11 Mar 2013

Dr Mona Diab will be giving a talk at SFU Burnaby. The details are below.

Date: Mar 11, 2013

Time: 2pm

Place: TASC1 9204 West

Speaker : Mona Diab

Title : Computational Modeling of Sociopragmatic Language Use in Arabic and English Social Media

Abstract :

Social media language is a treasure trove for mining and understanding human interactions. In discussion fora, people naturally form groups and subgroups aligning along points of consensus and contention. These subgroup formations are quite nuanced as people could agree on some topic such as liking the movie the matrix, but some within that group might disagree on rating the acting skills of Keanu Reeves. Languages manifest these alignments exploiting interesting sociolinguistic devices in different ways. In this talk, I will present our work on subgroup modeling and detection in both Arabic and English social media language. I will share with you our experiences with modeling both explicit and implicit attitude using high and low dimensional feature modeling. This work is the beginning of an interesting exploration into the realm of building computational models of some aspects of the sociopragmatics of human language with the hopes that this research could lead to a better understanding of human interaction.


Mona Diab is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the George Washington University. She is also a cofounder of the CADIM (Columbia Arabic Dialect Modeling) group at Columbia University. Mona earned her PhD in Computational Linguistics from University of Maryland College Park with Philip Resnik in 2003 and then did her postdoctoral training with Daniel Jurafsky at Stanford University where she was part of the NLP group. from 2005 till 2012, before joining GWU in Jan of 2013, Mona held the position of Research Scientist/Principle Investigator at Columbia University Center for Computational Learning Systems (CCLS). Mona’s research interests span computational lexical semantics, multilingual processing (with a special interest in Arabic and low resource languages), unsupervised learning for NLP, computational sociopragmatic modeling, information extraction and machine translation. Over the past 9 years, Mona has developed significant expertise in modeling low resource languages with a focus on Arabic dialect processing. She is especially interested in ways to leverage existing rich resources to inform algorithms for processing low resource languages. Her research has been published in over 90 papers in various internationally recognized scientific venues. Mona serves as the current elected President of the ACL SIG on Semitic Language Processing, she is also the elected Secretary for the ACL SIG on issues in the Lexicon (SIGLEX). She is also an elected NAACL board member. Mona recently (2012) co-founded the yearly *SEM conference that attempts to bring together all aspects of semantic processing under the same umbrella venue.