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

  • Yuan, Zheng; Downey, Doug, Practical Methods for Semi-automated Peer Grading in a Classroom Setting, UMAP 2020 - Proceedings of the 28th ACM Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization
  • King, Daniel; Downey, Doug; Weld, Daniel S., High-Precision Extraction of Emerging Concepts from Scientific Literature, SIGIR 2020 - Proceedings of the 43rd International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval
  • Noraset, Thanapon; Downey, Doug; Bing, Lidong, Estimating marginal probabilities of n-grams for recurrent neural language models, Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, EMNLP 2018
  • Yang, Yiben; Wang, Ji Ping; Downey, Doug, Using large corpus N-gram statistics to improve recurrent neural language models, Long and Short Papers
  • Fernandez, Jared; Downey, Douglas C, Sampling informative training data for RNN language models, ACL 2018 - 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Proceedings of the Student Research Workshop
  • Yang, Yiben; Birnbaum, Lawrence A; Wang, Jiping; Downey, Douglas C, Extracting commonsense properties from embeddings with limited human guidance, ACL 2018 - 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Proceedings of the Conference (Short Papers)
  • Ammar, Waleed; Groeneveld, Dirk; Bhagavatula, Chandra; Beltagy, Iz; Crawford, Miles; Downey, Doug; Dunkelberger, Jason; Elgohary, Ahmed; Feldman, Sergey; Ha, Vu; Kinney, Rodney; Kohlmeier, Sebastian; Lo, Kyle; Murray, Tyler; Ooi, Hsu Han; Peters, Matthew; Power, Joanna; Skjonsberg, Sam; Wang, Lucy Lu; Wilhelm, Chris; Yuan, Zheng; Van Zuylen, Madeleine; Etzioni, Oren, Construction of the literature graph in semantic scholar, Industry Papers
  • Noraset, Thanapon; Demeter, David; Downey, Douglas C, Controlling global statistics in recurrent neural network text generation, 32nd AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, AAAI 2018