Elsbeth Turcan


email: eturcan [at] cs [dot] columbia [dot] edu
office: cepsr 725
github: [eturcan]


I am a final-year PhD candidate in Natural Language Processing at Columbia University. My advisor is Kathleen McKeown. I spend a lot of time thinking about feelings, and how we express feelings in text.

I received my bachelor's degree in computer science from The George Washington University, where I was part of the LeTR project, in 2016, and Columbia has seen fit to give me my master's in computer science in 2018. Before college, I lived in the middle of nowhere (read: northeastern Pennsylvania, near that one city where The Office is set).

I am the current CRF liaison for Kathy's lab.

research interests

Broadly, I am interested in how humans express themselves in text, and what text tells us about the human who wrote it. I am currently investigating how we can detect and understand psychological experiences like stress purely from text (in this case, social media text), but I am interested in all emotions and psychological constructs (personality, health, etc.) that our writing might reflect, as well as the ethical implications of being able to detect them.

I think that interpretable models are incredibly important, especially for sensitive applications like detecting psychological properties of an author, and I try to draw on domain-specific knowledge and interdisciplinary work.

my publications




Elsbeth Turcan, David Wan, Faisal Ladhak, Petra Galuscakova, Sukanta Sen, Svetlana Tchistiakova, Weijia Xu, Marine Carpuat, Kenneth Heafield, Douglas Oard, and Kathleen McKeown. Constrained Regeneration for Cross-Lingual Query-Focused Extractive Summarization. Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics. [pdf]


Elsbeth Turcan, Shuai Wang, Rishita Anubhai, Kasturi Bhattacharjee, Yaser Al-Onaizan, and Smaranda Muresan. Multi-Task Learning and Adapted Knowledge Models for Emotion-Cause Extraction. Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021. [pdf]

Elsbeth Turcan, Smaranda Muresan, and Kathleen McKeown. Emotion-Infused Models for Explainable Psychological Stress Detection. Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies. [pdf]

David Wan, Chris Kedzie, Faisal Ladhak, Elsbeth Turcan, Petra Galuscakova, Elena Zotkina, Zhengping Jiang, Peter Bell, and Kathleen McKeown. Segmenting Subtitles for Correcting ASR Segmentation Errors. Proceedings of the 16th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics. [pdf]


David Wan, Zhengping Jiang, Chris Kedzie, Elsbeth Turcan, Peter Bell, and Kathleen McKeown. Subtitles to Segmentation: Improving Low-Resource Speech-to-Text Translation Pipelines. Proceedings of the Cross-Language Search and Summarization of Text and Speech Workshop. 2020. [pdf]


Elsbeth Turcan and Kathleen McKeown. Dreaddit: A Reddit Dataset for Stress Analysis in Social Media. Proceedings of the Tenth International Workshop on Health Text Mining and Information Analysis. 2019. [pdf] [data]

slide decks

Slides from my February 2019 candidacy exam on emotion detection, and the fusion of NLP and psychology, can be found here.

fun facts

Please look at the cat-shaped goblin creature who lives in my apartment. His name is Pippin and he is a very, very handsome boy. I must show him off, almost pathologically, to everyone who will look.

Yes, my name is ELSBETH, not ELIZABETH. It's a German/Scottish variant. (I am in fact of both German and Scottish descent, so that works out.)