Heng Ji

Heng Ji
Heng Ji
  • Professor
(217) 244-0862
3318 Siebel Center for Comp Sci

For More Information


Heng Ji is a professor at Computer Science Department, and an affiliated faculty member at Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and Coordinated Science Laboratory of University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She is an Amazon Scholar. She is the Founding Director of Amazon-Illinois Center on AI for Interactive Conversational Experiences (AICE). She received her B.A. and M. A. in Computational Linguistics from Tsinghua University, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from New York University. Her research interests focus on Natural Language Processing, especially on Multimedia Multilingual Information Extraction, Knowledge-enhanced Large Language Models and Vision-Language Models. She was selected as a "Young Scientist" by the World Laureates Association in 2023 and 2024. She was selected as "Young Scientist" and a member of the Global Future Council on the Future of Computing by the World Economic Forum in 2016 and 2017. She was named as part of Women Leaders of Conversational AI (Class of 2023) by Project Voice. The other awards she received include two Outstanding Paper Awards at NAACL2024, "AI's 10 to Watch" Award by IEEE Intelligent Systems in 2013, NSF CAREER award in 2009, PACLIC2012 Best paper runner-up, "Best of ICDM2013" paper award, "Best of SDM2013" paper award, ACL2018 Best Demo paper nomination, ACL2020 Best Demo Paper Award, NAACL2021 Best Demo Paper Award, Google Research Award in 2009 and 2014, IBM Watson Faculty Award in 2012 and 2014 and Bosch Research Award in 2014-2018. She was invited to testify to the U.S. House Cybersecurity, Data Analytics, & IT Committee as an AI expert in 2023. She was selected to participate in DARPA AI Forward in 2023. She was invited by the Secretary of the U.S. Air Force and AFRL to join Air Force Data Analytics Expert Panel to inform the Air Force Strategy 2030, and invited to speak at the Federal Information Integrity R&D Interagency Working Group (IIRD IWG) briefing in 2023. She is the lead of many multi-institution projects and tasks, including the U.S. ARL projects on information fusion and knowledge networks construction, DARPA ECOLE MIRACLE team, DARPA KAIROS RESIN team and DARPA DEFT Tinker Bell team. She has coordinated the NIST TAC Knowledge Base Population task 2010-2020. She was the associate editor for IEEE/ACM Transaction on Audio, Speech, and Language Processing, and served as the Program Committee Co-Chair of many conferences including NAACL-HLT2018 and AACL-IJCNLP2022. She was elected as the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (NAACL) secretary 2020-2023. Her research has been widely supported by the U.S. government agencies (DARPA, NSF, DoE, ARL, IARPA, AFRL, DHS) and industry (Amazon, Google, Bosch, IBM, Disney).

Research Interests

  • Natural Language Processing and its connections with Data Mining, Social Science and Vision.

Articles in Conference Proceedings

  • Yi R. Fung, Christopher Thomas, Revanth Gangi Reddy, Sandeep Polisetty, Heng Ji, Shih-Fu Chang, Kathleen McKeown, Mohit Bansal and Avi Sil. 2021. "InfoSurgeon: Cross-Media Fine-grained Information Consistency Checking for Fake News Detection." Proc. The Joint Conference of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (ACL-IJCNLP 2021).
  • Manling Li, Alireza Zareian, Qi Zeng, Spencer Whitehead, Di Lu, Heng Ji, and Shih-Fu Chang."Cross-media Structured Common Space for Multimedia Event Extraction." In: Proc. The 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL2020). 2020.
  • Manling Li, Qi Zeng, Ying Lin, Kyunghyun Cho, Heng Ji, Jonathan May, Nathanael Chambers, and Clare Voss. "Connecting the Dots: Event Graph Schema Induction with Path Language Modeling." In: Proc. The 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP2020). 2020.


  • AI's 10 to Watch, IEEE Intelligent Systems (2013)
  • NSF CAREER Award (2009)

Recent Courses Taught

  • CS 546 - Adv Topics in NLP
  • CS 598 HJ - Info Extr and Knowledge Acq
  • CS 598 HJ - Knowledge-driven Nat Lang Gen