About Me

Here is a virtual but warm greeting from Ziqiao, as you just came across this page! As many of my friends found it hard to pronounce my name (马子乔, pronounced as Tsz-Chaw in Mandarin), it's absolutely fine to just call me Martin alternatively.


Ziqiao (Martin) Ma is a 3rd year Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science and Engineering and a Graduate Certificate Student at Weinberg Institute for Cognitive Science at the University of Michigan. Martin is advised by Professor Joyce Chai as a member of the Situated Language and Embodied Dialogue (SLED) Lab. He is also a part-time researcher at Adobe Research. Previously, he worked with Amazon AGI. Martin obtained dual-bachelor degrees from the University of Michigan and Shanghai Jiao Tong University. He received an Outstanding Paper Award at ACL 2023, an Amazon Alexa Prize Award, and an Outstanding GSI Award for teaching. He co-organized SpLU-RoboNLP @ ACL 2024, and serve as a regular PC member/reviewer for various venues.

My Research

The three constant themes of my research are Language, Interaction, and Embodiment from a scalable and developmental angle. My current research focus is two-fold:

Grounding language models to (and developing frontier models of) the 4D world and human interactions.
  • Grounding language to the physical world: Understanding and generating language that is grounded to sensorimotor experiences and physical situations. There are more to look at beyond 2D grounding, e.g., video, 3D, generative world models.
  • Grounding language to human interactions: (Co-)situated Human-AI interaction in shared environment with disparate mental states, and collaborations towards a common ground.
  • Applications of grounded frontier models in situated agents.
Scalable computational models of human cognition, scientifically.
  • Scaling law and developmental psychology: Exploring the developmental trajectories of large-scale frontier models and the emergent cognitive capabilities over the course of development.
  • Computational inquiry of human cognition: Computational abstractions to inquire about potential mechanisms of how humans acquire and process language as well as collaborate.
  • Human-like learning: Machine learning that is (inter)active, data-efficient, and continual on (semi-)structured data upon pre-trained systems.

I include a more dynamic and spontaneous sharing of my thoughts here.



Archived news...
  • [May. 2023] I started my intern with Amazon Alexa AI (Amazon AGI)!!
  • [Sep. 2022] I will serve as the Poster/Demo Session Chair for Michigan AI Symposium 2022.
  • [Aug. 2022] I will be the Graduate Student Instructor for EECS 595 (NLP) in Fall 2022 at Michigan.
  • [Aug. 2021] I graduated from SJTU!
  • [May. 2021] I graduated from Michigan!
  • [Mar. 2021] I will join the family of the Michigan AI as a Ph.D. student this fall. Go Blue!
  • [Dec. 2020] I will be the Instructional Aide for EECS 492 (Intro. AI) in Winter 2021 at Michigan.
  • [May. 2020] I will be the Teaching Assistant for VE 492 (Intro. AI) and VE 280 (Program. & Intro. Data Struct.) Summer 2020 at SJTU.

Paper Alerts

Archived news...
  • [Apr. 2023] One paper to appear in IJCAI 2023, see you in Macau :)
  • [Oct. 2022] Two papers to appear in EMNLP 2022, and I will serve as an on-site volunteer in Abu Dhabi :)

(Upcoming) Seminar Talks




Teaching @ UMich

Previous Teaching @ SJTU...
  • VE 492 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence, Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
  • VE 280 Programming and Data Structure, Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
  • VP 141 Physics Lab I, Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
  • VY 200 Academic Writing II, Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
  • VY 100 Academic Writing I, Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Guest Lectures

Selected Awards/Recognitions

Selected Fellowships/Scholarships

Academic Services


Show by... ( Selection / Year / Research Topic )

Research Topics: Language Grounding to Visual Perception / Language Grounding to Human Interaction / Language-Guided Multimodal Generation / Embodied AI & RoboNLP / (Inter)active Learning / Teaching & Community Services

* indicates equal contributions; § indicates correspondence and mentoring.

Towards Bidirectional Human-AI Alignment: A Systematic Review for Clarifications, Framework, and Future Directions
Hua Shen, Tiffany Knearem, Reshmi Ghosh, Kenan Alkiek, Kundan Krishna, Yachuan Liu, Ziqiao Ma, Savvas Petridis, Yi-Hao Peng, Li Qiwei, Sushrita Rakshit, Chenglei Si, Yutong Xie, Jeffrey P. Bigham, Frank Bentley, Joyce Chai, Zachary Lipton, Qiaozhu Mei, Rada Mihalcea, Michael Terry, Diyi Yang, Meredith Ringel Morris, Paul Resnick, David Jurgens

Preprint 2024


Vision-and-Language Navigation Today and Tomorrow: A Survey in the Era of Foundation Models
Yue Zhang*, Ziqiao Ma*, Jialu Li*, Yanyuan Qiao*, Zun Wang*, Joyce Chai, Qi Wu, Mohit Bansal, Parisa Kordjamshidi

Preprint 2024


Multi-Object Hallucination in Vision-Language Models
Xuweiyi Chen*, Ziqiao Ma*, Xuejun Zhang*, Sihan Xu, Shengyi Qian, Jianing Yang, David Fouhey, Joyce Chai

The 3rd Workshop on Advances in Language and Vision Research (ALVR) @ ACL 2024

Web / Paper

Babysit A Language Model From Scratch: Interactive Language Learning by Trials and Demonstrations
Ziqiao Ma*, Zekun Wang*, Joyce Chai

The 1st Workshop on LLMs and Cognition (LLMCog) @ ICML 2024 (Oral)

Paper / Code

DriVLMe: Enhancing LLM-based Autonomous Driving Agents with Embodied and Social Experiences
Yidong Huang, Jacob Sansom, Ziqiao Ma§, Felix Gervits, Joyce Chai

IROS 2024 / The 1st Vision and Language for Autonomous Driving and Robotics Workshop (VLADR) @ CVPR 2024

Web / Paper

GroundHog: Grounding Large Language Models to Holistic Segmentation
Yichi Zhang, Ziqiao Ma, Xiaofeng Gao, Suhaila Shakiah, Qiaozi Gao, Joyce Chai

CVPR 2024

Web / Paper

Inversion-Free Image Editing with Language-Guided Diffusion Models
Sihan Xu*, Yidong Huang*, Jiayi Pan, Ziqiao Ma§, Joyce Chai

CVPR 2024

Web / Paper / GitHub /

CycleNet: Rethinking Cycle Consistency in Text-Guided Diffusion for Image Manipulation
Sihan Xu*, Ziqiao Ma*, Yidong Huang, Honglak Lee, Joyce Chai

NeurIPS 2023

Web / Paper / GitHub /

Towards A Holistic Landscape of Situated Theory of Mind in Large Language Models
Ziqiao Ma, Jacob Sansom, Run Peng, Joyce Chai

EMNLP 2023 (Findings)

Paper / GitHub

Towards Collaborative Plan Acquisition through Theory of Mind Modeling in Situated Dialogue
Cristian-Paul Bara, Ziqiao Ma, Yingzhuo Yu, Julie Shah, Joyce Chai

IJCAI 2023

Paper / GitHub

World-to-Words: Grounded Open Vocabulary Acquisition through Fast Mapping in Vision-Language Models
Ziqiao Ma*, Jiayi Pan*, Joyce Chai

ACL 2023 (🏆 Outstanding Paper Award)

Paper / GitHub / Poster

NLP Reproducibility For All: Understanding Experiences of Beginners
Shane Storks, Keunwoo Peter Yu, Ziqiao Ma, Joyce Chai

ACL 2023 (Theme Track)

Paper / GitHub / Poster

SEAGULL: An Embodied Agent for Instruction Following through Situated Dialog
Yichi Zhang, Jianing Yang, Keunwoo Peter Yu, Yinpei Dai, Shane Storks Yuwei Bao, Jiayi Pan, Nikhil Devraj, Ziqiao Ma, Joyce Chai

Alexa Prize SimBot Challenge 2023 (🏆 1st Place)


DOROTHIE: Spoken Dialogue for Handling Unexpected Situations in Interactive Autonomous Driving Agents
Ziqiao Ma, Benjamin VanDerPloeg*, Cristian-Paul Bara*, Huang Yidong*, Eui-In Kim, Felix Gervits, Matthew Marge, Joyce Chai

EMNLP 2022 (Findings)

Paper / GitHub / Data

DANLI: Deliberative Agent for Following Natural Language Instructions
Yichi Zhang, Jianing Yang, Shane Storks, Jiayi Pan, Nikhil Devraj, Ziqiao Ma, Keunwoo Peter Yu, Yuwei Bao, Joyce Chai

EMNLP 2022 (Oral)

Paper / GitHub

Partition-Based Active Learning for Graph Neural Networks
Jiaqi Ma*, Ziqiao Ma*, Joyce Chai, Qiaozhu Mei

TMLR 2023 (Survey Certificate) / The 8th International Workshop on Deep Learning on Graphs (DLG) @ KDD 2022 (Oral)

Paper / GitHub / Poster


Game Design (More)


I understand that access to research oppotunities can be hard, particularly for beginners and the underrepresented. If there is a match in research interests, I am happy to collaborate with undergrads and masters when I have the bandwidth. Please check my Research and Mentoring Statements and fill out our application form to indicate that you want to collaborate with me.
I've been fortunate to have (co-)mentered and collaborated with these amazingly talented young researchers:

Fun Facts


Mental Support


If you would like to have a random (virtual) coffee chat with me, please visit my calendly page.

Get In Touch

You are welcome to drop me a message :)

  • Phone

  • marstin0607
  • ziqiao_ma
  • Address

    Bob and Betty Beyster Building 4909,
    2260 Hayward Street,
    Ann Arbor, MI 48109.