Ever since my uncle bought me a pocket atlas in 2nd grade, I’ve always loved to read, draw, and study maps. My early projects in geography (mostly cartography, actually) span from a once 2500+ member geography forum (2009) to substance-less maps depicting a fictional world (2010). My interest naturally drew me to a GIS course, where I compiled a study of Baltimore’s land use from the 1800s to the present (2014). My interest in maps culminated in a computational cartography project with Wolfram, where I trained computers to read maps (2016).

Waltham, 2016


Maps are models. They present a simplified version of the spherical Earth. In a similar sense, physicists also strive to describe astronomically complex natural phenomena in simple, elegant models. The joy I find in physics stems from the same source where that in geography comes from.

I studied the muon and its atmospheric flux at Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik (2013), then went on to pursue a degree in physics, along with math, at the Johns Hopkins University. Some interesting projects at Hopkins include measuring galactic motion (2017) and quantum properties of graphene (2017).

Heidelberg, 2013

Computational linguistics

Join my longtime passion for language with a field I am given more credit than is due (B.A. in math), and we get computational linguistics. Broadly, I am interested in language representation in humans and machines. More specifically, my research topic involves improving syntactic generalization abilities in language models.

  • BERT fine-tuned on MNLI and is unstable and vulnerable to syntactic heuristics (McCoy, Min, Linzen 2021).
  • Adversarial data augmentation via syntactic manipulation of training set data significantly increases robustness to augmentation-like examples and general syntactic sensitivity too (Min, McCoy, Das, Pitler, Linzen 2020).
  • Heuristics likely arise from both the pre-training and the fine-tuning dataset. Currently popular fine-tuning and evaluation paradigm has drawbacks that can be patched with longer fine-tuning on unbiased datasets, multi-seed out-of-distribution evaluation, and syntactic adversarial augmentation (work in progress).

If you have some hot takes on whether AI and art mix well, I’ve developed an AI songwriter with We got an artist to rap an excerpt–you can listen to it here.

At my current position, I develop a predicate range optimization framework to improve DL-based open information extraction models, whose output I bootstrap for event chain construction.