Maria Antoniak will be giving a virtual talk on Friday, December 3, from 11am-noon. Zoom information will be distributed via the Berkeley NLP Seminar listserv.

Title: Modeling Personal Experiences Shared in Online Communities

Abstract: Written communications about personal experiences—and the emotions, narratives, and values that they contain—can be both rhetorically powerful and statistically difficult to model. My research uses natural language processing methods to represent complex personal experiences and self-disclosures communicated in online communities. Two fruitful sites for this research are online communities grounded in structured cultural experiences (books, games) and online communities grounded in healthcare experiences (childbirth, contraception, pain management). These communities situate personal opinions and stories in social contexts of reception, expectation, and judgment. In two case studies, I’ll show how quantifying textual patterns reveals community reframings and redefinitions of established narratives and hierarchies.

Bio: Maria Antoniak is a PhD candidate in Information Science at Cornell University. Her research focuses on unsupervised natural language processing methods and applications to computational social science and cultural analytics. Her work translates methods from natural language processing to insights about communities and self-disclosure by modeling personal experiences shared in online communities. She has a master’s degree in computational linguistics from the University of Washington and a bachelor’s degree in humanities from the University of Notre Dame, and she has completed research internships at Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.