MSc Thesis Proposal Announcement of Niyati Vyas:"Personal Tutor: A Web-Based Ontology For An ECA "

Wednesday, November 17, 2021 - 11:00 to 12:30


The School of Computer Science is pleased to present… 

MSc Thesis Proposal by: Niyati Vyas 

Date: Wednesday November 17, 2021    
Time:  11:00am – 12:30pm 
Passcode: If interested in attending this event, contact the Graduate Secretary at with sufficient notice before the event to obtain the passcode.


Since the onset of the internet, the world had been slowly and steadily turning digital, taking its time. The introduction of the deadly coronavirus has forced this transformation to pick up its pace. These unprecedented times have forced all daily activities to maintain social distance and do everything from shopping to studying online, which has given a surge to new and effective educational technologies. While many studies are actively working on linear and collaborative learning in a virtual learning environment, few has tried to exploit the use of Embodied Conversational Agent (ECA) for personalized tutoring. 
This thesis research proposes an approach that is able to not only allow ECA performing the role of human tutors but also interact with users adaptively according to their level of knowledge. The proposed approach extends the research previously accomplished by our research group and uses self-adjusted POMDP policies to guide the interaction between ECA and users. Furthermore, the construction of a generic, scalable tutoring ontology enables the dialogue management of ECA to track the history of belief states and use the trend of changes to estimate the level of user’s knowledge for the control of feedback and the tasks presented to the user. It is anticipated that the research work helps improving online learning with ECA acting as a personal tutor. 
Keywords: ECA, Virtual Reality, POMDP, personalized tutor, ontology 
MSc Thesis Committee
Internal Reader: Dr. Pooya Moradian Zadeh          
External Reader: Dr. Guoqiang Zhou         
Advisor: Dr. Xiaobu Yuan 

MSc Thesis Proposal Announcement 

5113 Lambton Tower 401 Sunset Ave. Windsor ON, N9B 3P4 (519) 253-3000 Ext. 3716 (working remotely)