We are pleased to announce the following keynote speakers:

Jill Burstein is the Director of Research of the Natural Language Processing Group in the Research Division at Educational Testing Service. She is a computational linguist and an expert in the design and application of automated capabilities for educational technology, specializing in automated writing evaluation. Her research is highly cross-disciplinary, as reflected in her publications with research colleagues from the writing and reading studies, English language learning, and psychometric communities. The intersection of her research interests has led to these two inventions: E-rater®, an automated essay evaluation application, and Language MuseTM, an instructional authoring tool for teachers of English language learners.  Currently, she is the PI for two federally-funded project entitled, A Technology-Assisted Generation of Linguistically-Relevant Instructional Activities to Support ELLs in Content and Language Learning in the Content Areas (#R305A140472), and Exploring Writing Achievement and Its Role in Success at 4-Year Postsecondary Institutions(#R305A160115). Dr. Burstein also holds numerous patents for NLP-based, educational technology inventions that support writing analytics.  She holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the Graduate Center, the City University of New York.

Erica Snow PhD, is the Principal Cognitive Scientist at Imbellus. Erica’s research examines how patterns of behavior can be extracted from digital environments to better understand and ultimately support users’ cognitive, metacognitive, and regulatory processes. Through her work Erica has led both IES and NSF funded projects and has published more than 45 peer-reviewed publications on learning analytics, adaptive technology, and human-computer interactions. Erica received her PhD in Cognitive Science at Arizona State University in 2011.


Phil Durrant is Senior Lecturer in Language Education at the University of Exeter. He was previously a teacher of English as a Foreign Language and English for Academic Purposes in Turkey and the UK. Phil’s research focuses on how first- and second-language written language develops with age and expertise and on genre- and discipline-variation in academic writing. Within this, he is particularly interested in the development and use of vocabulary and phraseology. He is currently PI on the ESRC-funded project Growth in Grammar, which is building the first corpus of authentic school writing by children across the range of compulsory education in England.