Machine Learning - Arabic NLP Webinar

November 25th 2020



Webinar Details



Concluding Day 1 Panel remarks

By Niveen M. Khashab, Suzana Nunes and Deanna Lacoste, KAUST



CEMSE, in partnership with Women to Impact (WTI), is inviting you to attend the Machine Learning Webinar 2020 to be held on November 25 (12:00 pm -6:00 pm). The webinar is on key ideas in Machine Learning, focusing on NLP for the Arabic language. It will host exceptional keynote speakers in the Machine Learning domain, followed by the Arabic Sentiment Analysis challenge's kick-off. Don't miss out on the chance to winning valuable prizes with ML online Quiz during the event!

Want to put your technical skills to good use? Join us at the Machine Learning Webinar and learn more about participating in the Arabic NLP challenge. 

Registration is required for this webinar; please register by clicking on the “Register Now” button on the top of this page.

*Registration is open to everyone; we encourage particularly women interested in the field to participate, learn, and connect.




Keynote Speakers

Dr. Nizar Habash, New York University Abu Dhabi, UAE



Dr. Nizar Habash is a Professor and Program Head of Computer Science at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD). He is also the director of the Computational Approaches to Modeling Language (CAMeL) Lab. Professor Habash specializes in natural language processing and computational linguistics. Before joining NYUAD in 2014, he was a research scientist at Columbia University's Center for Computational Learning Systems. He received is a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Maryland College Park in 2003. He has two bachelors degrees, one in Computer Engineering and one in Linguistics and Languages. His research includes extensive work on machine translation, morphological analysis, and computational modeling of Arabic and its dialects. Professor Habash has been a principal investigator or co-investigator on over 25 research grants. And he has over 200 publications including a book entitled "Introduction to Arabic Natural Language Processing." His website is

Dr. Wassim El Hajj, American University of Beirut, Lebanon


Dr. Wassim El-Hajj is tenured Associate Professor of Computer Science at the American University of Beirut (AUB). He received his BS degree from AUB in 2000, and the MS and Ph.D. degrees in 2002 and 2006, respectively, from Western Michigan University (WMU), all in Computer Science. Right after his graduation, he joined the Information Security department at UAE University as an assistant professor. He then joined the Computer Science department as a full-time faculty member in 2011. In 2013, he was elected to Chair the department of Computer Science and served for two terms until 2019. In 2019, he was appointed as the Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences (FAS) at AUB leading the eLearning and entrepreneurship strategies, and attending to student concerns. His research interests are in the areas of Wireless Communication, Network Security, and machine learning with focus on Arabic NLP. His research activities culminated with many research grants worth more than $2M, two US patents, and around a hundred publications published in reputable venues. He was a frequent speaker and a technical reviewer at leading international conferences. He served as the General Chair of the 4th Workshop on Arabic Natural Language Processing (WANLP 2019), a highly respected research venue for work related to Arabic NLP. He is also the Associate Editor of The ACM Transactions on Asian and Low-Resource Language Information Processing (TALLIP).

Dr. Walid Magdy,  The University of Edinburgh, UK


Dr. Walid Magdy is an associate professor at the school of Informatics, the University of Edinburgh (UoE) and a faculty fellow at the Alan Turing Institute. Walid is the founder and director of social media analysis and support for humanity (SMASH) in Edinburgh. His main research interests include computational social science, data mining, and natural language processing. He holds his PhD from the School of Computing at Dublin City University (DCU), Ireland. He has an extensive industrial background from working earlier for IBM, Microsoft, and QCRI. Walid has over 80 peer-reviewed published articles in top tier conferences and journals. He also has a set of 9 patents filed under his name. Some of his work was featured in popular press, such as CNN, BBC, Washington Post, National Geographic, and MIT Tech reviews.

Personal webpage:

Dr. Xiangliang Zhang,  KAUST, Saudi Arabia


Dr. Xiangliang Zhang is an Associate Professor of Computer Science and directs the MINE ( group at KAUST, Saudi Arabia. She earned her Ph.D. degree in computer science from INRIA-University Paris-Sud, France, in July 2010. She received her M.S. and B.S. degrees from Xi’an Jiaotong University, China, in 2006 and 2003, respectively. Dr. Zhang's research mainly focuses on learning from complex and large-scale text data and graph data. Dr. Zhang has published over 140 research papers in referred international journals and conference proceedings. She regularly serves on the Program Committee for premier conferences like SIGKDD (Senior PC), AAAI (Senior PC), IJCAI (Area Chair, Senior PC), ICDM, NIPS, ICML etc.  Dr. Zhang was invited to deliver an Early Career Spotlight talk at IJCAI-ECAI 2018.

Dr. Mona Diab, The George Washington University, USA


Dr. Mona Diab is a Research Scientist with Facebook AI and she is also a full Professor of CS at George Washington University where she heads the CARE4Lang NLP Lab. Before joining FB, she led the  Lex Conversational AI project within Amazon AWS AI. Her interests span building robust technologies for low resource scenarios with a special interest in Arabic technologies, (mis) information propagation, computational socio-pragmatics, NLG evaluation metrics, and resource creation. She has served the community in several capacities: Elected President of SIGLEX and SIGSemitic. She has delivered tutorials and organized numerous workshops and panels around Arabic processing. She is a cofounder of CADIM (Consortium on Arabic Dialect Modeling, previously known at Columbia University on Arabic Dialects) along with Nizar Habash and Owen Rambow, in 2005, which served as a world renowned reference point on Arabic Language Technologies. Moreover she helped establish two research trends in NLP, namely computational approaches to Code Switching and Semantic Textual Similarity. She is also a founding member of *SEM. She currently serves as the senior area chair for multiple top tier conferences.  She has published more than 220 peer reviewed articles.



Webinar Content

Opening Speech

By Dean Omar Knio

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A Short Introduction to Arabic Natural Language Processing

By Dr. Nizar Habash, New York University Abu Dhabi, UAE

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Advances in Natural Language Processing

By Dr. Wassim El Hajj, American University of Beirut, Lebanon

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A Competition of Arabic Tweets Sentiment Analysis

By Dr. Xiangliang Zhang, KAUST, Saudi Arabia

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Featured Speech

By Dr. David Keyes, KAUST, SA

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Addressing Low Resource Scenarios through an Arabic Microcosm Lense: Challenges and Opportunities

By Dr. Mona Diab, The George Washington University, USA

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Challenge Overview

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Visit the challenge page for more details

Please feel free to check out the challenge paper here.