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FYI: Summer internships, PhD research

Author: Jim Talley

FYI Body: Motorola, Lexicus Division

Summer Internships in Speech and Language Processing

Lexicus, a Division of Motorola, specializes in handwriting and speech
recognition products for the mobile, wireless and desktop markets.
The company is a dynamic organization, located in Palo Alto,
California, near Stanford University, currently with about 50
employees (but expected to grow well beyond this figure in the near
future). For more general background on Lexicus, please visit our web
pages at "".

For our speech (and handwriting) recognition technologies to be
successful, it is crucial that our language resources -- pronouncing
dictionaries, prepared texts for statistical modeling of
(sub-)languages, etc. -- be of unparalleled quality. We are looking
to hire a few bright, hardworking, self-starting graduate (or
exceptional undergraduate) students as summer interns to help us
further refine our English and Mandarin language resources and

A partial list of possible tasks includes:

- Development of methods to transform word pronunciations from a
"standard" pronunciation to pronunciations typical of speakers
from targeted regions or socio-linguistic groups.

- Work towards "representational efficiency" and robustness in
dictionary technology -- e.g., production of orthography and
pronunciation of derived forms of base words by rule, compounding
rules, etc.

- Clean-up / verification of existing pronouncing dictionaries.

- Development of transducers to map (in both directions) between
formatted, punctuated text and the word stream which would be
spoken to yield such text.

- Development of resources specific to particular domains (e.g., real
estate, radiology, inorganic chemistry, etc.).

- Tagging of dictionary entries for various properties.

- Refinement of capabilities to produce pronunciations for any and
all novel words we might encounter (e.g., newly coined words,
acronyms, foreign names, etc.)

Desirable skills/experience include:

- Reasonable programming ability (especially in perl, 'C', or C++
[unfortunately, languages such as Lisp and Prolog are not of much

- Excellent English communication skills.

- Solid background in areas of linguistics other than syntax &
semantics (i.e., phonology [esp. computational], phonetics,
socio-linguistics [dialectology], morphology,...)

- Prior exposure to (or strong interest in) ASR, TTS, or other
speech technology.

- Experience with machine learning, grammar induction, statistics,
and/or pattern recognition technology.

- Solid background (esp. implementation experience) with formal
automata / mathematical linguistics.

- Native fluency in Mandarin (for at least one of the available

As an intern at Lexicus, you would:

- Gain hands-on, industry experience in the applied language
technology field (not with toy problems or "concep

- Potentially make a significant contribution to the state of the
art in commercial, large vocabulary speech recognition;

- Have a chance to work with an exceptional collection of language /
recognition technologists in a dynamic organization; and,

- Enjoy all of the benefits of living in the Bay Area.

If interested, please forward a resume to the following contact by e-mail,
fax or snail mail with the title "Lexicus Speech Intern" in the subjec
line and/or cover letter:

Debbie Mayer, Human Resources
Motorola, Lexicus Division
3145 Porter Drive
Palo Alto, CA 94304
Tel: (415) 858-6115
Fax: (415) 494-1148

- ----------------------------------------------------------------------
Jim Talley, Sr. Research Scientis
- ----------------------------------+-----------------------------------
Motorola, Lexicus Division |
3145 Porter Drive | (415)858-6112 (voice)
Palo Alto, CA 94304 | (415)494-1146 (FAX)
- ----------------------------------+-----------------------------------
Pager: (800)759-8888 PIN #1959054 (or via e-mail:
- ----------------------------------------------------------------------


Research Opportunities

Advanced Interaction Group

The Advanced Interaction Group currently has vacancies for graduate
research students in the areas identified below. Interested persons
should contact either Dr. Russell Beale (email
or Bob Hendley (email for informal
discussions. Application forms are now available from the web site.

See for further details and
links to related information.

EPSRC, CASE, and internally-funded studentships are available for
suitable applicants. It is usual for there to be more applicants than
studentships, and applicants requiring funding are encouraged to apply

Research Areas

* Agents and Agent-based Systems
Agents are semi-autonomous, reactive software components that can be
combined to create complex interacting systems of great power and

Numeorus techniques exist that demonstrate learning and adaptive
capabilities. One project aim is to package up these techniques inside
agents, giving them the ability to adapt and improve basic skills through
experiential learning.

* Information Visualisation
Complex software systems are extraordinarily difficult to understand
and to manipulate. This work extends earlier work on visual programming
systems to support visualisation of program structures using self
organising systems and virtual reality techniques.

* Data Mining
Data mining (also known as Knowledge Discovery in Databases - KDD)
It utilises approaches in machine learning, statistics, and visualization
techniques to discover and present knowledge in a form which is easily
comprehensible to humans.

* Other Areas
There are other areas of research that are of interest to the AIG
(detailed on home pages); these include Evolutionary and Emergen
Computation, HCI, CSCW, Neural networks, Information networks and
Intelligent Tutoring Systems. People wishing to pursue research in any
of these areas at Birmingham are encouraged to discuss the matter
informally first.

For more information, visit the URL. Applications can be submitted directly,
though prospective applicants are encouraged to email us to discuss potential
research work in more detail.

For research-related information:
R.J. Hendley
Advanced Interaction Group
Tel: +44 - (0) 121 - 414 4761

For application forms and other postgraduate study information:
Dr. Peter Hancox
Research Students Admissions Tutor
Tel: +44 - (0) 121 - 414 - 4782

School of Computer Science
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT UK.
Fax: +44 - (0) 121 - 414 - 4281

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