HLP lab is growing/shrinking = grinking

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It’s maaaaaaaaaa pleasure to announce that a couple of new folks will be joining/visiting HLP lab this Fall.  It’s less of a pleasure to say that some of the folks will leave the lab to move on, but that’s how it goes. So, here comes an introduction and a farewell.

Two new students will join via the PhD program:

  • Ting Qian has decided to join us for his graduate studies. He completed his B.Sc. in BCS (Artificial Intelligence track) at the University of Rochester after transferring from SUNY Oswego. He has worked on genetic algorithms, attribute-driven extraction of lexical classes, as well as on the distribution of information throughout discourses in written and spoken Mandarin Chinese (publications on the latter topic can be found on the HLP lab website).
  • Masha Fedzechkina will join us coming from the University of Cologne (originally from Belarus), where she finished a Magister in Data Processing including classes in linguistics and CS. She’s planning to work on processing-driven effects on acquisition using both computational and behavioral methods.

Additionally, two graduate researchers from other universities will join the lab to lead our NSF-funded research project on Field-based Psycholinguistics in the Yucatan (joint work with Juergen Bohnemeyer, UB):

  • Alice Lemieux will join us from the University of Chicago where she’s working on her PhD in Linguistics. She’s done other fieldwork (on Washo) before and is interested in language contact.
  • Lindsay K. Butler will join us from the University of Arizona where she’s working on her PhD in Linguistics. Lindsay already has some background in Yucatec from an instensive summer workshop at UNC (including a couple of weeks in the Yucatan).

Alice and Lindsay will take classes on Yucatec from Juergen Bohnemeyer to obtain basic speaking knowledge of Yucatec and to learn about the linguistic structure of Yucatec. They will run sentence production studies on Yucatec Maya (in the Yucatan) including experiments on accessibility and weigt effects on word order and morphological choices. I want to take this opportunity to publically thank Lis Norcliffe and Tania Nikitina for absolutely invaluable help with the preparation of the grant. Lis hugely influenced the design of our experiments and co-wrote large sections of the grants. Of course, she’s not to be blamed for anything we may screw up ;). Thanks also go to Carlos Gomez Gallo and Katrina Housel who helped gather the pilot data for the grant during our previous visit to the Yucatan.

  • In September, we also will have an HLP lab visitor. Elma Kerz is joining us from the RWTH Aachen in Germany where she teaches computer-based linguistics, psycholinguistics, and various other things. Her work includes paper in construction grammar, cognitive grammar, and on grammaticalization.

Finally, HLP will have its first alumni this year:

  • Benjamin VanDurme (“The Durmster”; PhD in CS with a Minor in Linguistics) got offers from Stanford (post-doc with Dan Jurafsky and Chris Manning) and the Human Language Technology Center of Excellence at Hopkins. After much consideration he chose Hopkins as research faculty where he will start soon. Most of Ben’s work over recent years was with Len Schubert and, more recently, also with Dan Gildea, but he’s also been involved in several HLP lab projects including work on the link between words’ redundancy in context and their pronunciation as well as work assessing the use of Google n-grams for research on language processing. It’s unclear what will happen to our espresso machine, now that he’s gone. Ben, just you wait and see. You’ll come back for that (lukewarm) espresso ;)!
  • Carlos Gomez Gallo is about to wrap things up, too (things=PhD in CS with a Minor in Linguistics). He received post-doc offers from Minnesota and Harvard, and an offer to join the American University at Beirut as faculty. He’s going to join Maria Polinksy’s lab at Harvard to run cross-linguistics studies on linguistic representations and processing. It looks like collaborations (among other things on Spanish and Maya data we collected in the Yucatan last Winter) will continue since Masha is interested in similar questions. Carlos is also about to finish a manuscript on work investigating incremental language production beyond the clausal level. Much of his work at Rochester was concerned with the creation and use of the Fruitcart corpus (which he will not fail to mention if you run into him ;)). This work was done in collaboration with with James Allen and others in his lab. Carlos, Good luck at Harvard!

So, welcome and ciao ciao (but visit).


One thought on “HLP lab is growing/shrinking = grinking

    What’s up? « HLP/Jaeger lab blog said:
    December 7, 2010 at 4:10 am

    […] My sabbatical it’s nearing its end (shiver). So, there’s much to catch up on. HLP Lab has once again grown and shrunk, leading to grinking report #2 (cf. #1): […]


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