Weiyan Shi

Welcome! I am a fifth-year PhD student in Computer Science at Columbia University, advised by Prof. Zhou Yu, working on Natural Language Processing. Previously, I completed my master’s degree in Statistics from the University of California, Berkeley and my B.S. in Mathematics from Renmin University of China. I have worked in the SF bay area as a full-time data scientist on customer service chatbots for two years before starting my PhD.

This past fall I was co-teaching Conversational AI (COMS 6998) with Zhou at Columbia.

I am on the faculty job market looking for tenure-track positions :)

Email: ws2634@columbia.edu

Google Scholar / CV / Research Statement / Teaching Statement

Links: Research Overview / Updates / Awards / Papers / Teaching / Services / Miscellaneous

Research Overview

My research interests are in Natural Language Processing, especially intelligent interactive systems 🤖 and the following directions:

My research vision is to build a natural interface between human intelligence and machine intelligence via natural conversations, so that all members of society can interact with AI models seamlessly regardless of their backgrounds. Glad we are going in that direction with ChatGPT!

Research Statement


Jan 2023: Our Cicero work made it into the New York Times front page!

Nov 2022: Check out our Science publication on the first human-level negotiation AI agent that can negotiate, persuade, and coordinate with human players in natural language in the classic complex 7-player board game of Diplomacy! This tackles several challenges such as multi-party dialogue modeling, strategic reasoning, social influence and how to connect them in intense and length conversations! [Meta AI blog post] [code] [Commentary in Science News]

Oct 2022: I am excited to be named as Rising Stars in Machine Learning, 2022! Thanks UMD :)

Oct 2022: Our paper on privacy-preserving Transformer-based models is accepted to EMNLP 2022.

Sep 2022: I am co-teaching Conversational AI (COMS 6998) with Zhou at Columbia.

Jun - Sep 2022: This summer I interned with Jason Weston and Jing Xu to incorporate human feedback to continuously improve deployed chatbots (checkout our paper).

Jun - Dec 2021: Finished my internship with Mike Lewis on zero-shot dialogue nonsense detection.

Jun - Dec 2020: Finished my internship with Mike Lewis on strategic dialogue.



Google Scholar








  • Co-instructor, Conversational AI Special Topics (COMS 6998)
    Columbia Universty, Fall 2022

  • Guest Lecturer (on Dialogue Systems), Natural Language Processing
    Columbia Universty, Spring 2022

  • Teaching Assistant, Conversational AI Special Topics (COMS 6998)
    Columbia University, Spring 2021


  • Area Chair, Women in Machine Learning 2022, NeurIPS 2022

  • Publicity Chair, The 4th Workshop for Conversational AI, ACL 2022

  • Conference reviewer: ACL, EACL, NAACL, EMNLP, *SEM, ICLR, AAAI, NeurlPS, ICML, CHI, NLPCC, ACL Rolling Review

  • Journal reviewer: ACM Transactions on Human-Robot Interaction, Neurocomputing, ACM Transactions on Information Systems