Ordinate Corporation, creator of the Versant tests, has been combined with Pearson's Knowledge Technologies group.
Alistair Van Moere, President
Alistair is President of Pearson's Knowledge Technologies. 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 last 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.
Jared Bernstein, Senior Scientist and Consultant
Jared is a recognized leader in the field of spoken language testing. He has a PhD in Psycholinguistics and an MA in Linguistics. He founded Ordinate with Dr. Brent Townsend in 1996 and developed the patented Ordinate 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.
Larry Rothenberg, Business Development and Custom Testing
Larry is a veteran in the language business. In 1991, Larry was a co-founder of Syracuse Language Systems, a language training software company. He led business development and then became President and CEO, selling the company to Cendant in 1998. After Cendant acquired Syracuse Language Systems, he continued on as division President. After leaving Cendant (which later became part of Vivendi Universal), he was the co-founder, President and CEO of AdvanceWork, Inc., a software start-up which developed and marketed software and services for handheld devices. Before Syracuse Learning Systems, Larry got his JD from Georgetown Law School and worked as an intellectual property and patent attorney for Fulbright and Jaworski in Washington, DC.
Kyle Habermehl, Engineering
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 M.B.A., master's and bachelor's degrees in computer science and a B.S. in mathematics.
Janusz Niemiec, Engineering
Janusz Niemiec holds a dual MS degree in Computer Science and Telecommunications. He brings over 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
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.
Jian Cheng, Research and Development
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.
Bill Bonk, Test Development
Bill has a joint PhD in Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Science, and a master's degrees 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 U.S., Bill has lived and worked in France, Italy, Ecuador, Japan, Hawaii, and Brazil.
Masa Suzuki, Test Development
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).