Research


My research brings together natural language processing (NLP), privacy, and artificial intelligence.

I am interested in solving problems to enable computers to do meaningful work with large volumes of natural language text. My lab develops new methods for NLP and applies them to a variety of domains, including privacy, online social networks, web science, and digital libraries. I am particularly interested in breaking down technology's "walls of text", i.e., situations where a human user or decision-maker is expected to consume a large quantity of text to take action while lacking sufficient resources (time, expertise) to properly understand what they have been given. I have applied this paradigm to privacy policies, scholarly manuscripts, documents from the world wide web, and historical texts, and I am always interested in new domains to work with.

My recent work with the Usable Privacy Policy Project uses a combination of crowdsourcing, NLP, and machine learning to extract key details from websites' and mobile apps' privacy policies. I am also interested in privacy in online social networks, and within that topic area I have published on location sharing and post deletion.

You can watch the video below (in which I am the first speaker) about the NLP components of the Usable Privacy Policy Project. It's part of a series of videos describing our work.

I can provide a more comprehensive research statement upon request. You may also browse my publications.