Monday, April 11, 2011

NSF-GRFP grant awarded to Dustin Chacon, LING

Dustin Chacón, a first year student, Flagship fellow and Beinecke scholar in the Linguistics department at UMd, has been recently awarded a prestigious NSF-GRFP grant. The grant will be covering his stipend, tuition costs, and cover a bit of funding for travel costs for 3 years.

The project that Colin Phillips and he proposed was to see whether the robustness of applying grammatical coreference
constraints in parsing that have been observed in English are due to the properties of those constraints or whether they are due to the way that word order and memory mechanisms interact. He will test this by looking at correlative clause constructions in Hindi in which the same coreference constraints exist, though the relevant phrases come in reverse linear order with respect to their English counterparts.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

HESP Happy Hour Tool-Kit Series

The Department of Hearing & Speech Sciences is happy to announce a new series of seminars and workshops designed to spread expertise in software and research applications commonly used in language-related fields. The point of these sessions will be to spur the increased use of software which can increase the productivity of language researchers, as well as foster collaborations between scholars who stand to benefit from the mutual sharing of expertise. All workshops are open to UMD graduate students and faculty, and refreshments will be provided.

Topics will include things like:

CHAT/CLAN for language transcript analysis
Statistical websites and packets
Photoshop & Virtual Dub

The first workshop will be “Using CLAN: Routines & Interfaces” taking place on Tuesday (4/12) from 4-6pm in room 0135 in Lefrak Hall. Refreshments will be provided and all graduate students and faculty are cordially invited. Please send a reply to to confirm your attendance.

Visit the following wiki page for more information on this and other future events ( While it is not a requirement, we recommend that you download the necessary software ahead of time, and bring your laptop to the session. The software that we’ll be using is completely FREE and you can find the link for downloading on the wiki page under “click for more info”.

Thank you for your interest and we hope to see you on April 12th!

IGERT Student wins AAAS Poster Competition

A student poster presented by Yakov Kronrod (Linguistics), featuring work by Yakov, Chang Hu (CS), Olivia Buzek (CS and Linguistics undergrad), and Alexander J. Quinn (CS), has been named the winning poster in the Math, Technology, and Engineering category at the 2011 American Association for the Advancement of Science, (AAAS) Student Poster Competition. The AAAS is an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing science around the world. In addition to organizing membership activities, AAAS publishes the journal Science.

The poster, entitled Using Monolingual Crowds to Improve Translation, reported on work done in the context of a project on crowdsourcing and translation led by Ben Bederson and Philip Resnik, which is supported by NSF and a Google Research Award. The students will be recognized in a spring issue of Science and on the Annual Meeting web site for AAAS, in addition to receiving a cash prize and a subscription to Science.

Particular recognition goes to Yakov for his leadership in creating and presenting the poster, and to all four students for the excellent work represented here and in the project as a whole. Congratulations on this well deserved recognition!