Matthew Lease
The University of Texas at Austin   The University of Texas at Austin
Matt Lease Matt Lease

Associate Professor
School of Information
University of Texas at Austin ii

1616 Guadalupe Ste 5.202
Austin, TX 78701-1213
Location & DirectionsParking map

Voice: (512) 471-9350 • Fax: (512) 471-3971
Office: UTA 5.536 • Lab: UTA 5.520
Campus box: D8600 •

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Young Matt Lease

Research Areas: Information Retrieval (IR), Crowdsourcing (see info & links), & Natural Language Processing (NLP)
Support: NSF CAREER · IMLS LB21CL Early Career · FCT · QNRF
Other UT affiliations: Computational Linguistics · Department of Statistics & Data Sciences · Robotics
Faculty advisor: ASIS&T student chapter
Member: School of Information Intelligent Systems Research Group
Director: UT Austin Information Retrieval & Crowdsourcing Lab

Calendar of UT Austin iSchool's upcoming events and colloquia
Our Information Institute offers professional development courses



Two papers presented at ACL 2017; read the story (August 3, 2017)
Using Crowds to Teach AI How to Search Smarter (August 16, 2017)

Best Paper Award: Tyler McDonnell, Matthew Lease, Tamer Elsayad, and Mucahid Kutlu. Why Is That Relevant? Collecting Annotator Rationales for Relevance Judgments. In Proceedings of the 4th AAAI Conference on Human Computation and Crowdsourcing (HCOMP), pages 139-148, 2016. [ Blog Post | News Release | Slides | Bibtex | Dataset ] (October 31, 2016)

New grant for developing Arabic Websearch technologies (November 4, 2015)
Version 2.0 released of SQUARE: benchmarking Software for aggregating crowd responses (October 26, 2015)
We have two papers appearing at AAAI HCOMP 2015 (June 17, 2015)
Hyun Joon Jung Receives 2015 Samsung Human-Tech Paper Award (Feburary 11, 2015)

RESEARCH: Crowdsourcing & Human Computation for Information Retrieval (IR)

Prospective graduate students: Graduate Study in IR at UT Austin · iSchool PhD Program online video
Current Masters students
Consider a culminating capstone report (one-semester) or thesis (two semesters) in IR
Earn a coursework specialization in Information Retrieval or Crowdsourcing / Human Computation
Undergraduates: inquire regarding research opportunities or visit EUREKA!
UT Austin Information Retrieval & Crowdsourcing Lab


HCOMP 2014 Doctoral Consoritum (with Loren Terveen)
TREC 2011-2013 Crowdsourcing Track (with Gabriella Kazai & Mark Smucker)
HCOMP 2013 Workshop: CrowdScale: accepted papers & shared task challenge (with Tatiana Josephy & Praveen Paritosh)
CrowdConf 2013 Research Track (with Paul Bennett) -- see brief interview
Springer Information Retrieval: April 2013 Special Issue on Crowdsourcing (volume 16 no. 2)
SWIRL 2012: Second Strategic Workshop on Information Retrieval in Lorne
SIGIR 2011 Workshop on Crowdsourcing for Information Retrieval (July 28, 2011)
WSDM 2011 Workshop on Crowdsourcing for Search and Data Mining (CSDM 2011), with Vitor Carvalho and Emine Yilmaz (February 9, 2011)
TREC 2010 Relevance Feeback Track, with Chris Buckley and Mark Smucker (November 17-19, 2010)
SIGIR 2010 Workshop on Crowdsourcing for Search Evaluation (CSE2010), with Vitor Carvalho and Emine Yilmaz (July 23, 2010)

SOME PAST TALKS (slides on SlideShare, some videos on lab webpage)

Panel Talk at Microsoft Faculty Summit: Video · Abstract (July 15, 2014)
Tutorial at SIAM 2013 Data Mining Conference on Crowdsourcing & Human Computation (May 3)
Invited Talk at ID360 Conference: Amazon's Mechanical Turk is Not Anonymous (May 1, 2013)
2012 Frontiers of Information Science and Technology (FIST) Invited Talk (December 12)
MetroCon 2012 (IEEE) Invited Talk: The Rise of Crowd Computing (October 11)
SIGIR 2012 Tutorial: Crowdsourcing for Search Evaluation and Social-Algorithmic Search (with Omar Alonso)
SBP 2012 Invited Talk for Challenge Award (April 3, slides)
IJCNLP 2011 Invited Keynote Crowd Computing: Opportunities and Challenges (Nov 10, slides)
CrowdConf 2011 Tutorial: Crowdsourcing for Research & Engineering (with Omar Alonso, Nov 1, press, slides)
SIGIR 2011 Tutorial on Crowdsourcing for Information Retrieval: Principles, Methods, and Applications (with Omar Alonso, July 24, slides)
UT Austin School of Information Advisory Council talk: Crowdsourcing & Human Computation (April 15, 2011)
UT Austin Linguistics Colloquium: Crowdsourcing for Natural Language Processing (February 28, 2011, slides)
WSDM 2011 Tutorial: Crowdsourcing 101: Putting the WSDM of Crowds to Work for You (with Omar Alonso, February 9, slides)


SQUARE 1.0 released: open source benchmark for consensus methods for human computation (8/30/13)

Amazon's Mechanical Turk is Not Anonymous: Blog 3/6/13 · Paper 3/7/13 · TheVerge 3/7/13 · Press Release 3/27/13 · Talk 5/1/13

The Future of Crowd Work: Paper 12/12/12 · Blog 2/6/13 · Press Release 2/7/13 · New Scientist 2/7/13 · New York Times 3/18/13

Quoted in

TechTarget: Predictive coding plus crowdsourcing could cure e-discovery challenges (September 24, 2015)
MIT Technology Review: Baidu’s Duer Joins the Virtual Assistant Party (September 10, 2015)
Speech Technology: Siri-ous Influence: Enterprise Virtual Assistants Have Arrived (November 10, 2012)
Austin American Statesman: Digital Savant: Sensors bringing technology ever nearer (October 23, 2012) (UT Research Alert coverage)
Science News: Digital bounty hunters unleashed (October 31, 2011)
Data Breach Examiner: Privacy Without Borders: The Ins and Outs of Outsourcing (August 2011)


Yahoo! Faculty Research Award
New York Community Trust (August 2, 2012)
LIFT award: announcement (August 4, 2010) and follow-on article (March 11, 2011)
Amazon sponsorship for TREC Crowdsourcing Track (August 31, 2010)
Portugal FCT (July 26, 2010) (April 23, 2010)
Amazon (March 23, 2010)



Brown Laboratory for Linguistic Information Processing (BLLIP), Department of Computer Science, Brown University
Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval (CIIR), Department of Computer Science, University of Massachusetts Amherst (lab reunion at SIGIR'09)
Spoken Language Systems Laboratory (
LSV), Saarland University
Institute of Formal and Applied Linguistics (UFAL), Charles University
Intel Research Seattle at the University of Washington

My Ph.D./M.D. brother Kevin Lease makes iPhone applications for doctors, particularly for geriatrics

Information Science involves a surprising amount of flexibility

Thanks to Vance Faber I have a pseudo Erdös number of 2. Nothing more to accomplish, right?