Siyan "Sylvia" Li

Computer Science, Master's / Stanford

Siyan "Sylvia" Li

Computer Science, Master's / Stanford

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I'm Siyan "Sylvia" Li.

I'm a Master's Student at Stanford.

I'm a Computer Scientist.

I'm an Improvisor.

I'm an Artist.

Brand New Master's Student.

My pronouns are she/her.

Very interested in human-centered computing, helping machines understand humans better and improving human-AI interactions. My dream research area is a combination of Natural Language Processing, Affective Computing and HCI, because both emotions and languages are essential aspects of the human existence, and would therefore be essential in enjoyable human-AI interactions as well.

I want to develop virtual agents capable of understanding human emotional changes and intervening when necessary.



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Stanford University - Sep 2021 - June 2023, Maybe


Georgia Institute of Technology - Aug 2017 - Dec 2020

Cumulative GPA: 3.97; Major GPA: 4.0.

Research Experience

Robotics, Evolution, and Art Lab, IT University of Copenhagen

Employer: Dr. Sebastian Risi

Research Assistant / Programmer - Feb 2021 - Present

  • Interactive Evolution using Neural Cellular Automata. Online interactive system for evolving Minecraft structures available here.


    Advisor: Dr. Mark Riedl

    Undergraduate Research Assistant - Aug 2019 - Dec 2020

    Current Project:

  • Commonsense story generation using COMET as a filter.

  • Previous Projects:

  • Logical story generation using a combination of VerbNet symbolic filtering and GPT-2.
  • Normative text generation using a normative text classifier as a reward model.
  • Intelligent Control Lab, Carnegie Mellon University

    Advisor: Dr. Changliu Liu

    Undergraduate Research Assistant - May 2019 - Aug 2019

    Created an adaptable human trajectory prediction pipeline to allow human-robot collaboration on customizable tasks.



    • Shyam Sudhakaran, Djordje Grbic, Siyan Li, Adam Katona, Elias Najarro, Claire Glanois, Sebastian Risi, Growing 3D Artefacts and Functional Machines with Neural Cellular Automata, in proceedings of ALIFE 2021. [arXiv]
    • Xiangyu Peng, Siyan Li, Sarah Wiegreffe, Mark O. Riedl, Inferring the Reader: Guiding Automated Story Generation with Commonsense Reasoning, in proceedings of the 3rd Workshop on Narrative Understanding. [arXiv]


    • Xiangyu Peng, Siyan Li, Spencer J. Frazier, Mark O. Riedl, Reducing Non-Normative Text Generation from Language Models, in proceedings of INLG 2020. [arXiv]
    • Xiangyu Peng, Siyan Li, Sarah Wiegreffe, Mark O. Riedl, Improving Neural Storytelling with Commonsense Inferences, extended abstract accepted into NeurIPS Women in Machine Learning Workshop. [poster]


    • Abulikemu Abuduweili, Siyan Li, Changliu Liu, Adaptable Human Intention and Trajectory Prediction for Human-Robot Collaboration, in AI-HRI 2019, Arlington, VA. [arXiv]



    I create digital art for fun and for my theater!

    I started learning art professionally since I was like 10, but I haven't been trained as rigorously for a long time so I am a bit rusty on things.

    Apart from digital art, I sketch, watercolor when time allows, and do crafts. Knitting and finding traditional Chinese crafting techniques are also my go-to.


    I am an alumna of DramaTech Theatre, where I have been an improvisor in its improv troupe Let's Try This!, a costumes designer, a prop designer, plus I served as its marketing director for one year. Here are a couple of improv shows I was in during the pandemic: Land Before Improv, The Witchhunt, Life, Improvised.

    My Blog(s)

  • I will be starting a blog on my understanding of movies and books to have work-life balance (yep, a weird way to maintain it, I know).
  • I will be starting a vlog for my recreations of Hannibal recipes from this cookbook: Feeding Hannibal.
  • Portfólio

    Thank You!

    “How rare and beautiful it is to even exist.”

    Sleeping At Last, Saturn