University of Southern California - Viola

Hyundong C.

- Team Leader

Hyundong is a first year PhD student with a research interest in open-domain dialogue systems and natural language generation. His research is inspired by improvisational theatre (improv), in which actors quickly and effectively bridge information gaps about their shared reality and characters that only start with a simple prompt. Modeling improv is an exciting yet under-explored dimension related to conversational AI that he is passionate about. He received his bachelor's at HKUST in computer science and worked at USC ISI as a programmer analyst, developing automatic anti-phishing systems to combat the exponential growth in social engineering attacks.

Yuchen L.

Yuchen is a PhD student in Computer Science at the University of Southern California, working with Prof. Xiang Ren who leads the Intelligence and Knowledge Discovery (INK) Research Lab. Previously, Yuchen got their bachelor's degree at the IEEE Honor Class in Shanghai Jiao Tong University, supervised by Prof. Kenny Q. Zhu.

Yuchen is generally interested in building neuro-symbolic systems that demonstrate a deep understanding of the world, integrating technologies for information extraction, knowledge graphs, machine reasoning, graph neural networks and model robustness. Yuchen's recent research aims to advance natural language processing (understanding & generation) with commonsense reasoning.

Kushal C.

Kushal is a PhD student at the University of Southern California (USC). He is currently interested in the overlap between Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP), working on human-agent negotiations in natural language. Prior to USC, Kushal pursued his undergraduate in Computer Science from the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IITG). After graduating in 2017, he spent a couple of years with Adobe Research, focusing on NLP applications in marketing, including affect modeling and text summarization.

Basel S.

Basel is a PhD student at USC and works as a research assistant at USC’s Information Sciences Institute. Basel's research focuses on knowledge graphs and the semantic web with an emphasis on data normalization as a means to solve complex information integration problems. Concurrently, he is investigating methods to leverage neural techniques to establish automatic information extraction for KG construction. Prior to joining USC Basel worked for Apple (2018) as an Embedded Software Engineer in the Flash Storage Software Department and for Mellanox Technologies (2011-2017) as a Senior Firmware Engineer and Team Leader in the Switch Silicon Core Department.

Wonhyuk J.

Wonhyuk is a Master’s student in Computer Science at the University of Southern California. Their interest is in Natural Language Processing especially Question Answering and Sentiment Analysis. Wonhyuk got their bachelor’s at San Diego State University in Computer Science and worked at AI Lab as a research assistant, developing lexicons to determine a user’s degree of satisfaction from brand-relevant tweets. Wonhyuk previously interned at LG AI NLP team where I implemented various BERT models to classify customers towards their purpose of calling.

Su Ji K.

Su Ji is a second-year master's student in Computer Science at the University of Southern California. She is also a member of the Intelligence and Knowledge Discovery (INK) Research Lab, which is lead by Prof. Xiang Ren. Her recent work pertains to natural language processing (NLP), specifically question answering, some classification tasks using graphs, as well as event and time extraction. Previously, she completed her undergraduate degree in Computer Science and Engineering at Seoul Women's University in South Korea. She has software engineering experience through various projects such as iOS application and backend development.

Jonathan May

- Faculty Advisor

Jonathan May is a Research Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department of the Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California, as well as a Research Lead with USC’s Information Sciences Institute, where he received a PhD in 2010. He has previously worked at BBN Technologies and at Language Weaver. He was a co-organizer of the International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval) and is the current treasurer of NAACL. He has received an outstanding paper award from NAACL and a best demo paper award from ACL. His research interests include translation, generation, and machine learning.

Meet the Teams

Alexa Prize Socialbot Grand Challenge 4