Snowy colonnade

Benjamin Kane

URCS Grad Student


I'm a first-year PhD student of Computer Science at the University of Rochester, with a focus on Artificial Intelligence. Before that, I graduated from the University of Rochester with a BS in Computer Science as well as a BA in Economics, giving me an interest in the practical applications of intelligent agents towards the social sciences and real-world domains. Currently, my general research interests lie within knowledge representation & commonsense reasoning, natural language understanding, and dialogue planning.

Under the advisorship of Dr. Lenhart Schubert, some projects that I have worked on include:

  • Designing a dialogue manager for a virtual agent capable of holding a series of open-ended conversations with older adults, with the aim of creating a system that humans can use to practice conversational skills and receive dynamic feedback.

  • Creating a dialogue manager and virtual agent which is able to interpret complex spatial questions in a 'blocks world' QA system.

  • Applying machine learning models to predict turn-taking in open-ended human-computer dialogue, using various features relating to syntactic and semantic completion as well as speech prosody.

  • Annotating a varied corpus of natural-language sentences with unscoped logical form (ULF) representations, and creating code to generate Natural Logic-like inferences over ULF for a set of clause-taking verbs.

In my free time, I'm an avid martial artist, and currently train in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Isshin-ryƫ Karate. I also have a creative side, and enjoy music, photography, and modelling architecture in sandbox games.


Click here to view CV.

CSC 400 NSF Proposal

Managing intensive rotational grazing using reinforcement learning based livestock simulations


  1. Razavi S. Z.; Kane B.; Schubert L. K. Investigating Linguistic and Semantic Features for Turn-Taking Prediction in Open-Domain Human-Computer Conversation. InterSpeech. September 15-19, 2019, Graz, Austria.

  2. Kim G. L.; Kane B.; Duong V.; Mendiratta M.; McGuire G.; Sackstein S.; Platonov G.; Schubert L. K. Generating Discourse Inferences from Unscoped Episodic Logical Formulas. 1st Int. Workshop on Designing Meaning Representations (DMR), at the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL 2019). Aug 1, 2019, Florence, Italy.

  3. Razavi S. Z.; Schubert L. K.; Kane B.; Rafayet Ali M.; Van Orden K. A.; Ma T. Dialogue Design and Management for Multi-Session Casual Conversation with Older Adults Workshop on User-Aware Conversational Agents (User2Agent), at the 24th Int. Conf. on Intelligent User Interfaces (ACM IUI 2019). March 17-20, 2019, Los Angeles, USA.

  4. Kane B.; Luo, J. 2018. Do the Communities We Choose Shape our Political Beliefs? A Study of the Politicization of Topics in Online Social Groups. Workshop on Big Social Media Data Management and Analysis (BSMDMA), at the IEEE International Conference on Big Data. December 10-13, 2018, Seattle, USA.