Joyce Chai appointed associate director of Michigan Institute for Data Science
Prof. Joyce Chai has been named an associate director at the Michigan Institute for Data Science (MIDAS). Chai steps into this role which was filled by Prof. Danai Koutra for the past two years.
According to MIDAS, Chai “will greatly enhance MIDAS’ effort to support AI researchers and AI-enabled research across many fields” at the University of Michigan.
Chai is a member of CSE’s artificial intelligence lab and directs the Situated Language and Embodied Dialogue (SLED) research group. She is also affiliated with the Robotics Department.
Chai’s research interests include natural language processing, situated and embodied dialogue agents, human-robot communication, and artificial intelligence. Her recent work explores the intersection of language, vision, and robotics, particularly focusing on grounded language processing to facilitate situated communication between humans and embodied agents.
Regarding her appointment as MIDAS associate director, Chai said, “I’m truly honored to have this opportunity to serve in this role. At MIDAS, I’m looking forward to connecting people, data, and AI to advance scientific discovery, technology innovation, and the intelligence of machines.”
Chai joined the faculty at Michigan in 2019. From 2003–2019, she was a Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Michigan State University, where she directed the Language and Interaction Research Lab (LAIR). Prior to MSU, she was a research staff member at the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. She holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Duke University.
She has served on the executive board of North America Chapter of Association for Computational Linguistics (NAACL), as a Program Co-chair for multiple conferences – most recently the 2020 Annual Meeting of Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL). She has received several paper awards with her students (e.g., Best Long Paper Award at ACL 2010, Outstanding Paper Award at EMNLP 2021). Chai is also the recipient of the National Science Foundation Career Award (2004),and the William Beal Distinguished Scholar Award from MSU (2018). She is a Fellow of ACL.