Dr. Eduardo Blanco will be joining the Department of Computer Science faculty in Fall 2022! We asked Dr. Blanco to answer a few questions/prompts as a way to introduce Dr. Blanco to the department. Read below!
Educational background/short bio:
I received a B.S. in Computer Science in 2007 from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain, and a PhD in Computer Science from The University of Texas at Dallas in 2011. After graduating I worked full-time in industry for 3 years and taught part-time at Southern Methodist University. In Fall 2014 I started as an Assistant Professor at the University of North Texas, where I was promoted to Associate Professor in 2020. I moved to Arizona State University in Fall 2021. A year later, I am excited to join Department of Computer Science at The University of Arizona.
I work primarily in natural language processing, which is the subfield of artificial intelligence that designs algorithms and models to make computers understand language as generated by humans. I like working on problems that are intuitive to humans and yet challenging for intelligent systems, including semantic relation extraction and intricate linguistic phenomena such as negation, modality, and uncertainty. Natural language processing research is behind everyday technology such as virtual assistants, automated call centers, engines that answer questions, and machine translation systems. If an automated process does anything with language, there is natural language processing behind the scenes.
Why did you apply to join the University of Arizona Department of Computer Science?
The outstanding faculty and commitment to research excellence. Additionally, The University of Arizona is a comprehensive university with expertise in any field I might be interested in pursuing a collaboration in the future.
What made you interested in pursuing a career in higher education/the academy?
I get to interact with great minds as well as help students acquire knowledge and refine their skills. I have the freedom to pursue problems that I find interesting within very reasonable bounds. It is the best work environment I have experienced in my lifetime.
What are you looking forward to most in coming to UA?
Teaching and collaborating in large projects that include fundamental research in natural language processing and application in robotics, medicine, and the social sciences.
Any other information you would like students, staff, faculty, alumni, etc. to know about you.
I feel very lucky to have amazing hiking opportunities so close to home and work. I also like to ride my bike and look forward to exploring the Tucson area. I have grown bonsais for a few years, but I can only claim amateur knowledge and skills. Arizona makes for an interesting place to pursue my bonsai hobby. I am eager to learn more about growing bonsai in the desert.