Faculty Directory
Douglas Downey

Associate Professor of Computer Science


2233 Tech Drive
Mudd Room 3111
Evanston, IL 60208-3109

847-491-3710Email Douglas Downey


Doug Downey's Homepage


Computer Science


Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence

Master of Science in Robotics Program

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Ph.D. Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

M.S. Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

B.S./M.S. Computer Science, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

Research Interests

Downey's research is focused on natural language processing, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, with a particular interest in the automatic construction of useful knowledge bases from Web text. One goal is to develop techniques and prototypes that extend the state of the art in Web search. Another goal is to theoretically investigate and establish a formal basis for techniques that can learn from unstructured text alone, without hand-labeled data.

More generally, Downey works on ways to utilize human input more effectively in machine learning. Two directions in this effort involve selecting human input carefully (active learning) or utilizing it in concert with unlabeled data (semi-supervised learning).

Selected Publications

  • Waleed Ammar, Dirk Groeneveld, Chandra Sekhar Bhagavatula, Iz Beltagy, Miles Crawford, Douglas C Downey, Jason Dunkelberger, “Construction of the Literature Graph in Semantic Scholar”, Proceedings of the 2018 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics , (2018)
  • Jared Fernandez, Zhaocheng Yu, Douglas C Downey, “VecShare”, Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP 2017), (2017)
  • Yuji Mo, Stephen D. Scott, Doug Downey, “Learning hierarchically decomposable concepts with active over-labeling”, Proceedings - 16th IEEE International Conference on Data Mining, ICDM 2016, (2017)
  • Tiantian Zhu, Hongyu Gao, Yi Yang, Kai Bu, Yan Chen, Doug Downey, Kathy Lee, Alok N. Choudhary, “Beating the Artificial Chaos”, IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, (2016)
  • Doug Downey, Chandra Sekhar Bhagavatula, Yi Yang, “Efficient methods for inferring large sparse topic hierarchies”, ACL-IJCNLP 2015 - 53rd Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 7th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing of the Asian Federation of Natural Language Processing, Proceedings of the Conference, (2015)
  • Yi Yang, Doug Downey, Jordan Boyd-Graber, “Efficient methods for incorporating knowledge into topic models”, Conference Proceedings - EMNLP 2015: Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, (2015)
  • Chandra Sekhar Bhagavatula, Thanapon Noraset, Doug Downey, “TabEL”, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), (2015)
  • Yang, Yi; Huang, Fei; Ahuja, Arun; Downey, Doug; Guo, Yuhong, “Learning Representations for Weakly Supervised Natural Language Processing Tasks”, Computational Linguistics, (2014)