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University of Southern CaliforniaViterbi CSUSC NLP


The Data, Interpretability, Language and Learning, (DILL) lab, led by Swabha Swayamdipta, explores questions in the intersection of natural language processing and machine learning. Our research considers language (and other) data, models that train on this data and their impact on society. These are some questions we are currently exploring:

  • How can we rigorously evaluate the generative capabilities of language models?
  • Do language models have the ability to generate text with specific properties and what does that reveal about them?
  • What roles do different kinds of data play in the successes or failures of language models?
  • How can we use language models to understand our society better?

Check out our latest publications and a short summary of the questions we are currently working on.

We are hiring PhD students in Fall 2023!


Left to Right: DILL celebrated pre-thanksgiving with some friends. DILL in Downtown LA in Aug 2023. DILL in Downtown Culver City in June 2023. DILL at Kenneth Hahn in April 2023.


Feb 16, 2024 DILL hosts Yanai Elazar, YI at the Allen Institute for AI.
Feb 15, 2024 DILL Lab submits three papers to ACL’24.
Jan 30, 2024 Matt gave an invited talk at CMU LTI.
Jan 16, 2024 Matt’s paper on the softmax bottleneck now accepted to ICLR’24.
Dec 13, 2023 Yoonsoo’s paper on video summarization now accepted to ICASSP’24.
Dec 1, 2023 We hosted Kawin Ethayarajh, a PhD student at Stanford.
Nov 18, 2023 The DILL lab had a pre-Thanksgiving get-together with a dinner potluck.
Nov 17, 2023 Attended SoCalNLP 2023, where members of the DILL lab presented 4 papers.
Oct 26, 2023 We hosted Sarah Wiegreffe, a postdoctoral researcher from AI2.
Sep 29, 2023 Two new preprints on arxiv: on video summarization and on the softmax bottleneck.
Aug 31, 2023 We hosted Julia Mendelsohn, a PhD student from UMich who spoke about her work on Computational Analysis of Nuanced Political Rhetoric.
Jun 19, 2023 We had a summer ice cream social at Culver City Downtown with many new members.
Jun 14, 2023 Urja Khurana, a Phd Student from Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam is visiting our lab this summer, working on hate speech detection.
Apr 29, 2023 We had a summer barbecue social along with the GLAMOR lab at the Kenneth Hahn State Park.
Apr 18, 2023 We hosted (incoming) Assistant Professor at IISc Bangalore, Danish Pruthi in our lab.
Apr 4, 2023 Sayan and Jaspreet hosted the first DILL Lab Office hours for USC undergrads interested in research.
Mar 7, 2023 Friend of the lab, Suchin Gururangan gave an invited talk at the group meeting.
Feb 28, 2023 DILL attended the ACM Undergrad Research Event to reach out to undergrads and masters students interested in the lab.
Feb 21, 2023 New USC PhD student Jiarui Zhang gave an invited talk at the group meeting.
Jan 24, 2023 Friend of the lab, Eunice Jun gave an invited talk at the group meeting.
Jan 12, 2023 Warm welcome to our latest PhD student, Brihi Joshi, now both at INK and DILL labs.
Jan 9, 2023 Software engineering PhD student Tooraj Helmi will be a guest at the DILL for the spring semester.
Nov 22, 2022 DILL celebrated Thanksgiving together with a couple of guests (Ali Omrani and Souti Chattopadhyay) at Swabha’s.
Nov 22, 2022 Sayan and Jaspreet presented a brief overview of their research projects at the USC-NLP lunch.
Nov 18, 2022 We attended the SoCalNLP Symposium where Sayan and Jaspreet presented their latest research posters, and Swabha gave an invited talk.
Aug 15, 2022 First day at USC for the entire DILL Lab!
Apr 15, 2022 We now have four new lab members!