A professor stands on stage pointing back at the audience

Christian F. “Kiki” Hempelmann, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Director of Semantic Artificial Intelligence and Creative Laboratory

  • Faculty
Literature and Languages
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David Talbot Hall of Languages 141
Related Department
Literature and Languages

Christian F. “Kiki” Hempelmann joined A&M-Commerce fall 2012 to bring his expertise in industry application of natural language processing technology to A&M-Commerce students. He continues to promote humor in computational and applied linguistics through research, writing and leading the Semantic Applied Linguistics and Creative Laboratory.

Dr. Hempelmann received his Ph.D. in Linguistics from Purdue University in 2003. His research focuses on computational semantics and natural language processing for information security and assurance. He has worked as Director of Research and Development at RiverGlass, an enterprise search company, and as Chief Scientific Officer at hakia.com, a consumer-level Internet search engine. In both positions, he led Ph.D.-level teams in creating groundbreaking natural-language search systems based on the paradigm that is the main theoretical and application methodology for the OST, ontological semantic technology, with which he has worked since 2000. Dr. Hempelmann’s most recent consultative role in computational humor was at Amazon in the summer of 2022.

Hempelmann’s goal is to translate this experience into the academic realm in the format of the lab. He has been invited as a speaker, has been published widely in his fields of expertise, including numerous papers and a book, and continues to consult for research and development companies, including Amazon.


  • Ph.D., Computational Linguistics, Purdue University, 2003
  • M.A., English Linguistics, Youngstown State University, 2000
  • M. A. English Linguistics, Leibniz Universität-Hannover, 1998


  • Associate Professor, Texas A&M University-Commerce, 2017-Present
  • Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University-Commerce, 2012-2017
  • Editor-in-Chief, Humor: International Journal of Humor Research, 2021-Present
  • Director of the Ontological Semantic Technology Lab, Texas A&M University-Commerce, 2012-Present

Selected Publications

  • Hempelmann, Christian F. and Max Petrenko. (2023). “Computational Humor Models and Applications.” in: Ford, Thomas E., Władysław Chłopicki, and Giselinde Kuipers. De Gruyter Handbook of Humor Studies. Berlin: De Gruyter.
  • Gironzetti, Elisa, Christian F. Hempelmann et al. (2023). “Semantic Components of Laughter Behavior: A Lexical Field Study of 12 Translations of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”
  • Hempelmann, Christian F. (2019). “The Predictable Semiotic Essence of Humor.” HUMOR – International Journal of Humor Research. 32-4: 531-536. doi: 10.1515/humor-2019-0060.
  • Miller, Tristan, Christian F. Hempelmann, and Iryna Gurevych. (2017). “SemEval-2017 Task 7: Detection and Interpretation of English Puns.” In: Proceedings of the 11th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2017) at the 55th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics. 59-69. August 2017.

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