Hi! I'm Vagrant, a computer scientist, linguist and birder. I am currently a computer science PhD candidate at Saarland University in Germany, where I work on natural language processing (NLP), i.e., getting computers to do things with human language.
My research is about measuring and improving the robustness of NLP systems, especially as applied to question answering and fairness. I value interdisciplinarity and methodological pluralism, and I am interested in both the social and technical aspects of NLP. On the technical side, I'm drawn to approaches that are more efficient or informed by linguistics. On the social side, I like thinking about the gaps in how we as NLP practitioners define and operationalize concepts like 'robustness' and 'fairness', as well as the societal implications of these gaps.
My philosophy on science is that it should do good in the world, for a definition of good that is power-aware at worst and counter-power at best. Such science can only be done in collaboration with people outside the ivory tower. Science communication is also an integral part of the science I want to do, and I enjoy giving talks, especially introductory ones.
You may have known me under a different name previously but I go by Vagrant now. Please use they/them or xe/xem pronouns to refer to me and if you must use a title, use Mx (pronounced like "mix"). Press the play button to hear my name, or if you know the IPA, it is /'veɪ.gɹɘnt.'gaʊ.tʌm/.