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Dr. Rika Yoshii

Dr. Rika Yoshii

Professor of Computer Science and Information Systems

Office: SCI2 231
Hours: MWF 12:30-1:30 or whenever my door is open

Dr. Rika Yoshii

Dr. Yoshii received her Ph.D. Degree in Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine (UCI) Before she joined the Department, she was a project leader at Rockwell and a research staff member for the Northrop Research and Technology Center, and then returned to UCI as a researcher for the Educational Technology Center and a lecturer for the ICS department. She joined the Computer Science Department at CSUSM in 1993. She is a U.S. citizen. And she is a proud graduate of the local Point Loma High School (Go Pointers!!)

  • She is the Student-Industry Event Coordinator for CS.
  • She is on BLP (Meetings Tuesdays 1-2:15pm).
  • She is on GPC (Meetings every other Friday 2-4pm)
  • Current projects she is passionate about:
    • Removing math anxiety.
    • Getting CS students interested in pursuing research careers.
    • Relating languages to cultures and thoughts.
    • Solving social problems among young Japanese people.

For more information on me and useful help files/tutors for CS majors: please visit my personal site which is very interesting.

Spring 2019: CS311 on MWF 11:30am-12:20pm SCI2 243, CS421 online. Download files from Cougar Courses.  Tuesdays at Noon in SCI2 243 for group help sessions.



Tutoring Systems (interactive / intelligent) and Authoring Tools for Them

  • Authoring Tools for Creating Conversational Tutoring Systems (Tutor Writer and TWIGy)
  • Reasoning Tool for Helping ESL students Learn Non-Countable Noun (DeCEN)
  • Diagrammatic Reasoning Tool for Helping ESL Students Learn Articles (DaRT and ItsLEADR)
  • Web-based Tutorial Software for CSIS students (Visualizers and LLV Tutor)

Goal: Authoring Tool for creating intelligent tutoring systems that make use of visual reasoning models

My personal page on research interest and system demos.

My past and present graduate students:

  •    Wu and Miao - Script Editor authoring tool for PC
  •    Rosenthal      - Script Editor authoring tool with student data on a server
  •    Li                   - Semantic Reasoning Model for Learning Programming
  •    Slott                  - Tutor Writer authoring tool for Java-applet based tutors
  •    Pasrija              - TWIGy10 GUI front-end to the Tutor Writer (Java Swing)
  •    Jongsuksawas - TWIGy11 GUI front-end to the Tutor Writer (Java)
  •    Bruck and Hernadez - ItsLEADR Student Modeling for ESL tutors (C++)
  •    Castillo         - Visualizing C++ effect on linked lists (C++)
  •    Kale             - LLV Tutor for visualizing C++ effect on linked lists (PHP+MySQL+C++)
  •    Pandian       - Enhanced version of the LLV tutor for C++


  • 8 publications in Natural Language Processing.
  • 22 papers in Tutoring Systems; 3 others in Tutoring Systems.
  • She is a reviewer of the CALICO journal.


  • cs111/112, cs211/212, cs311, cs421, cs441, cs471, cs513, cs542, cs551, cs553, cs571, cs577, and various special topics.
  • cs101, cs301, cs303, and cs307 for General Education.



When I was in high school, I used to write 3 songs a day, mostly pop and soft rock. I was influenced greatly by the Beatles and Elton John. It was very difficult and time consuming to write music (I mean the notation). Then, one day, I read in the LA Times about a computer program that could help us compose music. Without knowing much about Computer Science, I decided to be a CS major. I worked for a short period of time with a professor at UC Irvine, who had a project to generate simple songs. It was just too simple. I have not given up on writing a program to generate the top 10 hits!!! But as a graduate student, I became more interested in the computer's power to undertand natural languages. I wanted to see if the machine could help solve international communication problems by automatically translating one language into another. Thus, I chose this topic for my Ph.D. dissertation. I feel that you don't have to be a hack or a technical genius to be in Computer Science. We can utilize the power of this fascinating machine to make human lives better through Arts, Humanities, Sociology, and Medicine.

Why I am a Teacher:
I had one wonderful teacher in elementary school Ms. Mizugami who truly believed in my talents, encouraged me and gave me confidence. When I wrote to her upon receiving my college degree, she still remembered me. Then in this country, so many teachers (Ms. Woodward is one of them) in junior high and high school gave me support and encouragement to a girl who arrived here without knowing a word of English. They never said one word of criticism. All I heard were compliments and support. This was completely different from Japan. Even in college, teachers such as Dr. Standish and Dr. Bork gave me unconditional support and guidance. They have changed my life forever. Without them I could not have made it here today. That's why I am a teacher today. And so many students here and at UCI have made me very glad that I chose to be a teacher. Being able to touch their lives and seeing them become successful and happy - that is the greatest reward. It is much much more important than money. I have only one advice for my students and other young people. Believe in yourself and find something you truly want to do. Then you will be able to attain that goal as long as you are willing to keep on working at it and wanting it more than anything else. Don't ever doubt yourself!


  • Improve Educational Systems
  • Help People Learn a Second Language (ESL)
  • Improve International Relations
  • Improve Communication with Dogs

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