William Wang

Bio: William Wang is the Director of UC Santa Barbara's Natural Language Processing group and Center for Responsible Machine Learning. He is the Duncan and Suzanne Mellichamp Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Designs in the Department of Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received his PhD from School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University. He has broad interests in Artificial Intelligence, including statistical relational learning, information extraction, computational social science, dialog & generation, and vision. He has published more than 100 papers at leading NLP/AI/ML conferences and journals, and received best paper awards (or nominations) at ASRU 2013, CIKM 2013, EMNLP 2015, and CVPR 2019, a DARPA Young Faculty Award (Class of 2018), an IEEE AI's 10 to Watch Award (Class of 2020), an NSF CAREER Award (2021), a British Computer Society - Karen Spärck Jones Award 2022), the 2023 CRA-E Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentoring Award, and two Google Faculty Research Awards (2018, 2019), three IBM Faculty Awards (2017-2019), two Facebook Research Awards (2018, 2019), an Amazon AWS Machine Learning Research Award, a JP Morgan Chase Faculty Research Award, an Adobe Research Award in 2018, and the Richard King Mellon Presidential Fellowship in 2011. He frequently serves as an Area Chair or Senior Area Chair for NAACL, ACL, EMNLP, and AAAI. He is an elected member of IEEE Speech and Language Processing Technical Committee (2021-2023) and a member of ACM Future of Computing Academy. In addition to research, William enjoys writing scientific articles that impact the broader online community. His work and opinions appear at major tech media outlets such as Wired, VICE, Scientific American, Fortune, Fast Company, NASDAQ, The Next Web, Law.com, and Mental Floss.

Director, UCSB NLP Group
Director, Center for Responsible Machine Learning

Mellichamp Professor of Artificial Intelligence
University of California, Santa Barbara
Henley Hall, Room 2005
Santa Barbara, CA 93106

PhD, Carnegie Mellon University

Research Interests

  • Natural Language Processing
    • Information Extraction
    • Natural Language Generation
    • Language & Vision
    • Computational Social Science
  • Machine Learning
    • Statistical Relational Learning
    • Deep Learning
    • Structure Learning
    • Reinforcement Learning
  • Artificial Intelligence
    • Knowledge Representation & Reasoning
    • Knowledge Graphs


I am hiring a few talented PhD students to work with me. Please see my requirements above and check out an awesome video of UCSB.

PhDs and Postdocs Mentored

Sharon Levy (Ph.D., 2023, Asst. Prof. at Rutgers)
Zhiyu Chen (Ph.D., 2022, Asst. Prof. at UT-Dallas)
Yijun Xiao (Ph.D., 2022, Research Scientist at Meta AI)
Wenhu Chen (Ph.D., 2021, Asst. Prof. at Univ. Waterloo)
Wenhan Xiong (Ph.D., 2021, Research Scientist at Facebook AI)
Xin Eric Wang (Ph.D., 2020, Asst. Prof. at UC Santa Cruz)
Mai Elsherief (Ph.D., 2019, Asst. Prof. at Northeastern)
Vivek Kulkarni (Postdoc, 2019, Research Scientist at Twitter)


Winter 2017 - CS190I: Introduction to NLP
Spring 2017 - CS292F: Deep Learning for NLP
Fall 2017 - CS40: Foundations of CS
Fall 2017 - CS595I: Advanced NLP/ML Seminar
Winter 2018 - CS291A: Deep Learning for NLP
Spring 2018 - CS165B: Machine Learning
Fall 2018 - CS190I/291A: Introduction to NLP
Spring 2019 - CS165B: Machine Learning
Fall 2019 - CS165B: Machine Learning
Winter 2021 - CS291A: Introduction to Deep Learning
Winter 2022 - CS190I: Intro to NLP
Spring 2022 - CS165B: Machine Learning
Winter 2023 - CS165B: Machine Learning


  • 09/21/2023: Multiple papers accepted to NeurIPS 2023! Congratulations to our fearless students and collaborators.
  • 08/07/2023: Promoted to the rank of Full Professor!
  • 02/10/2023: Over the last 7 years, I was very lucky to work with many talented undergraduates for NLP research. I am thankful that CRA has chosen me for the 2023 CRA-E Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentoring Award.
  • 01/22/2023: Elected to Senior Member of AAAI, ACM, and IEEE. We have 11 new papers at ICLR and EACL. Congratulations to our students and collaborators.
  • 12/06/2022: I'm humbled and deeply honored to receive the British Computer Society / Microsoft - Karen Spärck Jones Award. Many thanks to my students, mentors, and colleagues for their support!
  • 10/11/2022: Congratulations to UCSB NLP Group's 12 accepted papers to EMNLP 2022!
  • 08/08/2022: I will serve as an Area Chair for ICLR 2023.
  • 06/07/2022: I will serve as an Area Chair for AAAI 2023.
  • 04/12/2022: I will serve as a senior area chair for both EMNLP 2022 and AACL-IJCNLP 2022.
  • 08/09/2021: I will serve as a senior area chair for ACL 2022.
  • 07/13/2021: I have received tenure at UCSB and promotion to Associate Professor. Many thanks to our wonderful students, collaborators, and colleagues.
  • 07/12/2021: I will serve as an Area Chair for AAAI 2022 and IJCAI-ECAI 2022.
  • 05/21/2021: Congratulations to Mai Elsherif, who has accepted a tenure-track assistant teaching professor position at UC San Diego!
  • 05/10/2021: Congratulations to Wenhu Chen, who has accepted a tenure-track assistant professor position at the Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo!
  • 03/19/2021: Happy to share that I have received an NSF CAREER Award!
  • 12/27/2020: Named AI's 10 to Watch by IEEE Intelligent Systems. Very grateful to students, collegues, and mentors for continued support.
  • 11/09/2020: Service news: I will serve as a Senior Area Chair for NAACL 2021 and an Area Chair for ACL 2021 and EMNLP 2021. I was recently elected as a member of IEEE's Speech and Language Technical Committee (2021-2023).
  • 09/15/2020: Our group has 8 papers accepted to EMNLP 2020. Congrats to all co-authors!
  • 07/11/2020: I've accepted the appointment as the Duncan and Suzanne Mellichamp Chair in Artificial Intelligence and Designs. Many thanks to my family, students, colleagues, advisors, and mentors for your continued support!
  • 07/02/2020: Congratulations Ray and Xin for their accepted ECCV 2020 papers! Ray's paper was selected as a spotlight paper (Top-5% out of 5,025 submissions).
  • 04/03/2020: Congratulations Wenhu, Zhiyu, Andrew, Tony, Chen, Prince, and our collaborators for your accepted ACL 2020 paper.
  • 03/31/2020: We have received a JP Morgan Chase Faculty Research Award. Thank you!
  • 02/24/2020: We have two collaborative papers accepted to CVPR 2020! Congratulations to the lead authors from the University of Adelaide and Zhejiang University.
  • 02/21/2020: We received an Amazon Machine Learning Research Award. Thanks Amazon!
  • 02/21/2020: We held a successful Mellichamp Initiative Workshop on Mind and Machine Intelligence: a new bridge for CS, Psych and Econ.
  • 02/12/2020: We have received a new Google Faculty Research Award for 2019-2020. Thanks Google!