Asli Celikyilmaz

Asli Celikyilmaz

Principle Researcher
Microsoft Research



Invited Talks and Tutorials:

    Oct 2020    Tutorial on Advances in Neural Text Generation at EMNLP 2020
    July 2020    Keynote on Advances in Neural Text Generation at SIGDIAL 2020
    Feb 2020    A Glimpse of Deep Learning in Text Generation at Yale University
    Dec 2019    Document Understanding Workshop, NeurIPS, Vancouver Canada
    Oct 2019    1. Siri Workshop on Conversational AI, Cambridge, UK
    Oct 2019    MSR New York Reinforcement Learning Days event, NYC, USA [video]
    Mar 2019    Talk on Microsoft Reserach Techfest 2019
    July 2018    Invited Tutorial Deep Learning for NLP at Coling, 2018
    Dec 2017    Invited Talk NIPS Workshop on Conversational AI
    Dec 2017    Panelist at NIPS Workshop on Conversational AI
    Sep 2017    Tutorial on Neural Dialog Systems at Interspeech
    June 2017    Tutorial on Deep Learning for Conversational Dialog Systems at ACL
    May 2017    Tutorial on Neural Dialog Systems at ICASSP
    Nov 2014    Intelligent Personal Assistants and Signal Processing Challenges, IEEE SPS Santa Clara,
    June 2012    Language Understanding, Machine Learning Summer School, UC Santa Cruz
    Jun 2011    Conversational Understanding, BISC Lab in Computer Science, UC Berkeley
    Nov 2010    Question Answering Made Easy, Int. Computer Science Institute, Berkeley
    Apr 2009    Question Answering Effort in BISC Lab IEEE Int. Conf. Semantic Computing, Stanford University

Research Interests:

My research interests are in the fields of Deep Learning and Natural Language Processing, with broader interests in long form text generation, evalualtion of text generation systems, automatic summarization, conversational dialog modeling. Specifically, i am interested in working in the fields of:

Statistical Natural Language Processing (NLP) : Learning semantic relations to understand unstructured text, teaching machines to do tasks such as completing tasks for humans, video understanding, multi-modal knowledge learning,
  • Long Form Generation and Evaluation: Deep modelling of the long-term context, simulating the world to learn to generate creative and coherent stories, building multi-agents systems that can learn from the environment and work collaboratively in generating stories and summarizing multiple documents, videos, image threads.Evaluation is important in building accurate text generation systems. My researach investigates evaluation methods that help in building better long text generation models.
  • Language Generation and Conversational Dialog Systems: Building conversational agents that can help users in their daily activities by learning from their environments, language understanding for generating coherent and human like responses.

Full List of Publications:

Recent Preprints:

Peer-Reviewed Publications:



Asli Celikyilmaz is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research (MSR) in Redmond, Washington. She is also an Affiliate Professor at the University of Washington. She has received Ph.D. Degree in Information Science from University of Toronto, Canada, and later continued her Postdoc study at Computer Science Department of the University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests are mainly in deep learning and natural language, specifically on language generation with long-term coherence, language understanding, language grounding with vision, and building intelligent agents for human-computer interaction She is serving on the editorial boards of Transactions of the ACL (TACL) as area editor and Open Journal of Signal Processing (OJSP) as Associate Editor. She has received several “best of” awards including NAFIPS 2007, Semantic Computing 2009, and CVPR 2019.

Work Experience:

    2018-Present Affiliate Professor at the Paul G. Allen School University of Washington, Seattle
    2010-Present Principal Researcher, Microsoft Resarch AI, Redmond
    2008-2010 Post-Doctorate Research, Computer Science, University of California, Berkeley
    2005-2008 Ph.D., Information Science, University of Toronto
    2004-2006 Research Software Engineer, Information Intelligence Co. (IIC), University of Toronto
    2003-2005 Master Degree, Information Science, University of Toronto
    2000-2002 Computer Programming and Analysis, Information Science, Seneca College
    1997-1999 Master Degree, Industrial Engineering, Istanbul Technical University
    1993-1997 Bachelor Degree, Industrial Engineering, Istanbul Technical University


    2017 Lecture on Generative Adversarial Networks at the AI School at MSR AI
    2017 Lecture on Deep Learning for Interactive Systems at the AI School at MSR AI
    2007 Lecture on Knowledge Modeling and Management, Univ. of Toronto
    2006 Lecture on Data Modeling, University of Toronto
    2005 Lecture on Decision Analysis, University of Toronto

Honors and Awards:

    Best Student Paper Award, CVPR 2019
    Best Paper Award, IEEE Int. Conference on Semantic Computing, Berkeley, 2009
    Postdoctoral Fellowship from British Telecom University of California, Berkeley, 2008-2010
    NSERC (Natural Sci. and Eng. Research Council of Canada), Postdoc Fellowship (PDF), 2008-2010
    NSERC (Natural Sci. and Eng. Research Council, Graduate Scholarships), PGSD2, 2007-2009
    OGS-Ontario Graduate Scholarships in Science and Technology, Ph.D., 2007-2008
    Ph.D. Fellowship, University of Toronto, 2005-2008
    Student Travel Grant from IEEE Computational Intelligence Society, 2007
    Best Paper Award, North American Fuzzy Information Processing Society, 2007
    Ontario, Canada Graduate Scholarship in Science and Tech. (OGS-ST), 2006-2007
    Research Assistantship Support, University of Toronto, 2005-2006
    Master of Science Fellowship, University of Toronto, 2004-2005
    Research Assistantship Support, University of Toronto, 2004-2005
    Full Grant for Undergraduate Study, ISTEK Foundation (Turkey), 1993-1997