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.

I am a 3rd year Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan. I work with Professor Joyce Chai as a member of the Situated Language and Embodied Dialogue (SLED) Lab. I intern(ed) with Adobe Research and Amazon Alexa AI. Prior to that, I obtained my Dual-Bachelor Degree in Computer Science at the University of Michigan and Electrical and Computer Engineering at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

The three constant themes of my research are Language, Interaction, and Embodiment. My current work focuses on connecting large language models to the world and to humans, as well as computational inquiry of human cogntiion. More generally, I am interested in aspects of Natural Language Processing (Language Grounding to Vision and Robotics, Theory of Mind, Language Acquisition), Embodied AI (World Model, Embodied Instruction Following, Human-Robot Communication), and Machine Learning (Cognitively Motivated Learning, Graph Representation Learning, Data-Efficient Learning). I am honored to have received an Outstanding Paper Award at ACL 2023, an Amazon Alexa Prize Award, and an Outstanding GSI Award for teaching. I am a co-organizer of SpLU-RoboNLP, and serve as a regular PC member/reviewer for NLP venues (e.g., ACL, EMNLP, NAACL, EACL, COLING) and ML venues (e.g., ICLR, NeurIPS, TMLR).


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Archived news...
  • [Oct. 2022] Two papers to appear in EMNLP 2022, and I will serve as an on-site volunteer in Abu Dhabi :)
  • [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.





Archived teaching...
  • 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.

Selected Awards

Selected Fellowships

Academic Services


* indicates equal contributions; § indicates mentoring.

Language Grounding to Human Interactions (esp. Theory of Mind)

Towards A Holistic Landscape of Situated Theory of Mind in Large Language Models

Ziqiao Ma, Jacob Sansom, Run Peng, Joyce Chai

EMNLP Findings (Theme Track), 2023

[web] [paper] [data]

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] [code]

Language Grounding to Vision (esp. Multimodal Learning)

Inversion-Free Image Editing with Natural Language

Sihan Xu*, Yidong Huang*, Jiayi Pan, Ziqiao Ma§, Joyce Chai

Preprint, 2023

[web] [paper] [code]

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] [code]

World-to-Words: Grounded Open Vocabulary Acquisition through Fast Mapping in Vision-Language Models

Ziqiao Ma*, Jiayi Pan*, Joyce Chai

ACL (Outstanding Paper Award), 2023

[paper] [code] [model] [video] [slides] [poster]

Language Grounding to Robotics (esp. Embodied AI)

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 (1st Place), 2023


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 Findings, 2022
Presented at SereTOD Workshop, 2022

[paper] [code] [data] [video] [slides] [poster]

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 (Oral), 2022

[paper] [code] [video] [slides]

Data-Efficient Learning on Semi-Structured Data

Partition-Based Active Learning for Graph Neural Networks

Jiaqi Ma*, Ziqiao Ma*, Joyce Chai, Qiaozhu Mei

TMLR (Survey Certificate), 2023
Presented at DLG-KDD Workshop (Oral), 2022

[paper] [code] [poster]

AI for Social Good and Community Services

NLP Reproducibility For All: Understanding Experiences of Beginners

Shane Storks, Keunwoo Peter Yu, Ziqiao Ma, Joyce Chai

ACL (Theme Track), 2023

[paper] [code] [video] [slides] [poster]

Non-Academic: Game Design



I've been fortunate to have (co-)mentered and collaborated with these amazingly talented young researchers: 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 the following topics of interests and fill out our application form and indicate that you want to collaborate with me.

Fun Facts


Mental Support


If you would like to have a random 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.