group at UDE, where he supports in developing and designing the Web-based applications. Two recent research-based projects are SALMON (Sharing and Annotating Learning Material ONline) and analytics workbench.

SALMON provides automatic tagging of learning materials and recommendation from OER links according to generated keywords for learners and analytics workbench project that provides analyses like network analysis, statistical user activities analysis, and analysis of activity.

Additionally, he has five years experience as a software engineer and developer in the industry. He is interested in predicate encryption and unification to detect the source of the predicate in Social systems.

He has passion and experience in design UX and frontend implementation for an e-learning application. Therefore, he aims to cooperate in designing and developing companion bot for COURAGE application during his PhD program with RIAS institute.