Lei Li

Co-Director, UCSB NLP Group

Assistant Professor
Computer Science Department
Univeristy of California Santa Barbara

Research area: natural language processing, machine learning, data mining.


  • Machine translation, speech translation, multilingual NLP.
  • Text generation and summarization.
  • Reasoning and question answering.
  • Information extraction.
  • AI for drug discovery
  • Green and Efficient ML
  • Time series mining and prediction
  • Probabilistic inference, Bayesian sampling methods

Looking for highly motivated students to join my lab.

UCSB students: please feel free to contact me if you would like to do intern in my lab.

  • 5 new papers accepted to ACL 2023.
  • 3 new papers accepted to ICML 2023.
  • New papers at EMNLP 2022: Model Protection Model correction on factual knowledge, Unsupervised Text Generation Metric - SEScore.
  • Our paper on accelerated training of Transformers on GPUs is accepted to SC 2022. The opensource software is released at github link
  • Our paper analyzing the user engagement and activeness on content-based social media platforms is accepted to KDD 2022. 
  • Our paper on the learning of Non-autoregressive Transformers is accepted to ICML 2022.
  • 3 papers are accepted to NAACL 2022 (2 in main and 1 in Findings), about speech translation, multilingual text generation, and privacy preserving NLP.
  • 7 papers are accepted to ACL 2022 (4 in main and 3 in Findings), about speech translation, document translation, non-autoregressive translation, and representation learning.
  • Our paper on bridge construction robot is accepted to ICRA 2022.
  • Two papers is accepted to ICLR 2022. about multilingual NLP and multilingual translation.
  • Three papers are accepted to AAAI 2022. Topics include natural language reasoning for fact verification, unsupervised counterfactual story editing, and non-autoregressive translation.
  • The paper on reversible machine translation model is accepted to NeurIPS 2021. Check out here.
  • 6 papers are accepted to EMNLP 2021, three to main confrence, and three to the Findings of EMNLP. The topics are machine translation, information extraction, and summarization.
  • One paper extending the SOLO framework for instance segmentation is accepted to TPAMI.
  • One paper about 3D instance segmentation is accepted to IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters.
  • Our paper Vocabulary Learning via Optimal Transport for Neural Machine Translation won the best paper award at ACL 2021.
  • Two papers are accepted to IROS 2021.
  • One paper is accepted to InterSpeech 2021, about multi-task progressive pretraining for speech translation, achieving new SOTA results on MuST-C benchmarks.
  • Dr. Mingxuan Wang and I will be giving a tutorial on Pre-training methods for Neural Machine Translation at ACL 2021, July 31
  • 11 papers to appear at ACL 2021 (6 long, 4 findings, and 1 system demo). Strong results in machine translation and speech translation. Other topics include parallel generation, reasoning, summarization and information extraction.
  • 1 paper is accepted to ICML 2021 about long horizon skill learning.
  • 4 papers (1 main and 3 industry) are presenting at NAACL 2021. Check out the long paper about how visual imagination will influence machine translation capability.
  • Four papers on object detection and segmentation are accepted to CVPR 2021, including Sparse R-CNN, DenseCL, Locate-Segment, Auto-Augment. DenCL is accepted as Oral.
  • The paper on finding proper molecules for drug is accepted to ICLR 2021 with the spotlight presentation!
  • Six papers are accepted to AAAI 2021, about end-to-end speech translation, knowledge graph completion, optimization, text generation.
  • One paper about new method to generate query-relevant bidwords for search advertising is accepted to WSDM 2021.
  • SOLOv2 is out! One paper about faster object instance segmentation in images is accepted to NeurIPS 2020.
  • Winner of 5 tasks in WMT20 Machine Translation Contest on Chinese-English, German-English, French-German, English-Khmer, English-Pashto languages. Winner of the WMT20 parallel data filtering task on Khmer and Pashto languages.
  • 5 papers accepted to EMNLP 2020! 3 in Long track and 2 in Findings.
  • SOLO paper accepted to ECCV 2020, achieving the SOTA in visual object instance segmentation.
  • 1 paper accepted to ICML 2020, about solving a family of deep latent models (exponential family mixture VAEs).
  • 1 paper and 1 demo accepted to ACL 2020, about tailoring pretrained language model and the robot reporter Xiaomingbot.
  • I am giving a talk at ICLR 2020 about Learning Deep Latent Models for Text Sequences. You may watch here.
  • 1 paper accepted to AIStats 2020, about density ratio estimation for text generation.
  • 2 papers accepted at ICLR 2020, about mirror generative model to unite language modelling and machine translation, and learning data-to-text generation templates via a variational method even without parallel corpus.
  •  4 papers accepted at AAAI 2020, about pretraining method for neural machine translation, text editing, and approximate second order optimization.
  • 1 paper accepted at NeurIPS 2019, about contextualized embedding for text generation and how we use kernels to model distribution and variance of word embeddings. see you in Vancouver.
  • EMNLP 2019 Tutorial on Discreteness in NLP
  • 1 paper accepted at INLG 2019. It is about the style transfer for text generation .
  • 1 paper accepted at EMNLP 2019, about linear time neural machine translation.
  • 2 papers accepted at ICCV 2019. One is to be presented as an Oral talk.
  • Dr. Hao Zhou and I are going to give a tutorial on deep generative models for text generation at NLPCC-ADL 2019 at Dunhuang, China.
under construction ...