I teach computers about human language.
I also teach humans about teaching computers about human language.
I am an academic—which is to say, a professional nerd. Specifically, a computer nerd and a language nerd. I am interested in human language from the angles of cognition, description, and computation. My expertise is in empirical approaches to computational linguistics (CL—applying computational methods to the study of language) and natural language processing (NLP—building technologies that reason intelligently about language). To analyze natural language text, my work employs a medley of methods from linguistics, data science, and machine learning.
Within CL/NLP, my focus is on computational semantics and natural language understanding. This encompasses the design of meaning representations; human annotation of corpora; and statistical computational modeling. I look for ways to make datasets, models, and tools more informative, accurate, multilingual, robust, and practical. For example: developing tools that work for informal social media language, not just news articles.
My CV. Career highlights:
- Associate Professor of Linguistics and Computer Science, Georgetown University
- Assistant Professor of Linguistics and Computer Science, Georgetown University
- Postdoctoral researcher at the University of Edinburgh
- Ph.D. student at Carnegie Mellon University
- Department: Language Technologies Institute in the School of Computer Science
- Advisor: Noah Smith (Lab: Noah’s ARK)
- Mathematics Genealogy Project entry (direct ancestors include Morris Halle, Leibniz, Gauss, Ohm, Dirichlet, Poisson, Lagrange, Laplace, Fourier, Euler, Bernoulli, Erasmus, and Copernicus!)
- Thesis: Lexical Semantic Analysis in Natural Language Text
- Summer 2012
- Intern at USC ISI
- Undergraduate at UC Berkeley, majoring in Computer Science and Linguistics
Q: Are you a linguist or a computer scientist?
Q: As a human language scientist/engineer, are you also human?
A: In most respects. (My surname can mean “daddy longlegs” in German, however.)
Q: What’s the difference between a geek and a nerd?
A: Evidently, you are both.
Q: Do you maintain a collection of scholarly remarks on the
mind-boggling versalitility of the preposition ‘for’?
A: For sure.
Q: Are you interested in my hedge fund?
A: Yes, provided that you are funding research on hedges.
Q: Can you help me debug this C code?
Q: Did you once win a historical linguistics limerick contest?
Q: Your old website was better. Where did it go?
A: The sentimental can find it here.
Q: Was this FAQ inspired by Mister Language Person?
A: You are truly an alert reader.