Ellie {Pavlick, Tobochnik}

What's New?

I am a PhD Student in the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania, working with Chris Callison-Burch. I have a BA in economics and a BM in saxophone performance (my fall back job in case this whole "information age" thing fizzles out). My primary research focuses on paraphasing and entailment. I am usually involved in at least one or two side projects on crowdsourcing.

Paraphrasing and Entailment: I work on paraphrasing and composition: How is it that people can communicate the same idea using different words? How is meaning effected when we substitute a word with a paraphrase, or when we insert or delete words? I am interested in formal semantics, and how it can be applied to data-driven statistical models of language. I work with lightweight formalisms like natural logic to make fine-grained entailment predicitons without complex logical representations. Recently, I've been especially interested in models of pragmatic reasoning, and on when and how humans' inferences about language differ from what is predicted by standard semantic models (and on how get computers to make inferences like humans do).

Crowdsourcing: I am involved in a variety of projects and collaborations involving crowdsourcing. These projects have been an awesome way to talk and collaborate with other departments at Penn, including the Center for Public Health Initiatives, the Department of Criminology, and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Right now, I am particularly excited about our current project using crowdsourcing to build a database of gun violence in the United States, which we are building as part of the undergraduate course that I co-developed with Chris.