I am an Assistant Professor of the Computer Science Department at Virginia Tech, where I lead the Natural Language Processing Lab. At VT CS, I'm also a member of the Sanghani Center for Artificial Intelligence and Discovery Analytics. Prior to VT, I received my Ph.D. in Computer Science from UIUC where I worked with Heng Ji.

My research centers on Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, with a keen interest in developing efficient models and benchmarks to foster machine intelligence at a human level. My research aims to continually acquire precise knowledge from the ever-changing, open world through large-scale weak supervision, endow machines with generalizable, robust and efficient intelligence, and significantly enhance human experience when interacting with the technologies. My recent research interests are the fundamentals, understanding, enhancing, and forward-looking of Large Language Models (LLMs) and Vision-Language Models (VLMs), with broad downstream applications in NLP and Multimodal domains.

I'm always looking for highly motivated students to work with me on broad NLP and Multimodal research. Please feel free to reach out and apply!

News and Highlights

  • (05/17/24): Four papers accepted by ACL'2024 Congrats to Zhiyang, Ying, Zihao and all collaborators.

  • (04/01/24): Honored to receive the Outstanding New Assistant Professor award from the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech.

  • (03/23/24): Serving as a Senior Area Chair for EMNLP'2024.

  • (03/13/24): Three papers accepted by NAACL'2024. Congrats to Minqian, Sijia, Pritika and all collaborators.

  • (02/25/24): Congrats to Zhiyang, Minqian, Jingyuan, Zihao, and Sijia on receiving internship offers from Meta AI, Microsoft Research, IBM Research, Adobe Research, and Amazon AWS Research Lab (NYC).

  • (02/15/24) : Glad to receive a new NSF award supporting our research on Conversational AI for Combating Cybergrooming.

  • (02/12/24) : Grateful to receive a new grant from DARPA FoundSci to support our research on foundation models for novel material design.

  • (01/18/24) : One paper about attribute-aware multimodal entity linking is accepted by EACL'2024. Congrats to Barry and all collaborators.

  • (12/09/23) : Honored to receive the Outstanding Area Chair award from EMNLP'2023.

  • (12/08/23) : One paper about multimodal script learning is accepted by AAAI'2024. Congrats to Jingyuan, Minqian, and Zhiyang.

  • (10/08/23) : Three papers accepted by EMNLP'2023. Congrats to Jingyuan, Zhiyang, Ying and Minqian.

  • (10/06/23) : Congrats to Ying on being selected as an Amazon Fellow!

  • (10/06/23) : We are grateful to receive a grant from the Amazon–VT Initiative to support our research on conversational AI (VT News Article).

  • (9/12/23) : HokieBot team won the Third Place on Scientific Competition (awarded $25,000) for the Amazon Alexa Prize SocialBot Grand Challenge 5! Check out our report and news announcement from Amazon Science.

  • (8/20/23) : Serving as an Area Chair of EACL'2023 and SPC of AAAI'2023.

  • (7/28/23) : Super excited and honored to receive the Best Paper Award Honorable Mention from SIGIR'2023! Welcome to check out our Multimodal Fact Checking and Explanaton Generation paper and Github repo!

  • (7/12/23) : Serving as a publication committee co-chair of NAACL'2024!

  • (7/10/23) : Super honored to share that our MultiInstruct work received the Outstanding Paper Award from ACL'2023! Welcome to check out our project page.

  • (7/6/23) : We are very grateful to receive a new grant from DARPA for the ECOLE program!

  • (5/1/23) : We have 5 papers accepted by ACL'23! Congrats to Zhiyang, Ying, Minqian, Sijia and all collaborators!

  • (3/28/23): Very grateful to receive the NSF CAREER Award!

  • (3/10/23): Congrats to Zhiyang, Minqian and Ying on receiving internship offers from Amazon Alexa AI, AWS Research Lab (NYC) and Apple Research.

  • (12/18/22): Serving as a publication committee co-chair of ACL'2023, SAC of ACL'2023, AC of EMNLP'2023, and SPC of IJCAI'2023.

  • (10/28/22): We are grateful to receive a gift fund from Google and Intuit.

  • (10/26/22): Our team - HokieBot is selected as one of the 9 university teams for the Alexa Prize SocialBot Grand Challenge 5. We are grateful for all the support from Amazon Alexa.

  • (9/30/22): Talk at USC AI Seminar: "Towards Open World Event Extraction with Weak Supervision".

  • (8/15/22): Our work on Incremental Prompting for Continual Event Detection is accepted by COLING'22. Congrats to Minqian!

  • (8/1/22): Serving as Area Chair (AC) for COLING'2022.

  • (6/22/22): Initiated workshop "Indirect, Weak and Self Supervision for Knowledge Extraction" accepted by AKBC2022. Call For Papers!

  • (6/21/22): We are very grateful to receive a new grant from Meta AI to support our research on multimodal entity linking.

  • (3/31/22): Recent talks at UNC Greensboro, STR, and Data Intelligence Workshop on Transferable and Scalable Event Extraction

  • (3/8/22) : Our SimBot team (to advance Embodied AI) is featured on the VT News today!

  • (12/15/21): Will give a tutorial on New Frontiers of Information Extraction at NAACL'2022.

  • (12/10/21): Very excited to receive a new grant for the DARPA KMass program.

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