Computer Science DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science

Riddle Me This

Computer science graduate student Nicholas Kumia ’18 recently presented a self-designed computer program that poses complex riddles to humans at a national conference sponsored by the Department of Defense.

Kumia’s project, called Remy the Riddler, is aimed at investigating how computers understand and interact with humans.

Kumia, who won a SMART scholarship from the Department of Defense, one was of just 37 researchers invited to present at the annual Science, Technology and Innovation Exchange (STIx) conference in Arlington, VA.

His abstract, Diversity-driven Adversity in Natural Language Processing (NLP) – The Riddler, described how Remy the Riddler communicated with human users in series of questions and answers.

Programmed with a database of riddles and their corresponding answers, Remy posed riddles to approximately 20 users and helped them solve each one by providing useful hints based on the users’ responses.

“I was very fortunate to be able to contribute to the world sharing the fusion of my engineering background with my new computer science knowledge,” Kumia said. “I will continue to work on new research that I was only exposed to through the completion of this project.”

Kumia conducted his research under the supervision of Simon Ben-Avi, PhD, professor of computer science in the Fred DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science.

The STIx conference serves as a platform for members of the science and technology community to share ideas and raise awareness of new and upcoming technologies, projects and innovations.



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