Universiteit van Amsterdam


Institute for Logic, Language and Computation

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Postdoc Position in Question Answering in Amsterdam (3yrs)

Postdoc Position in Question Answering in Amsterdam

The Language & Inference Technology Group at the University of Amsterdam seeks a versatile, energetic, and highly motivated postdoc to work on inference for temportal question answering. Our group has cutting-edge projects on information retrieval, natural language processing, question answering, and computational logic. Our team consists of about 20 faculty, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students, all with a strong international and multi-disciplinary orientation.

Project description

Temporal information is often a significant part of the meaning communicated in texts. To know that something happened may be of little value if we do not know when it happened, or what happened before, since, or at the time. Building on the recently released TimeML annotation standard, the project will lay the groundwork for temporal question answering systems by focusing on the central role of inference in question analysis, candidate answer mining, and answer generation. The project aims to exploit constraint-based reasoning, and in particular, model generation, for temporal question answering.

There is a strong focus on experimental evaluations of the main components of the envisaged architecture, especially with respect to the overall temporal question answering task.


The candidate should hold a PhD-degree in a relevant area, and have a strong background in one or more of the following:

  • Question answering, esp. statistical and corpus-based QA;
  • Computational semantics, esp. of time, tense, aspect, actions and events;
  • Inference, esp. automated reasoning and constraint programming.

Strong programming skills (Perl, Java, C++) are a requirement. Industrial experience, or a track-record of project-based experimental work, is a definite advantage.


We offer an extremely friendly working environment, excellent computational facilities, a high level of interaction across academic disciplines, and a location minutes from Amsterdam city center, with easy access to other cities in the Netherlands and Europe. The three-year project includes a budget for gold-standard or evaluation experiments, builds on the home-grown Quartz system, is supported by a part-time programmer (50\%), and has a generous equipment and travel budget.

Contact details/Further information

Visit http://www.science.uva.nl/~mdr/Projects/ITEQA/ for an on-line version of the project proposal. Informal inquiries are welcome and should be sent to Maarten de Rijke (email; , tel: +31 20 525 5358/2582) or Jaap Kamps (email: ).

To apply, send a full CV (incl. list of publications and a description of your research interests), together with a cover letter and names and contact details of at least two referees to Maarten de Rijke. Application deadline: November 1, 2003

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