Faculty Directory
Douglas Downey

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

  • Marasovic, Ana; Beltagy, Iz; Downey, Doug; Peters, Matthew E., Few-Shot Self-Rationalization with Natural Language Prompts, Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) (2022).
  • Rohatgi, Shaurya; Downey, Doug; King, Daniel; Feldman, Sergey, S2AMP, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (2022).
  • Shen, Zejiang; Lo, Kyle; Wang, Lucy Lu; Kuehl, Bailey; Weld, Daniel S.; Downey, Doug, VILA, Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics (2022).
  • Radensky, Marissa; Downey, Doug; Lo, Kyle; Popovic, Zoran; Weld, Daniel S., Exploring the Role of Local and Global Explanations in Recommender Systems, Association for Computing Machinery (2022).
  • Kang, Hyeonsu B.; Kocielnik, Rafal; Head, Andrew; Yang, Jiangjiang; Latzke, Matt; Kittur, Aniket; Weld, Daniel S.; Downey, Doug; Bragg, Jonathan, From Who You Know to What You Read, Association for Computing Machinery (2022).
  • Macavaney, Sean; Feldman, Sergey; Goharian, Nazli; Downey, Doug; Cohan, Arman, ABNIRML, Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics (2022).
  • Cafarella, Michael; Anderson, Michael; Beltagy, Iz; Cattan, Arie; Chasins, Sarah; Dagan, Ido; Downey, Doug; Etzioni, Oren; Feldman, Sergey; Gao, Tian; Hope, Tom; Huang, Kexin; Johnson, Sophie; King, Daniel; Lo, Kyle; Lou, Yuze; Shapiro, Matthew; Shen, Dinghao; Subramanian, Shivashankar; Wang, Lucy Lu; Wang, Yuning; Wang, Yitong; Weld, Daniel S.; Vo-Phamhi, Jenny; Zeng, Anna; Zou, Jiayun, Infrastructure for rapid open knowledge network development, AI Magazine (2022).
  • MacAvaney, Sean; Yates, Andrew; Feldman, Sergey; Downey, Doug; Cohan, Arman; Goharian, Nazli, Simplified Data Wrangling with ir_datasets, Association for Computing Machinery, Inc:2429-2436 (2021).