Mohit Bansal, an assistant professor in the department of computer science, received the prestigious Young Investigator Program (YIP) Award from the U.S. Army Research Office (ARO) for 2018 — for his work on natural language processing and multimodal machine learning.
As explained on ARO’s website, “YIP awards are one of the most prestigious honors bestowed by the Army on outstanding scientists beginning their independent careers. The objective of the YIP is to attract outstanding young university faculty members to pursue fundamental research in areas relevant to the Army, to support their research in these areas, and to encourage their teaching and research careers.”
The three-year award will provide $360,000 to fund Bansal’s research on developing new machine learning and natural language processing models that can assimilate and reason over large-scale, uncertain information from several diverse modalities (e.g., text, speech, images, videos and databases), while also being able to interpretably explain their reasoning decisions. The research could potentially lead to groundbreaking improvements in autonomous decision-making systems and remote human-robot interaction on noisy, real-world, long-range multimodal information.
In addition to the ARO YIP award, Bansal recently earned another prestigious young faculty award, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Young Faculty Award in 2017, for his research in life-long learning based artificial intelligence. His lab in the computer science department in UNC’s College of Arts & Sciences focuses on natural language understanding and generation/dialogue, multimodal and grounded machine learning, and deep learning based data analytics.