Cecilia Alm Headshot

Cecilia Alm

Associate Professor
Department of English
College of Liberal Arts

585-475-7327
Office Location
Office Mailing Address
92 Lomb Memorial Drive Rochester, NY 14623

Cecilia Alm

Associate Professor
Department of English
College of Liberal Arts

Education

Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Bio

Cecilia (Cissi) Ovesdotter Alm 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 https://www.rit.edu/clasp/). She is also among the affiliated faculty of the Ph.D. Program in Computing and Information Sciences (http://phd.gccis.rit.edu). 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 (http://people.rit.edu/coagla). Her data and resource distribution page is at http://people.rc.rit.edu/~coagla.

Currently Teaching

ENGL-356
3 Credits
In this course, students will learn about linguistic methods for characterizing meaning considering words, sentences, conversation, and language in situational contexts. The class will examine these topics in English and across languages and cultures, studying different linguistic frameworks for describing meaning, including debates among them. We will explore the link between verbal and non-verbal semantics, and apply systematic meaning description and analysis to literary production, advertising, clinical interactions, entertainment, and digital media discourse.
ENGL-351
3 Credits
We will explore the relationship between language and technology from the invention of writing systems to current natural language and speech technologies. Topics include script decipherment, machine translation, automatic speech recognition and generation, dialog systems, computational natural language understanding and inference, as well as language technologies that support users with language disabilities. We will also trace how science and technology are shaping language, discuss relevant artificial intelligence concepts, and examine the ethical implications of advances in language processing by computers. Students will have the opportunity to experience text analysis with relevant tools. This is an interdisciplinary course and technical background is not required.
ENGL-681
3 Credits
This course provides theoretical foundation as well as hands-on (lab-style) practice in computational approaches for processing natural language text. The course will have relevance to various disciplines in the humanities, sciences, computational, and technical fields. We will discuss problems that involve different components of the language system (such as meaning in context and linguistic structures). Students will additionally work on modeling and implementing natural language processing and digital text solutions. Students will program in Python and use a variety of relevant tools. Expected: Programming skills, demonstrated via course work or instruction approval.
ENGL-581
3 Credits
This course provides theoretical foundation as well as hands-on (lab-style) practice in computational approaches for processing natural language text. The course will have relevance to various disciplines in the humanities, sciences, computational, and technical fields. We will discuss problems that involve different components of the language system (such as meaning in context and linguistic structures). Students will additionally collaborate in teams on modeling and implementing natural language processing and digital text solutions. Students will program in Python and use a variety of relevant tools. Expected: Programming skills, demonstrated via course work or instruction approval.
ENGL-370
3 Credits
What makes the English language so difficult? Where do our words come from? Why does Old English look like a foreign language? This course surveys the development of the English language from its beginning to the present to answer such questions as these. Designed for anyone who is curious about the history and periods of the English language or the nature of language change.
ENGL-482
3 Credits
This course introduces students to the fields of experimental phonetics, the scientific study of the sounds used in human speech, and speech processing, the study of the speech signal used in automatic speech recognition, spoken emotion detection, and other technologies. Students will learn about the physiology of speech production and perception, and they will acquire the skills necessary to accurately describe speech concepts and to analyze speech using relevant methods and tools. Turning to speech processing technology, students will explore automatic speech recognition, speech synthesis, speaker identification, and emotion recognition, and learn how our understanding of human speech production and perception informs these technologies. The course will have relevance to other disciplines in the humanities, sciences, and technical fields. This course provides theoretical foundation as well as hands-on laboratory practice.
ENGL-310
3 Credits
This course introduces the basic concepts of linguistics, which is the scientific study of human languages. Students will be introduced to core linguistic disciplines (phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics) and to principles of linguistics through discussion and the analysis of a wide range of linguistic data based on current linguistic models. English will often serve as the reference language, but we will discuss a wide variety of languages, including sign languages, to illustrate core concepts in linguistics. The course will have relevance to other disciplines in the humanities, sciences, and technical fields. Students will be encouraged to develop critical thinking regarding the study of human languages through discussions of the origins of languages, how languages are acquired, their organization in the brain, and languages' socio-cultural roles. Some other topics that will be introduced are: language globalization and language endangerment, language and computers, and forensic linguistics.

Latest News

  • May 15, 2019

    Student wearing eye-tracking headset stands with another student holding laptop.

    RIT research helps artificial intelligence be more accurate, fair and inclusive

    RIT has received a grant from the National Science Foundation to help make artificial intelligence smarter and more inclusive. The grant creates the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site in Computational Sensing for Human-centered AI and will allow a total of 30 undergraduate students from across the country to spend 10 weeks at RIT.

Select Scholarship

Published Conference Proceedings
Haduong, Nikita, et al. "Multimodal Alignment for Affective Content." Proceedings of the Proceedings of the Workshop of Affective Content Analysis (at AAAI 2018). Ed. Niyati Chhaya, Kokil Jaidka, and Lyle H. Ungar. New Orleans, North America: Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, 2018. Web.
Medina, Rebecca, et al. "Sensing Behaviors of Students in Online vs. Face-to-face Lecturing Contexts." Proceedings of the Proceedings of the Workshop on Homan-Centered Computational Sensing (at PerCom 2018). Ed. Cecilia O. Alm, Reynold Bailey, and Ehsan Hoque. Athens, Greece: 2018 IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications Workshops, 2018. Web.
Diaz, Yancarlos, et al. "Towards an Affective Video Recommendation System." Proceedings of the Proceedings of the Workshop on Homan-Centered Computational Sensing (at PerCom 2018). Ed. Cecilia O. Alm, Reynold Bailey, and Ehsan Hoque. Athens, Greece: 2018 IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications Workshops, 2018. Web.
Tornblad, McKenna K., et al. "Sensing and Learning Human Annotators Engaged in Narrative Sensemaking." Proceedings of the Proceedings of the Student Research Workshop (at NAACL 2018). Ed. Silvio Ricardo Cordeiro, Shereen Oraby, Umashanthi Pavalanathan, and Kyeongmin Rim. New Orleans, Louisiana: Association for Computational Linguistics, 2018. Web.
Meyers, Benjamin S, et al. "A Dataset for Identifying Actionable Feedback in Collaborative Software Development." Proceedings of the Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers). Ed. Iryna Gurevych and Yusuke Miyao. Melbourne, Australia: Association for Computational Linguistics, 2018. Web.
Vaidyanathan, Preethi, et al. "SNAG: Spoken Narratives and Gaze Dataset." Proceedings of the Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers). Ed. Iryna Gurevych and Yusuke Miyao. Melbourne, Australia: Association for Computational Linguistics, 2018. Web.
Shea, Jordan E., Cecilia O. Alm, and Reynold Bailey. "Contemporary Multimodal Data Collection Methodology for Reliable Inference of Authentic Surprise." Proceedings of the Proceedings of the 2018 IEEE Western New York Image and Signal Processing Workshop (WNYISPW). Ed. Ray Ptucha. Rochester, New York: IEEE, 2018. Web.
Gangji, Aliya, Trevor Walden, Preethi Vaidyanathan, Emily Prud’hommeaux, Reynold Bailey, and Cecilia O. Alm. "Using co-captured face, gaze and verbal reactions to images of varying emotional content for analysis and semantic alignment." Proceedings of the Workshop on Human-Aware Artificial Intelligence (at AAAI 2017). Ed. Kartik Talamadupula, et al. San Francisco, CA: AAAI, 2017. Web.
Edwards, Ashley, Anthony Massicci, Srinivas Sridharan, Joe Geigel, Linwei Wang, Reynold Bailey, and Cecilia O. Alm. "Sensor-based methodological observations for studying online learning." Proceedings of the ACM Workshop on Intelligent Interfaces for Ubiquitous and Smart Learning (at IUI 2017). Ed. Ilknur Celik and Ilaria Torre. Limassol, Cyprus, Cyprus: ACM, 2017. Web.
Calderwood, Alexander, Elizabeth A. Pruett, Raymond Ptucha, Christopher M. Homan, Cecilia O. Alm. "Understanding the semantics of narratives of interpersonal violence through reader annotations and physiological reactions." Proceedings of the Workshop on Computational Semantics beyond Events and Roles (at EACL 2017). Ed. Eduardo Blanco, Roser Morante, and Roser Saurí. Valencia, Spain: ACL, 2017. Web.
Munaiah, Nuthan, Benjamin S. Meyers, Cecilia O. Alm, Andrew Meneely, Pradeep K. Murukannaiah. Emily Prud'hommeaux, Josephine Wolff, and Yang Yu. "Natural language insights from code reviews that missed a vulnerability: A large scale study of Chromium." Proceedings of the International Symposium on Engineering Secure Software and Systems. Ed. Eric Bodden, Mathias Payer, Elias Athanasopoulos. Bonn, Germany: n.p., 2017. Web.
Alm, Cecilia O., Benjamin S. Meyers, and Emily Prud’hommeaux. "An analysis and visualization tool for case study learning of linguistics concepts." Proceedings of the Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (Demo papers). Ed. Lucia Specia, Matt Post, Michael Paul. Copenhagen, Denmark: ACL, 2017. Web.
Alm, Cecilia O. and Reynold Bailey. "Team-based, transdisciplinary, and inclusive practices for undergraduate research." Proceedings of the IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference. Ed. n.p. Indianapolis, IN: IEEE, 2017. Web.
Terkik, Andamlak, Emily Prud’hommeaux, Cecilia O. Alm, Christopher Homan, Scott Franklin,. "Analyzing Gender Bias in Student Evaluations." Proceedings of the Proceedings of COLING, the 26th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: Technical Papers. Ed. Nicoletta Calzolari et al. Osaka, Japan: n.p., 2016. Web.
Liu, Tong, Christopher Homan, Cecilia O. Alm, Megan Lytle, Ann Marie White, Henry Kautz,. "Understanding Discourse on Work and Job-related Well-being in Public Social Media." Proceedings of the Proceedings of the 54th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics. Ed. Antal van den Bosch et al. Berlin, Germany: n.p., 2016. Web.
Bullard, Joseph, Cecilia O. Alm, Xumin Liu, Ruben A. Proano, Qi Yu, . "Towards Early Dementia Detection: Fusing Linguistic and Non-linguistic Clinical Data." Proceedings of the Proceedings of Computational Linguistics and Clinical Psychology: From Linguistic Signal to Clinical Reality (at NAACL 2016). Ed. Kristy Hollingshead and Lyle Ungar. San Diego, USA: n.p., 2016. Web.
Oak, Mayuresh, Anil K. Behera, Titus Thomas, Cecilia O. Alm, Emily Prud’hommeaux, Christopher M. Homan, Ray Ptucha,. "Generating Clinically Relevant Texts: A Case Study on Life-changing Events." Proceedings of the Proceedings of Computational Linguistics and Clinical Psychology: From Linguistic Signal to Clinical Reality (at NAACL-HLT 2016). Ed. Kristy Hollingshead and Lyle Ungar. San Diego, California: n.p., 2016. Web.
Vaidyanathan, Preethi, Jeff B. Pelz, Emily Prud’hommeaux, Cecilia O. Alm, Anne R. Haake,. "Fusing Eye Movements and Observer Narratives for Expert-driven Image-region Annotations." Proceedings of the ETRA. Ed. Pernilla Qvarfordt and Dan Witzner Hansen. Charleston, SC: n.p., 2016. Web.
Schrading, Nicholas, et al. "An Analysis of Domestic Abuse Discourse on Reddit." Proceedings of the Proceedings of the Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, pages 2577-2583. Lisbon, Portugal: ACL, 2015. Web.
Vaidyanathan,, Preethi, et al. "Computational Integration of Human Vision and Natural Language Through Bitext Alignment." Proceedings of the Proceedings of the Workshop on Vision and Language at the Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, pages 4-5. Ed. --. Lisbon, Portugal: ACL, 2015. Web.
Schrading, Nicholas, et al. "#WhyIStayed, #WhyILeft: Microblogging to Make Sense of Domestic Abuse." Proceedings of the Proceedings of the 2015 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics-Human Language Technologies, pages 1281-1286. Ed. --. Denver, CO: ACL, 2015. Web.
Bethamcherla, Vasudev, et al. "Face-speech Sensor Fusion for Non-invasive Stress Detection." Proceedings of the Proceedings of the 1st Joint Conference on Facial Analysis, Animation, and Auditory-Visual Speech Processing, pages 196-201. Ed. --. Vienna, Austria: ISCA, 2015. Web.
Paul, Will, et al. "Stressed out: What Speech Tells us About Stress." Proceedings of the Proceedings of Interspeech 2015, pages 3710-3714. Ed. --. Dresden, Germany: ISCA, 2015. Web.
Vaidyanathan, Preethi, et al. "Alignment of Eye Movements and Spoken Language for Semantic Image Understanding." Proceedings of the Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Computational Semantics, pages 76-81. Ed. --. London, UK: ACL, 2015. Web.
Bullard, Joseph, et al. "Inference from Structured and Unstructured Electronic Medical Data for Dementia Detection." Proceedings of the Proceedings of Operation Research and Computing: Algorithms and Software for Analytics, 14th INFORMS Computing Society Conference (ICS2015), pages 236—244. Ed. --. Richmond, VA: n.p., 2015. Web.
Guo, X., et al. "Fusing Multimodal Human Expert Data Towards Semantic Image Use." Proceedings of the Proceedings of the 7th Workshop on Eye Gaze in Intelligent Human Machine Interaction: Eye-Gaze & Multimodality. Ed. Nb. Istanbul, Turkey: ACM, 2014. Web.
Hochberg, L., et al. "Towards Automatic Annotation of Clinical Decision-making Style." Proceedings of the Proceedings of LAW VIII - The 8th Linguistic Annotation Workshop at COLING 2014. Ed. Lori Levin, Manfred Stede. Dublin, Ireland: n.p., 2014. Web.
Bullard, J., et al. "Towards Multimodal Modeling of Physicians Diagnostic Confidence and Self-awareness Using Medical Narratives." Proceedings of the Proceedings of COLING 2014, the 25th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: Technical Papers. Ed. Junichi Tsujii and Jan Hajic. Dublin, Ireland: Dublin City University and Association for Computational Linguistics, 2014. Web.
Moseley, N., C. O. Alm, and M. Rege. "Toward Inferring the Age of Twitter Users From Their Use of Nonstandard Abbreviations and Lexicon." Proceedings of the Proceedings of IEEE IRI 2014. Ed. Elisa Bertino, Bhavani Thuraisingham, Ling Liu, James Joshi. San Francisco,, California: IEEE, 2014. Web.
L., Hochberg et al. "Decision Style in a Clinical Reasoning Corpus." Proceedings of the Proceedings of the 2014 Workshop on Biomedical Natural Language Processing (BioNLP 2014),. Ed. Kevin Bretonnel Cohen et al. Baltimore, Maryland: ACL, Web.
C., Homan, et al. "Toward Macro-Insights for Suicide Prevention: Analyzing Fine-Grained Distress at Scale." Proceedings of the Proceedings of the Workshop on Computational Linguistics and Clinical Psychology: From Linguistic Signal to Clinical Reality at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics. Ed. Resnik, P., Resnik, R., Mitchell, M. Baltimore, Maryland: n.p., Web.
Moseley, N., C. O. Alm, and Rege, M. "User-annotated Microtext Data for Modeling and Analyzing Sociolinguistic Characteristics and Age Grading." Proceedings of the Proceedings of IEEE Eighth International Conference on Research Challenges in Information Science. Ed. Rebecca Deneckere, Marko Bajec, Martine Collard. Marrakesh, Morocco: IEEE, Web.
Guo, X., et al. "Infusing Perceptual Expertise and Domain Knowledge into a Human-centered Image Retrieval System: A Prototype Application." Proceedings of the ETRA 2014. Ed. Nb. Safety Harbor,, Florida: ACM, Web.
Vaidyanathan, P., et al. "Recurrence Quantification Analysis Reveals Differences in Eye-movement Behavior Between Expert and Novice Dermatologists." Proceedings of the ETRA 2014. Ed. Unknown. Safety Harbor, Florida: n.p., 2014. Web.
Womack, K., et al. "Markers of Confidence and Correctness in Spoken Medical Narratives." Proceedings of the Interspeech 2013. Ed. ISCA. Lyon, France: n.p., 2013. Web.
Womack, K., et al. "Using Linguistic Analysis to Characterize Conceptual Units of Thought in Spoken Medical Narratives." Proceedings of the Interspeech 2013. Ed. ISCA. Lyon, France: n.p., 2013. Web.
Womack, Kathryn, et al. "Disfluencies as Extra-Propositional Indicators of Cognitive Processing." Proceedings of the Ex-Prom-2012: Workshop on Extra-Propositional Aspect of Meaning in Computational Linguistics at the 50th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics 2012. Ed. Roser Morante and Caroline Sporleder. Jeju, Korea: n.p., 2013. Web.
McCoy, Wilson. "Annotation Schemes to Encode Domain Knowledge in Medical Narratives." Proceedings of the The 6th Linguistic Annotation Workshop at the 50th Annual Meeting of the Associate. for Computational Linguistics 2012. Ed. Nancy Ide and Fei Xia. Jeju, Korea: n.p., 2012. Web.
McCoy, Wilson, et al. "Linking Uncertainty in Physicians' Narratives to Diagnostic Correctness." Proceedings of the ExProm-2012: Workshop on Extra-Propositional Aspect of Meaning in Computational Linguistics at the 50th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics. Ed. Roser Morante and Caroline Sporleder. Jeju, Korea: n.p., 2013. Web.
Lehrman, Michael T., Cecilia O. Alm, and Ruben A. Proano. "Detecting Distressed vs. Non- Distressed Affect State in Short Forum Texts." Proceedings of the 2012 Workshop on Language in Social Media at the Conference of the North Am. Chapter of the Associate. for Comp. Linguistics-Human Language Technologies. Ed. ACL/NAACL-HLT (Meena Nagarajan, Sara Owsley Sood, Michael Gamon). Montreal, Canada: n.p., 2012. Web.
Li, Rui, et al. "Learning Eye Movement Patterns for Characterization of Perceptual Expertise." Proceedings of the Symposium on Eye Tracking Research and Applications (ETRA). Ed. ETRA. Santa Barbara, CA: n.p., 2012. Web.
Alm, Cecilia Ovesdotter. "Subjective Natural Language Problems: Motivations, Applications, Characterizations, and Implications." Proceedings of the 49th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies. Ed. unknown. Portland, OR: The Association for Computational Linguistic, 2011. Web.
Journal Paper
Guo, Xuan, Qi Yu, Rui Li, Cecilia O. Alm, Cara Calvelli, Pengcheng Shi, Anne Haake,. "Intelligent medical image grouping through interactive learning." International Journal of Data Science and Analytics 2. 3 (2016): 95-105. Web.
Li, Rui, Pengcheng Shi, Jeff Pelz, Cecilia O. Alm, Anne R. Haake,. "Modeling eye movement patterns to characterize perceptual skill in image-based diagnostic reasoning processes." Computer Vision and Image Understanding 151. (2016): 138-152. Web.
Alm, Cecilia O. "Language as sensor in human-centered computing: Clinical contexts as use cases." Language & Linguistics Compass: Computational & Mathematical 10. 3 (2016): 105-119. Web.
Guo, X, et al. "From Spoken Narratives to Domain Knowledge: Mining Linguistic Data for Medical Image Understanding." Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Medicine 62. 2 (2014): 79-90. Web.
Alm, Cecilia Ovesdotter. "The Role of Affect in the Computational Modeling of Natural Language." Language and Linguistics Compass (Computational & Mathematical) 6. 7 (2012): 416-430. Web.
Invited Keynote/Presentation
Mohammad, Saif and Cecilia O. Alm. "Tutorial: Computational analysis of affect and emotion in language." 2015 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing. ACL. Lisbon, Portugal. 18 Sep. 2015. Conference Presentation.
Alm, Cissi Ovesdotter. "NLP in Multimodal Cognitive Modeling of Dermatologists' Decision-Making." Natural Language Processing: State of the Art, Future Directions and Applications for Enhancing Clinical Decision-Making. NLM/NIBI Workshop. Bethesda, MD. Apr. 2012. Conference Presentation.
Book Chapter
Stenport, Anna W. and Cecilia O. Alm. "Corporations, the Welfare State, and Covert Misogyny in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Kick Their Asses! Feminist Perspectives on Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press, 2012. 123-134. Print.
Alm, Cecilia Ovesdotter. "What Can Language Technologies do for Endangered Languages, and Vice Versa?" Endangered Languages: Voices and Images, FEL XV. Ed. M. Haboud and N. Ostler. Bath: Foundation for Endangered Languages, 2011. 98-102. Print.
Published Review
Alm, Cecilia O. "Toddler and Parent Interaction: The Organization of Gaze, Pointing and Vocalization." Rev. of Pragmatics & Beyond New Series, Volume 192 by Anna Filipi, ed. Allan Bell. Journal of Sociolinguistics Apr. 2012: 294-296. Web.
Published Article
Alm, Cecilia Ovesdotter. “Characteristics of High Agreement Affect Annotation in Text.” Proceedings of theFourth Linguistic Annotation Workshop, 15-16 July 2010. 118-122. Print. «
Formal Presentation
Heimisdattir, Linda Osp, Cecilia Ovesdotter Alm, Kateri Krantz-Odendahl, and I. Alden Coots. “A Resource for Learning Swedish Oral Skills.” INTERSPEECH 2010 Satellite Workshop on Second Language Studies: Acquisition, Learning, Education and Technology. Makuhari, Japan. 26-30 Sep. 2010. Presentation.
Alm, CeciliaOvesdotter. “Introduction: Virtual Education.” ASTRA/Sweden Seminar, Association for Swedish Teachers and Researchers in America Conference, Washington, DC. 15 Oct. 2010. Presentation.
Alm, Cecilia Ovesdotter. “Introducing an Open Source Swedish Teaching Package: Combining Discovery-based and Thematic Learning to Address Needs and Motivations of Swedish Students.” 100th Meeting of the Society for the Advancement in Scandinavian Studies. Seattle, WA. 24 Apr. 2010. Presentation.
Alm, Cecilia Ovesdotter. “Gods as Kids in The Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok.” New Directionsin Medieval Scandinavian Studies. 30th Annual Conference of the Center for Medieval Studies. Lincoln Center, New York. 27-28 Mar. 2010. Presentation.