Tong Niu

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Research Assistant, Natural Lanugage Processing

University of North Carolina at Chapel-Hill

Advisor: Mohit Bansal


I am a research assistant in the Computer Science Department at University of North Carolina, Chapel-Hill. I graduated from Duke University with a Master’s on Computer Science (advised by an amazing professor Xiaobai Sun), and before that B.A. from the University of Virginia with Mathematics & Computer Science double-major, and Physics minor.


Tong Niu, Mohit Bansal. Adversarial Over-Sensitivity and Over-Stability Strategies for Dialogue Models , CoNLL 2018. code

Tong Niu, Mohit Bansal. Polite Dialogue Generation Without Parallel Data, TACL 2018. code

Sweta Karlekar, Tong Niu, Mohit Bansal. Detecting Linguistic Characteristics of Alzheimer’s Dementia by Interpreting Neural Models, NAACL 2018.

Other Publications

Study Grammar Like A Pro, 2013

The first edition has sold out. Second edition to be published by The Commercial Press.

Left and Right: the Conjoined Brothers, 2008

First and second edition published by Peking University Press.

Honors and awards

Facebook ParlAI Award 2017

• PhD Fellowship, Computer Science, Duke University 2014-2016

• GPNANO Fellowship, Nanoscience, Duke University 2015

• College Science Scholar, University of Virginia 2012-2014

• Echols Scholar, University of Virginia 2011-2014


• TA, Numerical Analysis (Duke University) 2016

• Head TA, Computer Architecture (Duke University) 2015


Semi-professional table tennis player: I was in the University of Virginia Ping Pong team. Our team placed the second that year.

Quasi-professional singer: I won the Four-School Singing Contest in North Carolina and many first-prizes within schools. I also recorded this and this. Recently I have been studying Piano from my friend Chaofan Chen.

Amateur writer: I have published two books, and another (on English vocabulary) now in progress.

Teaching: Before coming to the U.S. I started a school named Jake’s Academy of American English Studies.

Gomoku: My ranking is sho-dan, and my “Master Shifu” is Na Wei (a.k.a. Daddy of Chinese Gomoku).


• My name is very easy to pronounce:

(1) Tong is an English word (e.g. kitchen tongs, though that’s not nearly what it means in Chinese).

(2) Niu has the same pronunciation as new.

(3) Now repeat after me …… You are doing really well!