I’m Hirona Arai

PhD student at USC INK Lab 🎨


It's pronounced [hɪ̥ˈɹoʊnə] like a stellar corona🌟

Unfortunately, the mnemonic used to be more niche

Hi! I'm Hirona.

My interests are in grounded language technologies. I'm currently pursuing a CS PhD, studying natural language processing at Professor Xiang Ren's INK Lab at USC :)

I recently gratuated from Middlebury College with a major Computer Science and Linguistics. My academic interests are in syntactic tools for natural language processing (parsers, pos-taggers) and anything concerning computational pragmatics (word-sense disambuation, sentiment analysis). If I'm away from my laptop, you might find me perambulating through thrift stores in Tokyo, challenging friends to a game of pool in a cafe, or on a road bike in the mountains of Vermont. Resume here!


Some Projects

Things I've worked on with some very cool people.

Poetry POS tagger

For my undergraduate CS senior thesis, I explored improving part-of-speech tagging on a corpus of poetry with Professor John Foley

midd mood

How is Middlebury feeling? We scraped and classified over two-years' worth of student tweets to visualize campus mood, inspired by Peter Dodd's hedonometer.

OneList for Spotify

Create group playlists on Spotify with your non-Spotify friends! Produced by a team of 8 with Professor Andrews during COVID fall across 5 different time zones.

Phonology study

How do English syllables and schwa get mapped to the Japanese mora and vowel inventories? Study of Japanese speakers' use of English loan words with Professor Baird.