About Me


Who I Am

I (he/him) am an Assistant Professor in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State, where I lead the Human Language Technologies Lab. My research spans natural language processing, privacy, security, and computational social science.

Prior to becoming faculty, I held postdoctoral positions at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Edinburgh. I received my PhD in Computer Science from the University of Maryland in 2011.

Contacting Me

You can reach me at shomir _at_ psu.edu. If you are on Penn State's University Park campus, you can stop by my office at E310 in the Westgate Building.

Students taking my classes may benefit from browsing my Guide for Interacting With Faculty before contacting me.

Students interested in joining my lab: I sometimes have openings for PhD students, MS students, and undergraduates to work on projects related to natural language processing or privacy. If you're interested in working with me, first consult my Guide for Joining My Lab for how to contact me and what information to include.

Curriculum Vitae

Here it is.

Latest News

I also sometimes post news and thoughts to X/Twitter.

2023-12-10: Our paper The Sentiment Problem: A Critical Survey towards Deconstructing Sentiment Analysis has received an Oustanding Paper Award at EMNLP.

2023-11-30: Scripps Media interviewed me for a story about AI and disinformation. The story was featured in several of Scripps' affiliated TV stations' news broadcasts and on their social media feeds (example).

2023-11-30: A Penn State News article about our TrustNLP Best Short Paper was featured in Penn State Today.

2023-10-26: Thanks to Brandeis University for hosting my invited talk "Natural Language Processing for Privacy and Social Good".

2023-10-25: An article about one of our recent DocEng publications was the top news item in today's Penn State Today.

2023-10-23: Radio host Scott Geesey on 98.7 The Fox (State College, PA) interviewed me live on air about artificial intelligence.

2023-10-20: I participated in an ICDS Symposium panel on "Navigating the Promises and Pitfalls of Generative AI". Thanks to Daryl Lim and Wes Reinhart for great conversation and Vasant Honavar for moderating.

2023-10-06: Penn State Strategic Communications recorded an informal practice interview I did about artificial intelligence. The audio level of the interviewer is low because we weren't set up for an actual production interview.

2023-09-26: Thanks to Auburn University's AI@AU Initiative for hosting my invited talk "Natural Language Processing for Privacy, Empowerment, and Social Good".

2023-08-28: Congrats to my advisees Mukund Srinath and Pranav Venkit and lab alumna Soundarya Sundareswara for winning the DocEng Best Student Paper Award with "Privacy Lost and Found: An Investigation at Scale of Web Privacy Policy Availability"!

2023-08-09: I speak in three recent WPMT TV news segments about the impact of AI on education, work, and public discourse.

2023-07-29: In Inglorious Proposals, I added a section with an overview of all the grant proposals I submitted during my first five pre-tenure years.

2023-07-18: Inside Higher Education quotes me about scam emails that target university students, and it refers to our lab's research on the peculiarities of scam emails in higher education.

2023-07-14: Wealth Management quotes me in an article about how generative AI poses a growing cybersecurity threat to investment advisors.

2023-07-02: Our TrustNLP submission "Automated Ableism: An Exploration of Explicit Disability Biases in AIaaS Sentiment and Toxicity Analysis Models" received a Best Short Paper Award! Thanks to my PhD students Pranav Venkit and Mukund Srinath for leading this work.

2023-05-17: WTAJ interviwed me (article and video segment) about some impacts of large language models on education.

2023-05-03: I led a birds-of-a-feather session about NLP on legal text at EACL 2023. Thanks to everyone who attended.

2023-04-30: I speak about cybersecurity risks in this Penn State News explainer about ChatGPT. Penn State News also recently published stories about my lab's work on nationality biases in GPT-2 and topics in scam emails sent to university addresses.

2023-04-22: Centre County Report interviewed me about artificial intelligence being used by swatting perpetrators. I speak briefly in the first news segment in this video.

2023-04-21: Here's a Penn State News article about my NSF CAREER award.

2023-03-24: I'm pleased to share that my NSF CAREER proposal has been awarded! I'll be using NLP to make consumer-oriented legal documents ("COLDs") more actionable and engaging.

2023-03-17: I did a live interview on NBC News NOW, during a news segment about the potential impact of ChatGPT on online dating. Here's a link to the beginning of the segment, and another to when I start talking.

2023-03-09: I was an invited participant at the NSF SaTC Vision 2.0 Workshop in Dallas, Texas.

2023-03-08: Our paper "Creation and Analysis of a Corpus of Scam Emails Targeting Universities" was accepted to WebConf 2023.

2023-03-06: The report from the Dagstuhl seminar I recently participated in, "Privacy in Speech and Language Technology", is available online.

2023-02-20: I added Inglorious Proposals to my advice pages. It contains chronology case studies and observations on applying for research funding from NSF.

2023-02-10: Thanks to Penn State's Center for Language Science for hosting my talk "Sociodemographic Biases in Natural Language Processing: Two Case Studies" as part of the Language Meets Technology speaker series.

2023-01-31: Thanks to Norman Sadeh and Hana Habib for virtually hosting my talk "Natural Language Processing for Privacy and Social Good" as part of Carnegie Mellon University's Privacy Seminar.

2023-01-27: Our proposal SaTC: CORE: Small: Toward Privacy Equity through Contextual Understanding of Self-Disclosure" has been awarded. I'll be working with colleague Sarah Rajtmajer on studying relationships between socioeconomic status and individuals' privacy behaviors in social media.

2023-01-21: Our paper "An Exploratory Study of Demonym Biases in GPT-2" was accepted to appear at EACL.

2023-01-12: Our proposal "Understanding the Prevalence of Drinking Water Service Disruption through Large-Scale Analysis of News Articles and Social Media" was recently funded by Penn State's Center for Socially Responsible AI. Here's an announcement in Penn State News.

For older news, check the archive.