About me

I am an Associate Professor (Reader) in the PPLV group of Department of Computer Science, University College London. My professional webpage is here.

To contact me, please write to: m.sadrzadeh@ucl.ac.uk

From 2013 to 2019, I was first a lecturer, then a senior lecturer in School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, Queen Mary University of London. Prior to that, from 2008 to 2013, I was first an EPSRC Post Doctoral Fellow, then an EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellow and a Research Fellow of Wolfson College, at the CS Department of University of Oxford.

I have also held two Royal Academy of Engineering Industrial Scheme Fellowships, one from January 2017 to 2018 and another from September 2019 to 2020.

My research is focused on developing high-level logical and mathematical models for computer systems, learning their parameters from data, e.g. via machine learning, automating the reasoning using proof theoretic and algebraic tools, and applying the results to mainstream and industrial tasks. My current interest is Natural Language Processing (NLP), previously I led work on Multi-Agent Systems (MAS).

Topics of Interest: Compositional Distributional Semantics, Category Theoretical Models of Natural Language, Pregroup Grammars, Vector Space Models, Dynamic Epistemic Logic, Algebra, Coalgebra, Proof Theory, Verification of Multi Agent System Protocols.

News

May 2020: Our paper “A Frobenius Algebraic Analysis for Parasitic Gaps”, joint work with Moortgat and Wijnholds, is now on the arXiv, see here. An earlier short version of the paper was presented last year in the SemSpace2019 workshop of ESSLLI in Riga.

May 2020: Our paper “Gaussianity and typicality in matrix distributional semantics”, joint work with Ramgoolam and Sword from String Theory in QMUL, see here, has been accepted for presentation in the 17th International Conference on  Quantum Physics and Logic 2020, to happen online from Paris-Saclay, France, in June 2020.

May 2020: Our paper “Fuzzy Generalised Quantifiers for Natural Language in Categorical Compositional Distributional Semantics”, dedicated to my MSc thesis advisor, Prof. M. Ardeshir, will soon appear in the Springer Outstanding Contributions to Logic volume: Mathematics, Logic, and Their Philosophies: Essays in Honour of Mohammad Ardeshir, edited by Zareour, Rahman, Mojtahedi. It is joint work with Mǎtej Dostál and Gijs Wijnholds.

April 2020: Our paper “A toy distributional model for fuzzy generalised quantifiers”, joint work with Gijs Wijnholds, was accepted for presentation and publication in the Probability and Meaning (PaM) conference, to happen in October 2020, in Gothenburg.

Feb 2020: Our paper “Gaussianity and typicality in matrix distributional semantics”, joint work with Ramgoolam and Sword from String Theory in QMUL, is on the arXiv: see here.

25th of January 2020: FoLLI’s call for nominations for the Beth Outstanding Dissertation Prize is out, click here for details of the call and submission criteria. Do consider submitting or encourage known students to do so. The deadline is 15th of April 2020.

9-13th of December 2019: Together with Samson Abramsky and Alessandra Palmigiano we organised a Lorentz Centre workshop on Logic and Structures in Computer Science and Beyond, see here for the programme and description. We had a very nice combination of long and short impromptu talks, as well as very fruitful discussion and breakout sessions. I learnt quite a lot about contextually and Fock spaces.

On 10th of December, I gave the Lunchtime lecture for the Lorentz Centre’s Faculty of Science “This weeks discovery”, with title “Understanding natural language: logic or statistics, which one is more important?”.

16th of September 2019: I gave a talk in the Theoretical Neurobiology research group of the centre for Human NeuroImaging. The title of the talk was “Convergence in Dialogue via Incremental Vector Representations” and the material was based on our SemDial 2018 paper with Matt Purver, Ruth Kempson, and Julian Hough. Based on some recent joint work, I argued that a principle similar to the principle of free energy used by Prof. Karl Friston in the brain, can be applied to linguistic data exchanged by humans to achieve a degree of synchrony in dialogue, by measuring the decreasing rate of the distances between utterances vectors of the dialogue.

5th of September 2019: I gave an invited talk titled “String diagrammatic reasoning in natural language processing” in the joint STRING-SYCO in Birmingham. It was a very nice event, thanks Dan for inviting me.

3rd of September 2019: As an affiliated workshop of TABLEAUX 2019 and jointly with Ekaterina Komendantskaya and Stephane Graham-Lengrand, we are organising a session in honour of Roy Dyckoff. Please consider participating if you knew him or his work.

5-10 August 2019: This week, Martha Lewis and I are teaching a course on Vector Space Models of Meaning in ESSLLI 2019 in Riga. We are also organising the 3rd edition of the Semantic Spaces workshop. I am honoured to give the 2nd evening lecture of this ESSLLI on Thursday the 8th.

1st of August 2019: Today, I started my new job: associate professor in the PPLV group, Department of Computer Science, University College London.

My new email address is: m.sadrzadeh@ucl.ac.uk

22-26 July 2019: I taught in the Applied Category Theory School, the adjoint school of the Applied Category Theory Conference, in the department of Computer Science, University of Oxford. I had 4 students: Dan Shiebler, Aexis Toumi, Adriana Correia, and Lachlan McPheat. Together, and with the help of the TA of the course, Gijs Wijnholds, we worked on vector space models of language for dialogue and discourse, and discovered the role of coalgebras and Fock Space comonads on vector spaces. For a blog post on the n-categories cafe, see here. We are planning to write up the results soon!

17th of June 2019: I was awarded a Royal Academy of Engineering Industrial Scheme Fellowship for the second time! This will start in September and end for a year and I will work on “Cross Domain Unified Representations for Content Similarity” with the BBC R&D’s Chris Newell and Andrew McParland. We are going to find a representation for different types of information encoded in a programme (TV, Radio, News) so that they correlate with the viewers’ behaviours.

12th of June 2019: Our paper “A Type-Driven Vector Semantics for Ellipsis with Anaphora using Lambek Calculus with Limited Contraction”, has just appeared in Vol. 26 .Issue 2 the Journal of Logic Language Information. Thanks Roussanka and Michael for all their efforts.

May 2019: We accepted 13 submissions for our workshop Vector Space Semantics for Dialogue and Discourse in IWCS 2019! We have three keynote speakers, lightening talks, poster sessions, and a panel discussion. Check out the programme here.

May 2019: Watch the video of my colleague Sanjaye Ramgoolam from Centre for String Theory in QMUL, talking to the Plusmaths.org about joint work on the applications of methods from statistical physics to analyse natural language data.

10th of April 2019: Our paper “A Generalised Quantifier Theory of Natural Language in Categorical Compositional Distributional Semantics with Bialgebras” has just appeared online in the journal Mathematical Structures in Computer Science, check it out here.

27-28th of March 2019: I am chairing the third Symposium on Compositional Structures (SYCO 3) in Oxford. We have a very nice and even spread of topics on the theory and practice of category theory, do come by if you are around.

12th of March 2019: Our volume of papers, edited with Glyn Morrill, on Statistical and Logical Models of Meaning has just appeared as a special issue of Journal of Language Modelling. Check it out here.

22nd of February 2019: Our paper “Evaluating Composition Methods for Verb Phrase Elliptical Sentences: has just been accepted for NAACL 2019! I will talk about it in my invited talk in IWCS 2019 in May in University of Gothenburg!

31st of January 2019: I am giving a talk on our recent work on density matrices for entailment in compositional distributional semantics in Sussex’s Data Science seminar series today. The paper has appeared in Annals of Maths and AI, check it out here.

6th of January 2019: I have been invited to give a talk in MFPS XXXV-CALCO 2019, to happen in London in June 2019.

4th of December 2018: I have been invited to give an Evening Lecture in ESSLLI 2019 in Riga! Martha Lewis and I are also teaching a course on Vector Space Models of Meaning there, proceeded by an advanced workshop on applications of vector space models in different fields, see more here.