I am a final-year Ph.D. student in Computer Science at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, working with Prof. Heng Ji as a member of the Blender NLP lab.

My research aims to equip machines with deep semantic understandings of multimodal information. What happens? Who? When? Where? Why? are the fundamental questions asked to comprehend the overwhelming amount of information, regardless of whether presented as text, images, or videos. I aim to evolve traditional Entity-Centric Single-Modalitiy Knowledge to Event-centric Multi-Modality Knowledge, including:
(1) understanding multimodal event semantic structures to answer What happened?, Who?, Where?, and When? (Knowledge Extraction): We bring event argument (participant) semantics into vision-language pretraining (CLIP-Event), which has supported zero-shot joint Multimedia Event Extraction (M2E2 for the first time;
(2) understanding temporal dynamics to answer What will happen next? and Why? (Knowledge Reasoning): We introduce Event Graph Schema, which opens doors to a global event graph context capturing participant-specific and temporally ordered event information;
(3) applying Event Knowledge Graph (Knowledge-Driven Applications): We show positive results on long-standing open problems, such as timeline generation, meeting summarization, question answering.

Bio: Her work on multimedia knowledge extraction won the Best Demo Paper Award at ACL’20, and the work on COVID multimedia knowledge extraction won the Best Demo Paper Award at NAACL’21. She was selected as a DARPA Riser (nominated by DARPA) and a EE CS Rising Star in 2022. She was a recipient of Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship in 2021. She was awarded C.L. Dave and Jane W.S. Liu Award, and has been selected as Mavis Future Faculty Fellow. She has more than 30 publications on multimedia knowledge extraction and reasoning, and gave tutorials about multimedia IE at ACL’21, AAAI’21 and NAACL’22. She serves as a senior PC member at IJCAI and PC members for ARR, ACL, EMNLP, NAACL, COLING, IJCAI, AAAI, etc.

I am on job market for faculty positions! [CV]
Please feel free to drop me an email manling2@illinois.edu.



  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Computing Technology
  • University of Science and Technology Beijing
    • B.E. in Computer Science (Internet of Things), 2015
    • B.M. in Information Management and Information Systems (minor), 2012 - 2015


Academic Service

Senior Program Committee:

  • IJCAI, 2021

Program Committee:

  • ARR (ACL Rolling Review, from 2021)
  • ACL (from 2021)
  • EMNLP (from 2021)
  • NAACL-HLT (from 2021)
  • AAAI (from 2021)
  • WWW (from 2021)
  • AKBC (2021)
  • EACL (from 2021)
  • KDD DI Workshop (2021)
  • NLPCC (2021)
  • COLING (from 2020)
  • AACL (from 2020)
  • CCL (from 2020)

Journal Reviewer:

  • IEEE MultiMedia
  • Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research
  • Journal of Advances in Information Technology


**Books **Baking **My Cat