dr. M. Theune (Mariet)

Assistant Professor

About Me

I studied linguistics/computational linguistics at the University of Utrecht (1995), and completed a PhD degree in natural language generation at the Eindhoven University of Technology (2000). After that I joined the University of Twente as a postdoctoral researcher. In 2003, I obtained a personal research grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) to investigate the joint generation of language and gesture by embodied conversational agents, and I was appointed as an assistant professor at the research group Human Media Interaction.


Engineering & Materials Science
Law Enforcement
Robot Learning
Serious Games
Social Robots


Having a background in (computational) linguistics, I am interested in interaction with technology through language. This involves computers that can understand and produce human language (natural language processing and generation). For embodied conversational agents --both virtual characters and robots-- this also includes nonverbal behaviour. Interactive storytelling and serious games are also within my field of interest.


Wang, B. , Theune, M. , & Srivastava, S. (2024). Examining Lexical Alignment in Human-Agent Conversations with GPT-3.5 and GPT-4 Models. In A. Følstad, T. Araujo, S. Papadopoulos, E. Law, E. Luger, M. Goodwin, S. Hobert, & P. B. Brandtzaeg (Eds.), Chatbot Research and Design: 7th International Workshop, CONVERSATIONS 2023 Oslo, Norway, November 22–23, 2023 Revised Selected Papers (pp. 194-114). (Lecture Notes in Computer Science; Vol. 14524). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-54975-5_6
Rieger, A., Bredius, F. , Theune, M., & Pera, M. S. (2024). From Potential to Practice: Intellectual Humility During Search on Debated Topics. In CHIIR '24: Proceedings of the 2024 Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval (pp. 130-141). ACM Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1145/3627508.3638306
Rieger, A., Draws, T. , Theune, M., & Tintarev, N. (2023). Nudges to mitigate confirmation bias during web search on debated topics: support vs. manipulation. ACM transactions on the web. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1145/3635034
Bergsma, T. , Theune, M. , & Delden, R. V. (2023). Vocabulary Acquisition in New and Learned Contexts Using Immersive Virtual Reality. In T. Spil, G. Bruinsma, & L. Collou (Eds.), Proceedings of the 17th European Conference on Games Based Learning (pp. 69-77). (Proceedings of the European Conference on Games Based Learning ; Vol. 17, No. 1). https://doi.org/10.34190/ecgbl.17.1.1499
Harmsen, W. N. , Waterschoot, J. V., Hendrickx, I. , & Theune, M. (2023). Eliciting User Self-disclosure using Reciprocity in Human-Voicebot Conversations. In M. Lee, C. Munteanu, M. Porcheron, J. Trippas, & S. T. Völkel (Eds.), CUI '23: Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Conversational User Interfaces Article 50 ACM Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1145/3571884.3604301
Srivastava, S. , Theune, M. , & Catala, A. (2023). The Role of Lexical Alignment in Human Understanding of Explanations by Conversational Agents. In IUI '23: 28th International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces (pp. 423–435). ACM Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1145/3581641.3584086
Schouten, D. G. M., Deneka, A. A. , Theune, M., Neerincx, M. A., & Cremers, A. H. M. (2023). An embodied conversational agent coach to support societal participation learning by low-literate users. Universal access in the information society, 22(4), 1215-1241. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10209-021-00865-5
Leenders, R., Camin, P. , Velner, E. , & Theune, M. (2022). Björn: An Interrogation Simulator. In S. Schlobach, M. Perez-Ortiz, & M. Tielman (Eds.), HHAI2022: Augmenting Human Intellect: Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Hybrid Human-Artificial Intelligence (pp. 269-271). (Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications; Vol. 354). IOS. https://doi.org/10.3233/FAIA220213
Van Den Bos, M., Dzhondzhorova, G., Frincu, I. , Velner, E. , Beelen, T. , & Theune, M. (2022). Karen, the Interrupting Customer. In S. Schlobach, M. Perez-Ortiz, & M. Tielman (Eds.), HHAI2022: Augmenting Human Intellect: Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Hybrid Human-Artificial Intelligence (pp. 263-265). (Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications; Vol. 354). IOS. https://doi.org/10.3233/FAIA220211
Rieger, A., Shaheen, Q. U. A., Sierra, C. , Theune, M., & Tintarev, N. (2022). Towards Healthy Engagement with Online Debates An Investigation of Debate Summaries and Personalized Persuasive Suggestions. In UMAP2022 - Adjunct Proceedings of the 30th ACM Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization (pp. 192-199). Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/3511047.3537692

UT Research Information System

Google Scholar Link


The courses I teach mostly deal with language and computers (Natural Language Processing and Conversational Agents). I also supervise numerous Bachelor and Master students in thesis research and other projects.

Affiliated Study Programmes



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


My current projects focus on the question how we can automatically generate language (either text or dialogue) in different styles and in an adaptive fashion. I am involved the ALP project on affective language generation (together with Tilburg University); the POSTHCARD project on narrative simulations for Alzheimer caregivers, and as a project leader in the Data2Game project on adaptive and personalized serious games.

Contact Details

Visiting Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Citadel (building no. 09), room H223
Hallenweg 15
7522NH  Enschede
The Netherlands

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Mailing Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Citadel  H223
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands