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Durham University

Research & business

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Dr Lei Shi, PhD

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Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 48131
Room number: E231

Contact Dr Lei Shi

I am an Assistant Professor in the Innovative Computing Group at Durham University. I hold a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Warwick and an MSc in Digital Art and Design from Zhejiang University. Before joining Durham Computer Science, I was a Research Fellow at the University of Warwick, and then a Lecturer at the University of Liverpool.

My research lies at the intersection of Human-Centred Computing (HCC) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). I investigate both theoretical aspects of Human-AI collaboration and its practical applications in real-world settings. I aim at enabling computers to reproduce and complement human abilities, work with humans, and facilitate human-human collaboration. I am particularly interested in how humans perceive, interact, collaborate and co-create with AI, especially in the fields of education and social innovation.

I have worked in the domain of Intelligent Tutoring Systems, where I implemented social interactions, open user modelling and gamification based on the theoretical underpinning of Social Constructivism, Self-Determination Theory, and Flow Theory, in order to improve learning engagement, efficiency and effectiveness. I have worked on Digital Crowdsourcing to improve Situated Engagement in the co-design of built healthcare and well-being environments. I have been working on Learning Analytics, where I use statistical modelling and machine learning to analyse massive and heterogeneous data to cluster learners, model behavioural patterns and predict learning outcomes, aiming at understanding and supporting learners in open-scale courses such as MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).

I am keen to supervise highly self-motivated PhD students who have similar research interests to mine. If you have a master degree in artificial intelligence, data science, applied statistics, human-technology interaction, cognitive sciences, cognitive and/or experimental psychology, learning science, applied linguistics, instructional design, industrial design, innovation sciences, or similar, you are encouraged to contact me with your research proposal (max. 2 pages), CV, degree transcripts (BSc and MSc) and other supporting materials.

You will be supervised by an interdisciplinary academic team (including myself) and be part of a broader cohort of students in the Innovative Computing Group.

PhD Project Ideas

  • Combining Human-Computer Collaboration and Machine Learning to build Intelligent Tutoring Systems that learn to collaborate with their human users (teachers and students) and guide their interaction and collaboration over time.
  • Implementing a gamified social learning environment for students with special needs (e.g. visual and hearing impairment), for them to be motivated, satisfied and engaged in learning.
  • Developing smart AR/VR/MR technologies to facilitate immersive environments that facilitate teaching and learning.
  • Fabricating sim-learners that can help train educational systems to be able to understand, predict and shape learning behaviours of students.

Research Groups

Department of Computer Science

Research Interests

  • Intelligent Tutoring Systems
  • Behavioural Analytics
  • Gamification
  • Explainable AI
  • Human-Computer Collaboration
  • Human-AI Co-creation

Selected Publications

Chapter in book

Conference Paper

Doctoral Thesis

  • Shi, Lei (2014). Scaffolding for Social Personalised Adaptive e-Learning. University of Warwick. PhD.

Journal Article

Show all publications