Heather Graham

October 28, 2020

Portrait of Heather GrahamName
Heather Graham

Columbia, MO

PhD, Computer Science

Faculty Advisor
Yunxin Zhao

Where did you complete your undergraduate study?
B.S., M.S., University of Missouri 

Why did you choose Mizzou for your graduate program?
I really enjoyed studying at Mizzou for my undergraduate and master’s – there are so many amazing people and opportunities here. I wanted to continue working with my undergraduate and master’s research advisor, Dr. Zhao, as well as Dr. Michael Marlo and Dr. Rebecca Grollemund in the linguistics program. The undergraduate to graduate CS fast track program made it easy to stay at Mizzou for my master’s, and this fellowship and the help of the department made it natural to continue my PhD here as well!

Tell us about your graduate research.  What are some potential outcomes or applications?
I primarily plan to work on machine translation and natural language processing for low resource languages. Extending language technology to more of the world’s languages has so many potential benefits in allowing easier global communication and making the world’s information available to everyone, regardless of what languages they speak.

What are some accomplishments you’ve achieved at Mizzou that you’re especially proud of?
I worked on a grant proposal with my research advisor, Dr. Zhao, which was funded, and had the chance to contribute book publications that are in preparation on linguistics research with Dr. Michael Marlo. I also had the opportunity to engage with computer science industry through internships at several major companies.

What do you hope to do after you complete your degree?
After I complete my degree, I hope to be able to continue doing research and working to improve language technology, especially low resource languages.