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Congratulations, Stacy (and other SLIM Group updates)

Stacy Black successfully defender her master’s thesis entitled “Towards Unifying Grounded and Distributional Semantics Using the Words-as-Classifiers Model of Lexical Semantics”. Stacy shifted topics halfway through her master’s work, and I was blown away at how quickly she learned some difficult concepts to be able to accomplish what she did for her thesis. I was able to capture the moment we on her committee told her “congratulations!” after her defense:

Casey Kennington & Stacy Black


The SLIM Group has had some great success this year so far, despite the challenges and circumstances. We have had the following papers accepted to LREC, SIGDIAL, and SEMDIAL conferences/workshops:

  • David McNeill and Casey Kennington. Learning Word Groundings from Humans Facilitated by Robot Emotional Displays. In Proceedings of SigDial, 2020. (Paper based on David’s master’s thesis; he was able to get Cozmo to learn words as it interacted with participants and compared when Comzo showed emotion behaviors vs. behaviors that were just task-oriented.)
  • Casey Kennington, Daniele Moro, Lucas Marchand, Jake Carns and David McNeill. rrSDS: Towards a Robot-ready Spoken Dialogue System. In Proceedings of SigDial, 2020. (demo paper; we’ve been working hard on a set of modules for incremental dialogue on robots called rrSDS)
  • Daniele Moro, Gerardo Caracas, David McNeill and Casey Kennington. Semantics with Feeling: Emotions for Abstract Embedding, Affect for Concrete Grounding. In Proceedings of SemDial, 2020. (Paper that explores tying emotion to abstract words as well as grounding concrete words into a representation of emotion.)
  • Eric Booth, Jake Carns, Casey Kennington, and Nader Rafla.¬†Evaluating and Improving Child-Directed Automatic Speech Recognition. In Proceedings of LREC, 2020. (Paper that explores how to improve child-directed ASR.)

We unfortunately are losing several of the SLIM Group members, as they are graduating and moving into bigger and better things!