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Machine Learning and Friends Lunch

This Week

Thursday, September 21, 2017 Yogarshi Vyes - Detecting Asymmetric Semantic Relations in Context : A Case-Study on Hypernymy Detection


Abstract: Comparing the meaning of words and understanding how they relate is a fundamental challenge in natural language understanding. In this talk, I’ll introduce WHiC, a challenging testbed for detecting hypernymy, an asymmetric relation between words. While previous work has focused on detecting hypernymy between word types, we ground the meaning of words in specific contexts drawn from WordNet examples, and require predictions to be sensitive to changes in contexts. WHiC also lets us analyze different properties of two approaches of inducing vector representations of word meaning in context, allowing us to identify their strengths and weaknesses. I’ll also show that such contextualized word representations also improve detection of a wider range of semantic relations in context.


Yogarshi Vyas is a fourth year PhD student in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Maryland, College Park. His broad research interests lie in semantics, multilingual NLP, and machine translation, and the intersection of these. His current research focus is on comparing and contrasting the meaning of text in different languages using the idea of entailment as well as learning representations for multilingual data that facilitate meaningful and easy comparisons across languages. He recently won the Adam Kilgarriff Best Paper award at *SEM 2017.



Thursday, September 28, 2017 Nika Haghtalab
Thursday, October 5, 2017 Francesco Orabona
Thursday, October 12, 2017 Varun Japan
Friday, October 20, 2017 Kyunghyun Cho
Thursday, October 26, 2017 Claudia Pérez D'Arpino
Thursday, November 2, 2017 Beomjoon Kin
Thursday, November 9, 2017 Lu Wang
Thursday, November 16, 2017 Steven Wu
Thursday, November 30, 2017 Rajesh Ranganath


This semester of the UMass Machine Learning and Friends Lunch (MLFL) series has been graciously sponsored by our friends at Oracle Labs. MLFL is a lively and interactive forum held weekly where friends of the UMass Amherst machine learning community can sit down, have lunch, and give or hear a 50-minute presentation on recent machine learning research.

What is it?   A gathering of students/faculty/staff with broad interest in the methods and applications of machine learning.
When is it?    Thursdays 12:00pm to 1:00pm, unless otherwise noted. Arrive at 11:45 to get pizza.
Where is it?    CS150
Who is invited?   Everyone is welcome.
Is there food?    Yes! Pizza is provided.
Can I present?    Yes! If you would like to present your research, please email one of the organizers: Ari Kobren, Rajarshi Das, Li Yang Ku, Hang Su, Samer Nashed and Aruni Roy Chowdhury
Who generously sponsors this regular event   Oracle Labs  


Suggestions, comments, want to present? Contact us at


Recent Talks

Thursday, September 14, 2017 Pat Flaherty
Thursday, September 7, 2017 Dean Eckles

2016/2017 Academic Year

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 Mohit Iyyer, University of Maryland