Rui Zhang

Assistant Professor
Computer Science and Engineering Department at Penn State University
W329 Westgate Building, University Park, PA 16802
Email:    r.zhang __at__

Dr. Rui Zhang is an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science and Engineering Department of Penn State University and a co-director of the PSU NLP Lab. His research interest lies in Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence. He has published more than 20 papers at leading NLP/ML/AI conferences. He co-organized the Interactive and Executable Semantic Parsing workshop at EMNLP 2020 and serves as Area Chair at NAACL 2021, EMNLP 2021, NLPCC 2021. He is one of the recipients of 2020 Amazon Research Awards. He received B.S. degrees from both Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the University of Michigan in 2015 and received his Ph.D. from Computer Science Department at Yale University in 2020. During his Ph.D., he has done research internships at IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Grammarly Research, and Google AI.

Research Interests

I am broadly interested in Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence, with special focus on


  • 9/2021: Two papers accepted in Findings of EMNLP 2021. Congratulations to Yusen and all the co-authors!
  • 8/2021: Welcome Yusen, Nan, and Sarkar joining our lab!
  • 5/2021: Two papers (1 long and 1 long Findings) are accepted at ACL 2021.
  • 4/2021: Receive an Amazon Research Award to work on Conversational QA systems over Tables. Thanks Amazon!
  • 3/2021: DART is accepted at NAACL 2021.
  • 3/2021: Serving as an Area Chair in Summarization Track for EMNLP 2021 and NLPCC 2021.
  • 1/2021: SCoRe is accepted at ICLR 2021.
  • 12/2020: Serving as an Area Chair in Summarization Track for NAACL 2021.
  • 10/2020: Talk at UPenn CLunch.
  • 11/2020: We are organizing the workshop on Interactive and Executable Semantic Parsing (IntEx-SemPar 2020) located with EMNLP 2020. Please submit your work!
  • 5/2020: One paper in generative commonsense reasoning accepted to ACL 2020!
  • 11/2019: I will attend the Natural Language, Dialog and Speech (NDS) Symposium at NYC and give a talk on "Towards Intelligent Natural Language Interfaces to Databases".
  • 09/2019: I will attend the Microsoft Research AI Breakthroughs Workshop and present my ACL 2019 paper "This Email Could Save Your Life: Introducing the Task of Email Subject Line Generation".


CSE 597 Deep Learning for NLP, Spring 2022.
CMPSC 448 Machine Learning, Fall 2021.
CMPSC 442 Artificial Intelligence, Spring 2021.
CMPSC 448 Machine Learning, Fall 2020.


I am fortunate to work with many talented students.


Recent papers on [Google Scholar] and [Semantic Scholar]


Structured in Space, Randomized in Time: Leveraging Dropout in RNNs for Efficient Training
Anup Sarma, Sonali Singh, Huaipan Jiang, Rui Zhang, Mahmut T Kandemir, Chita R Das
NeurIPS 2021.   [paper]

An Exploratory Study on Long Dialogue Summarization: What Works and What's Next
Yusen Zhang*, Ansong Ni*, Tao Yu, Rui Zhang, Chenguang Zhu, Budhaditya Deb, Asli Celikyilmaz, Ahmed Hassan Awadallah, Dragomir Radev
*: Equal Contribution
Findings of EMNLP 2021.   [paper]

TURINGBENCH: A Benchmark Environment for Turing Test in the Age of Neural Text Generation
Adaku Uchendu, Zeyu Ma, Thai Le, Rui Zhang, Dongwon Lee
Findings of EMNLP 2021.   [paper]

FeTaQA: Free-form Table Question Answering
Linyong Nan, Chiachun Hsieh, Ziming Mao, Xi Victoria Lin, Neha Verma, Rui Zhang, Wojciech Kryściński, Nick Schoelkopf, Riley Kong, Xiangru Tang, Murori Mutuma, Ben Rosand, Isabel Trindade, Renusree Bandaru, Jacob Cunningham, Caiming Xiong, Dragomir Radev
TACL 2021.   [paper] [code]

Cross-language Sentence Selection via Data Augmentation and Rationale Training
Yanda Chen, Chris Kedzie, Suraj Nair, Petra Galuscakova, Rui Zhang, Douglas Oard, Kathleen McKeown
ACL 2021.   [paper] [code]

Logic-Consistency Text Generation from Semantic Parses
Chang Shu*, Yusen Zhang*, Xiangyu Dong, Peng Shi, Tao Yu, Rui Zhang
*: Equal Contribution
Findings of ACL 2021.   [paper] [code]

DART: Open-Domain Structured Data Record to Text Generation
Linyong Nan, Dragomir Radev, Rui Zhang, Amrit Rau, Abhinand Sivaprasad, Chiachun Hsieh, Nazneen Fatema Rajani, Xiangru Tang, Aadit Vyas, Neha Verma, Pranav Krishna, Yangxiaokang Liu, Nadia Irwanto, Jessica Pan, Faiaz Rahman, Ahmad Zaidi, Murori Mutuma, Yasin Tarabar, Ankit Gupta, Tao Yu, Yi Chern Tan, Xi Victoria Lin, Caiming Xiong, Richard Socher
NAACL 2021.   [paper] [code]

SCoRe: Pre-Training for Context Representation in Conversational Semantic Parsing
Tao Yu,Rui Zhang, Oleksandr Polozov, Christopher Meek, Ahmed Hassan Awadallah
ICLR 2021.   [paper]


ESPRIT: Explaining Solutions to Physical Reasoning Tasks
Nazneen Fatema Rajani*, Rui Zhang*, Yi Chern Tan, Stephan Zheng, Jeremy Weiss, Aadit Vyas, Abhijit Gupta, Caiming Xiong, Richard Socher, Dragomir Radev
*: Equal Contribution
ACL 2020.   [paper] [code]

MATERIALizing Cross-Language Information Retrieval: A Snapshot
Petra Galuscakova, Douglas Oard, Joe Barrow, Suraj Nair, Shing Han-Chin, Elena Zotkina, Ramy Eskander, Rui Zhang
LREC 2020 Workshop on CLSSTS.   [paper]


Editing-Based SQL Query Generation for Cross-Domain Context-Dependent Questions
Rui Zhang, Tao Yu, He Yang Er, Sungrok Shim, Eric Xue, Xi Victoria Lin, Tianze Shi, Caiming Xiong, Richard Socher, Dragomir Radev
EMNLP 2019.   [paper] [code]

CoSQL: A Conversational Text-to-SQL Challenge Towards Cross-Domain Natural Language Interfaces to Databases
Tao Yu, Rui Zhang, He Yang Er, Suyi Li, Eric Xue, Bo Pang, Xi Victoria Lin, Yi Chern Tan, Tianze Shi, Zihan Li, Youxuan Jiang, Michihiro Yasunaga, Sungrok Shim, Tao Chen, Alexander Fabbri, Zifan Li, Luyao Chen, Yuwen Zhang, Shreya Dixit, Vincent Zhang, Caiming Xiong, Richard Socher, Walter Lasecki and Dragomir Radev
EMNLP 2019.   [paper] [dataset and leaderboard]

Improving Low-Resource Cross-lingual Document Retrieval by Reranking with Deep Bilingual Representations
Rui Zhang, Caitlin Westerfield, Sungrok Shim, Garrett Bingham, Alexander Fabbri, Neha Verma, William Hu, Dragomir Radev
ACL 2019.   [paper] [slides]

This Email Could Save Your Life: Introducing the Task of Email Subject Line Generation
Rui Zhang, Joel Tetreault
ACL 2019.   [paper] [dataset]

SParC: Cross-Domain Semantic Parsing in Context
Tao Yu, Rui Zhang, Michihiro Yasunaga, Yi Chern Tan, Xi Victoria Lin, Suyi Li, Heyang Er, Irene Li, Bo Pang, Tao Chen, Emily Ji, Shreya Dixit, David Proctor, Sungrok Shim, Jonathan Kraft, Vincent Zhang, Caiming Xiong, Richard Socher, Dragomir Radev
ACL 2019.   [paper] [dataset and leaderboard]

Surprise Languages: Rapid-Response Cross-Language IR
with Douglas W. Oard, Petra Galuscakova, Kathleen McKeown, Dragomir Radev and many authors
EVIA 2019.   [paper]

ScisummNet: A Large Annotated Corpus and Content-Impact Models for Scientific Paper Summarization with Citation Networks
Michihiro Yasunaga, Jungo Kasai, Rui Zhang, Alexander Fabbri, Irene Li, Dan Friedman, Dragomir Radev
AAAI 2019.   [paper] [dataset]


Spider: A Large-Scale Human-Labeled Dataset for Complex and Cross-Domain Semantic Parsing and Text-to-SQL Task
Tao Yu, Rui Zhang, Kai Yang, Michihiro Yasunaga, Dongxu Wang, Zifan Li, James Ma, Irene Li, Qingning Yao, Shanelle Roman, Zilin Zhang, Dragomir Radev
EMNLP 2018.   [paper] [dataset and leaderboard]

SyntaxSQLNet: Syntax Tree Networks for Complex and Cross-Domain Text-to-SQL Task
Tao Yu, Michihiro Yasunaga, Kai Yang, Rui Zhang, Dongxu Wang, Zifan Li, Dragomir Radev
EMNLP 2018.   [paper] [code]

Neural Coreference Resolution with Deep Biaffine Attention by Joint Mention Detection and Mention Clustering
Rui Zhang, Cicero Nogueira dos Santos, Michihiro Yasunaga, Bing Xiang, Dragomir Radev
ACL 2018.   [paper]

Improving Text-to-SQL Evaluation Methodology
Catherine Finegan-Dollak, Jonathan K. Kummerfeld, Li Zhang, Karthik Ramanathan, Sesh Sadasivam, Rui Zhang, Dragomir Radev
ACL 2018.   [paper] [code]

TypeSQL: Knowledge-based Type-Aware Neural Text-to-SQL Generation
Tao Yu, Zifan Li, Zilin Zhang, Rui Zhang, Dragomir Radev
NAACL 2018.   [paper] [code]

Addressee and Response Selection in Multi-Party Conversations with Speaker Interaction RNNs
Rui Zhang, Honglak Lee, Lazaros Polymenakos, Dragomir Radev
AAAI 2018.   [paper] [code]


Graph-based Neural Multi-Document Summarization
Michihiro Yasunaga, Rui Zhang, Kshitijh Meelu, Ayush Pareek, Krishnan Srinivasan, Dragomir Radev
CoNLL 2017.   [paper]


Effects of Creativity and Cluster Tightness on Short Text Clustering
Catherine Finegan-Dollak, Reed Coke, Rui Zhang, Xiangyi Ye, Dragomir Radev
ACL 2016.   [paper]

Dependency Sensitive Convolutional Neural Networks for Modeling Sentences and Documents
Rui Zhang, Honglak Lee, Dragomir Radev
NAACL 2016.   [paper]