Research in Natural Language Processing (NLP) at UIC focuses on semantics, and discourse and dialogue processing. Our goal is to use NLP to support both education and instruction, and collaboration between human or artificial agents. NLP studies the computational models that underlie the processing of human languages, and develops key technology that makes it possible for users to interact with a computer system using English, Italian or Japanese rather than a programming language.

Our group focuses on the computational modeling of extended text (discourse) and conversations between two or more agents (dialogue). The methodology we employ blends empirical and symbolic approaches, and consists of: data mining from corpora that we often collect and annotate;  development of computational frameworks based both on linguistic models and on the information extracted from the corpus; and rigorous evaluation of the computational models via user studies.

We focus on NLP with a purpose: interfaces and models whose core is NLP technology and that have the potential of positively a ffecting society. We focus on three main strands of research: a. NL interfaces for educational technology; b. summarization, including for health applications; c. multimodal communication, including human-robot interaction and conversational interfaces for visualization.