Pan Lu, a PhD student in the Computer Science department at UCLA, has been awarded the 2023 Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship (QIF), along with his team member Jiacheng (Gary) Liu, a PhD student in the School of Computer Science & Engineering at UW. The winning teams were selected nationwide from a highly competitive pool of 182 abstracts.

UCLA CS Professor Kai-Wei Chang and UW CSE Professor Hannaneh Hajishirzi will advise them with their proposed project titled “Toward Verifiable Reasoning for Natural Language.”  This project is a collaborative initiative between UCLA CS and UW CSE. As a member of the UCLA NLP group, Pan Lu, mentored by Professor Kai-Wei Chang, aims to construct machines that can reason and collaborate with humans for the common good. His primary research focuses on machine reasoning and trustworthy NLP, especially in the areas of mathematics, science, and education.

“The goal of our project is to develop a trustworthy AI framework that makes reasoning in natural language verifiable,” said Pan. “As we increasingly rely on AI systems, it is essential to verify that they are behaving in a trustworthy and rational manner. This means the AI system should act in accordance with its intended purpose and avoid decisions that might cause harm or contradict that purpose.”

The QIF program aims to recognize, reward, and mentor graduate students across a wide range of technical research areas. Since its launch in 2009, the program has awarded more than $200 million to students from a preselected variety of top US and international universities. Each fellowship team is granted $100,000 in funding to pursue cutting-edge research in their respective fields.

In addition to the Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship, Pan was also a recipient of the Amazon PhD Fellowship and UCLA Dissertation Year Fellowship.

We offer a resounding congratulations to Pan on his impressive achievement with the 2023 Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship, highlighting the exceptional talent and ingenuity within UCLA.