Muhammad Abdul-Mageed

Associate Professor

Research Classification

Research Interests

Deep Learning
Natural Language Processing
Machine Learning
Computational Linguistics
Social Media Mining

Relevant Thesis-Based Degree Programs


Research Methodology

Deep Learning
Natural Language Processing
machine learning
Social Media


Master's students
Doctoral students
Postdoctoral Fellows
Any time / year round

Deep Learning. Deep learning of natural language. Natural Language Processing. Computational Linguistics. Natural Language Inference. Machine Translation. Misinformation. Detection of Negative and Abusive Content Online. Applications of deep learning in health and well-being.

I support public scholarship, e.g. through the Public Scholars Initiative, and am available to supervise students and Postdocs interested in collaborating with external partners as part of their research.
I support experiential learning experiences, such as internships and work placements, for my graduate students and Postdocs.
I am open to hosting Visiting International Research Students (non-degree, up to 12 months).

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These videos contain some general advice from faculty across UBC on finding and reaching out to a potential thesis supervisor.

Graduate Student Supervision

Master's Student Supervision

Theses completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest theses.

Representation learning for Arabic dialect identification (2022)

Arabic dialect identification (ADI) is an important aspect of the Arabic speech processing pipeline, and in particular dialectal Arabic automatic speech recognition (ASR) models. In this work, we present an overview of corpora and methods applicable to both ADI and dialectal Arabic ASR, then we benchmark two approaches to using pre-trained speech representation models for ADI. Namely, we first employ direct fine-tuning, and then use fixed-representations extracted from pre-trained models as an intermediate step in the ADI process. We train and evaluate our models on the granular ADI-17 Arabic dialect corpus (92% F1 for our fine-tuned HuBERT model), and further probe generalization by evaluating our trained models on coarse-grained ADI-5, (80% F1 for fine-tuned HuBERT).

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Investigating the impact of normalizing flows on latent variable machine translation (2020)

Natural language processing (NLP) has pervasive applications in everyday life, and has recently witnessed rapid progress. Incorporating latent variables in NLP systems can allow for explicit representations of certain types of information. In neural machine translation systems, for example, latent variables have the potential of enhancing semantic representations. This could help improve general translation quality. Previous work has focused on using variational inference with diagonal covariance Gaussian distributions, which we hypothesize cannot sufficiently encode latent factors of language which could exhibit multi-modal distributive behavior. Normalizing flows are an approach that enables more flexible posterior distribution estimates by introducing a change of variables with invertible functions. They have previously been successfully used in computer vision to enable more flexible posterior distributions of image data. In this work, we investigate the impact of normalizing flows in autoregressive neural machine translation systems. We do so in the context of two currently successful approaches, attention mechanisms, and language models. Our results suggest that normalizing flows can improve translation quality in some scenarios, and require certain modelling assumptions to achieve such improvements.

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Current Students & Alumni

This is a small sample of students and/or alumni that have been supervised by this researcher. It is not meant as a comprehensive list.

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