Dr. M. Birna van Riemsdijk is associate professor Intimate Computing in the Human-Media Interaction group at University of Twente since 2019. She obtained her PhD in 2006 from Utrecht University on the topic of Cognitive Agent Programming, after which she was a postdoc at LMU Munich for two years. She was appointed assistant professor at TU Delft in 2008. Her research mission is to develop theory and software for creating intimate technologies that take into account our human vulnerability in supporting us in our daily lives: intimate computing is computing with vulnerability. For her research on supportive technology that takes into account norms and values of people she was awarded a Vidi personal grant and the Dutch Prize for Research in ICT 2014. She serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (JAAMAS) and was elected member (2012-2018) of the board of the International Foundation for Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (IFAAMAS). She is member of the board of 4TU.NIRICT, which comprises all ICT research of the four universities of technology of the Netherlands.


  • Computer Science

    • Social Situation
    • User
    • Situation Awareness
    • Models
  • Social Sciences

    • Comprehension
    • Psychology
    • Situation
    • Support


My research is positioned at the intersection of Artificial Intelligence and Human Experience, and inspired by Philosophy and Social Science. This combination of highly technical and human-centered research has been a common thread in my career. 

With my research I aim to shape a vision of Intimate Computing through the lens of human vulnerability: Intimate Computing is Computing with Vulnerability, and contribute to our thinking of what it means to be human in a society where people and technology become more and more intimately connected. 

I have a background in Multi-Agent Systems research, in particular in semantic foundations of agent programming languages. Over the years my research has started to focus more and more on how to create agents that support people in their daily lives, in particular while taking into account people's norms and values. Developing intimate technologies in this way contributes to ensuring people maintain their agency in shaping their lives with technology. I refer to this as Responsible Agency, connecting with the broader theme of Responsible AI. I maintain that the creation of such supportive agent technology requires models and reasoning techniques that allow back and forth knowledge construction and interpretation between human and machine. I refer to this as Interactive Machine Reasoning. 

Other contributions

My publications can be found on my website. Some recent key publications are the following:

  • Creating Socially Adaptive Electronic Partners: Interaction, Reasoning and Ethical Challenges¬†(PDF,¬†URL,¬†BIB)In¬†Proceedings of the fourteenth international joint conference on autonomous agents and multiagent systems (AAMAS‚Äô15), pages 1201-1206. 2015. ¬©¬†IFAAMAS.
    M. Birna van Riemsdijk, Catholijn M. Jonker, Victor Lesser
  • A Semantic Framework for Socially Adaptive Agents: Towards strong norm compliance(PDF,¬†URL,¬†BIB)In¬†Proceedings of the fourteenth international joint conference on autonomous agents and multiagent systems (AAMAS‚Äô15), pages 423-432. 2015. ¬©¬†IFAAMAS.
    M. Birna van Riemsdijk, Louise Dennis, Michael Fisher, Koen V. Hindriks
  • From good intentions to behaviour change: Probabilistic Feature Diagrams for Behaviour Support Agents¬†(PDF,¬†Code)The 22nd International Conference on Principles and Practice of Multi-Agent Systems (PRIMA‚Äô19). 2019. ¬©¬†Springer-Verlag.
    Malte Kliess, Marielle Stoelinga, M. Birna van Riemsdijk
  • Automatic resolution of normative conflicts in supportive technology based on user values¬†(PDF,¬†URL)
    ACM Transactions on Internet Technology (TOIT), 18(4): 21 pages, Article no. 41. 2018. © ACM.
    Alex Kayal, Willem-Paul Brinkman, Mark Neerincx, M. Birna van Riemsdijk

  • Socially adaptive electronic partners for improved support of children‚Äôs values: an empirical study with a location-sharing mobile app¬†(PDF,¬†URL,¬†Data)
    International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction (IJCCI), 18, pages 79-89. 2018. © Elsevier.
    Alex Kayal, M. Birna van Riemsdijk, Mark Neerincx, Willem-Paul Brinkman

Research profiles

Affiliated study programs

Courses academic year 2023/2024

Courses in the current academic year are added at the moment they are finalised in the Osiris system. Therefore it is possible that the list is not yet complete for the whole academic year.

Courses academic year 2022/2023


University of Twente

Citadel (building no. 09), room H200
Hallenweg 15
7522 NH Enschede

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