Fuller Laboratories, 140
Affiliated Department or Office
BA Math Kalamazoo College 1971
MS Computer Science University of Pittsburgh 1975
PhD Computer Science Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 1979

I'm a research professor at WPI, which means I participate in research activities with students and faculty. I am a computer scientist, and my specialties include natural language processing, AI, intelligent user interfaces, and human-robot interaction.

I find students at WPI are excellent to work with! My job is to introduce them to new ideas, and then I find they run with those ideas in new directions.

I have led with Prof. Charles Rich a large NSF project about creating virtual agents and robotic agents that "live" in people's homes for long periods of time as companions. Most recently I have been studying how people teach other people to do maintenance tasks as part of an ONR grant on people teaching robots such tasks.

I love to travel, and being a scientist gives me many opportunities to do so.

Fuller Laboratories, 140

Scholarly Work

C. L. Sidner,T. Bickmore,B. Nooraie,C. Rich, L. Ring, M. Shayganfar, and L. Vardoulakis. Creating new technologies for companionable agents to support isolated older adults. Transaction of Interactive Intelligent Systems. ACM Press. accepted for publication.
M. Shayganfar, C. Rich, and C.L.Sidner. Impact of Affective Appraisal on Collaborative Goal Management: My Robot Shares My Worries, Proceedings of 11th ACM-IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction - HRI (LBR), 2016.
T. Bickmore, D. Utami, S. Zhou, C. Sidner, L. Quintiliani, M. Paasche-Orlow. Automated Explanation of Research Informed Consent by Virtual Agents, Proceedings of the 15th Annual Conference on Virtual Agents, Delft, The Netherlands, 2015.
A.Mohseni-Kabir, C.Rich, S.Chernova, C.Sidner, and D.Miller. Interactive hierarchical task learning from a single demonstration. In Proceedings of the 10th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, Portland, OR, 2015.
M. Behrooz, C. Rich and C. Sidner. On the Sociability of a Game-Playing Agent: A Software Framework and Empirical Study. Proceedings of the Fourteenth Annual Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents, Boston, 2014.
Professional Highlights & Honors
Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence
Association for Computational Linguistics
How to Get Siri and Alexa to Understand What You are Saying interviewed robotics engineering research professor, Candace Sidner, for this article. Sidner offered insight into why voice assistants can sometimes be frustrating. “They are essentially programmed to do certain kinds of things, so they are breaking down utterances presented to them and then doing a search on the web.” 

Innovation America
Ho hum. The Robots Are Here.

Innovation features an article by WPI’s Candace Sidner, research professor. Robotics offers businesses and the military many opportunities for new markets, and new help to users across a wide spectrum of tasks and needs,” Sidner stated. “Making robots useful will depend on making them useable by humans.”