Nigel G. Ward, Professor of Computer Science, received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1991. On the faculty of the University of Tokyo for ten years before joining UTEP in 2002, in 2015-2016 he was a Fulbright Scholar and Visiting Professor at Kyoto University. He recently co-organized a special session on Modeling Meaning-Bearing Configurations of Prosodic Features at ICPhS and taught introduction to prosody courses etc. at Interspeech and at the LSA Linguistics Institute. He is chair of the Speech Prosody SIG and the author of Prosodic Patterns in English Conversation.

Ward's research areas are at the intersection of spoken language and human-computer interaction. Current topics include the subtle non-lexical and prosodic signals that enable inference of a dialog partner's needs, intentions, and feelings at the sub-second level; and ways to model and exploit these phenomena to improve dialog system responsiveness, information retrieval from audio, and language assessment and teaching. These projects apply multiple methods: linguistic, corpus-based modeling, systems building, and experimental.