Nabil Hossain


I am a 5th year PhD student advised by Prof. Henry Kautz in the Computer Science Dept at the University of Rochester and co-advised by Dr. John Krumm at Microsoft Research AI. My broad research interests are in the intersection of Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning. I am deeply interested in text generation and its applications on creativity. I also work on identifying online hate speech and personal attacks.

Prior to coming to Rochester, I spent a year in Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago (TTIC), where I worked on Spoken Term Detection in low-resource languages, advised by Prof. Karen Livescu and Prof. Greg Shakhnarovich.

On August 2020, I completed my PhD and joined Intel as an NLP Research Engineer.

PhD Internships

Facebook AI Research
Seattle WA
Summer 2019
Amazon Alexa AI
Seattle WA
Summer 2018
Microsoft Research
Redmond WA
Winter 2018
Microsoft Research
Redmond WA
Summer 2016


Dec 12, 2020    Our shared humor task achieved the Best Task Award in SemEval-2020.
Apr 4, 2020    2 papers accepted at ACL 2020, 1 paper accepted at ICWSM 2020.
Mar 13, 2020    Interviewed on ATN Bangla TV about higher education. See here.
Dec 24, 2019    Discussed our ongoing FunLines humor contest in a TV News interview.
Dec 15, 2019    Launched FunLines, a humor contest where players write and rate funny headlines. Play to win prize money! Contest ends Jan 25, 2020.

PhD Thesis

  1. Creative Natural Language Generation: Humor and Beyond.
    Nabil Hossain.
    Diss. University of Rochester, 2020.

Selected Papers [Google Scholar]

  1. SemEval-2020 Task 7: Assessing Humor in Edited News Headlines.
    Nabil Hossain, John Krumm, Michael Gamon and Henry Kautz.
    In SemEval 2020.
    Best Task Paper Award!
    [Data] [CodaLab] [GitHub] [Slides] [Talk] [Award Link]

  2. "Judge me by my size (noun), do you?" YodaLib: A Demographic-Aware Humor Generation Framework.
    Aparna Garimella, Carmen Banea, Nabil Hossain and Rada Mihalcea.
    In COLING 2020.

  3. Simple and Effective Retrieve-Edit-Rerank Text Generation.
    Nabil Hossain, Marjan Ghazvininejad and Luke Zettlemoyer.
    In ACL 2020.
    [Slides] [Talk] [Facebook AI]

  4. Stimulating Creativity with Funlines: A Case Study of Humor Generation in Headlines.
    Nabil Hossain, John Krumm, Tanvir Sajed and Henry Kautz.
    In ACL 2020.
    [Data] [Game] [Demo] [Slides] [Talk] [TV News Interview]

  5. A Framework for Political Portmanteau Decomposition
    Nabil Hossain, Minh Tran and Henry Kautz.
    In ICWSM 2020.
    [Data] [Slides] [Talk]

  6. "President Vows to Cut Taxes Hair": Dataset and Analysis of Creative Text Editing for Humorous Headlines.
    Nabil Hossain, John Krumm and Michael Gamon.
    In NAACL 2019.
    [Data] [Slides] [Talk]

  7. Discovering Political Slang in Readers' Comments.
    Nabil Hossain, Thanh Thuy Trang Tran and Henry Kautz.
    In ICWSM 2018.

  8. Filling the Blanks for Mad Libs® Humor.
    Nabil Hossain, John Krumm, Lucy Vanderwende, Eric Horvitz and Henry Kautz.
    In EMNLP 2017.
    [Slides] [Talk] [Data]

  9. Twitter911: A Cautionary Tale.
    Anis Zaman, Nabil Hossain and Henry Kautz.
    In ICWSM 2017.

  10. Precise Localization of Homes and Activities: Detecting Drinking-While-Tweeting Patterns in Communities.
    Nabil Hossain, Tianran Hu, Roghayeh Feizi, Ann Marie White, Jiebo Luo and Henry Kautz.
    In ICWSM 2016.
    [Data] [Poster]

  11. Inferring Fine-grained Details on User Activities and Home Location from Social Media: Detecting Drinking-While-Tweeting Patterns in Communities.
    Nabil Hossain, Tianran Hu, Roghayeh Feizi, Ann Marie White, Jiebo Luo and Henry Kautz.
    arXiv preprint (2016).
    Press Reports: MIT Tech Review, CBS News, UofR NewsCenter, Gizmodo, Business Insider, Engadget, Mashable, Ars Technica, Tech Spot, Ubergizmo, PC Magazine, Digital Trends, IBTimes, Tech Times and many more.

  12. Semantic Feature Selection for Text with Application to Phishing Email Detection.
    Rakesh Verma and Nabil Hossain.
    In ICISC 2013.

  13. Deciding Conjugacy in Thompson’s Group F in Linear Time.
    Nabil Hossain, Robert McGrail, James Belk and Francesco Matucci.
    In SYNASC 2013.
    [Poster] [Slides] [Software]


  • Spring 2019
    • CS 449: Machine Vision (Instructor: Chenliang Xu)
  • Spring 2016
    • CS 484: Advanced Algorithms (Instructor: Daniel Stefankovic)
    • CS 455: Software Analysis and Improvement (Instructor: Chen Ding)
  • Fall 2015
    • CS 400: Problem Solving Seminar (Instructor: Randal Nelson)
    • CS 448: Statistical Speech and Language Processing (Instructor: Dan Gildea)
    • CS 486: Computational Complexity (Instructor: Lane Hemaspaandra)
  • Completed at TTIC
    • TTIC 31010: Algorithms (Instructor: Julia Chuzhoy)
    • TTIC 31020: Introduction to Statistical Machine Learning (Instructor: Greg Shakhnarovic)


2205 Wegmans Hall
University of Rochester
Rochester, NY

email: nhossain [at] cs [dot] rochester [dot] edu