Karola Pitsch received the Bachelor degree in Lettres Modernes from Sorbonne University, France, in 1998, and the Masters/Staatsexamen degree in French and History from Bielefeld University, Germany, in 2001. She then held a position as research assistant in the Linguistics department before becoming a fellow in the Graduate Program "Task Oriented Communication" at Bielefeld University (2002-2005) and a research associate at the Centre for Language, Interaction & Culture at UCLA, USA (2003-2004). She received the Ph.D. degree (Dr. phil.) in Linguistics from Bielefeld University, Germany, in 2006, and her thesis has been granted with the Bielefeld Best Dissertation Award 2006. From 2005 to 2008, Karola has been a PostDoc research fellow in the Work, Interaction & Technology research group at King's College London, UK (project "PaperWorks"), and in 04/2008 she joined the Applied Computer Science Group at Bielefeld University (project "iTalk").
Karola's research focuses on naturalistic interaction and the ways in which participants use talk, prosody, facial expressions, bodily conduct and the manipulation of objects and structures in the environment as communicational resources for dealing with their practical tasks at hand. Her research draws upon Conversation Analysis for fine-grained analysis of videotaped data and, most recently in the context of human-robot-interaction, Karola has begun to link her qualitative analysis with quantitative approaches.