Bill MacCartney

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I'm a Senior Research Scientist at Google, where I work primarily on semantic parsing, which is the task of automatically translating queries into structured representations of meaning. In the past, I've worked on a range of other problems in natural language processing (NLP), applied machine learning (ML), information retrieval, data mining, user modeling, and personalization.

I'm also a Consulting Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Stanford. Since 2010, I've taught CS224U: Natural Language Understanding together with Prof. Christopher Potts. This is a grad-level class, cross-listed between Computer Science and Linguistics, with an enrollment of about 85. The class will next be offered in the Spring quarter of 2015.

I completed my Ph.D. in Computer Science at Stanford University in 2009. I was advised by Prof. Chris Manning, and was a member of the NLP research group and the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. My doctoral research focused on probabilistic approaches to computational semantics and the problem of natural language inference. I published a number of well-regarded academic papers in NLP, and won the Best Paper award at the 22nd International Conference on Computational Linguistics in 2008. I was also co-author of the Stanford typed dependency parser, which has been cited more than 1,000 times.


My Ph.D. dissertation

Natural language inference [pdf] [ppt]
Bill MacCartney
Ph.D. dissertation, Stanford University, June 2009

Peer-reviewed papers

An extended model of natural logic [pdf] [ppt]
Bill MacCartney and Christopher D. Manning
The Eighth International Conference on Computational Semantics (IWCS-8), Tilburg, Netherlands, January 2009

A phrase-based alignment model for natural language inference [pdf] [ppt]
Bill MacCartney, Michel Galley, and Christopher D. Manning
The Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-08), Honolulu, HI, October 2008

Modeling semantic containment and exclusion in natural language inference [pdf] [ppt]
Bill MacCartney and Christopher D. Manning
The 22nd International Conference on Computational Linguistics (Coling-08), Manchester, UK, August 2008
—received Best Paper Award—

Natural logic for textual inference [pdf] [ppt]
Bill MacCartney and Christopher D. Manning
ACL Workshop on Textual Entailment and Paraphrasing, Prague, June 2007

Learning Alignments and Leveraging Natural Logic [pdf]
Nathanael Chambers, Daniel Cer, Trond Grenager, David Hall, Chloe Kiddon, Bill MacCartney, Marie-Catherine de Marneffe, Daniel Ramage, Eric Yeh and Christopher D. Manning
ACL Workshop on Textual Entailment and Paraphrasing, Prague, June 2007

Aligning semantic graphs for textual inference and machine reading [pdf]
Marie-Catherine de Marneffe, Trond Grenager, Bill MacCartney, Daniel Cer, Daniel Ramage, Chloé Kiddon, Christopher D. Manning
AAAI Spring Symposium at Stanford, 2007

Learning to recognize features of valid textual entailments [pdf] [ppt]
Bill MacCartney, Trond Grenager, Marie-Catherine de Marneffe, Daniel Cer, Christopher D. Manning
Proceedings of the Human Language Technology Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (HLT-NAACL 2006)

Generating Typed Dependency Parses from Phrase Structure Parses [pdf]
Marie-Catherine de Marneffe, Bill MacCartney, Christopher D. Manning
5th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2006)

Learning to distinguish valid textual entailments [pdf]
Marie-Catherine de Marneffe, Bill MacCartney, Trond Grenager, Daniel Cer, Anna Rafferty, and Christopher D. Manning
Second Pascal RTE Challenge Workshop, 2006

Robust Textual Inference using Diverse Knowledge Sources [pdf]
Rajat Raina, Aria Haghighi, Christopher Cox, Jenny Finkel, Jeff Michels, Kristina Toutanova, Bill MacCartney, Marie-Catherine de Marneffe, Christopher D. Manning, Andrew Y. Ng
Proceedings of the First PASCAL Challenges Workshop, 2005

Solving Logic Puzzles: From Robust Processing to Precise Semantics [pdf]
Iddo Lev, Bill MacCartney, Christopher D. Manning, Roger Levy
Proceedings of the ACL-04 Workshop on Text Meaning and Interpretation, July 2004

Practical Partition-Based Theorem Proving for Large Knowledge Bases [pdf, ps]
Bill MacCartney, Sheila A. McIlraith, Eyal Amir, Tomas Uribe
Proceedings of the 18th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-03), August 2003

The Cycic Friends Network: Getting Cyc agents to reason together [pdf, ps]
James Mayfield, Tim Finin, Rajkumar Narayanaswamy, Chetan Shah, William MacCartney & Keith Goolsbey
Proceedings of the ACM CIKM-95 Intelligent Information Agents Workshop, December 1995

Invited Talks

Understanding Natural Language Understanding [pdf, video]
ACM SIGAI Bay Area Chapter Inaugural Meeting, San Mateo, CA, 16 July 2014

Natural Logic and Natural Language Inference [ppt]
Workshop on Natural Logic, Proof Theory, and Computational Semantics, Stanford, CA, 8 April 2011

Two Aspects of the Problem of Natural Language Inference [ppt, video]
Microsoft Research, Redmond, WA, 8 October 2008

Two Related Approaches to the Problem of Textual Inference [ppt, ppt]
Columbia University, New York, 6 March 2008

Containment, Exclusion, and Implicativity: A Model of Natural Logic for Textual Inference [ppt]
Saarland University, Saarbruecken, Germany, 14 February 2008

Practical Partition-Based Theorem Proving for Large Knowledge Bases [ppt]
University of California at San Diego, 3 February 2003

Other Presentations

A Quick Introduction to Natural Language Processing [pdf, pptx]
Bill MacCartney
Guest lecture in SymSys 100
Stanford University, 26 May 2011

Modeling semantic containment and exclusion in natural language inference [ppt]
Bill MacCartney and Christopher D. Manning
Presented at the 22nd International Conference on Computational Linguistics (Coling-08)
Manchester, UK, August 2008
—received Best Paper Award—

Natural logic for textual inference [ppt]
Bill MacCartney and Christopher D. Manning
Presented at the ACL 2007 Workshop on Textual Entailment and Paraphrasing
Prague, Czech Republic, June 2007

Learning to recognize features of valid textual entailments [ppt]
Bill MacCartney, Trond Grenager, Marie-Catherine de Marneffe, Daniel Cer, Christopher D. Manning
Presented at NAACL-06
New York, NY, June 2006

NLP Lunch Tutorial: Smoothing [pdf]
Bill MacCartney
April 2005

Practical Partition-Based Theorem Proving for Large Knowledge Bases [ppt]
Bill MacCartney, Sheila A. McIlraith, Eyal Amir, Tomas Uribe
18th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-03), August 2003

Partition-Based Logical Reasoning [ppt, html/ie]
Bill MacCartney, Sheila A. McIlraith, Eyal Amir, Tomas Uribe
RKF Principal Investigators Meeting, Hilton Head SC, 13-15 November 2002

Undergraduate Thesis

On the Use of Pseudo-Empirical Induction in Mathematics [html]
William MacCartney
Senior Thesis, Princeton University, Department of Philosophy, 30 April 1990

Professional Service

I've served on the program committee or as a reviewer for several NLP conferences:

Other stuff I did before

Knowledge Systems Lab, Stanford University, Researcher, 2002-2003
AI research. Development & testing of algorithms for partition-based reasoning in large knowledge bases. More...

SayIt, Inc., Cofounder, VP Production, 1999-2000
Website production: process management, UI design, information architecture, user experience analysis. More...

D. E. Shaw & Co., Quant/Trader, 1996-1998
Fixed-income arbitrage trading, computational modeling. Managed $5B of Japanese bonds & derivatives. More...

Cycorp, Inc., Researcher, Knowledge Engineer, 1994-1995
AI research. Led effort to deploy Cyc in a multi-agent architecture to achieve distributed inferencing. More...

TestTakers, Inc., Head of Research & Development, 1991-1994
Small business, many roles. Led curriculum development. Built core database app. Lots of teaching. More...

J. W. Goethe Universität Frankfurt, Fulbright scholar, 1990-1991
One year of graduate study in philosophy of language. Developed German language skills. More...

Princeton University, B.A. in Philosophy, summa cum laude, 1986-1990
Prize for best senior thesis in logic and epistemology. GPA 4.0/3.9. GRE 800/800/800. LSAT 180. More...

Contact info

Email: my domain is cs.stanford.edu and my username is wcmac

Phone: 415-742-1185

Profiles: Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, Scholar



We never perform a computation ourselves, we just hitch a ride on the great Computation that is going on already. Tommaso Toffoli



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