Mark A. Finlayson

Eminent Scholar Chaired Associate Professor

Dr. Mark A. Finlayson is an Eminent Scholar Chaired Associate Professor of Computer Science in the Knight Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences at Florida International University (FIU). He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science and Cognitive Science from MIT in 2012 under the supervision of Patrick H. Winston. He also received his M.S. from MIT in 2001 and his B.S. from the University of Michigan in 1998, both in Electrical Engineering. Before joining SCIS he was a Research Scientist in MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) for 2½ years. His research focuses on representing, extracting, and using higher-order semantic patterns in natural language, especially focusing on narrative. His work intersects artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, and cognitive science. He directs the Cognac Laboratory (The Cognition, Language, and Culture lab), whose members focus on investigating the science of narrative from a computational point of view. His research has been funded by the NSF, NIH, DARPA, OSD, ONR, DHS, and IBM. He was the recipient of an NSF CAREER Award in 2018 and an IBM Faculty Award in 2019. He was named Edison Fellow for Artificial Intelligence for 2019-2021 at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). He has received multiple teaching awards at FIU, plus an FIU faculty award for research and creative activities in 2019.

Honors and Awards
  • 2019 Fall Excellence in Fundamental Research, Faculty Award, School of Computing and Information Sciences
  • 2019 Fall FIU Faculty Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activities
  • 2019 Spring 2019 Edison Fellow for AI, US Patent and Trademark Office
  • 2019 Spring IBM Faculty Award ($40,000) 2018 Fall Excellence in Teaching, Faculty Award, School of Computing and Information Sciences
  • 2018 Spring NSF CAREER Award IIS-1749917
  • 2018 Spring FIU Top Scholar for Teaching and Mentoring
  • 2016 Fall Excellence in Service, Faculty Award, School of Computing and Information Sciences
Research and Educational Interests

Artificial Intelligence
Natural Language Processing
Cognitive Science
Computational Social Science
Digital Humanities

Background Education

2012 Ph.D., Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2001 M.S., Electrical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1998 B.S., Electrical Engineering, University of Michigan

Professional Activities

General Chair of the Computational Models of Narrative Workshop Series

Selected Publications
  • Finlayson, M. A. (2016) “Inferring Propp’s Functions from Semantically-Annotated Text,” Journal of American Folklore, Special Issue on Computational Folkloristics, 129(511), pp. 53–75.
  • Finlayson, M. A. (2015) “ProppLearner: Deeply Annotating a Corpus of Russian Folktales to Enable the Machine Learning of a Russian Formalist Theory,” Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, 2015.
  • Finlayson, M. A., Halverson, J. R., and Corman, S. R., (2014) “The N2 Corpus: A Semantically Annotated Collection of Islamist Extremist Stories,” in Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2014), pp. 896–902.
  • Finlayson, M. A. (2014) “Java Libraries for Accessing the Princeton Wordnet: Comparison and Evaluation,” in Proceedings of the 7th International Global WordNet Conference (GWC 2014), pp. 78–85.
  • Finlayson, M. A. and Corman, S. R., (2013) “The Military Interest in Narrative,” Sprache und Datenverarbeitung (International Journal for Language Data Processing), 37(1)–(2), pp. 173–191.
  • Finlayson, M. A. (2012) “Learning Narrative Structure from Annotated Folktales,” Doctoral Dissertation, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • Finlayson, M. A. and Kulkarni, N., (2011) “Detecting Multi-Word Expressions improves Word Sense Disambiguation,” in Proceedings of the 8th Workshop on Multiword Expressions: from Parsing and Generation to the Real World (MWE 2011), (June), pp. 20–24.
  • Hervás, R. and Finlayson, M. A., (2010) “The Prevalence of Descriptive Referring Expressions in News and Narrative,” in Proceedings of the 48th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL 2010), 2010, (July), pp. 49–54.
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