Pei Zhou

I'm Pei (Leo) Zhou, a third year Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science at the University of Southern California (USC) and Information Sciences Institute (ISI) with Annenberg Fellowhsip, co-advised by Professors Jay Pujara and Xiang Ren.

I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics of Computation from UCLA in 2019. I was working closely with Prof. Kai-Wei Chang and Prof. Yizhou Sun. In summers of 2020 and 2018, I interned as an applied scientist and a researcher at Amazon Alexa AI and Information Sciences Institute (ISI).

I'm particularly interested in Commonsense Reasoning in Human Communication. I also have interests in fairness in NLP, knowledge graphs, and robustness.

Recent News

[Feb. 2022] Our Think-Before-Speaking (TBS) paper on generating implicit knowledge for response generation accepted at ACL 2022 Main Conference! This project is from my second internship at Amazon Alexa AI.

[Jan. 2022] Extremely happy to say that I'll be a research intern at AI2-Mosaic in summer 2022, see you in Seattle!

[Dec. 2021] Passed my PhD qualifying exam at USC and am officially a PhD Candidate now!

[Aug. 2021] Three (co-) first-authored long papers accepted at EMNLP 2021 (2 main conference 1 findings). Super glad that all previous efforts have paid off!

[May. 2021] Our paper on commonsense-focused dialogues for response generation from last year's internship got accepted in SIGDIAL 2021!

[Nov. 2020] Our paper on incorporating commonsense KG to LMs for social reasoning got The Best Paper Award in EMNLP-DeeLIO workshop, thank to my wonderful co-authors!

[Sep. 2020] Two papers got accepted at EMNLP-Findings 2020!

[Aug. 2020] Finished a great summer research internship at Amazon Alexa AI working with Yang Liu and Dilek Hakkani-Tur working on commonsense for dialogues!!

[Aug. 2019] Two papers (bias in multi-lingual embeddings and retrofitting ELMo) got accepted at EMNLP-IJCNLP 2019!!


In ACL-Main Conference 2022 (Long Paper).

Pei Zhou, Karthik Gopalakrishnan, Behnam Hedayatnia, Seokhwan Kim, Jay Pujara, Xiang Ren, Yang Liu, Dilek Hakkani-Tur

In EMNLP-Main conference 2021 (Long Paper).

Ninareh Mehrabi*, Pei Zhou*, Fred Morstatter, Jay Pujara, Xiang Ren, Aram Galstyan

In EMNLP-Main conference 2021 (Long Paper). [Project Page]

Pei Zhou, Rahul Khanna, Seyeon Lee, Bill Yuchen Lin, Daniel Ho, Jay Pujara, Xiang Ren

In EMNLP-Findings 2021 (Long Paper). [Project Page]

Pei Zhou, Pegah Jandaghi, Hyundong Cho, Bill Yuchen Lin, Jay Pujara and Xiang Ren

In SIGDIAL 2021 (Long Paper) [Blog Post]

Pei Zhou, Karthik Gopalakrishnan, Behnam Hedayatnia, Seokhwan Kim, Jay Pujara, Xiang Ren, Yang Liu, Dilek Hakkani-Tur

In EMNLP-Findings 2020 (Long Paper).

Bill Yuchen Lin, Ming Shen, Wangchunshu Zhou, Pei Zhou, Chandra Bhagavatula, Yejin Choi and Xiang Ren

In EMNLP 2020 DeeLIO Workshop (Best Paper Award)

Ting-Yun Chang, Yang Liu, Karthik Gopalakrishnan, Behnam Hedayatnia, Pei Zhou and Dilek Hakkani-Tur

In EMNLP-IJCNLP 2019 (Long Paper). (A shorter version is presented at ACL-SRW and ICML-AI for Social Good Workshop)

Pei Zhou, Weijia Shi, Jieyu Zhao, Kuan-Hao Huang, Muhao Chen, Ryan Cotterell, Kai-Wei Chang

In EMNLP-IJCNLP 2019 (Short Paper, Oral Presentation).

Weijia Shi*, Muhao Chen*, Pei Zhou, Kai-Wei Chang

In ICDM Workshop on Multilingual Cognitive Services (MLCS) 2019.

Zhubo Deng, Weijia Shi, Pei Zhou, Muhao Chen and Kai-Wei Chang

Automated Detection of Politically-Polarized Words in Online Discussions

In International Conference on Computational Social Science (IC2S2) 2019 (Oral Presentation).

Pei Zhou, Yupeng Gu, Mason A. Porter, Yizhou Sun

In ICDM Workshop on Cross-disciplinary Data Exchange and Collaboration (CDEC) 2018 (Oral Presentation).

Pei Zhou, Muhao Chen, Kai-Wei Chang, Carlo Zaniolo

In NeurIPS Workshop on Automated Knowledge Base Construction (AKBC). 2017 (Contributed Talk).

Muhao Chen, Tao Zhou, Pei Zhou, Carlo Zaniolo

Experience and Education

Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Mathematics, Minor in Statistics

Research Intern working on augmentation models for ontology alignment

Honors and Awards

Internet Research Initiative Prize for 2018-2019 at UCLA

ASA Datafest at UCLA Judge's Choice Award, 2018

Professional Services

  • Co-Organizer: AI Rising Star Symposium 2019

  • Reviewer: ICML 2020 (Invited), AKBC 2020, SoCalNLP Symposium 2019

  • Secondary Reviewer: ACL 2020, NLPCC 2018, IEEE Big Data 2018


  1. I play the piano and am a keyboardist in UCLA Accoustic Guitar Band called Parked in 4 East

  2. I was born in Chengdu, a great city for vacation and spicy food lovers :)

  3. I'm a big literature lover. My favorite novels are Ulysses by James Joyce (yes, it's crazy hard) and Beneath the Wheel by Hermann Hesse

  4. I'm into all kinds of RPGs from tabletop to ffxiv

RG_Self_Talk_Arxiv (1).pdf