Maximillian L. Chen

I am a 3rd-year PhD Candidate in Computer Science at Columbia University advised by Zhou Yu.
✉️ maxchen AT cs DOT columbia DOT edu

Research Interest: Dialogue Systems; Human-centric AI; Multimodal NLP

I received my Bachelors at Cornell University, where I worked with Prof. Lillian Lee and Dr. Jack Hessel, Prof. Rene Kizilcec, and Prof. Joe Guinness.
My PhD is supported by a GFSD fellowship.

I completed my Candidacy Exam on Multiparty Conversation Modeling. You can find the talk slides here .


[12] M. Chen, R. Sun, S.O. Arik, T. Pfister Learning to Clarify: Multi-turn Conversations with Action-Based Contrastive Self-Training


[12] Researchers from Kitware, Columbia, UT Austin, UC Berkeley ANGEL: Real-Time Mixed Reality Task Guidance
CVPR 2024 Demos

[11] X. Yu, M. Chen, Z. Yu Prompt-Based Monte-Carlo Tree Search for Goal-Oriented Dialogue Policy Planning
EMNLP 2023


[10] M. Chen, Z. Yu Pre-Finetuning for Few-Shot Emotional Speech Recognition

[pdf]   [code]  

[9] M. Chen, X. Yu, W. Shi, U. Awasthi, Z. Yu Controllable Mixed-Initiative Dialogue Generation through Prompting
ACL 2023

[pdf]   [slides]   [code]  

[8] M. Chen, A. Papangelis, C. Tao, S. Kim, A. Rosenbaum. Y. Liu, Z. Yu, D. Hakkani-Tur PLACES: Prompting Language Models for Social Conversation Synthesis
Findings of EACL 2023

[pdf]   [slides]   [code]  

[7] M. Chen*, C. Chen*, X. Yu* and Z. Yu FastKASSIM: A Fast Tree Kernel-Based Syntactic Similarity Metric
EACL 2023

[pdf]   [slides]   [code]  

[6] M. Chen, A. Papangelis, C. Tao, A. Rosenbaum, S. Kim, Y. Liu, Z. Yu, D. Hakkani-Tur Weakly Supervised Data Augmentation Through Prompting for Dialogue Understanding
SyntheticData4ML @ NeurIPS 2022

[pdf]   [slides]   [video]  

[5] M. Chen, W. Shi, F. Yan, R. Hou, J. Zhang, S. Sahay and Z. Yu Seamlessly Integrating Factual Information and Social Content with Persuasive Dialogue

[pdf]   [slides]   [code]  

[4] R. Kizilcec, M. Chen, K. Jasinska, M. Madaio and A. Ogan Mobile Learning During School Disruptions in Sub-Saharan Africa
AERA Open Vol. 7 No. 1 (Special Topic Collection on Educational Data Science)


[3] M. Chen and R. Kizilcec Return of the Student: Predicting Re-Engagement in Mobile Learning
Educational Data Mining 2020

[pdf]   [slides]  

[2] R. Kizilcec and M. Chen Student Engagement in Mobile Learning via Text Message
ACM Conference on Learning @ Scale 2020

[pdf]   [video]  

[1] J. Guinness, D. Bhattacharya, J. Chen, M. Chen, and A. Loh An Observational Study of the Effect of Nike Vaporfly Shoes on Marathon Performance

[pdf]   [code]  


  • Google (August 2023 - Present) - PhD Student Researcher, Cloud AI Research
  • Amazon Science (April - July 2023) - Research/Applied Scientist Intern, Alexa AI
  • Amazon Science (May - October 2022) - Research/Applied Scientist Intern, Alexa AI
  • Microsoft (May - August 2020) - Software Engineer Intern, Excel - Data Visualization and Experiences
  • Morgan Stanley (June - August 2019) - Technology Summer Analyst, Enterprise Visualization and Analytics
  • RapidRatings (June - August 2018) - Analytics Intern, Analytics & Coverage



  • TA: COMS 6998, Conversational AI - Fall 2022 (Columbia)
  • TA: COMS 4156, Advanced Software Engineering - Fall 2021 (Columbia)
  • TA: CS 4300, Language & Information - Spring 2021 (Cornell)
  • TA: CS 4780/5780, Machine Learning for Intelligent Systems - Fall 2020 (Cornell)
  • TA: INFO 5200, Learning Analytics - Fall 2019 (Cornell)
  • TA: INFO 2950, Intro to Data Science - Spring 2019, 2020 (Cornell)

Academic Service

  • Organizer: SICon @ ACL - 2023
  • Reviewer: ICASSP - 2024
  • Reviewer: ACL - 2023
  • Reviewer: EMNLP - 2023, 2022
  • Reviewer: Synthetic Data for ML/Gen AI - NeurIPS 2023, NeurIPS 2022
  • Reviewer: Conversational AI for NLP - ACL 2023
  • Reviewer: Language Resources and Evaluation Journal - Current
  • Reviewer: ACL Rolling Review - Current