US universities

University of California, Berkeley

  • NLP impact factor: High
  • Notable NLP faculty: Dan Klein
  • NLP research: Probably one of the best places for doing work at the intersection of NLP and Machine Learning. Dan has produced prolific students like Aria Haghighi, John DeNero and Percy Liang.
  • URL: http://nlp.cs.berkeley.edu/Members.shtml

University of California, San Diego

  • NLP impact factor: low
  • Notable NLP faculty: Roger Levy and Lawrence Saul, most prominently.
  • NLP research: Their lab is very machine learning oriented. Not a lot of NLP but some very interesting work on computational psycholinguistics.
  • URL: http://grammar.ucsd.edu/cpl/

Carnegie Mellon University

  • NLP impact factor: very, very high
  • Notable NLP faculty: Noah Smith, Jaime Carbonell, Alon Lavie, Carolyn Rosé, Lori Levin, Roni Rosenfeld, Chris Dyer, Alan Black and soon (Ed Hovy).
  • NLP Research: Another multi-faceted school. Lots of work on different NLP areas: machine translation, summarization, interactive dialog systems, speech, information retrieval and, most importantly, machine learning. Noah's group produces some of the best work at the intersection of NLP and machine learning. One of my former fellow graduate students, Chris Dyer, has recently joined the department as well. Chris works at the intersection of machine learning and machine translation and does fantastic work.
  • URL: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~nasmith/nlp-cl.html, http://www.ark.cs.cmu.edu/ and http://www.lti.cs.cmu.edu/
  • Note: Ed Hovy will be moving to CMU from ISI soon.

University of Chicago (and the Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago)

  • NLP impact factor: High
  • Notable NLP faculty: John Lafferty, John Goldsmith, Karen Livescu, Michel Galley (part-time) and (recently) Kevin Gimpel.
  • NLP research: Together with TTIC, Chicago has a great set of people who work on machine learning, speech and NLP. John Lafferty is an NLP legend who was a contributor to the original IBM MT models and a co-inventor of CRFs. John Goldsmith's group is one of the forerunners on unsupervised morphology induction. Karen works on speech, particularly pronunciation modeling. Michel works on structured prediction problems, particularly statistical machine translation. Kevin works on a whole range of structured prediction problems and has published some excellent papers.
  • URL: http://ai.cs.uchicago.edu/faculty/ and http://www.ttic.edu/faculty.php
  • Note: Michel is still at Microsoft Research and is adjunct faculty at TTI, i.e., he spends a month in the summer here. Partha Niyogi, a brilliant researcher in machine learning and human cognition, was a part of this group until 2010 until his very unfortunate death due to cancer. Thanks to Naomi P Saphra for pointing this out.  Kevin Gimpel (formerly Noah Smith's student) has been hired for a 3 year non-tenure-track position

City University of New York (CUNY)

  • NLP impact factor: high
  • Notable NLP faculty: Heng Ji, Martin Chodorow, Liang Huang, Matt Huenerfauth and Andrew Rosenberg.
  • NLP research: CUNY has recently hired some really good NLP people. Heng works primarily on information extraction and is really, really good at getting new grants and publishing cool work. Liang is one of the most respected upcoming researchers in parsing and machine translation and does really amazing work. Andrew works mostly on the speech side and has a really interesting set of research topics. Martin (who also consults for ETS and is a co-author of mine on several recent papers) is the same Martin Chodrow of the Leacock-Chodorow WordNet similarity metric fame. He continues to do very interesting work on corpus linguistics and psycholinguistics. The NLP@CUNY folks also organize a nice monthly seminar that's open to all NLP folks in the Greater New York area and has features very interesting speakers.
  • URL: http://nlpatcuny.cs.qc.cuny.edu/

University of Colorado Boulder

  • NLP impact factor: medium
  • Notable NLP faculty: Martha Palmer, James Martin
  • NLP research: A bit more linguistics focused but a lot of very interesting work on annotation and creation of resources such as FrameNet and OntoNotes etc. Some work on lexical semantics as well.
  • URL: http://clear.colorado.edu/start/index.php

Columbia University

  • NLP impact factor: very high
  • Notable NLP faculty: Several really big names; Kathy McKeown, Julia Hirschberg, Michael Collins, Owen Rambow, Nizar Habash, Mona Diab and Becky Passonneau.
  • NLP research: A lot of summarization, information extraction and machine translation research. Julia's group mostly works on speech stuff. Michael Collins recently joined this group from MIT. He works on Machine Translation and Parsing.
  • URL: http://www1.cs.columbia.edu/nlp/index.cgi

Cornell University

  • NLP impact factor: very high
  • Notable NLP faculty: Lillian Lee, Thorsten Joachims and Claire Cardie.
  • NLP research: Lots of very interesting work in machine learning driven NLP. Lillian does some very off-the-beaten-path research with her students like movie review classification, sentiment analysis etc. Also, one of the pioneers in vector machines (Thorsten) and the author of the most used SVM package (SVMlight) is here too.
  • URL: https://confluence.cornell.edu/display/NLP/Home

Georgia Institute of Technology

  • NLP impact factor: medium
  • Notable NLP faculty: Jacob Eisenstein, Eric Gilbert and Guy Lebanon
  • NLP research: Jacob does fantastic work at the intersection of machine learning and NLP, particularly unsupervised learning. He was Regina Barzilay's student at MIT and did postdocs at CMU (with Noah Smith) and UIUC (with Dan Roth). In addition to Jacob, there is other interesting work going on in computational social science (Eric Gilbert) and statistical machine learning and data visualization (Guy Lebanon). Both these areas frequently intersect with NLP.
  • URL: http://www.cc.gatech.edu/~jeisenst/, http://smlv.cc.gatech.edu/ and http://comp.social.gatech.edu/

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

  • NLP impact factor: very high
  • Notable NLP faculty: Dan Roth, Julia Hockenmaier, ChengXiang Zhai, Roxana Girju and Mark Hasegawa-Johnson
  • NLP research: Machine Learning for NLP, BioNLP, Multilingual information retrieval, Comptuational social science, Automated speech recognition and modeling.
  • URL: http://nlp.cs.illinois.edu/

Johns Hopkins University

  • NLP impact factor: very, very high
  • Notable NLP faculty: Jason Eisner, Sanjeev Khudanpur and Mark Dredze. It's a huge list; see here: http://web.jhu.edu/HLTCOE/People.html
  • NLP research: JHU has two big centers that do NLP research: the Center for Language and Speech Processing (CLSP) and the Human Language Technology Center of Excellence established by the US Govt. (CoE). They do research in almost all aspects of NLP but machine learning, machine translation, parsing and speech figure most prominently. Until recently, they also had Fred Jelinek who basically pioneered the field of automated speech recognition as it exists today. He passed away in September 2010. They have a fantastic and intensive NLP summer research workshop that has produced some of the most ground-breaking research and tools in the past decade in various NLP sub-fields.
  • URL: http://web.jhu.edu/HLTCOE/People.html, http://clsp.jhu.edu/
  • Note: Chris Callison-Burch, who used to be at Hopkins, will be moving to UPenn in the fall of 20

University of Maryland, College Park

  • NLP impact factor: very high
  • Notable NLP faculty: Philip Resnik, Jimmy Lin, Hal Daume, Jordan Boyd-Graber, Bonnie Dorr, Mary Harper
  • NLP Research: Like JHU, they work on a lot of things. Big areas are machine translation, topic modeling, machine learning, information retrieval and large-scale NLP using hadoop.
  • URL: https://wiki.umiacs.umd.edu/clip/index.php/Main_Page

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

  • NLP impact factor: high
  • Notable NLP faculty: Andrew McCallum, Hannah Wallach, James Allan (note: not James Allen from Rochester) and W. Bruce Croft.
  • NLP research: One of the best places to study machine learning and information retrieval. Andrew's group has produced some of the best research in machine learning as applied to NLP, be it on sequence models such as CRFs or unsupervised topic models. Hannah does some very interesting work at the intersection of machine learning and computational social science (Her introduction to CRFs is probably my favorite and can be found at http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/hmw26/crf/. She and Mark Dredze have also written a very nice guide on how to be a successful NLP/ML PhD student (http://people.cs.umass.edu/~wallach/how_to_be_a_successful_phd_student.pdf). Bruce has literally written the book on search engines (http://www.pearsonhighered.com/croft1epreview/) and James Allan is one of the founding fathers of modern, practical information retrieval. There is also extensive research in the area of information extraction at the Information Extraction and Synthesis Laboratory. Last but not least, Umass is the home of Mallet Toolkit – one of the most useful and least documented toolkits in NLP.
  • URL: http://ciir.cs.umass.edu/personnel/index.html, http://www.iesl.cs.umass.edu/ and http://mallet.cs.umass.edu/
  • Note: Until recently, they also had David A. Smith (who graduated from Hopkins) but he will be moving to Northeastern University in the fall

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • NLP impact factor: Medium
  • Notable NLP faculty: Regina Barzilay and Jim Glass
  • NLP research: Regina does extremely interesting work on summarization, semantics, discourse analysis and, more recently, decipherment of ancient scripts in collaboration with Kevin Knight of ISI. A lot of interesting machine learning work. There is a bigger group working on speech which includes Jim Glass.
  • URL: http://people.csail.mit.edu/regina/, http://groups.csail.mit.edu/sls//sls-blue-noflash.shtml

University of North Texas

  • NLP impact factor: Medium
  • Notable NLP faculty: Rada Mihalcea and (more recently) Rodney Nielsen
  • NLP research: Rada is one of the busiest NLP researchers around and does some incredibly versatile work with her group – lexical semantics, graph-based NLP and even computational humor. Every year, there are at least 2-3 paper from UNT at major NLP conferences. Rodney is a strong presence in the NLP-for-education world and has worked on automated scoring, intelligent tutoring systems.
  • URL: http://lit.csci.unt.edu/ , http://www.rodneynielsen.com/
  • Note: Rodney Nielsen used to be at UC Boulder and he has recently moved here

Ohio State University

  • NLP impact factor: high
  • Notable NLP faculty: Eric Fosler-Lussier, Michael White, William Schuler, Micha Elsner and Simon Dennis.
  • NLP research: Eric's group is extremely versatile and works on everything from speech to language modeling to dialog systems. Michael works in natural language generation and speech synthesis. William's' group works on parsing, translation as well as cognitive science. Micha has recently joined OSU after a postdoc stint at Edinburgh and works on parsing, discourse, narrative generation as well as language acquisition. Simon works primarily on cognitive aspects of language processing.
  • URL: http://cllt.osu.edu
  • Note: Marie-Catherine de Marneffe from Chris Manning's group at Stanford will soon be joining OSU. She works in computational semantics and pragmatics

University of Pennsylvania

  • NLP impact factor: very,very high
  • Notable NLP faculty: Arvind Joshi, Ani Nenkova, Mitch Marcus, Mark Liberman and (soon) Chris Callison-Burch
  • NLP research: Lots of parsing: home of LTAG, Penn Treebank. Ani works on multi-document summarization. Lots of machine learning too. Prof. Joshi is an Association for Computational Linguistics lifetime achievement award winner.
  • URL: http://nlp.cis.upenn.edu/
  • Note: Chris Callison-Burch will be moving here in the fall of 2013 from JHU. Ben Taskar who used to be here is moving to University of Washington. Also, Fernando Pereira, who used to be at Penn is now full-time at Google.

University of Rochester

  • NLP impact factor: high
  • Notable NLP faculty: Len Schubert, James Allen and Dan Gildea
  • NLP research: James Allen is one of the foremost researchers in the field of discourse and dialog and many of his his students have gone on to be very successful in the field (e.g., Amanda Stent at AT&T Labs and David Traum at USC/ISI). Len Schubert is a big name in the area of computational semantics and many of his students are big in NLP now  (e.g., Ben Van Durme who is at Hopkins). Dan does very interesting work at the intersection of machine learning, machine translation and parsing.
  • URL:  http://www.cs.rochester.edu/~james/, http://www.cs.rochester.edu/~gildea/ and http://www.cs.rochester.edu/~schubert/

Rutgers University

  • NLP impact factor: Medium
  • Notable NLP faculty: Smaranda Muresan, Nina Wacholder, Matthew Stone
  • NLP research: Smaranda and Nina are part of the SALTS (Laboratory for the Study of Applied Language Technology and Society) lab at the School of Communication and Information. They are not in CS. Smaranda works pretty much on NLP – machine translation, information extraction and semantics. Nina, although trained as a CL, seems to focus more on cognitive aspects nowadays. Matt Stone is CS and works on things like formal semantics and multimodal communication
  • URL: http://salts.rutgers.edu/ and http://www.cs.rutgers.edu/~mdstone/

University of Southern California

  • NLP impact factor: high
  • Notable NLP faculty: USC has the Information Sciences Institute which houses some of the most brilliant NLP researchers around: Kevin Knight, Daniel Marcu, Jerry Hobbs, Zornitsa Kozareva and David Chiang.
  • NLP research: They do research on almost every conceivable NLP topic. However, some of the big areas are machine translation, decipherment and information extraction. Jerry has primarily worked in the areas of discourse and dialog. Zornitsa works on relation mining and information extraction.
  • URL: http://nlg.isi.edu/
  • Note: Ed Hovy, who used to be at ISI, recently announced that he is moving to CMU. Also, Liang Huang, who also used to be at ISI, has moved to CUNY

Stanford University

  • NLP impact factor: very high
  • Notable NLP faculty: Daniel Jurafsky, Christopher Manning, Percy Liang
  • NLP research: Jurafsky literally wrote the textbook on NLP. Almost every topic you can imagine. The group responsible for creating probably the most used syntactic parser and POS-tagger in the field today.
  • URL: http://nlp.stanford.edu
  • Note: Percy Liang, who was Dan Klein's student at Berkeley and then a post-doc at Google NY, recently joined Stanford as an assistant professor. (Thanks to Jacob Jensen for pointing this out.

The University of Texas at Austin

  • NLP impact factor: medium
  • Notable NLP faculty: Ray Mooney, Katrin Erk, Jason Baldridge and Matt Lease
  • NLP research: Ray is a very well-established senior researcher in NLP and AI. He has worked in a large number of areas including but not limited to machine learning, cognitive science, information extraction, logic. He is still very active and supervises a number of students who publish in lots of great venues. Katrin works mostly on computational semantics and is one of the well-known researchers in the field. Jason works on very cool stuff related at the intersection of semi-supervised learning and parsing and discourse. Matt works on various aspects of IR but has most recently published a lot on using crowdsourcing for IR.
  • URL: http://www.utcompling.com

University of Washington

  • NLP impact factor: very high
  • Notable NLP faculty: Mari Ostendorf, Jeff Bilmes, Katrin Kirchoff, Oren Etzioni, Luke Zettlemoyer, Gina Ann Levow, Emily Bender, Fei Xia and (recently) Ben Taskar.
  • NLP research: The research is generally skewed towards speech and parsing but they also do general machine learning and they have recently started working on machine translation. Ben does really good work on machine translation and, generally, structured prediction. Oren's group works on open-domain information extraction and question answering. Fei works on a large number of areas ranging from MT to parsing to language to bio-NLP. Emily does very interesting work at the intersection of linguistics and NLP and runs the well-known Professional MS in Computational Linguistics program. Gina works in dialog, speech and information retrieval.
  • URL: https://ssli.ee.washington.edu/, http://turing.cs.washington.edu and http://depts.washington.edu/lingweb/
  • Note: Ben Taskar has recently moved from Pen

University of Wisconsin – Madison

  • NLP impact factor: medium
  • Notable NLP faculty: Ben Snyder and Jerry Zhu.
  • NLP research: Ben Snyder, so far the only NLP faculty here, works on a whole range of things including unsupervised multilingual learning, grammar induction and morphological analysis and segmentation. He also worked on decipherment with his advisor (Regina Barzilay) at MIT.  Jerry is more of an ML guy and works mainly on semi-supervised learning. However, more recently he has also published on social media analysis.
  • URL: http://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~bsnyder/ and http://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~jerryzhu/publications.html

Non-US universities:

University of Cambridge

  • NLP impact factor: medium
  • Notable NLP faculty: Stephen Clark,  Simone Teufel and Bil Byrne.
  • NLP Research: A lot of parsing and IR based stuff but in recent years they have also published on other things. Bill is a very well-known figure in speech and machine translation research.
  • URL: http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/research…

University of Edinburgh

  • NLP impact factor: very high
  • Notable NLP faculty: Philipp Koehn, Mirella Lapata, Mark Steedman, Miles Osborne, Steve Renals, Bonnie Webber, Ewan Klein, Charles Sutton.
  • NLP research: they do almost everything but the work I am most familiar with is on statistical machine translation and machine learning based approaches to discourse coherence.
  • URL: http://www.ilcc.inf.ed.ac.uk/


  • NLP impact factor: medium
  • Notable NLP faculty: Dekai Wu and Pascale Fung
  • NLP Research: Dekai is one of the most well-known statistical MT researchers around. His earlier work on bracketing grammars and word alignment is well-known and has inspired recent work in MT. Most recently, he and his students have been working on integrating semantics into statistical MT: both into the actual translation model as well as into the automated metrics used to evaluate translation quality. Pascale pioneered the work on extracting bilingual lexicons from non-parallel corpora and, more generally, using comparable corpora for statistical MT. Most recently, she has been working on speech, specifically, speech summarization. As with most Chinese universities, special emphasis is placed on Chinese NLP.
  • URL: http://www.cse.ust.hk/~hltc/

National University of Singapore

  • NLP impact factor: medium
  • Notable NLP faculty: Hwee Tou Ng
  • NLP Research: Hwee Tou's group works primarily on machine translation (with a big focus on automatic evaluation of translation quality) and grammatical error correction. They also publish a bit on word sense disambiguation and natural language generation. Preslav Nakov used to be here as a postdoc but has recently moved to Qatar.
  • URL: http://nlp.comp.nus.edu.sg/

University of Oxford

  • NLP impact factor: medium
  • Notable NLP faculty: Stephen Pulman, Phil Blunsom
  • NLP Research: Stephen works a lot on second language learning kind of things and pragmatics. Phil is probably one of the leading folks working at the intersection of machine learning and machine translation.
  • URL: http://www.clg.ox.ac.uk/people.html

RWTH Aachen University

  • NLP impact factor: medium
  • Notable NLP faculty: Hermann Ney
  • NLP Research: Aachen is one of the top places in the world to study speech recognition and machine translation. There are, at any point, at lead 10-15 PhD students working under Hermann Ney. Some of the best minds in statistical MT have come from Aachen (Franz Och, head of Google Translate), Richard Zens (now at Google) and Nicola Ueffing (now at NRC, Canada). In addition to the usual speech and MT research, they are also doing some very interesting research on translating and recognizing sign language. Not a lot of research in other NLP areas though.
  • URL: http://www-i6.informatik.rwth-aachen.de/web/Homepage/index.html

The Ubiquitous Knowledge Processing Lab, Technische Universität Darmstadt

  • NLP impact factor: medium
  • Notable NLP faculty: Irena Gurevych, Chris Biemann and Torsten Zesch
  • NLP Research: A whole lot going on here: computational lexical semantics, leveraging and understanding wikipedias and wikis in general, sentiment analysis, educational NLP, digital humanities. Irena is a well-known name in CL and NLP. Chris used to be at Powerset and works on very interesting projects in semantics. Torsten has a lot of students working in a lot of different areas. UKP releases a lot of very useful software to the community; one of the most useful being the JWPL (Java Wikipedia Library).
  • URL: http://www.ukp.tu-darmstadt.de

University of Toronto

  • NLP impact factor: medium
  • Notable NLP faculty: Graeme Hirst, Gerald Penn and Suzanne Stevenson.
  • NLP research: A lot of work on lexical semantics and a bit on parsing.
  • URL: http://www.cs.utoronto.ca/compling/


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