1st Student's Major

Computer Information Science

1st Student's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Students' Professional Biography

Brian McMahan is a senior majoring in Cognitive Science with a focus on Computer Science and a minor in Mathematics at Minnesota State University, Mankato. He was born in Brainerd, MN and graduated from Pine River-Backus High School in 2006. During his enrollment at MSU, Mankato, Brian presented at the Undergraduate Research Conference twice, traveled to Johns Hopkins University for a computational linguistics summer school, and involved himself in Minnesota State Student Senate, Campus Kitchen Project, Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, Interfraternity Council, and several other registered student organizations. Brian is also a part of the McNair Achievement Program where he has performed over 100 hours of research. Through the McNair Achievement Program, Brian also presented his research at the University of California, Berkeley. After graduation in May, 2011 he plans to attend graduate school to attain a PhD in Computer Science or Computational Neuroscience.

Mentor's Name

Rebecca Bates

Mentor's Email Address


Mentor's Department

Integrated Engineering

Mentor's College

Science, Engineering and Technology


Automatic dialog systems are an implementation of natural language processing theory with the goal of allowing the use of natural sentences to communicate with a computer system. The general purpose of this project was to design and implement an automatic dialog system for augmenting university student advising. Student advising is a relatively narrow domain of possible questions and responses. The automatic dialog system focused on prescriptive advising rather than developmental advising to further narrow the domain to scheduling and registration matters. A student advisor was interviewed and recorded during a mock advising session in order to model the interaction between students and their advisors. The phrases and advising information have been encoded using Artificial Intelligence Markup Language (AIML) and the dialog system has been implemented in the programming language Python. Future work includes expanding the database to include information directly from the Minnesota State University, Mankato student registration system as well as to implement a spoken language interface.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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