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Mid-South Psychology Conference Information
Arthur C. Graesser, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Psychology


Art Graesser

Dr. Art Graesser is a professor in the Department of Psychology and an adjunct professor in Computer Science at the University of Memphis. He is also a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford (UK).
Dr. Graesser received his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California at San Diego in 1977. After joining the U of M’s Psychology Department in 1985, Dr. Graesser, along with Dr. Stan Franklin, established the Institute for Intelligent Systems (IIS) as one of the first interdisciplinary research centers on campus. Today, IIS research involves approximately 60 faculty and students from the fields of computer science, mathematics, cognitive psychology, physics, neuroscience, education, linguistics, philosophy, anthropology, engineering, and business.  

Dr. Graesser is globally renowned as a leader in the learning sciences, with particular expertise in the fields of text comprehension, question answering, and intelligent tutoring systems. He has worked on projects funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Office of Naval Research, the Institute of Education Sciences, and other national funders totaling more than $30 million.

Dr. Graesser is a serial collaborator and a devoted teacher, having directly supervised research and chaired committees for 150 undergraduates, 30 masters level students, and 35 doctoral students, as well as 10 post-doctoral researchers. Dr. Graesser's primary research interests are in cognitive science, discourse processing, and the learning sciences. More specific interests include knowledge representation, question asking and answering, tutoring, text comprehension, inference generation, conversation, reading, education, memory, emotions, artificial intelligence, and human-computer interaction.

Dr. Graesser served as editor of the journal Discourse Processes (1996–2005) and is the current editor of Journal of Educational Psychology (2009-2014). His service in professional societies includes president of the Empirical Studies of Literature, Art, and Media (1989-1992), the Society for Text and Discourse (2007-2010), the International Society for Artificial Intelligence in Education (2007-2009), and the Federation for the Advancement of Brain and Behavioral Sciences Foundation (2012-13). In addition to publishing nearly 500 articles in journals, books, and conference proceedings, he has written two books and edited 11. He and his colleagues have designed, developed, and tested software in learning, language, and discourse technologies, including AutoTutor, AutoTutor-lite, MetaTutor, GuruTutor, DeepTutor, HURA Advisor, SEEK Web Tutor, Operation ARIES!, iSTART, Writing-Pal, AutoCommunicator, Point & Query, Question Understanding Aid (QUAID), QUEST, and Coh-Metrix.

Dr. Art Graesser recently received two very prestigious awards: the 2011 Distinguished Contributions of Applications of Psychology to Education and Training Award from the American Psychological Association (APA) and the first Presidential Award for Lifetime Achievement in Research from the University of Memphis. The APA Award recognizes a psychologist for evidence-based applications of psychology to education and training. This award acknowledges Art Graesser's contributions in "the application of psychological principles to the study of cognitive science, and particularly cognitive engineering of useful education and training technologies."  The award recognizes his "profound and continuing distinguished contributions to educational theory and practice."

U of M’s Presidential Award for Lifetime Achievement in Research is the University’s highest level of research recognition given to its faculty.  It was established as part of the University’s Centennial celebration to recognize the vital role and impact of research at the University of Memphis.  “This honor is clearly the pinnacle of my career,” said Graesser. “I am deeply appreciative that I am part of a network of talented researchers whose collective talents and support have made it possible to achieve this level of recognition for our contributions to the science of learning.”

In announcing the award, University President Shirley Raines said, “Dr. Graesser is among our most productive researchers and has a significant, exemplary, and sustained record of academic scholarship, research collaboration, mentoring, and university citizenship.”

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Last Updated: 8/9/12