• Assistant Professor of Computer Science,
  • Elizabeth DeCamp McInerny Chair in Health Sciences

  • Fairfield University
  • School of Engineering


My research is focused on building and studying intelligent computing systems that demonstrate a human-like capability for in-depth understanding and production of natural language, and thus can achieve richer interactions with human users.

I am especially keen on building systems that decompose the meaning of language into complex conceptual structures that reflect humans' embodied cognition, memory, imagery, and knowledge about social situations. I use crowdsourcing and machine learning techniques to build these systems to scale, but I also often craft systems by hand because it can tell us how to use crowds and machine learning methods better.

Because these systems can comprehend narratives and participate in discourse, I use them to support safe and positive experiences for users of social media platforms, and to prevent the spread of harmful behaviors on them. I perform system evaluations and empirical studies with human participants using qualitative and quantitative methods.


* I have been named the Alpha Sigma Nu 2018 Graduate Teacher of the Year at Fairfield University! This award recognizes effectiveness in the classroom as well as involvement with student groups and availability for consultation outside of the classroom. I am greatly honored to be selected for this award by the students and faculty advisors of Fairfield's chapter of Alpha Sigma Nu, the national Jesuit honor society.

* During the summer of 2018, I will be a Summer Fellow at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC as part of the 2018 Office of Naval Research Summer Faculty Research Program. I will be hosted by Mark "Mak" Roberts and David Aha.

* I have been named the Elizabeth DeCamp McInerny Professor of Health Sciences at Fairfield University! This endowed chair, established in 1979, provides financial support for faculty-student research in the health sciences.

* During the fall semester of 2017, I will be on a pre-tenure sabbatical leave from Fairfield University. I will spend the majority of my time at MIT CSAIL with the Genesis group, working with Patrick Winston and Henry Lieberman. I will also spend significant time at Brown University with Stefanie Tellex, Jim Gates, Stephon Alexander and others.

* Our paper, "Crowdsourcing a Parallel Corpus for Conceptual Analysis of Natural Language", was accepted and presented at AAAI HCOMP 2017.

* Our paper, "Image Schemas and Conceptual Dependency Primitives: A Comparison", was accepted and presented at Image Schema Day III, part of the Joint Ontology Workshops (JOWO) 2017.

* Our paper, "Conceptual Primitive Decomposition for Knowledge Sharing via Natural Language", was accepted and presented at the inaugural Workshop on Interaction-Based Knowledge Sharing (WINKS), part of the Joint Ontology Workshops (JOWO) 2017.


We are recruiting undergraduate and graduate students for research assistantships and other research collaboration opportunities. Please contact me if you are hard-working, self-starting, and interested in these topics. Here is a list of my past and present student research collaborators:

  • Jung Soo Kim, Fairfield
  • Brian Yu, Harvard
  • Martin Winton, MIT
  • Sandra Grandic, Fairfield
  • Zachary Ervin, Fairfield
  • Marydjina Barionnette, Fairfield
  • Ting Li, Fairfield


  • Spring 2018, CS131: Fundamentals of Programming (3 Sections)
  • Fall 2017, Pre-tenure Sabbatical
  • Spring 2017, CS131: Fundamentals of Programming (3 Sections)
  • Fall 2016, CS101: Introduction to Computing
  • Fall 2016, SW407: Java for Programmers
  • Fall 2016, SW550/SW551: Capstone Project I/II
  • Spring 2016, CS131: Fundamentals of Programming (2 Sections)
  • Fall 2015, SW407: Java for Programmers
  • Fall 2015, CS101: Introduction to Computing


I am an assistant professor of computer science in the School of Engineering at Fairfield University and co-director of SAFElab. Previously I was a postdoctoral fellow at Clemson University and a postdoctoral research associate at MIT.

I received my Ph.D. in Computer Science from UCLA, an M.S. in Physics from Stanford University, and a B.S. in Mathematical Physics from Brown University. My broad interests are in artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction, and I am a member of the ACM, AAAI, IEEE, and HFES.

[ Publications | CV ]


  • Email:
  • jamie.macbeth [at] gmail.com

  • Twitter:
  • @jamie_macbeth

  • Skype:
  • jamie.macbeth1
  • Mail:
  • School of Engineering
  • Fairfield University
  • 1073 North Benson Road
  • Fairfield CT 06824 USA
  • Office:
  • Bannow Science Center Room 105