[Adapt] Happy New Year to All ADAPTers

Kenny Zhu kzhu at cs.sjtu.edu.cn
Mon Dec 31 11:01:01 CST 2018

Dear ADAPTers,

Today’s the last day of 2018 and in a few hours, we will be turning the leaf and enter the new year of 2019. In 2018, we as a team, made some good progresses. 

2018 is the best year so far for ADAPT in terms of research publications. We have independently published 8 papers including 2 ACLs, 2 AAAIs and 3 EMNLPs. Graduate students have increasingly demonstrated their resilience and innovation in research and will become the driving force of this lab’s future. This is a very good sign. PhD students are publishing or at least writing up in the second year or even the first year of their study. We are on a very good momentum now and let’s keep it up. We have graduated a number of students. Some of them continued to their graduate program in ADAPT. Others left to start a new career, including long time veteran Yuchen (she spent more than 5 years in ADAPT: almost a PhD is made), Xusheng, Bill, Gavin, Fengli, Yesheng, and Jialing. Bill’s thesis has won the best bachelors thesis award from SJTU and was featured in Wen Hui Bao, one of the top newspapers in Shanghai. Kangqi has successfully defended his thesis and will start his job as a research scientist in JD AI lab. His thesis is also a strong contender for the best thesis award at the university or the municipal level. We will miss all of you dearly!  

On the entrepreneurial front, under the leadership of Zilu, our iWen team has developed the iWen reader app which features more than 20,000 English books and allows for audio listening, live translation, automatic quiz generation and social networking through community QA. This app is now available both on Android and IOS platform and has been released to all major app stores. This app is a perfect testbed for our NLP research as many major NLP challenges such as reading comprehension, question generation, QA, conversation and recommendation all exist on this platform. We have also developed an official WeChat subscription account for the iWen reader and are streaming original articles about English and American cultures on a weakly basis. Please follow the account and support our work in your spare time. 

Looking forward, let us stay focused on two research questions: 1) how to understand and reason about human languages and 2) how to generate high quality human languages. One thing I would like to improve on is the *team building*. Lack of communication among group members is a major obstacle hindering our work. There are certainly many other obstacles ahead. But, together as a team, everything can be done. Let’s carry this “can-do” spirit into 2019 and make more things happen.

Wish you and your loved ones a very good year of 2019!


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