Prof. Barbara Di Eugenio receives funding from the Qatar Research Foundation

Professor Barbara Di Eugenio received a new award from the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF). She is the sole UIC PI, and overall co-PI on a joint project in the total amount of $1,038,000, to conduct research on "Intelligent Learning Environments for Computer Science Undergraduate Education" (see abstract below). The PI is Davide Fossati, a former member of the NLP lab, who is now a faculty member at Carnegie-Mellon University-Qatar. The UIC portion is $346,854.

Abstract: "The goal of this proposal is to support Computer Science (CS) education at the undergraduate level. The Qatar National Vision 2030 emphasizes excellence in education to foster the development of a knowledge-based society. However, current Computer Science degree programs in Qatar suffer from very low enrollment and high attrition rates, mostly due to low achievement of students in their freshman and sophomore years. Our goal is to support students in learning concepts and skills that are known to be "stumbling blocks" to achievement and retention in CS, such as linked lists and recursion. Towards this end, we propose to develop and rigorously evaluate Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITSs) that can support student achievement in CS core courses. We will (a) systematically embody effective modes of instruction, such as demonstration via worked-out examples, within a novel ITS, ChiQat-Tutor; (b) integrate ChiQat-Tutor into the undergraduate CS curricula of universities in Qatar and the United States; and (c) conduct systematic evaluations of the learning environment as ChiQat-Tutor is used in actual CS courses.

QNRF was established in 2006 as part of the Qatar Research Foundation ongoing commitment to establish Qatar as a knowledge-based economy. QNRF aims to foster original, competitively selected research in engineering and technology, physical and life sciences, medicine, humanities, social sciences and the arts. In addition to funding, QNRF aims to encourage dialogue and partnerships. This award falls under their National Priorities Research Program.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 August 2012 16:06
Joel Booth PhD Thesis Defense

Joel Booth defended his dissertation on Monday, October 18, 2011.  His talk was titled Modeling and Querying Multimodal Urban Transportation Networks.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 June 2013 19:48
NLP lab receives support from Yahoo! to mine microblogs

Prof. Di Eugenio has received a $10000 Yahoo! Faculty Research and Engagement award to support the project "Mining life-stage events and user personas in microblogs”.  The project focuses on:

1. Capturing life-stage events.  We want to be able to answer questions such as "Is this user engaged / married/single?" (relationship status);  "Is this user socially active in the real world (frequent bars, sporting activities etc.)?"; etc.  Neither  data mining and NLP state-of-the-art techniques  are sufficient, since e.g. Twitter messages are highly ambiguous wrt these events and who is the actor of those events (as in the following two public tweets "ackorie Sequari Andrews 4 the record people I am not nor am I anywhere near engaged!!"
Vs " Aftenthurston Aften Thurston Still cannot believe I am engaged!!")

2. Studying the relationship (if any) between user's lifestage events and/or personas  and online behavior (webpage view activity, search activity). In the process, we will also build predictive models to identify other such users based on behavioral data alone. Specifically, we will use the mined set of users as our labels to train a classifier to identify other similar users (look-a-like modeling).

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 June 2011 19:11
3 Ph.D. Students Graduate from the NLP Lab

Davide Fossati, Cindy Kersey, and Swati Tata graduated from the NLP lab.

Here is a photo from Commencement 2010.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 June 2013 19:48
Lin Chen Won Outstanding TA Award from CS Department

Lin Chen won Outstanding TA award for 2009-2010 academic year from Computer Science department of UIC.

Here is the photo.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 June 2013 19:49
Swati Tata Defends Her Thesis

Date and time: 19th April 2010, 1:00 PM
Location: 219 SEO
Committee: Prof. Barbara Di Eugenio, Prof. Peter Nelson, Prof. Bing Liu,
Dr. Susan McRoy (University Of Wisconsin, Madison), Dr. Swee Mok (Motorola
Research Lab, Schaumburg, IL)


With the drastic increase in the personal music collections of individuals and the increased availability of data on the internet, recommendation systems are becoming increasingly popular. Many users decide whether or not to try a product by looking at reviews. However, there are far too many reviews for each product and it is a tedious task to read all of them. The main focus of this research is to produce a coherent and grammatical summary of reviews of individual songs. As reviews of songs are rarely available, this information has to be extracted from album reviews, which encompass several songs from the same album.

A music recommendation system has been developed. A formative study was carried out to determine that users are interested to read reviews in the recommendation system. An automatic summarization framework was proposed and developed, that combines extraction of information about songs from album reviews and generation techniques to produce summaries of reviews of individual songs. Fine-grained song feature summaries were incorporated into a music recommendation system, SongRecommend. Evaluation of SongRecommend with 39 users showed that users were able to make quicker decisions when presented with the summary as compared to the full album review; additionally, their decisions appeared to be more informed as their choices of recommendations to follow were more varied than in the control condition.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 May 2010 18:07
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