Qian Yang | News | Publications | Selected Projects | Patents | Awards | Talks | Activities | Misc.

Qian Yang

Qian Yang I am currently a postdoctoral researcher working with Lawrence Carin at Duke University. Before that, I worked with Rebecca J. Passonneau at both Columbia University and Pennsylvania State University. I received my PhD in Computer Science and Technology from Tsinghua University, advised by Gerard de Melo. At Tsinghua, I was a member of the Web Mining and Language Technology group, part of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Information Sciences, which is led by Turing award winner Andrew Yao.

My current research focuses on a wide range of topics in Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning, and the intersection of Machine Learning with Biomedical Data Science, Education, and Human-Computer Interaction.

Dear Students: Please contact me if you are interested in related research projects!
Email: laraqianyang[at]gmail[dot]com


  • One paper got accepted at KDD 2021.
  • One paper got accepted at EMNLP 2020.
  • I will chair a research session (Deep Sequence Modeling) at KDD 2020.
  • Nominated for the 2019 Outstanding Postdoc at Duke University award. Very humbled to be nominated, as "this nomination recognizes you as someone who serves not only as a skilled researcher, but as an advisor, advocate, teacher and role model to other postdoctoral scholars and to students at Duke." I will also consider this the ultimate goal of my career and work hard towards it.
  • I will chair a session (Financial/Econ, Medical Imaging and Health) at AAAI 2020.
  • One paper got accepted at AAAI, 2020.
  • I will be a lecturer at Duke Natural Language Processing Winter School (NLP-WS), January 6-8, 2019. Welcome to register at this link.
  • Two papers got accepted at NeurIPS, 2019.
  • One paper got accepted at EMNLP, 2019.
  • One paper got accepted at ACL, 2019.
  • One paper got accepted at ICML, 2018.
  • I was awarded a Google Women Techmakers Scholarship (previously known as Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship).
  • I finished a marathon on Apri 15, 2017. Only two girls from our institute joined the marathon. She said to me, "Thanks for your persistence because when I wanna give up I knew you were in the front." I was in turn inspired by these words from her.
  • I will give a presentation at WWW 2017, Perth, Australia in April of 2017.
  • I will spend 5 months visiting Dr.-Ing. Hermann Ney in the autumn of 2016.
  • I will give an oral presentation at AAAI 2016, Phoenix, Arizona, USA in February of 2016.


mtl FLOP: Federated Learning on Medical Datasets using Partial Networks.
Qian Yang, Jianyi Zhang, Weituo Hao, Gregory Spell, Lawrence Carin.
KDD, 2021.

mtl Improving Text Generation with Student-Forcing Optimal Transport.
Jianqiao Li, Chunyuan Li, Guoyin Wang, Hao Fu, Yuhchen Lin, Liqun Chen, Yizhe Zhang, Chenyang Tao, Ruiyi Zhang, Wenlin Wang, Dinghan Shen, Qian Yang, Lawrence Carin.
EMNLP, 2020.
[Online] [BiBTeX]

mtl Graph-Driven Generative Models for Heterogeneous Multi-Task Learning.
Wenlin Wang, Hongteng Xu, Zhe Gan, Bai Li, Guoyin Wang, Liqun Chen, Qian Yang, Wenqi Wang, Lawrence Carin.
AAAI, 2020.
[Online] [BiBTeX]

peak Ouroboros: On Accelerating Training of Transformer-Based Language Models.
Qian Yang, Zhouyuan Huo, Wenlin Wang, Heng Huang, Lawrence Carin.
NeurIPS, 2019.
[Online] [BiBTeX] [Code]

peak Improving Textual Network Learning with Variational Homophilic Embeddings.
Wenlin Wang, Chenyang Tao, Zhe Gan, Guoyin Wang, Liqun Chen, Xinyuan Zhang, Ruiyi Zhang, Qian Yang, Ricardo Henao, Lawrence Carin.
NeurIPS, 2019.
[Online] [BiBTeX]

peak An End-to-End Generative Architecture for Paraphrase Generation.
Qian Yang, Zhouyuan Huo, Yong Cheng, Wenlin Wang, Guoyin Wang, Lawrence Carin.
EMNLP, 2019.
[Online] [BiBTeX]

peak Learning Compressed Sentence Representations for On-Device Text Processing.
Dinghan Shen, Pengyu Cheng, Dhanasekar Sundararaman, Xinyuan Zhang, Qian Yang, Meng Tang, Asli Celikyilmaz, Lawrence Carin.
ACL, 2019. [Oral Presentation]
[Online] [BiBTeX] [Code]

peak Decoupled Parallel Backpropagation with Convergence Guarantee.
Zhouyuan Huo, Bin Gu, Qian Yang, Heng Huang.
ICML , 2018. [Oral Presentation]
[Online] [BiBTeX] [Code]

peak HiText: Text Reading with Dynamic Salience Marking.
Qian Yang, Yong Cheng, Sen Wang, Gerard de Melo.
WWW, 2017. [Oral Presentation]
[Online] [BiBTeX]

peak Neural Machine Translation with Pivot Languages.
Yong Cheng, Qian Yang, Yang Liu, Maosong Sun, Wei Xu.
IJCAI, 2017.
[Online] [BiBTeX]

peak Wise Crowd Content Assessment and Educational Rubrics.
Rebecca J. Passonneau, Ananya Poddar, Gaurav Gite, Alisa Krivokapic, Qian Yang, Dolores Perin.
International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 10.1007/s40593-016-0128-6, 2016.
[Online] [BiBTeX]

peak PEAK: Pyramid Evaluation via Automated Knowledge Extraction.
Qian Yang, Rebecca J. Passonneau, Gerard de Melo.
AAAI, 2016. [Oral Presentation]
[Online] [BiBTeX] [Code] [Slides]

peak Research on the Key Management for AMI System.
Jianfeng Yin, Aibo Shi, Qian Yang, Xiaohang Zhang, Liusheng Huang, Haitao Ji.
Electrical Measurement and Instrumentation, Issue No. 2, 2016.
[Online] [BiBTeX]

peak Semi-loss-tolerant Strong Quantum Coin-flipping Protocol Using Quantum Non-demolition Measurement.
Qian Yang, Jiajun Ma, Fenzhuo Guo, Qiaoyan Wen.
Quantum Information Processing, 10.1007/s11128-014-0747-5, 2014.
[Online] [BiBTeX]

peak Semi-loss-tolerant Strong Coin Flipping Protocol Using EPR Pairs.
Jiajun Ma, Fenzhuo Guo, Qian Yang, Yanbin Li, Qiaoyan Wen.
Quantum Information and Computation, Vol. 12 No. 5 and 6, 2011.
[Online] [BiBTeX]

Selected Projects


We provide a Java implementation of PEAK, the first tool to automatically generate the pyramid models that enables the whole automatical assessment of both human and machine summaries.

[Enter PEAK's homepage]


Three-Party Secret Key Management Method Based on IEC62056 Data Transmission Safety Standard.
Patent number: 2014106212691
Filing date: Nov 6, 2014
Granted on July 10, 2018


  • EAAI-20 New and Future AI Educator (Funded by the grants from NSF, AIJ, AAAI), 2020
  • Google Women Techmakers Scholar, Asia Pacific (Among 8 from Mainland China), 2017
  • RWTH – Tsinghua Research Fellowship (Provided by DAAD in Germany), 2016
  • Meritorious Winner of International Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling (International), 2011
  • Third Prize of Scilab Contest (International), 2011
  • First Prize of National Mathematical Modeling Contest (National), 2010

  • Nomination for the 2019 Outstanding Postdoc at Duke University award, 2019
  • Outstanding Individual in Graduates’ Summer Internship (2 per institute), 2014
  • Award for Natural Science Innovation (University-level), 2011
  • Gold Medal for Programming Contest (University-level), 2011
  • First Prize Scholarship (University-level), 2010 & 2009
  • Enterprise Scholarship for Outstanding Student (¥5000, for the 5th/316 student), 2008

  • Outstanding Student Leader (1 per institute), 2014 & 2010

Selected Talks

  • Aligning Knowledge Graphs using Neural Reasoning.
    Duke University, US. May 2019.

  • Identifying and Connecting Salient Information via Semantic Text Representations.
    University of Pennsylvania, US. Mar. 2018.

  • HiText: Text Reading with Dynamic Salience Marking.
    Pennsylvania State University, US. May 2017.

  • Semantic Text Representations.
    Rutgers University, US. May 2017.

  • Disambiguation and Alignment of Semantic Representations.
    Alibaba, China. Dec. 2016.

  • PEAK: Pyramid Evaluation via Automated Knowledge Extraction.
    RWTH Aachen University, Germany. May 2016.

  • Disambiguation and Alignment Verbs in Structured Data.
    Columbia University, US. Mar. 2015.

  • Differences between Semantic Role Labeling and Open Information Extraction.
    Microsoft Research Asia, China. Jun. 2014.


Academic Experience

Teaching Experience

  • Jan 2020, Natural Language Processing Winter School
    Up to 200 participants, Duke University

  • Spring 2018, Natural Language Processing
    Guest Lecturer
    Graduate Course, CSE 597, Pennsylvania State University, Instructor: Rebecca J. Passonneau

  • Spring 2014 – 2015, Speech Science, Technology and Innovative Applications
    Teaching Assistant
    Tsinghua University, Instructors: P.C. Ching, Tan Lee, Ken Ma, Helen Meng, and William S.-Y. Wang, all from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Gerard de Melo, from Tsinghua University
    [Course Homepage]

  • Fall 2013 – 2014, Hot Topics in Computational Biology
    Teaching Assistant
    Tsinghua University, Instructor: Jianyang (Michael) Zeng

Professional Activities

  • Session Chair
    Financial/Econ, Medical Imaging and Health, AAAI 2020
    Deep Sequence Modeling, KDD 2020

  • Program Committee Member
    NAACL (2018, 2019, 2021), IJCAI (2018, 2019, 2020), ACL (2018, 2019, 2020, 2021), COLING (2018), AAAI (2019, 2020, 2021), LDK (2019, 2020, 2021), EMNLP-IJCNLP (2019, 2020), WiML (2019), AAAI-KDF (2020, 2021), KDD (2020, 2021), ICML (2020, 2021), NeurIPS (2020), ICLR (2021), EAAI (2021), CVPR (2021), ICCV (2021)


  • Assigned to LINYANG Electronics Co., Ltd. by Tsinghua University, Jul. 2014 
    Topic: Data Encryption for Advanced Metering Infrastructure System
    One journal paper in this area (as the only contributor to the idea), which is not related to my PhD topics.

  • Awarded Outstanding Individual in Graduates' Summer Internship, 2014


Other Activities

  • Host for IIIS New Year Party 2013, 2014 

  • You would never know the host is now very hungry.

  • Assistant for Graduate Students of IIIS, 2013

  • I organized a successful Doctoral Consortium with PhDs from both Computer Science and Physics.

    This is a chorus competition organized by Tsinghua University, but the judgers are the top singers in China. I'm proud of the prize we won!

    The second picture records the very first timing when our team won a competition!

  • Vice Minister of the Academic Ministry in Graduate Association, 2013

  • League Secretary of IIIS Grad2, 2012

Awarded Outstanding Student Leader of Tsinghua University, 2014

Interests: Go (from the age of five), Piano, Guitar.

Last Updated: July 28, 2019.

Credits: Teaching icon from Icons8.