Faces of Research: Meet Diyi Yang

Diyi Yang

The Institute for Data Engineering and Science, or IDEaS, is one of Georgia Tech’s 10 interdisciplinary research institutes. IDEaS provides the coordination and expertise necessary to link researchers across campus by strengthening Georgia Tech's position in big data.

This installment of the Faces of Research Q&A series is with Diyi Yang.

What is your field of expertise and why did you choose it?
I study natural language processing (NLP) and computational social science. My research goal is to make computers understand human language, use language like human beings, and facilitate human-human/computer communication, by building socially aware intelligent systems. I love this intersection between NLP and social sciences as it has the potential to impact so many aspects of our daily lives in good ways — Internet searches, conversational agents, online media analyses, etc.

What makes GaTech research institutes unique in this direction?
Georgia Tech has a strong team of researchers working on machine learning (ML) and NLP, covering a wide variety of research areas such as robotics, autonomous vehicles, computer visions, bioinformatics, natural language processing, health informatics, ethics, and fairness, and more.  This interdisciplinary, collaborative, and supportive environment makes it an ideal place for researchers and students to do cutting-edge work!

What impact is Georgia Tech research having on the world?
There is no doubt that ML and NLP research at Georgia Tech has a huge impact on the world. Work by our faculty and students have been accepted at leading international conferences and journals, and our students have received prestigious fellowships and awards. Recently, three NSF AI institutes established in 2021 are co-led by Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech’s work related to ML and NLP is changing the world by transforming almost every aspect of human life, such as health care, education, and transportation.

What do you like to do in your spare time when you are not working on your research or teaching?
I like traveling (before the pandemic), visiting national parks, playing golf, and cooking!