I'm an assistant professor in the Linguistics Department at the University of Washington. My research concentrates on the use of intonation in spoken dialog, and my interests range over natural language processing, spoken language systems, and human-computer interfaces.
From March 16, 2014 to September 15, 2014, I am Acting Faculty Director of the Professional Master's program in Computational Linguistics.
I am currently collaborating with Prof. Richard Wright and Prof. Mari Ostendorf on the NSF-funded ATAROS project to develop techniques to model and automatically recognize stance-taking in dyadic conversational speech. Many of my prior projects have aimed to interpret meaning transmitted through prosody. My NSF-funded project "Learning Tone" used a contextual model employing minimally supervised machine learning techniques to recognize lexical tones in Mandarin, Cantonese, isiZulu, and isiXhosa as well as prominence in English. Another NSF-funded project investigated automatic recognition of lexical and prosodic cues to conversational social dynamics, such as turn-taking and backchannels. I also have continuing interests in information retrieval in text and speech across a range of languages, in domains from news to medicine.
During my post-doctoral research at University of Maryland, College Park, I became involved in cross-language and spoken document retrieval, focusing on the Chinese-English language pair. I also participated in a high-quality Chinese-English machine translation project.
I received my Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1998.
My doctoral thesis explored recognizing spoken corrections in human-computer dialogue, relying on acoustic-prosodic features. My Master's thesis examined
discourse-neutral prosodic phrasing in Mandarin Chinese, analyzing the relationship between syntactic and prosodic structure.
Last Updated: March 2014