* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
LINGUIST List logo Eastern Michigan University Wayne State University *
* People & Organizations * Jobs * Calls & Conferences * Publications * Language Resources * Text & Computer Tools * Teaching & Learning * Mailing Lists * Search *
* *
LINGUIST List 19.1214

Wed Apr 09 2008

FYI: Students Shine at Computational Linguistics Olympiad

Editor for this issue: Ann Sawyer <sawyerlinguistlist.org>


To post to LINGUIST, use our convenient web form at http://linguistlist.org/LL/posttolinguist.html.
Directory
        1.    Thomas Payne, Students Shine at Computational Linguistics Olympiad


Message 1: Students Shine at Computational Linguistics Olympiad
Date: 09-Apr-2008
From: Thomas Payne <tpayneuoregon.edu>
Subject: Students Shine at Computational Linguistics Olympiad
E-mail this message to a friend

High School students from across Canada and the USA recently competed in the
Second Annual North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad. The top
students are eligible to represent their country at the Sixth International
Linguistics Olympiad to be held in Bulgaria, in August of this year.

Top winners include:

- Guy Tabachnick from Hunter College High School in New York City
- Jeffrey Lim from Arlington High School in Arlington, Massachusetts
- Josh Falk from Shady Side Academy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Anand Natarajan from The Harker School in San Jose, California
- Jae-Kyu Lee from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts
- Rebecca Jacobs from Harvard-Westlake School in North Hollywood, California
- Hanzhi Zhu from Shrewsbury High School in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts
- Morris Alper from Henry M. Gunn High School in Palo Alto, California

The competition took place in two rounds -- an Open round on February 5th and an
Invitational round on March 11th. 763 students participated in the Open
competition at fourteen university locations, and 65 high school and home school
centers in the USA and Canada. The top 115 from the open competition
participated in the Invitational round.

Students compete in the Computational Linguistics Olympiad by solving
challenging problems using data from a variety of languages and formal systems
the students have never learned. This year students solved a total of 12
problems, including, for example, interpreting the Babayin writing system, an
alphabet used in the Philippines before the arrival of the Spanish, given only a
few Babayin examples with their English translations. Some of the problems also
dealt with how computational thinking may be applied to some thorny language
processing problems, such as how to correctly determine what language a document
is written in, or accurately read spectrograms -- printouts of the frequency
spectra of speech, popularly known as "voiceprints". Other problems dealt with
Japanese compound nouns, automatic stemming of nouns in English, the use of
finite state automata to parse words in Rotokas, a language spoken on the island
of Bougainville, off the coast of New Guinea, the Mayan calendar system, and
translations of Irish place names into English.

This year, Dr. Dragomir Radev, of the University of Michigan, chaired the
program committee. Among his many responsibilities, Dr. Radev gathers ideas from
industry and academic researchers around the world. His aim is to create
challenging and stimulating problems that address cutting edge issues in the
field of computational linguistics. Though not yet widely known to the general
public, computational linguistics is a rapidly emerging field with applications
in such areas as search engine technologies, machine translation, and artificial
intelligence.

The US program is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Google, and
Cambridge University press. Similar programs have taken place for over forty
years in Eastern Europe, and the International competition is in its sixth year.
More information as well as the problem sets and solutions can be found on the
organization's website www.naclo.cs.cmu.edu.

"Usually, college students don't even hear about computational linguistics until
they are well along in their undergraduate studies," says Dr. Lori Levin of
Carnegie Mellon University, co-chair of the North American program. "Our hope is
that competitions such as the Computational Linguistics Olympiad will identify
students who have an affinity for linguistics and computational linguistics
before they graduate high school and encourage them to pursue further studies at
the university level." The organization also hopes to see the scientific study
of language incorporated into high school curricula. Universities and
corporations view the program as a way of helping high school students discover
their talents and interests in the areas of language, linguistics and natural
language processing.

"NACLO bridges the 'techie/fuzzy' divide that characterizes our increasingly
specialized academic culture. Students learn not only about computational
applications to language processing, but also about the beauty and complexity of
the world's languages," says Dr. Thomas Payne, of the University of Oregon,
co-chair of the program. "It is a real cross-cultural experience to try to solve
problems in languages which sometimes follow logic that is very different from
our own familiar ways of thinking."

Contact information:
Dr. Thomas Payne, University of Oregon Department of Linguistics
(tpayneuoregon.edu)
Dr. Lori Levin, Carnegie Mellon University, Language Technologies Institute
(lslcs.cmu.edu)
Dr. Dragomir Radev, University of Michigan, School of Information,
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (radevumich.edu)



Linguistic Field(s): Computational Linguistics
General Linguistics



This Year the LINGUIST List hopes to raise $60,000. This money will go to help keep 
the List running by supporting all of our Student Editors for the coming year.

See below for donation instructions, and don't forget to check out our Fund Drive 
2008 LINGUIST List Circus and join us on our many shows!

http://linguistlist.org/fund-drive/2008/

There are many ways to donate to LINGUIST!

You can donate right now using our secure credit card form at  
https://linguistlist.org/donation/donate/donate1.cfm

Alternatively you can also pledge right now and pay later. To do so, go to:
https://linguistlist.org/donation/pledge/pledge1.cfm

For all information on donating and pledging, including information on how to 
donate by check, money order, or wire transfer, please visit:
http://linguistlist.org/donate.html

The LINGUIST List is under the umbrella of Eastern Michigan University and as such 
can receive donations through the EMU Foundation, which is a registered 501(c) 
Non Profit organization. Our Federal Tax number is 38-6005986. These donations 
can be offset against your federal and sometimes your state tax return (U.S. tax 
payers only). For more information visit the IRS Web-Site, or contact your 
financial advisor.

Many companies also offer a gift matching program, such that they will match any 
gift you make to a non-profit organization. Normally this entails your contacting 
your human resources department and sending us a form that the EMU Foundation fills 
in and returns to your employer. This is generally a simple administrative procedure 
that doubles the value of your gift to LINGUIST, without costing you an extra penny. 
Please take a moment to check if your company operates such a program.

Thank you very much for your support of LINGUIST!


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue




Please report any bad links or misclassified data

LINGUIST Homepage | Read LINGUIST | Contact us

NSF Logo

While the LINGUIST List makes every effort to ensure the linguistic relevance of sites listed
on its pages, it cannot vouch for their contents.