Jim Thomas PDF Print E-mail

Postdoctoral Research Scholar
Department of Computer Science
North Carolina State University

E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Address:
120 Killingsworth Drive
Cary, NC 27518
919-363-2399 (home)
919-606-8790 (cell)
U.S.A.

Current Work

Jim's work explores novel Artificial Intelligence techniques for effective guidance of human learners in computer-mediated simulations of complex domains.  He's especially interested in applying these techniques in domains that foster scientific discovery learning as well as domains in which children can learn and practice social skills.  Jim's dissertation research centers on the development of the Annie system for intelligent control of game-based learning environments.  Annie is being used to control the serious game FixIt, a game for learning about computer malware.  

Jim is currently working as a Postdoctoral Research Scholar in the Department of Computer Science at NCSU on the IC-CRIME project supported by National Science Foundation grant #551240.

Jim's research interests include Intelligent tutoring systems, automated planning and plan recognition and computer games.  He's also worked on generative computational models of interactive narrative and tools for scaffolding of social skills learning for high-functioning autistic children.  

See Jim's Two-page Statement of Research interests here [pdf].

...and Jim's Two-page Statement of Teaching Philosophy here [pdf].

...and his Curriculum Vitae a.k.a. Resume a.k.a. full CV here [pdf]. 

Education

Ph.D., Computer Science,  January 2011
Dissertation title: Automated Scaffolding of Task-Based Learning in Non-linear Game Environments
North Carolina State University

M.S., Computer Science, 1986
MS project title:  Analysis of Software Fault Distribution in N-version Programming
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

B.S., Mathematics, 1983
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.

Honors

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, 2004-2007
Top Talent Award, Nortel Networks, Top 1% Performer. (2001) (as marketing manager)
Top Talent Award, Nortel Networks, Top 1% Performer. (2000) (as software design manager)
President’s Award of Excellence, Nortel Networks, (1997)

Patents

DeRosier, M.E. & Thomas, J.M. System and method for performing sociometric data collection and analysis for the sociometric classification of schoolchildren, US Patent #7,330,823 filed Aug 31, 2001 and issued Feb 12, 2008.

Nortel Networks,  “Operator Services System”.  Named as lead designer on advanced queueing system in a patent held by BNR Inc., the Research & Development subsidiary of Nortel Networks (2007).

Dissertation

Thomas, Jim, Automated Scaffolding of Task-Based Learning in Non-Linear Game Environments, Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Computer Science, NC State University, January 2011. [pdf].

Journal Articles

Thomas, Jim and Young, R. Michael,   Annie: Automated Generation of Adaptive Learner Guidance For Fun Serious Games, in IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies, Volume 3, Number 4, 2011, 329-343. [pdf]

DeRosier, Melissa E., and Thomas, James M. Strengthening Sociometric Prediction: Scientific Advances in the Assessment of Children’s Peer Relations, in Child Development, Volume 75, Number 5, September/October 2003, 1379-1392. [link]

Conference Papers

Thomas, James M. and Young, R. M., Dynamic Guidance for Task-Based Exploratory Learning. In AIED 2011: 15th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education, June 28-July 1, 2011, Auckland, New Zealand, Springer, 369-376. [pdf]

Thomas, James M. and Young, R. M., Using Task-Based Modeling to Generate Scaffolding in Narrative-Guided Exploratory Learning Environments. In AIED 2009: 14th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education, IOS Press, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 107-114. [pdf]

Thomas, James M. and DeRosier., Toward Effective Game-Based Social Skills Tutoring for Children: An Evaluation of a Social Adventure Game. In,  Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Foundations of Digital Games, June 19-21, 2010, Monterey, California  USA, 2010. [pdf]

Refereed Workshop Papers

Thomas, James M. and Young, R. M., Becoming Scientists: Employing Adaptive Interactive Narrative to Guide Discovery Learning. In Supplementary Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education, Workshop on Narrative Learning Environments, Marina Del Rey, California, USA, 2007.[pdf]

Thomas, James M. and Young, R. M., Elicitation and Application of Narrative Constraints Through Mixed-Initiative Planning. In Working Notes of the International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling (ICAPS) 2006 Workshop on Preferences and Soft Constraints in Planning, Cumbria, UK, 2006. [pdf]

Thomas, James M. and Young, R. Michael. Author in the Loop: Using Mixed-Initiative Planning to Improve Interactive Narrative, in Working Notes of the International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling (ICAPS) 2006 Workshop on AI Planning for Computer Games and Synthetic Characters, Cumbria, UK, 2006. [pdf]

Peer-Reviewed Conference Short Papers Presented in Poster Form

Thomas, James M. and Young, R. M., Dynamic Guidance in Digital Games: Using an Extensible Plan-Based Representation of Exploratory Games to Model Student Knowledge and Guide Discovery Learning. In AIED 2009: 14th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education, IOS Press, Amsterdam,  Netherlands, 129. [pdf]

Thomas, James M. and Young, R. M., Toward A Domain-Independent Framework to Automate Scaffolding of Task-Based Learning in Digital Games. In, Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Foundations of Digital Games, April 26-30, 2009, Orlando, Florida  USA, 2009. 331-332. [pdf]

Thomas, James M. and  R. Michael Young, Annie: A Tutor That Works In Digital Games.  In Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems, June, 2010,  Pittsburgh, PA, USA[pdf]

Interactive Demonstrations

Thomas, James M. and Young, R. M., Annie and FixIt: Showcasing Dynamic Guidance for Task-Based Exploratory Learning. In Supplementary Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education, Interactive Events, June 28-July 1, 2011, Auckland, New Zealand, Springer, 2011. 629. [YouTube video]

Service

Journal Reviewer, International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education (2010), Journal of Game Development (2007)
Conference Reviewer,  AAAI Fall Symposium (2007), 4th International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (2009).

Media

YouTube video showing demo of Annie and FixIt, appearing as an interactive systems demo  to the 2011 International Conference on AI and Education.
Last Updated on Saturday, 01 March 2014 18:23