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LINGUIST List 21.1957

Fri Apr 23 2010

Support: Computational Ling: PhD Student, U. of Copenhagen, Denmark

Editor for this issue: Matthew Lahrman <mattlinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Jürgen Wedekind, Computational Linguistics: PhD Student, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Message 1: Computational Linguistics: PhD Student, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Date: 23-Apr-2010
From: Jürgen Wedekind <jwedekindhum.ku.dk>
Subject: Computational Linguistics: PhD Student, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
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Institution/Organization: University of Copenhagen
Department: CST
Web Address: http://cst.ku.dk/

Level: PhD

Duties: Research,Project Work

Specialty Areas: Computational Linguistics


PhD Scholarship in Question Answering

Within the framework of the ESICT (Experience-oriented Sharing of health
knowledge via Information and Communication Technology) research project, Centre
for Language Technology wishes to appoint a PhD scholar from September 1, 2010
or later for a duration of up to three years. Place of employment will be at the
Faculty of Humanities, University of Copenhagen.

This PhD will be part of a research team consisting of two additional PhD
students of the ESICT project and of researchers from the University of
Copenhagen, the Technical University of Denmark and the University Medical
Center Freiburg. The ESICT project is supported by the Danish Council for
Strategic Research.

Project description
The ESICT project aims at providing citizens with an innovative Danish
information system on health and disease based on information technology,
language technology and formalized medical knowledge. The ESICT system will
allow users to ask questions in natural language which will be answered the same
way. Such a system addresses demands expected to become increasingly important;
citizens must be able to take more responsibility for their own health, e.g. by
navigating available information and acting in accordance with disease related
information provided.

The project is highly cross-disciplinary by using and creating methodologies
related to three broad subject areas: information technology, humanities and
health science. The basic idea is ambitious: to employ relations, descriptions
and concepts from ontologies such as the SNOMED CT (Systematized Nomenclature of
Medicine-Clinical Terms) ontology and extract knowledge from other medical data
sources in order to generate answers for the questions formulated by the
citizens. Focusing on two widespread diseases as pilot applications, the project
will demonstrate feasibility and costs of a large-scale application including
other medical fields.

PhD research project
The work of the PhD student will consist mainly of research within the field of
question answering. The main task will be to investigate and implement the
question analysis and answer generation components of the system, probably as a
hybrid solution where ontological as well as statistical approaches are included.

In a question answering system the information to be presented as an answer is
often not available in a well-worded form, but is rather distributed over
various resources, and thus the question (i.e. its vocabulary and structural
pattern) becomes the primary basis not only for retrieval of information, but
also for the wording of an answer. Research tasks can include elaboration of
typologies of question/answer patterns and improved methods for automatic
identification of the relevant answer type, e.g. a list, yes/no or a full
sentence. Research in esp. linguistically correct answers is still a relatively
unexplored field and therefore allows the PhD student to contribute
substantially to this research field.

The appointee should be interested in the following topics and have
qualifications within more than one of them:
- Danish syntax
- Natural language parsing and generation
- Question answering systems
- Knowledge representation
- Natural language semantics
- Formal logic
- Machine learning
- Corpus linguistics

Additional information on qualification requirements and the application
guidelines can be found in the full announcement at

Applications Deadline: 14-May-2010

Web Address for Applications: http://www.efond.dk/ansogning/index1.php?fondnr=30&ansoeger_sprog=44

Contact Information:
        Jürgen Wedekind

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