Danqi Chen and Karthik Narasimhan recipients of SEAS's Junior Faculty Award
May 13, 2022
The School of Engineering and Applied Science is honoring six assistant professors for early-career excellence in research and teaching. This year’s junior faculty award recipients will each receive $50,000 to support their research.
Lawrence Keyes, Jr./Emerson Electric Co. Faculty Advancement Award
An assistant professor of computer science, Danqi Chen has broad interests in natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning. Her research is driven by the goals of developing effective and fundamental methods for learning representations of language and knowledge. She also works to build practical systems including question answering, information extraction and conversational agents. Chen co-leads the Princeton Natural Language Processing Group, and is part of the larger Princeton Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning group and affiliated with the Center for Statistics and Machine Learning. She was named a 2022 Sloan Research Fellow, and in 2021 she was awarded an Innovation Research Grant from Princeton Engineering to build a neural interface to represent real-world knowledge that will integrate seamlessly with many knowledge-intensive natural language processing tasks. In nominating Chen, computer science chair Jennifer Rexford said, “Deep neural nets are a key enabling technique for NLP, and Danqi’s work leads the way in enabling widespread applications of deep neural nets in this field. Just as knowledge retrieval systems from 20 years ago powered the internet explosion and rise of big tech corporations, Danqi’s research may help transform technology and society in the coming decade.”
Howard B. Wentz, Jr. Junior Faculty Award
An assistant professor of computer science, Narasimhan conducts research that spans the areas of natural language processing and reinforcement learning, with a view toward building intelligent agents that learn to operate in the world through both experience and existing human knowledge. He is especially interested in developing autonomous systems that can acquire language understanding through interaction with their environment while also using textual knowledge to drive their decision-making. Along with Danqi Chen and computer science professor Sanjeev Arora, Narasimhan co-leads the Princeton Natural Language Processing Group, and is part of the larger Princeton Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning group and affiliated with the Center for Statistics and Machine Learning. He is the recipient of a 2022 Google Scholar Research Award; 2019 research awards from Amazon, Princeton’s Schmidt DataX Fund, and Princeton Engineering’s Project X fund; and a 2018 commendation for outstanding teaching from Princeton Engineering. Narasimhan “is a superstar whose work has been instrumental in major advances in natural language processing” computer science chair Rexford said in nominating him for the award. “He is also a wonderful teacher, and the NLP classes he has started have attracted huge interest at the undergrad as well as graduate levels.”