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I am the team lead for Data Science Methods in the Department Computational Social Science at GESIS in Cologne. Starting from October 2023, I will be a junior professor for Responsible Data Science and Machine Learning at the Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf.

The team

The Data Science Methods team will contribute to build and mantain the GESIS infrastructure for CSS research by developing novel methods and making them available, documented, and accessible through the GESIS services. The team will focus on fostering the interaction between Natural Language Processing and Social Science by developing  solutions that allow for the integration of multiple information sources (e.g., different textual sources for the same debate; socio-demographic features of speakers and audiences; integration of textual and multimodal data) and address recent challenges in NLP (modeling subjective phenomena; low-resource scenarios; identifying and mitigating bias).

The team will tackle research questions at the interface between computational argumentation and computational social science and target political communication from a very broad perspective involving different types of actors (citizens, politicians, parties) and discourse contexts (e.g., online discussions vs. newspapers). From a methodological perspective, at the core of the team's research agenda will be the “learning from disagreements” challenge, as machine learning approaches which rely on gold standards which average annotators’ perspectives are particularly unsuitable for the highly subjective phenomena tackled in CSS research (e.g., persuasion in online discussions; harmful communication; polarization).

We are hiring!

The Data Science Methods team is set to kick off in November 2023: we are hiring a postdoc (100%, 4 years, with possibility of tenure) and a PhD student (75%, 4 years, to be pursued at the HHU Düsseldorf). The official ads with more details about the requirements/tasks and the application procedure can be found at the following links:

    Postdoc (deadline: September 5th):
    PhD student (deadline: September 6th):

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I am a computational linguist who loves applying NLP in interdisciplinary settings, with a strong focus on Social and Political Science (i.e., supporting decision making in forums with NLP; capturing the dynamics of political debates based on newspaper reports). In my research, further domains of interest for the application of NLP methods are cognitive modeling (i.e., prediction of speakers' behavior in psycholinguistic experiments with corpus-based models) and linguistics (i.e., lexical semantics).

I am currently a group leader at the Institute for Natural Language Processing (IMS) at the University of Stuttgart, where I have worked since the end of 2015. I lead the independent research group E-DELIB, funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research: we are a team of four, and we work at the intersection of NLP, political science and decision making to develop automatic tools to support (digital) direct democracy. If you want to know more, have a look at the project site. After October 2023, the E-DELIB team will remain at IMS Stuttgart but I will keep on leading it from GESIS, in close collaboration with my GESIS team. I am also a research associate of the DFG-project MARDY (IMS Stuttgart, SOCIUM Bremen).

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Journal article

Blokker, Nico, Andre Blessing, Erenay Dayanik, Jonas Kuhn, Sebastian Padó, and Gabriella Lapesa. 2023. "Between welcome culture and border fence: The European refugee crisis in German newspaper reports.." Language Resources and Evaluation (57): 121-153.

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Contribution to edited volume

Falk, Neele, and Gabriella Lapesa. 2023. "Bridging Argument Quality and Deliberative Quality Annotations with Adapters." In In Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EACL 2023, Dubrovnik, Croatia., pages 2469–2488.

Jundi, Iman, Neele Falk, Eva Maria Vecchi, and Gabriella Lapesa. 2023. "Node Placement in Argument Maps: Modeling Unidirectional Relations in High & Low-Resource Scenarios." In n Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers), Toronto, Canada, pages 5854–5876.

Zaberer, Urs, Sebastian Padó, and Gabriella Lapesa. 2023. "Political claim identification and categorization in a multilingual setting: First experiments." In Proceedings of the Conference on Natural Language Processing (KONVENS), Ingolstadt, Germany, to appear.

Falk, Neele, and Gabriella Lapesa. 2023. "StoryARG: a corpus of narratives and personal experiences in argumentative texts." In Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers), Toronto, Canada, pages 2350–2372.


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Conference contribution

Pichler, Rebecca, Neele Falk, and Gabriella Lapesa. 2023. "Why (not) vegan? An NLP-based investigation of moral sentiment and storytelling in the vegan discourse." Poster session of the Computational Linguistics section of the German Linguistic Society (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft) DGfS, 2023-08-03.


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Lapesa, Gabriella, Eva Maria Vecchi, Serena Villata, and Henning Wachsmuth. 2023. "Mining, Assessing, and Improving Arguments in NLP and the Social Sciences." 17th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Dubrovnik.


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Hautli-Janisz, Annette, Gabriella Lapesa, and Ines Rebhein. 2024. "Towards Linguistically Motivated Computational Models of Framing." 46th annual meeting of the German society for Linguistics (DGfS 2024), 2024-02-28 - 2024-03-01.

Lapesa, Gabriella, Christopher Klamm, Theresa Gessler, Valentin Gold, and Simone Paolo Ponzetto. 2023. "3rd Workshop on Computational Linguistics for the Political and Social Sciences (CPSS)." KONVENS (Konferenz zur Verarbeitung natürlicher Sprache/Conference on Natural Language Processing), Ingolstadt, Germany, 2023-09-22 - 2023-09-22.