Universiteit van Amsterdam

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STIL Prize for best Master Thesis in Computational Linguistics to Margaux Smets

Our former Master of Logic student Margaux Smets has been awarded the STIL Prize for the best Master Thesis in Computational Linguistics 2010.

Her thesis, entitled "A U-DOP Approach to Modeling Language Acquisition", was supervised by Rens Bod and Federico Sangati. Margaux received the prize at the CLIN conference in Ghent last Friday 11 February. Many congratulations!

The thesis of Margaux Smets describes a concrete implementation of a U-DOP parser, which is used to investigate whether the U-DOP framework can account for certain problems in language acquisition. The focus is on WH-questions. The study proposes two innovations to the field of unsupervised learning of which the performance of one improved state-of-the-art results. Apart from this, the study showed that the U-DOP computational model for unsupervised model can be used for explaining language phenomena empirically. By doing this the thesis made an interesting link between language acquisition and computational linguistics.

For the full thesis, see http://www.illc.uva.nl/Publications/reportlist.php?Series=MoL&Year=2010h.

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