IEEE Southeastern Michigan Section

Keynote Address 

The Ups and Downs of Word Embeddings

Rada Mihalcea and Laura Wendlandt

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Michigan

Our Sponsor:  VisTaTech - Schoolcraft College - 18600 Haggerty Rd Livonia MI  

Words are the central units of the languages we all speak. In a similar way, word representations are the core units of algorithms that we build to automatically process language. These representations form the foundation for many applications of natural language processing, ranging from question answering systems, to chat bots, search engines, or systems for machine translation. In this talk, we will take a deep dive into word embeddings — a popular way of representing words with the help of neural networks trained on very large collections of texts. In particular, we will address two aspects of word embeddings. First, we will take a close look at their stability, and show that even relatively high frequency words are often unstable. We will provide empirical evidence for how various factors contribute to the stability of word embeddings, and analyze the effects of stability on downstream tasks. Second, we will explore the relation between words and people and show how we can develop cross-cultural word representations to identify words with cultural influence – i.e., words that are used in significantly different ways by speakers from different cultures. Further, we will also show how we can effectively use information about the speakers of a word (i.e., their gender, culture) to build better word representations.

This is joint work with Carmen Banea, Aparna Garimella, and Jonathan K. Kummerfeld.

***Photo by Drew Graham on Unsplash

  Date and Time




  • Date: 03 Nov 2018
  • Time: 09:30 AM to 02:00 PM
  • All times are (GMT-05:00) US/Eastern
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  • VisTaTech Center - Schoolcraft College
  • 18600 Haggerty Road
  • Livonia, Michigan
  • United States 48152

  • Conference Chair: David Werden 

    Conference Co-Chair: Irina Sullivan

    Scott Lytle Event Registrar 734-983-6012

  • Starts 12 September 2018 06:52 PM
  • Ends 03 November 2018 05:00 PM
  • All times are (GMT-05:00) US/Eastern
  • Admission fee ?
  • Menu: Regular, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, None


Rada Mihalcea Rada Mihalcea


Rada Mihalcea is a Professor in the Computer Science and Engineering department at the University of Michigan. Her research interests are in computational linguistics, with a focus on lexical semantics, multilingual natural language processing, and computational social sciences. She serves or has served on the editorial boards of the Journals of Computational Linguistics, Language Resources and Evaluations, Natural Language Engineering, Research in Language in Computation, IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, and  Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics. She was a program co-chair for the Conference of the Association for Computational Linguistics (2011) and the Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (2009), and a general chair for the Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (2015). She is the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER award (2008) and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers awarded by President Obama (2009). In 2013, she was made an honorary citizen of her hometown of Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

Laura Wendlandt Laura Wendlandt


Laura Wendlandt is a PhD candidate in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan, working with Dr. Rada Mihalcea. Her research interests include natural language processing and machine learning. She is currently serving as co-chair for the Student Research Workshop at the 2019 Annual Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics, as well as co-chair for a2-dlearn, Ann Arbor’s annual deep learning symposium.


Registration Fee Schedule:  

Early Online Registration ends October 13

Late Online Registration ends October 28  (deadline for meal orders)

Day-Of / In-Person Registration Available - Credit Cards Only  (No Cash or Checks).


Conference Attendee Fees:                          Early / Late

Students/Retired/Unemployed (Members).........$25 / $35

IEEE, SWE, and ESD Members ........................$45 / $60

Non Members ...............................................$60 / $80

Student Table Sponsor (8 students)..................$250

Silver Sponsorship Registration*.......................$500

Gold Sponsorship Registration*.........................$1000

Platinum Sponsorship Registration*...................$2000

Diamond Sponsorship Registration*...................$3000





9:30AM - 9:57AM

Registration / Breakfast / Networking / Posters


Welcome & Opening Remarks: David Werden and Irina Sullivan (Conference Co-Chairs)


Speaker #1:  Veronica Perez-Rosas, "Automatic Detection of Fake News"


Speaker #2:  Sharan Kalwani, "Symbiotic Relationship and Growth of Computing and Perceived Intelligence"

11:00AM- 11:30AM

Speaker #3:  Aisha Yousuf, "Building Blocks for a Successful Data Science Group"


Speaker #4:  Bob Neff, "AI in Autonomous Vehicles"

12:00PM- 1:00PM


12:30PM- 1:00PM

SEM Leadership & Volunteer Thanks

1:00PM - 2:00PM

Conference Keynote Address:  Rada Mihalcea and Laura Wendlandt


Closing Remarks: David Werden and Irina Sullivan (Conference Co-Chairs)


Call for Posters

Abstract Submission: by October 20, 2018 | Poster Abstract Submission Form  

Acceptance Notice: by October 23, 2018 | Free Registration for the Primary Poster Author

The suggested poster size is 4 feet by 3 feet, and should contain large text to be read from a distance. Poster authors should attend and present their posters during the Poster Session and Student Competition on the day of the conference. Free Registration for the Primary Poster Author (Please wait to get more information after submitting poster request). All the additional student authors for a particular poster needs to be registered as a Student Poster with a $25 Fee and every participant will receive a Certificate of Participation along with the top 3 winners of the competition. 

IEEE Southeastern Michigan Section