Prof. Balasubramanian Receives 2022 Stony Brook Trustees Faculty Award

Professor Niranjan Balasubramanian, assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science was selected for a 2022 Stony Brook University Trustees Faculty Award. The award recognizes early-career faculty whose research, creative activities, and scholarly achievements predict an exceptional path to success.

Niranjan’s research targets Natural Language Processing (NLP) – an important sub-discipline in artificial intelligence (AI). His vision is to develop models that are trustworthy, and enable responsible, sustainable, and equitable use of NLP systems. At Stony Brook University, he has built an excellent research group that has delivered many important advances toward these goals.

According to professor Steven Skiena, director of the Institute for AI-driven Discovery and Innovation at Stony Brook, “Niranjan is one of the most prolific among his peers in our college and highly deserving of this recognition.”

Niranjan’s group has delivered a series of advances in acquiring common-sense knowledge about events. These include works such as understanding why an event happens [Lal et al., ACL-Findings 2021], what enables certain events to happen [Kwon et al., EMNLP-Findings 2020], and what other events are likely to happen [Koupaee et al., ACL 2021].

On a $4.2M grant with DARPA, as the lead PI, Niranjan assembled a large multi-institutional team of researchers to support this research. This is a great example of his leadership and team-building skills to pursue complex and ambitious research goals.

“Having transitioned from a temporary position to a (relatively) more stable tenure-track position has given me the opportunity to assess my ongoing research threads and organize them into deep research programs that I can pursue consistently,” says Balasubramanian. 

Niranjan has also been an active and visible member of the NLP community serving as Senior Area Chair for AAAI conferences, Area Chair for NAACL, and Action Editor for Transactions of the ACL. He is a member of a reproducibility committee in NAACL and has organized a workshop on language generation.

Prof. Balasubramanian is a gem in the roster of our AI faculty. He is on a clear path to tenure and promotion in the coming years and has demonstrated an exceptional trajectory in scholarly research, funding and leadership.

Congratulations on this recognition by the Stony Brook Trustees.