Lee Becker

I am a Principal Research Scientist managing a small team in Pearson’s AI Products and Solutions division.  My research largely centers on applying natural language processing to improve automated writing assessment and to create better ecosystems and technologies to encourage writing across the curriculum.  As a full stack stack data scientist I do everything from training and deploying models, to web application development to data and infrastructure engineering.

Previously I was  lead data scientist/computational linguist at Hapara where I headed up efforts to transform Hapara Analytics from an initial idea to a full-fledged product. Prior to joining Hapara, I worked as a research scientist for Avaya Labs, where I investigated applications of text processing for social media analysis and automating contact center interactions.

Before returning to industry, I completed a joint PhD in Computer Science and Cognitive Science at the University of Colorado Boulder with a focus on natural language processing. My thesis centered on developing richer representations of dialogue to enable improved automation and characterization of interactions such as those found in intelligent tutoring systems. While there, I also carried out research in educational data mining, question generation, and relation extraction for clinical texts.

My non-career career revolves around training, teaching documenting and promoting the Indonesian art of Pencak Silat.   I run a small silat school here in Boulder and I also serve as the Secretary General for the United States Sport Silat Association (USSSA) the governing body for sport silat in the USA.