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Kevyn Collins-Thompson


Associate Professor of Information
Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
University of Michigan
School of Information and College of Engineering (affiliate)
Phone: +1-734-615-2132
Fax: +1-734-615-3587
Email: kevynct AT umich . edu

Mailing Address:
School of Information
3344 North Quad
105 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1285


Kevyn Collins-Thompson is an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), with appointments in the School of Information and Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, College of Engineering (affiliate, CSE Division).

My lab explores algorithms and interfaces for intelligent information systems that optimally connect people with information, especially for educational goals. Examples include search engines that can deliver the right kind of personalized information at the right time, and intelligent tutoring systems that learn when and how to be most helpful in teaching a particular student. Building effective, reliable systems like these will require new theoretical, algorithmic, and methodological advances in multiple research areas, including machine learning, optimization, information retrieval, and human-computer interaction. My current research is centered on education, but I'm also interested in mobile and health-related applications.

Before joining the University of Michigan in Fall 2013, I was a researcher at Microsoft Research, in the Context, Learning, and User Experience for Search (CLUES) Group.

My Ph.D. is from the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, where my advisor was Jamie Callan. I was a member of the Language Technologies Institute. My undergraduate degree (B.Math.) is from the University of Waterloo. Apparently, I'm not the only one who thinks that CMU and Waterloo are a great combination!

I currently work with the following graduate students:
  • Ph.D.
    • Sungjin Nam
    • Rohail Syed
    • Ryan Burton
  • Masters
    • Je Seok Lee


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Other Activities


  • WSDM 2013 Crowdsourced Pairwise Preferences for Readability (.csv file, 9.1Mb): 13857 judged pairs (trusted and untrusted), ~50-word text passages, grades 1-12. Column descriptions are here.
    If you use this dataset, please cite: X. Chen, P.N. Bennett, K. Collins-Thompson, E. Horvitz. Pairwise Ranking Aggregation in a Crowdsourced Setting. Proceedings of WSDM 2013. 193-202.

  • HLT 2004 Readability: Unigram Language Models. Because a significant part of the corpus used for this paper (Web pages or text passages labeled by grade level) contains licensed copyrighted content, we are unable to redistribute the dataset in its original form. However, this folder contains files with frequency counts computed on the entire dataset for the twelve categories of labeled documents used in the HLT 2004 paper, corresponding to material at each of the U.S. elementary school grades 1 through 12 (indexed as 0 to 11). There is also a background English model file. With these raw unigram counts, plus some smoothing as described in the paper, the grade-level language models used for the classifier can be derived. If you use this data, please cite:
    K. Collins-Thompson and J. Callan. A language modeling approach to predicting reading difficulty. Proceedings of HLT / NAACL 2004, Boston, USA, May 2004. 193-200.
  • Other Links

    Context, Learning, and User Experience for Search Group's home page.

    DBLP Bibliography

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