Zhou Yu


530 West 120th Street,
New York, NY 10027

Tel(212) 853-8470

Research Interests

Natural language processing, Multimodal Analysis, Machine Learning, Human-Computer Interaction

Zhou Yu designs algorithms for real-time intelligent interactive systems that coordinate with user actions that are beyond spoken languages, including non-verbal behaviors to achieve effective and natural communications. In particular, she optimizes human-machine communication via studies of multimodal sensing and analysis, speech and natural language processing, machine learning and human-computer interaction. The central focus of her research is to bring together all the areas above to design, implement and deploy end-to-end real-time interactive intelligent systems that are able to plan globally considering interaction history and current user actions to achieve better user experience and task performance. She enjoys collaborating with researchers with different backgrounds on interdisciplinary research in all areas of science, such as health care, education and robotics.

Yu joined Columbia University as an Assistant Professor in Jan 2021. Before that, she was an Assistant Professor at UC Davis. She received her PhD at the Language Technologies Institute at the School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University 2017.


  • July 2017 -Dec 2020, Assistant Professor at University of California, Davis


  • Columbia University, Jan.2021


  • Winner of the Amazon Alexa Prize Social Bot 2018
  • Forbes 30 under 30 2019
  • ACL 2019 best paper nomination


  • Mingyang Zhou, Luowei Zhou, Yu Cheng, Linjie Li, Zhou Yu, Jingjing Liu,  UC2: Universal Cross-lingual Cross-modal Vision-and-Language Pretraining CVPR 2021
  • Qingyang Wu, Lei Li and Zhou Yu,  TextGAIL: Generative Adversarial Imitation Learning for Text Generation, AAAI 2021
  • Weixin Liang, James Zou and Zhou Yu,  ALICE: Active Learning with Contrastive Natural Language Explanations, EMNLP 2020
  • Xuewei Wang, Weiyan Shi, Richard Kim, Yoo Jung Oh, Sijia Yang, Jingwen Zhang, Zhou Yu,  Persuasion for Good: Towards a Personalized Persuasive Dialogue System for Social Good, ACL 2019 best paper nomination