DNG headshot - 2021-02 - small_edited.jpg

Denis Newman-Griffis, PhD

NLM Postdoctoral Fellow

University of Pittsburgh

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I'm a researcher interested in language and information, and how we can use computers to study both of them.

I'm currently a postdoc at the University of Pittsburgh, digging into what it looks like to build practical natural language processing (NLP) methods for health and disability information.

At the Ohio State University, I studied representation learning technologies for modeling the semantics of new and emerging information domains.

At the National Institutes of Health, I led the development of NLP technologies for function and disability information to help support the US Social Security Administration's disability benefits process.

 

Research Interests

I believe the most exciting science is interdisciplinary. My work draws on artificial intelligence, medical informatics, linguistics, clinical medicine, and more to build systems that help real people ask diverse questions about data.

Function and Disability Informatics

Disability in one form or another is a near-universal experience, but it hasn't been a traditional focus area for medical informatics. I study the language we use to talk about functioning and disability and build NLP systems to turn information about function or the impact of disability into actionable data.

Translational NLP

NLP technologies are designed to connect people to information. All too often, the gap between a groundbreaking innovation in basic NLP methods and successfully using that innovation in practice means that new advances get lost in the shuffle and important research opportunities are lost. I study the processes of translating between innovation and application and finding the rich research questions in messy, real-world problems.

Corpus Linguistics meets Representation Learning

Computational tools can help us analyze superhuman amounts of text and capture linguistic patterns in oceans of data. I'm interested in turning NLP technologies, particularly for representation learning, into a lens to ask: what can I learn about this text and the people who wrote it?

 

Recent Publications

Improving broad-coverage medical entity linking with semantic type prediction and large-scale datasets

Improving broad-coverage medical entity linking with semantic type prediction and large-scale datasets

Shikhar Vashishth, Denis Newman-Griffis, Rishabh Joshi, Ritam Dutt, Carolyn P Rosé

Journal of Biomedical Informatics

New, modular approach for semantic type filtering to improve any biomedical information extraction pipeline.

Project Website
Robust Knowledge Graph Completion with Stacked Convolutions and a Student Re-Ranking Network

Robust Knowledge Graph Completion with Stacked Convolutions and a Student Re-Ranking Network

Justin Lovelace, Denis Newman-Griffis, Shikhar Vashishth, Jill Fain Lehman, Carolyn Rosé

Proceedings of ACL 2021

Designing knowledge graph completion models that can handle the sparsity of real-world incomplete knowledge.

See on GitHub
Project Website
TextEssence: A Tool for Interactive Analysis of Semantic Shifts Between Corpora

TextEssence: A Tool for Interactive Analysis of Semantic Shifts Between Corpora

Denis Newman-Griffis, Venkatesh Sivaraman, Adam Perer, Eric Fosler-Lussier, Harry Hochheiser

Proceedings of NAACL-HLT 2021

A workflow and interactive web tool for using word or concept embeddings to study change in text over time.

Translational NLP: A New Paradigm and General Principles for Natural Language Processing Research

Translational NLP: A New Paradigm and General Principles for Natural Language Processing Research

Denis Newman-Griffis, Jill Fain Lehman, Carolyn Rosé, Harry Hochheiser

Proceedings of NAACL-HLT 2021

Conceptual framework for translational research in NLP: who's involved, what the questions are, and why it's important for the field.

See on GitHub
Project Website
Introducing Information Retrieval for Biomedical Informatics Students

Introducing Information Retrieval for Biomedical Informatics Students

Sanya B Taneja, Richard D Boyce, William T Reynolds, Denis Newman-Griffis

Proceedings of the Fifth Workshop on Teaching NLP (2021)

Set of three exercises for introductory Biomedical Informatics students to learn about NLP concepts and techniques.

Project Website