Hellina Nigatu

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Hellina Hailu Nigatu | ህሊና ሀይሉ ንጋቱ

📧 hellina underscore nigatu at berkeley dot edu


I am a third year PhD student at University of California, Berkeley in the EECS department. I finished my undergrad at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia in Electrical and Computer Engineering. I am currently co-advised by Prof. Sarah Chasins and Prof. John Canny. I am part of PLAIT, CannyLab and BAIR.

My research interest broadly lies in the intersection of AI and HCI, with a focus on making usable AI tools accessible to end users. I am currently looking into making NLP tools usable and accessible for low-resourced languages. I am also interested in the impact of AI on society, specifically in how it affects Low Income Countries and people living in the Global South.

Outside of research, I like to read books📚, make and drink traditional Ethiopian coffee☕, knit🧣, explore art🎨, and write✍️.


I received the ACM-W scholarship to attend AfriCHI’23 where I will be presenting my work.

I built a library…not the code type…a physical library…where you find books :-). Read more about it here.

I will be TAing for Addis Coder in Summer 2023!!

Finally translated my website content to Amharic. More languages to come :-))

Was an invited speaker at the Wade Scholarship Program welcome event for 2022 Scholars.

Delighted to announce I am one of the 2022 winners of the SIGHPC Computational and Data Science Fellowship.

Excited to be featured with other Ethiopian women in STEM on BBC Amharic.



[paper] Hellina Hailu Nigatu, Lisa Pickoff-White, John Canny, Sarah Chasins. “Co-Designing for Transparency: Lessons from Building a Document Organization Tool for the Criminal Justice Domain.” Proceedings of ACM Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency (ACM FAccT).

[paper] Atnafu Lambebo Tonja, Hellina Hailu Nigatu, Olga Kolesnikova, Grigori Sidorov, Alexander Gelbukh, Jugal Kalita. “Enhancing Translation for Indigenous Languages: Experiments with Multilingual Models.” For AmericasNLP 2023 Shared Task on Machine Translation into Indigenous Languages.


[paper] Andrew McCrabb, Hellina Nigatu, Absalat Getachew, Valeria Bertacco. “DyGraph: a dynamic graph generator and benchmark suite.” Proceedings of the 5th ACM SIGMOD Joint International Workshop on Graph Data Management Experiences & Systems (GRADES) and Network Data Analytics (NDA).

[paper] Chris Chinenye Emezue, Hellina Hailu Nigatu, Cynthia Thinwa, Lerato Louis, Idris Abdulmumin, Samuel Gbenga Oyerinde, Benjamin Ayoade Ajibade, Helper Zhou, Emeka Felix Onwuegbuzia, Handel Chiagozie Emezue, Ifeoluwatayo Adeseye Ige, Atnafu Lambebo Tonja, Chiamaka Ijeoma Chukwuneke, Shamsuddeen Hassan Muhammad, Olanrewaju Samuel. “The African Stopwords Project: Curating Stopwords for African Languages” 3rd Workshop on African Natural Language Processing.




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