My research interests are in natural language semantics and psycholinguistics, focusing on verbs. I conduct behavioral psycholinguistic experiments with methodologies such as self-paced reading and maze tasks, as well as surveys of linguistic and semantic judgments. I also study semantic variation using corpora and datasets such as the Twitter Decahose, to better understand how words have developed diverging meanings in different communities, age groups, or regions. I use primarily R and Python to collect, manage, and analyze data. I direct the UM WordLab in the linguistics department, working with students (especially undergraduates) on experimental and computational research focusing on lexical representations.
Xingyu Zhang is a Research Assistant Professor at the School of Nursing’s Applied Biostatistics Laboratory. He received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Science concentrated on biostatistics from the University of Auckland in 2016. Prior to joining the ABL, he was a postdoctoral research fellow in epidemiology and biostatistics at Emory University, and also a visiting research scholar in medical informatics at Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Zhang’s research focuses on healthcare outcomes with an emphasis on study design and statistical analysis. The methods he applied include multi-level analysis, time series analysis, infection early warning modeling, medical imaging analysis, feature extraction, pattern classification, neural networks, support vector machine, natural language processing, deep learning, survival analysis, meta-analysis, etc.
My research interests span topics in Statistical Machine Learning, Computational Social Science, Natural Language Processing, and Field/Digital Experiments. Substantively, I am interested in understanding the impact of internet technologies on users by empirically studying their interactions with such systems. The research questions that I study are of both predictive as well as causal nature and I examine them by using data from text/natural language and social network domains.
The Language and Information Technologies (LIT) lab, directed by Rada Mihalcea, conducts research in natural language processing, information retrieval, and applied machine learning. The group specifically focuses on projects concerned with text semantics (word/text similarity, large semantic networks), behavior analysis (multilingual opinion analysis, multimodal models for deception detection, emotion recognition, alertness detection, stress/anxiety detection, analysis of counseling speech), big data for cross-cultural analysis (geotagging, understanding cross-cultural differences and worldview), educational applications (pedagogical search engines, automatic short answer grading, conversational technologies for student advising).
Several of the projects in the LIT lab are interdisciplinary, acknowledging the fact that language can be used to deepen our understanding in many different fields, such as psychology, sociology, history, and others. Some of the ongoing projects in the lab are collaborations with psychologists and sociologists, and target a rich modeling of human behavior through language analysis, seeking answers to questions such as “what are the core values of a culture?” and “are there differences in how different groups of people perceive the surrounding world?” The lab is also actively working on multimodal projects to track and understand human behavior, where language analysis is complemented with other channels such as facial expressions, gestures, and physiological signals.
Of interest, Prof. Mihalcea was quoted in a story about sexism and today’s virtual assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Microsoft’s Cortana; Refinery29.