I develop and study statistical machine learning systems with applications in human language, biology, and social science. Currently, I am most excited about using these technologies to help people learn languages and make music.

Pretentious 3rd-Person Bio: Burr Settles is a lead scientist and software engineer at Duolingo, an award-winning website and mobile app that combines free language education with crowdsourced translation. He also runs FAWM.ORG, an annual online songwriting challenge. Previously, he was a postdoc in machine learning at Carnegie Mellon University, and earned a PhD in computer sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His book Active Learning — an introduction to learning algorithms that are adaptive, curious, or exploratory (if you will) — was published by Morgan & Claypool in 2012. He has also co-organized several workshops on the subject at leading international conferences (ICML, NAACL-HLT). In his spare time, Burr gets around by bike and plays guitar in the pop band delicious pastries. ♠


  • Active Learning Book
    B. Settles
    Morgan & Claypool, 2012
    A short introductory text on active learning, a subfield of machine learning and artificial intelligence. For researchers, graduate students, and engineers working in computer science, statistics, psychology, and related fields.
    Publisher's website · Amazon.com · active-learning.net
  • Let's Get Together: The Formation and Success of Online Creative Collaborations
    B. Settles and S. Dow
    Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), 2013
    pdf · video · blog post
  • Learning from Human-Generated Lists
    K.S. Jun, X. Zhu, B. Settles, and T.T. Rogers
    International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML), 2013
    pdf · video · blog post
  • Closing the Loop: Fast, Interactive Semi-Supervised Annotation With Queries on Features and Instances
    B. Settles
    Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP), 2011
    pdf · software
  • Toward an Architecture for Never-Ending Language Learning
    A. Carlson, J. Betteridge, B. Kisiel, B. Settles, E.R. Hruschka Jr. and T.M. Mitchell
    National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), 2010
    pdf · supplementary data
  • An Analysis of Active Learning Strategies for Sequence Labeling Tasks
    B. Settles and M. Craven
    Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP), 2008
    pdf
  • Multiple-Instance Active Learning
    B. Settles, M. Craven, and S. Ray
    Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2008
    pdf · code

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