Manling Li Experiences EECS 2022 Rising Stars | Computing

From the first year she started the PhD program in computer science at Illinois, four years ago now, Manling Li knew about and wanted to be part of the EECS Rising Stars program. As a vehicle for career progression and awareness, Li felt there were no better opportunities than becoming a rising star.

At the end of October, she realized this moment.

Manling Li

Li attended the two-day workshop hosted this year by the University of Texas at Austin. This is an intensive workshop for graduate students and postdocs with historically marginalized or underrepresented genders who wish to pursue academic careers in electrical engineering, computer science, artificial intelligence, and decision-making.

“The most valuable finding for me was to improve my job search skills and better prepare myself for the job search, Li said. “One of the most valuable things I have learned is to think and act like a teacher during the job search process. As we approach the end of our higher education, we should not think of ourselves as students, but rather as leaders in our fields. , ready to guide cutting-edge research.

Li has already completed his thesis proposal and is in the final stages of completing his thesis research.

From a doctoral experience spent studying with Illinois professor and computer science consultant Heng Ji, while focusing on natural language processing (NLP) and computer vision (CV), Li was able to present three different instances in Rising Stars.

First, she had a poster presentation on “Understanding Event-Centered Multimodal Data”. Next, Li presented a 12-minute talk for the NLP Group on “CLIP-Event for Connecting Vision and Language through Event Structures”. Finally, Li also had an 8-minute conversation in front of peers, which served as a rehearsal for his introduction to a conversation about work.

“It was a special experience for me to participate in the practice of labor discussion. I have presented my work in several universities, but this presentation is in front of a group of peers who are in the labor market at the same time and will share their insights,” Li said. “Also, it was a great opportunity to meet people from the NLP group at UT Austin, which allowed me to exchange ideas with researchers and students there. We had a great discussion about what values ​​to embrace in the age of large-scale pre-training.”

Regarding his research interest, Li said his main goal is to “transform traditional access to information from entity-centric to even-centric as well as from text-only to multi-modal “.

While she’s been successful so far, Li thinks there’s still room to further explore understanding “deep behind-the-scenes semantics” – like what happened, to whom, when, where, why. and what happens next.

And it was valuable for her to open her findings and her speech to the participants and viewers of Rising Stars 2022.

“It was a pleasure to meet many brilliant peers from very different fields,” Li said. “I believe this is a good starting point to further explore interdisciplinary research. As an NLP and CV researcher, I have benefited greatly from interdisciplinary research, as well as comparing different understandings of knowledge and structures.

“During this event, I talked more with people from Human-Computer Interaction and Robotics. I look forward to integrating NLP into the physical world and evaluating how machines can work more effectively with humans, and ultimately improving the general performance of NLP which is collaborative between humans and machines.

In an already decorated college career, Li considered the inclusion of rising stars a milestone.

Previously, Li was awarded Best ACL Demonstration Paper 2020, Best NAACL Demonstration Paper 2021, and Microsoft Research Doctoral Fellowship last year.

“I see these recognitions as a natural progression in my development as an independent researcher,” Li said. events, helping humans better understand the deep semantics behind the data and the scene, and improving the quality of media content consumption.”

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