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LINGUIST List 23.2434

Tue May 22 2012

Confs: Computational Ling/Nepal

Editor for this issue: Xiyan Wang <xiyanlinguistlist.org>

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Date: 21-May-2012
From: Miriam Butt <miriam.buttuni-konstanz.de>
Subject: DAAD Summer School in Advanced Language Engineering
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DAAD Summer School in Advanced Language Engineering

Date: 26-Aug-2012 - 21-Sep-2012
Location: Kathmandu, Nepal
Contact: Bal Krishna Bal
Contact Email: < click here to access email >
Meeting URL: http://nssnlp.ku.edu.np/

Linguistic Field(s): Computational Linguistics

Meeting Description:

The summer school is intended to boost the area of natural language engineering (NLE) in the region of South Asia. The subject area falls within the scope of computer science, engineering and linguistics and is very strongly application oriented so that the focus is on engineering viable solutions for computational applications dealing with the languages of South Asia. The idea is to provide access to international experts in the field who can communicate advanced knowledge about NLE to interested graduate students and to young researchers in South Asia, particularly in those countries where NLE is still in the early stages, but at least not completely absent in the academic institutions of the country. In addition to students from Nepal, we will select a handful of students/researchers from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Pakistan and Sri Lanka as well. For the purpose of this summer school, we are not including India, as India already has a very lively NLE research community.

Given that introductory NLE knowledge already exists in Nepal, this summer school is intended to provide access to more advanced knowledge, thus further supporting the emerging NLE research community. Our expectation is that the contacts established will lead to longer lasting collaborations, so that the summer school will foster long-term contact and exchange.

Course 1: Advanced Resources for Natural Language Processing

Module A: Grammars and Treebanks for Syntactic Processing (Stefanie Dipper, Univ. Bochum and Heike Zinsmeister, Univ. Konstanz)
Module B: Word and Verb Nets for Semantic Processing (Miriam Butt, Univ. Konstanz)

Course 2: Advanced Applications for Natural Language Processing

Module A: Statistical Machine Translation (Alex Fraser, Univ. Stuttgart)
Module B: Automatic Speech Recognition (Sarmad Hussain, Univ. of Engineering and Technology)

Who Can Apply:

Academic Requirements:

Applied Language Engineering requires multi-disciplinary skills, drawing from concepts of language, linguistics, computational modeling (including machine learning) and digital signal processing. The courses being planned will be equivalent to graduate level courses offered internationally, thus requiring undergraduate level preparation in requisite areas. Therefore, the course prerequisites will be a Four year Bachelor's degree (or a 2 year Bachelor's degree followed by a 2 year's Master's degree) in the following or related disciplines:

Electrical/Computer Engineering
Computer Science
Linguistics or Language Studies/Philology

Preference will be given to candidates if they meet one or more of the following criteria:

1. Currently doing research and/or teaching in a relevant area and sponsored by the employing academic and/or research organization in the region
2. Currently enrolled in an MS/MPhil or a Doctoral program in a relevant area
3. Has at least partial funding from a sponsoring organization for the summer school

Our reasoning behind these preferences is that we would like to ensure sustainability of NLE efforts in the region. The content imparted to a student has more chance of being channeled into regional institutional/academic NLE efforts if that student is already associated with an institute or university as a young researcher or lecturer and if there is already sufficient infrastructure in place so that partial funding is supplied for the student by their institution.

Our target group is thus that of young researchers in the region who are not only interested in NLE, but who can channel what they have learned into existing NLE efforts. The overall aim of the summer school is to train a first generation of researchers in Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, with most of the participants coming from Nepal.

How to Apply:

For applying to the school, please copy paste the link below on the address bar of your browser and submit the form after filling in your personal information:


Selection and Admissions Process:

We are aiming at a total number of 30 students. We would like 20-25 of these to come from within Nepal and 5-10 to be selected from applicants in Bhutan, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The process of selecting summer school students will include the following steps:

A selection committee will be constituted, including from the partner organizations (Univ. of Konstanz, KU and UET). The committee will finalize the selection criteria and an application form.

An open call will be made for participants from the relevant countries (listed above) on relevant online (engineering, computing and linguistic) forums, including information on funding availability (five full or up to 10 partial funding opportunities through the Summer School funds) for students traveling from outside Nepal (to be distributed judiciously across all the relevant countries). Prof. Hussain will also issue the call via the PAN Localization Network and encourage partners to send promising students.

KU will also publish a call for participation at relevant local departments in universities in Nepal, including information on funding availability.

Participants will be required to apply online from the summer school website developed by the partners (See section on How to Apply above).

The selection committee will short-list and finalize the participants based on the selection criteria listed above. The relevant information and selected candidates will be announced online at the summer school website.

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