Nigel G. Ward received the Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley in 1991. He was on the faculty of the University of Tokyo for ten years before joining UTEP in 2002. He In 2015-2016 he was a Fulbright Scholar and Visiting Professor at Kyoto University. In 2019 he is co-organizing special sessions on Modeling Meaning-Bearing Configurations of Prosodic Features at ICPhS and The Expression of Stance in Spoken Language at IPrA.

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