Chinese Natural Language Processing Scholar Sun Maosong Selected as ACL Fellow 2022

Professor Sun Maosong from Tsinghua University was recently selected as the only Chinese scholar as a ACL Fellow of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) in 2022. Eight well-known natural language processing (NLP) scholars were added to this list.

The reason for Sun’s selection is that he has made great contributions to China’s NLP and provided continuous services for the development of computational linguistics in China. Sun is also the tenth elected Chinese scholar in ACL Fellow after Baidu CTO Wang Haifeng and ByteDance’s AI Lab Director Li Hang.

The ACL Fellow, which started in 2011, aims to recognize ACL members for their outstanding contribution to scientific research and community service in the field of natural language processing, and is one of the highest honors in the field of NLP. To be selected as an ACL Fellow, a candidate must have served as an ACL member for three of the past five years and be nominated by the incumbent ACL member. Except in 2011, the ACL Fellow has no more than 10 candidates added to it every year.

In addition to Sun Maosong, the selected scholars of ACL Fellow in 2022 include Hinrich Schütze from University of Munich, Marti Hearst from University of California Berkeley, Claire Gardent from Lorraine Research Laboratory in Computer Science and its Applications, and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, James F. Allen from University of Rochester, Owen Rambow from Stony Brook University, Yejin Choi from University of Washington and Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, Tomek Strzalkowski from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Sun’s current titles include Executive Vice President of Tsinghua University’s Institute of Artificial Intelligence, Chairman of Tsinghua University’s Computer Degree Evaluation Sub-Committee, Deputy Director of Online Education Research Center of Ministry of Education. He received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from the Computer Department of Tsinghua University in 1986 and 1988 respectively, and has been working in the university ever since. In 2004, he received his Ph.D. in Computational Linguistics from City University of Hong Kong. He was elected as an academician of the European Academy of Sciences in 2020.

His research fields cover natural language understanding, Chinese information processing, web intelligence, social computing and computational pedagogy, etc. He has made outstanding achievements in Chinese word segmentation and part-of-speech tagging, keyword extraction and social tagging, representation learning, knowledge map, machine translation and poetry generation.

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One of Sun’s research focuses is the most basic subject in Chinese information processing – Chinese automatic word segmentation. He developed a word segmentation and tagging system named CSegTag, which integrates automatic word segmentation, part-of-speech tagging, proper name recognition and new word recognition, and applied it to the “super-peer semantic search engine”, a project of the sixth framework programme for research, in which Tsinghua University cooperated with nearly 10 countries in the European Union.

In 2013, Sun led a team from Tsinghua University to successfully develop the first Chinese massive open online course platform “XuetangX” in China. In 2015, the artificial intelligence poetry writing system “Jiuge” developed by THUAIPoet team led by Sun was launched. The system garnered widespread attention as it combined with several models specially designed for poetry generation to train AI based on more than 800,000 poems created by human poets.