Dr. Mohit Bansal, assistant professor of computer science at UNC-Chapel Hill and director of the UNC-NLP Lab, has received a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The CAREER program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers NSF’s most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.
This five-year, $450,000 grant, titled “CAREER: Semantic Multi-Task Learning for Generalizable and Interpretable Language Generation”, will support his continued research on enhancing natural language generation (NLG) models with crucial linguistic-semantic knowledge skills. These skills include logical entailment to avoid contradictory and unrelated information with respect to the input, saliency to extract the most important information subsets, and discourse structure to enforce coherent order in the generated text. The project will focus on interpretable and generalizable NLG approaches and the release of a public suite of such knowledge skills and NLG frameworks, eventually allowing the technology to be widely accessible and societally impactful via diverse real-world applications in human-robot interaction and collaboration.
Bansal joined the Department of Computer Science in 2016. Prior to joining UNC, he was a Research Assistant Professor at the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago. He received his Bachelor of Technology in computer science and engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur and received his Doctor of Philosophy in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley.