Always Learning

Areas of Expertise

Who are we? Visionaries. Inventors. Professors. PhDs. Patent holders. Researchers.

Our team has built an intellectual property base that is unparalleled in the assessment field. We can measure core language and literacy skills and have scored tens of millions of spoken and written test responses from all over the globe.

Meet our team.




Jared Bernstein, PhD

Jared is a recognized leader in the field of spoken language testing. He has a PhD in Psycholinguistics and a Master's Degree in Linguistics. He co-founded Ordinate and developed its patented testing technology. Jared has led commercial system developments in both text-to-speech synthesis and speech recognition. He has extensive experience in speech processing and voice interactive system design at SRI International, MIT, and Telesensory Systems, as well as editorial positions in linguistics and speech processing. He is a Consulting Professor of Linguistics at Stanford University and has taught English and linguistics in the Middle East and South America.

Thomas K. Landauer, PhD

A founder of Knowledge Analysis Technologies (now Pearson's Knowledge Technologies group), Thomas is a named inventor on five patents for applications of Latent Semantic Analysis. Prior to joining Pearson, Thomas worked for Bell Laboratories and its successor, Bellcore, for 25 years. There he was director of Cognitive Science Research, a group of computer scientists, linguists, and cognitive psychologists who conducted research on computer and communication-based tools for enhancing human learning and performance. He has been a faculty member at Harvard University, Dartmouth College, Stanford University, and Princeton University and a fellow in the Institute of Cognitive Science. An internationally recognized leader in applied cognitive science research, he has published more than 110 articles and authored or edited four books, including The Handbook of Human-Computer Interaction and The Trouble with Computers: Usefulness, Usability and Productivity, which received an Association of American Publishers award.

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Executive Team

Alistair Van Moere

Alistair is President of Pearson’s Knowledge Technologies group. He manages an organization of experts who research, develop, and globally distribute assessments and automated scoring services for evaluation of speaking, writing, and math skills.

Alistair has an MA in English Language Teaching, a PhD in Applied Linguistics & Language Testing, and an Executive MBA. He has worked in various language training and assessment roles over the past 20 years: Assistant Professor at Kanda University, Japan; Director of Studies in language schools in Japan and the UK; EFL teacher in Thailand and Indonesia; and academic tutor to prepare overseas students for studying in UK universities. He has also consulted on numerous test validation projects for exam boards, such as Trinity College London.

Alistair is active in the language assessment community and the International Language Testing Association (ILTA). His PhD thesis on interactions in spoken language proficiency tests won the 2010 Jacqueline Ross TOEFL Award for best dissertation in Language Testing. He is frequently an invited speaker at conferences, and has published 20 research articles in peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of Educational and Psychological Measurement, Language Testing, Language Assessment Quarterly, IEEE Professional Transactions, and Australian Review of Applied Linguistics.

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Business Development, Sales & Marketing

Larry Rothenberg, JD

Larry is a veteran in the language business. He was a co-founder of Syracuse Language Systems, a language training software company, and led business development before becoming President and CEO. He sold the company to Cendant in 1998 and continued as division President. He subsequently was co-founder, President and CEO of AdvanceWork, Inc., a software start-up that developed and marketed software and services for handheld devices. Larry received his JD from Georgetown Law School and worked as an intellectual property and patent attorney for Fulbright and Jaworski in Washington, DC.

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Finance & Administration

Pat Hilton-Suiter

As Director of Finance for Pearson Knowledge Technologies, Pat is responsible for the company's finance and accounting, contract and project management, and business management. Prior to joining Pearson, she was Financial Advisor at US WEST Advanced Technologies, where she was responsible for R&D departments' financials, reporting directly to senior management. Pat brings to our executive team more than 20 years of industry experience in functional and project finance and accounting.

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Product Development & Test Delivery

Bill Bonk

Bill has a joint PhD in Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Science, and a master’s degree in Second Language Studies. His interests and work have been in growth modeling, data visualization, learning and memory for sequences, foreign language psycholinguistics, and second language teaching and testing. In addition to the US, Bill has lived and worked in France, Italy, Ecuador, Japan, Hawaii, and Brazil. 

Yuan D’Antilio

Yuan obtained her PhD in Linguistics from Stanford University. She has extensive research experience in language acquisition and psycholinguistics. With deep understanding of children’s language development processes, she successfully manages a key statewide ELL assessment project at Pearson. Prior to joining Pearson, Yuan was an NIH researcher focusing on speech processing. Her research has been presented at numerous academic conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals such as Journal of Phonetics and TESOL Quarterly.

Donald DeLand

A 25-year veteran of the software and publishing industries, Don is responsible for the development of automated math scoring. In 1991 Don founded Integre Technical Publishing, an instructional technology and publishing services company that explored innovative applications of computer algebra to educational publishing. Don is the original architect of MathQuery, an automated criterion-based grading engine for constructed-response mathematics, that was subsequently acquired by Pearson. While at Integre he led numerous product, textbook, and curriculum development projects for leading educational and technical reference publishers. He was the principal investigator on several NSF-funded instructional technology grants, and continues to serve as the technical editor for three journals devoted to math education. Don holds the BA degree in physics from Oberlin College and the MA in the history of science from the University of Wisconsin.

Lindsay Horn

Lindsay obtained her MA in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from George Mason University. She has experience in high-stakes test development and item validation.  In her role at Pearson, she manages English and non-English item banks, conducts item development, item research, statistical analysis, and generates many reports provided to key stakeholders. Lindsay has contributed to the development of a few high-stakes test development projects, including the development of the English for Professionals (E^Pro) exam. Prior to joining Pearson, Lindsay worked for the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy focusing on the development of the national licensure exams for physical therapist and physical therapist assistants.

Yujie Jia

Yujie earned her PhD degree in language testing from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research interests include oral assessment, automated scoring, and validation of large-scale assessments. Prior to joining Pearson, Yujie worked at National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Students Testing as a graduate student researcher and was involved in several K-12 and navy assessment projects. She has also worked for ETS Beijing Ltd. as a marketing consultant and Education First as a test development manager. Yujie has conducted research on the validation of some English language tests administered in China, Hong Kong, and the United States. Her research studies were presented at international conferences such as Language Testing Research Colloquium and National Council on Measurement in Education.

Mallory Klungtvedt

Mallory has an MA in Applied Linguistics and a certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). She has been a part of the Test Development team for more than 5 years, working on developing automated language tests. Before joining the Test Development team, she taught English as a foreign language in the Czech Republic and Ecuador.

Masa Suzuki

Masa has an MA in English with a concentration in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). He has 10 years of experience in developing and validating automated spoken language tests. He has significant experience implementing custom requirements onto the Versant patented technology platform. Masa has successfully managed several high-stakes test development projects, including the development of the Versant Aviation English Test under a cooperative agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the development and validation of the Versant Arabic Test under a contract with the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, and the development and validation of the Spoken Chinese Test with Peking University. He frequently presents research results at respected international conferences in the field of language testing and applied linguistics such as Language Testing Research Colloquium (LTRC) and American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL).

Frank Weil

Frank is a Principal Software Developer with nearly 25 years of industry experience building web-based and client/server software solutions in various industries including Telecommunications, Education, System Management, Business Process Management and Financial Services (High Frequency Trading). Prior to working at Knowledge Technologies, Frank worked at Nasdaq (previously FTEN) specializing in gateway services and complex event processing risk management services. Before that he worked at Software AG (formally WebMethods) on Business Activity Monitoring software; then nine years building web-based learning software and system management services at Sun Microsystems,, where he was awarded a patent for "Search engine interface and method of controlling client searches" (US Patent 6,907,423); and nine years in the Telecommunications industry building POTS testing products.

Xiaoqiu Xu

Xiaoqiu has a PhD in Developmental and Psychological Sciences, with a specialization in second language acquisition and testing, and an MS in TESOL and an MA in East Asian Studies. She has extensive language teaching experience in both China and USA. Before joining Pearson, Xiaoqiu was an instructor and supervisor at the Stanford Teacher Education Program, where she taught a core master-level course on Instruction and Curriculum to pre-service language teachers and supervised their student teaching practicum. She also worked with the California Foreign Language Project and Palo Alto Unified School District for the development of their first four-skill Mandarin assessment for young students (K-5), and served as a research assistant for language programs co-sponsored by the California Foreign Language Project, National Foreign Language Center, College Board, Hanban, and others.

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Research & Development

Xin Chen

Xin received the BS degree in computer science from Tianjin University, Tianjin, China, in 2006, and the MS and PhD degree in computer science from the University of Missouri, Columbia, in 2008 and 2011, respectively. He has rich experience and deep understanding in acoustic modeling, automatic speech recognition, natural language processing, and machine learning and algorithms. Xin is actively involved in advancing the state of automatic speech recognition and is part of new test development, validation, research, and implementation of new traits. Prior to joining the Knowledge Technologies group of Pearson, he interned at Rosetta Stone, Boulder, CO; IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY; and Microsoft Research, Redmond, WA.

Jian Cheng

Jian has a PhD in Artificial Intelligence and has been instrumental in the development of the automated machine scoring for all the current production Versant test series. He has been developing automated speaking tests with the Versant team for more than 13 years and brings practical and proven experience implementing automated machine scoring and test validation. Jian has expertise in automatic speech recognition, machine learning, statistical modeling, natural language processing, data analysis, and psychometrics and testing theory, and has published research papers in these areas.

Peter Foltz, PhD

Peter is a co-founder of Knowledge Analysis Technologies (now Pearson's Knowledge Technologies group) and oversees research on new technologies and government contract work. Peter developed personalization methods for constructing interest profiles and systems that filter out unwanted information using Latent Semantic Analysis, and shares a patent with Thomas Landauer. He has also been a faculty member at New Mexico State University and is widely published on information retrieval, natural language processing, educational technology, and cognitive science. Peter has a PhD and Master's degree in psychology and was at Bellcore prior to joining Pearson.

Angeliki Metallinou

Angeliki received her degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece, in 2007, and her Masters and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California (USC), in 2009 and 2013 respectively. Her research interests lie in the areas of speech and multimodal signal processing, machine learning, affective computing, dialog systems, and applications of engineering in healthcare. As part of Pearson’s Knowledge Technologies group, her focus is on improving automated machine scoring and speech recognition, while she is also involved in healthcare monitoring projects. During her PhD studies, she worked on multimodal emotion recognition, based on speech, facial expression and body language, and participated in healthcare-related projects. Before joining Pearson, she interned at Microsoft Research working on machine learning approaches for spoken dialog systems. Learn more at

Yigal Rosen

Yigal is a Senior Research Scientist with Pearson Knowledge Technologies. He is co-leading the research and development of 21st Century Skills Assessments and innovative computer-based assessment prototypes for Math and ELA. Yigal has more than 10 years of international experience in higher-order thinking skills assessment and educational technology. He has held leadership positions in R&D projects of innovative computer-based assessment in collaboration with Microsoft, Intel, and ETS. Before joining Pearson he was a lecturer at the University of Haifa and a Head of Assessment and Evaluation at Time To Know. Yigal previously taught computer science, math, and science in grades 5 through 12 for ten years.

Yigal earned his PhD in educational assessment from the University of Haifa, Israel. He was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and at Tel Aviv University School of Education. He was a member of OECD's PISA 2015 Assessment Framework Expert Group and an Expert in Measurement at The National Authority for Measurement & Evaluation, The Israeli Ministry of Education. He is the author of more than 60 publications and conference papers, including articles in Review of Educational Research, Journal of Research on Technology in Education, and Journal of Educational Computing Research. In 2009 he received the University of Haifa Faculty of Education's Outstanding Lecturer Award, and in 2011 his research paper was awarded as the best paper of the ED-MEDIA conference.

His current interests focus on issues related to assessment of higher-order thinking skills in technology-rich environments, computer-based cognitive tools for learning and assessment, and educational data mining.

Mark Rosenstein

Mark is a Senior Research Scientist in the Knowledge Technologies division of Pearson, applying statistical machine learning and natural language processing techniques to address problems in education. Mark has an undergraduate degree in mathematics from The Ohio State University and a Master’s degree in economics from the University of California-San Diego, and many years of experience in both government and industrial research organizations in developing and applying technology. He has authored more than 30 professional articles, book chapters, conference papers, and other publications in areas ranging over educational systems, user interface design, analysis and training applications of team communications, and the application of language analysis in neurological disorders. He is a co-inventor on a patent for the use of Latent Semantic Analysis in recommendation systems.

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Software & Hardware Architecture & Delivery

Marcia Derr

Marcia brings more than 30 years of experience in software research and engineering, with accomplishments in the areas of database technology, data visualization, speech recognition, computational linguistics, and machine learning. She is currently responsible for developing models and tools for automated essay scoring. Before joining Pearson's Knowledge Technologies group, she worked at US WEST Advanced Technologies, AT&T Bell Laboratories, and Sperry Univac. Marcia holds the PhD in Computer Science from Stanford University, the MS in Computer Science from Columbia University, and the BS in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Sam Dooley

An expert in computer algebra and XML, Sam is a senior developer on Pearson's automated math scoring team. In the late 1980s Sam was a co-developer on the IMSSS Calculus Project at Stanford University, an intelligent tutoring system that was one of the first successful distance-learning applications for mathematics. While at IBM Research, he worked on the development of the Axiom computer algebra system and of several interoperability standards, including the W3C's MathML and XHTML standards and the IEEE's Learning Technology standards. Sam is the architect and lead developer of Pearson's MathML equation editor, and he has numerous publications on computer algebra, intelligent tutoring, and math user interfaces. Sam holds BS degrees in mathematics and computer science from Texas A&M, and an MS in computer science from the University of California-Berkeley.

Scott Dooley

Scott has a passion for building software applications for learning. He was the primary developer and currently directs technical product development for the WriteToLearn family of products. He has more than 15 years of experience in the research, design, and development of interactive learning environments and intelligent tutoring systems in both academic and commercial settings. Scott is a co-inventor on two telecommunications-related patents from his work at the US WEST Advanced Technologies research center. He has an MS degree in Computer Science from the University of Utah.

Kyle Habermehl, MBA

Kyle's strength is bringing ideas from research to business through creative software design. In his role at Pearson, he oversees the use of architecture and software systems to enhance the effectiveness of our assessment products, with particular focus on software methods, processes, and tools. Kyle's prior experience was in aerospace, telecommunications, and research organizations, such as the California Institute of Technology. He did work on large-scale and process intensive systems and acted as an advisor to startup technology companies. Kyle is named on two patents and has his MBA, Master's, and Bachelor's degrees in computer science and a BS in mathematics.

Janusz Niemiec

Janusz Niemiec holds a dual MS degree in Computer Science and Telecommunications. He brings more than 15 years of experience in architecture, development, and operations of Internet-centric enterprise systems and diverse distributed computing environments. Before joining the Knowledge Technologies group at Pearson, he had been an integral part of several startup companies developing products and services in the areas of personal marketing, biometric-enabled shopper services, and language instruction solutions tailored to consumer and corporate markets.

During his career, Janusz served as Director of Development for Personalized Marketing at Pay By Touch, VP of Systems and Infrastructure at AdvanceWork International, and VP of Online Technology at Syracuse Language Systems.

Rick Walsh

Rick has more than 30 years of experience across a broad spectrum of software development. He has spent more than 15 years working with various facets of Artificial Intelligence, including natural language understanding,, machine learning, expert systems, causal reasoning systems, planning and scheduling systems, and constraint based management systems. He spent eight years creating assistive technologies, evolving an understanding of the mental processes required for the sensory impaired to communicate. He has solved complex problems with advanced technologies in a wide variety of industries and environments, including biotechnology, meteorology, oncology, e-commerce, telecommunications, aerospace, manufacturing, petrochemical, insurance, railroad, package delivery, retail, land and space based networking, and others.

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Technology Services

Karen Lochbaum

Karen is responsible for the development and delivery of Pearson's Intelligent Essay Assessor and its use in automated scoring services. She holds the PhD in computer science from Harvard University and has worked in the automated scoring field for over a decade.  Karen previously worked at US WEST Advanced Technologies, Bellcore, and Bell Labs on the development and application of Latent Semantic Analysis, including work that led to two patents. Karen has published numerous technical articles in areas related to automated scoring technology and computational linguistics.

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