Rada Mihalcea receives Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award

Mihalcea is being recognized for her contributions to computational linguistics and her efforts to broaden participation in the field of computer science.
Rada Mihalcea
Prof. Rada Mihalcea

Rada Mihalcea, the Janice M. Jenkins Professor of Computer Science and Engineering and Director of the Michigan Artificial Intelligence Lab, has received the University’s 2022 Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award from the U-M Rackham Graduate School.

This award honors senior faculty who have consistently demonstrated outstanding achievements in the areas of scholarly research or creative endeavors, teaching and mentoring of students and junior colleagues, service, and other activities.

Mihalcea is known for her research in computational linguistics, computational social science, and multimodal language processing. In addition to her work using text processing to analyze conversations or  written interactions like tweets and online comments, Mihalcea’s Language and Information Technologies (LIT) research group uses similar techniques to study human and human-computer interactions. Identifying values and behaviors, deception, and humor through language, Mihalcea currently conducts research projects in conversation analysis, misinformation detection, temporal language analysis, sentiment and subjectivity analysis, multimodal question answering, and more.

Mihalcea also prioritizes broadening participation in the field of computing by piloting programs and courses aimed at supporting women in engineering and computer science. She has spearheaded a number of programs in CSE encouraging a more accessible entry for students, including the Girls Encoded outreach program, the “Women in Computing” seminar series, “Discover CS” — an entry-level course designed for students with little experience in programming, and a mentorship program that provides hand-on research opportunities to undergraduates. She has previously been recognized for these activities with the U-M Center for the Education of Women (CEW+)’s 2018 Carol Hollenshead Award and the 2019 U-M Sarah Goddard Power Award.

Mihalcea serves or has served on the editorial boards of the Journals of Computational Linguistics, Language Resources and Evaluations, Natural Language Engineering, Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, and Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics. She was a program co-chair for Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing 2009 and Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) 2011, and a general chair for North American ACL 2015 and *SEM 2019. She has also served as President of the Association for Computational Linguistics — the scientific and professional organization for people working on natural language processing research. 

She is the recipient of a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers awarded by President Obama (2009), and was named an ACM Fellow (2019) and an AAAI Fellow (2021). In 2013, she was made an honorary citizen of her hometown of Cluj-Napoca, Romania. She has received two awards recognizing papers with lasting impact, including from AAAI and ACM ICMI.