Research Statement

(This is very much a work in progress, but I’m challenging myself to put together something coherent after a long time. More soon.)

At a high level, I’m interested in two areas: acquiring knowledge from noisy channels (such as unstructured text, images, and sensor data) and using that knowledge to reason about the way the world works.

Like a lot of others, I look at knowledge acquisition partly as a machine learning problem, and partly as an HCI problem. While I believe in machine learning as a means to infer more (and more nuanced) knowledge from data, I’m firmly convinced that HCI won’t stop being an important part of the process, as systems will need human judgments to be successful for the foreseeable future.

Research Grants

I’ve served as Principal Investigator on a number of U.S. Government-sponsored research projects. Participating in these forward-looking programs was one of the highlights of my career.

Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) (2005 - 2012)
•    Socio-cultural Intelligence from Language (SCIL)
•    Proactive Intelligence (PAINT)
•    Advanced Question-Answering for Intelligence (AQUAINT; 3 Phases) 

Department of Defense / Air Force Research Labs (AFRL) (2005 - 2010)
•    Automatic, Domain-Adaptable Extraction (AUDAX)
•    Temporal Reasoning for Precise Event Time-Stamping
•    Concept-based Event Extraction Using Rich Semantics
•    Agile Active Learning for Customizable Extraction
•    Event Extraction Using Predicate-Argument Information 

Selected Publications

While at Language Computer Corporation, I was passionate about research in Natural Language Processing, with a particular focus on Question Answering, Textual Inference, and Summarization. I’ve included some of my publications below, but a complete list is available on sites like Google Scholar or Semantic Scholar.

Natural Language Processing

Cosmin Adrian Bejan, Matthew Titsworth, Andrew Hickl, Sanda M. Harabagiu. 2009. "Nonparametric Bayesian Models for Unsupervised Event Coreference Resolution." NIPS.

L Nezda, A Hickl, J Lehmann. 2006. "What in the world is a Shahab? Wide coverage named entity recognition for Arabic." LREC 2006.

J Lehmann, P Aarseth, L Nezda, M Deligonul, A Hickl. 2005. "TASER: a temporal and spatial expression recognition and normalization system." Proceedings of ACE 2005.

Question Answering

Kirk Roberts, Andrew Hickl. 2008. "Scaling Answer Type Detection to Large Hierarchies." LREC 2008.

Andrew Hickl. 2008. "Answering questions with authority." CIKM 2008.

Andrew Hickl, Kirk Roberts, Bryan Rink, Jeremy Bensley, Tobias Jungen, Ying Shi, John Williams. 2007. "Question Answering with LCC's CHAUCER-2 at TREC 2007." TREC 2007.

Sanda M. Harabagiu, Andrew Hickl. 2006. "Methods for Using Textual Entailment in Open-Domain Question Answering." ACL-06.

F Lacatusu, A Hickl, S Harabagiu. 2006. "Impact of question decomposition on the quality of answer summaries." LREC 2006.

Sanda M. Harabagiu, V. Finley Lacatusu, Andrew Hickl. "Answering complex questions with random walk models." 2006. SIGIR.

A Hickl, J Williams, J Bensley, K Roberts. 2006. "Recognizing Textual Entailment with LCC's Groundhog System." Proceedings of the PASCAL RTE-2 Workshop.

Andrew Hickl, Patrick Wang, John Lehmann, Sanda M. Harabagiu. 2006. "FERRET: Interactive Question-Answering for Real-World Environments." ACL 2006 (Demo Session).

Sanda M. Harabagiu, Andrew Hickl. 2006. "Using Scenario Knowledge In Automatic Question Answering.ACL-06 Workshop on Task-Focused Question Answering.

Andrew Hickl, Sanda M. Harabagiu. 2006. "Enhanced Interactive Question-Answering With Conditional Random Fields.ACL-06 Workshop on Task-Focused Question Answering.

Sanda M. Harabagiu, Dan I. Moldovan, Christine Clark, Mitchell Bowden, Andrew Hickl, Patrick Wang. 2005. "Employing Two Question Answering Systems in TREC 2005". TREC 2005.

Sanda M. Harabagiu, Andrew Hickl, John Lehmann, Dan I. Moldovan. 2005. "Experiments with Interactive Question-Answering." ACL 2005.

Andrew Hickl, John Lehmann, John Williams, Sanda M. Harabagiu. 2004. "Experiments With Interactive Question Answering In Complex Scenarios." ACL Workshop on Interactive Question Answering.

Textual Inference

Andrew Hickl. 2008. "Using Discourse Commitments to Recognize Textual Entailment." COLING 2008.

Jeremy Bensley, Andrew Hickl. 2008. "Workshop: Application of LCC's GROUNDHOG System for RTE-4." TAC 2008.

J Bensley, A Hickl. 2008. "Unsupervised Resource Creation for Textual Inference Applications." LREC 2008.

Andrew Hickl, Sanda M. Harabagiu. 2007. "Machine Reading through Textual and Knowledge Entailment." AAAI-06 Spring Symposium: Machine Reading.

Andrew Hickl, Jeremy Bensley. 2007. "A discourse commitment-based framework for recognizing textual entailment." Proceedings of the PASCAL RTE-3 Workshop.

Sanda M. Harabagiu, Andrew Hickl, V. Finley Lacatusu. 2006. "Negation, Contrast and Contradiction in Text Processing.AAAI 2006.

Andrew Hickl, John Williams, Jeremy Bensley, Kirk Roberts, Ying Shi, Bryan Rink. 2006. "Question Answering with LCC's CHAUCER at TREC 2006." TREC 2006.


Sanda M. Harabagiu, Andrew Hickl 2011. "Relevance Modeling for Microblog Summarization.ICWSM 2011.

Sanda M. Harabagiu, Andrew Hickl, V. Finley Lacatusu. 2007. "Satisfying information needs with multi-document summaries." J. Information Processing and Management.

A Hickl, K Roberts, F Lacatusu. "LCC's GISTexter at DUC 2007: Machine reading for update summarization." DUC 2007.

V. Finley Lacatusu, Andrew Hickl, Kirk Roberts, Ying Shi. 2006. "LCC's Gistexter at DUC 2006: Multi-strategy multi-document summarization." Proceedings of DUC 2006.

V. Finley Lacatusu, Andrew Hickl, Paul Aarseth. 2005. "Lite-gistexter at DUC 2005." Proceedings of DUC 2005.

Ubiquitous Computing

AH Andrew, K Eustice, A Hickl. 2013. "Using location lifelogs to make meaning of food and physical activity behaviors." Proceedings of Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare (PervasiveHealth).