I am an Assistant Professor in the Linguistics Department at The University of Texas at Austin where I work on computational linguistics and natural language processing. More specifically, my research focuses on discourse processing, language generation, and NLP in social contexts. I belong to the Computational Linguistics Group at UT Linguistics, and the UT-wide NLP Group. I obtained my Ph.D. from the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania in 2017, advised by Ani Nenkova. Usually, I go by Jessy.
Some of the topics that I am currently researching include:
- Discourse organization: A text is more than the sum of its sentences; what else is going on and what are the implications for existing models? We investigate some of the high-level devices at play, including discourse (rhetorical) structure, language specificity, and pragmatic functions.
- Text intelligibility: Language is often subject to change depending on the context in which communication takes place. We work towards finding discourse aspects that impact text intelligibility for a target audience and addressing them in generation models.
- Language and society: We seek to understand how people use language in social media to achieve their communication goals, and how major events impact language use in both conventional media and social media.
- Language and code: Together with researchers in UT’s CS and ECE departments, we model natural language (e.g., comments, method names) and linguistic characteristics (e.g., coreference) in programming languages and software repositories.
Activities and Service