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Cecilia Ovesdotter Alm

Associate Professor
2110 Liberal Arts
(585) 475-7327

Cecilia ("Cissi") Ovesdotter Alm, Ph.D. in Linguistics from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, offers undergraduate and graduate computational linguistics and language science courses. She is a founding director of CLaSP, the Computational Linguistics and Speech Processing lab group. She is also among the extended faculty of the Ph.D. Program in Computing and Information Sciences and the faculty of the Digital Humanities and Social Sciences program.

Cissi's research focus is on linguistic and language-inclusive sensing with text, speech, and multimodal data for broad impact domains.

For more information, please see her website at

Her data and resource distribution page is at

Ten representative publications (an asterisk * highlights RIT students)

1. Cecilia O. Alm. 2009. Affect in Text and Speech. Saarbrücken: VDM Verlag

As technology and human-computer interaction advance, there is an increased interest in affective computing. One of the current challenges in computational speech and text processing is addressing affective and expressive meaning, an area that has received fairly sparse attention in linguistics. Linguistic investigation in this area is motivated both by the need for scientific study of subjective language phenomena, and by useful applications such as expressive text-to-speech synthesis. This work makes contributions to the study of affect and language by describing a novel data resource, outlining models and challenges for exploring affect in language, applying computational methods toward this problem with included empirical results, and suggesting paths for further research. The book should be particularly valuable for readers interested in language and affect, socioemotive aspects of language, subjective language phenomena, and computational semantics.


2. Saif Mohammad and Cecilia O. Alm. 2015. Computational analysis of affect and emotion in language. Tutorial at Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, Lisbon, Portugal.

3. Cecilia O. Alm. 2016. Language as sensor in human-centered computing: Clinical contexts as use cases. Language & Linguistics Compass: Computational & Mathematical, 10(3): 105-119.

4. Xuan Guo*, Qi Yu, Cecilia O. Alm, Cara Calvelli, Jeff B. Pelz, Pengcheng Shi, and Anne R. Haake. 2014. From spoken narratives to domain knowledge: Mining linguistic data for medical image understanding. Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Medicine, 62(2): 79-90.

5. Cecilia O. Alm. 2012. The role of affect in the computational modeling of natural language. Language & Linguistics Compass: Computational & Mathematical, 6(7): 416-430.

6. Preethi Vaidyanathan*, Jeff B. Pelz, Emily Prud’hommeaux, Cecilia O. Alm, and Anne R. Haake. 2016. Fusing eye movements and observer narratives for expert-driven image-region annotations. In Proceedings of ETRA, pages 27-34, Charleston, South Carolina. Best paper award.

7. Nicolas Schrading*, Cecilia O. Alm, Ray Ptucha, and Christopher M. Homan. 2015. An analysis of domestic abuse discourse on Reddit. In Proceedings of the Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, pages 2577-2583, Lisbon, Portugal.

8. Vasudev Bethamcherla*, Will Paul*, Cecilia O. Alm, Reynold Bailey, Joe Geigel, and Linwei Wang. 2015. Face-speech sensor fusion for non-invasive stress detection. In Proceedings of FAAVSP, pages 196-201, Vienna, Austria.

9. Joseph Bullard*, Cecilia O. Alm, Qi Yu, Pengcheng Shi, and Anne R. Haake. 2014. Towards multimodal modeling of physicians' diagnostic confidence and self-awareness using medical narratives. In Proceedings of COLING, the 25th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: Technical Papers, 1718–1727, Dublin, Ireland.

10. Limor Hochberg*, Cecilia O. Alm, Esa M. Rantanen, Caroline M. DeLong, and Anne R. Haake. 2014. Decision style in a clinical reasoning corpus. In Proceedings of the Workshop on Biomedical Natural Language Processing (at ACL 2014), pages 83-87, Baltimore, Maryland.