Computational Linguistics & Phonetics Computational Linguistics & Phonetics Fachrichtung 4.7 Universität des Saarlandes

What's New at the Institute?

September 2016

Welcome Carina Silberer!
Carina Silberer has joined Manfred Pinkal's group as a postdoctoral researcher within the cluster of excellence. Carina completed her phd in Edinburgh on visually grounded meaning representations. She will work here on the interface between NLP and visual processing.
Welcome Michael Roth!
Michael Roth has joined Manfred Pinkal's group as a postdoctoral researcher within the cluster of excellence. Michael also joins us from Edinburgh where he worked as a postdoc after completing a phd in Heidelberg. He will work on processing of role and script information and contribute with his work also to SFB 1102.
Visiting PhD student Thomas Trost
Thomas Trost is a Ph.D. student in physics from the Ruhr-University Bochum. He will be doing an internship within the frame of SFB 1102 in Prof. Klakow's group till the end of October. With a background in statistics, numerical methods and high performance computing, he is looking at word embeddings with a focus on their mathematical structure.
Welcome Katja Haeuser!
Katja Haeuser has joined our department as a postdoctoral researcher in the SFB 1102. Katja has a background in psycho- and neuro-linguistics, as well as in speech-language therapy. She completed her BA degree in English Linguistics at the Universities of Bayreuth and Washington & Lee in Lexington, VA. She got her Masters degree in Clinical Linguistics from the University of Marburg, and completed her PhD at the department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and the Center for Research on Brain, Language and Music at McGill University in Montreal.

August 2016

Vera Demberg neue Professorin für Informatik und Computerlinguistik an der Universität des Saarlandes
Dr. Vera Demberg-Winterfors, zurzeit Nachwuchsgruppenleiterin im Exzellenzcluster "Multimodal Computing and Interaction" an der Universität des Saarlandes, erhielt am Dienstag, den 12.7.16, in der Staatskanzlei ihre Ernennungsurkunde zur Professorin für Informatik und Computerlinguistik. Hier die Pressemitteilung
Alexander Koller neuer Professor für Computerlinguistik an der Universität des Saarlandes
Prof. Dr. Alexander Koller, zurzeit Professor für Theoretische Computerlinguistik an der Universität Potsdam, erhielt am Donnerstag, den 18.08.16, in der Staatskanzlei die Ernennungsurkunde zum Professor für Computerlinguistik an der Universität des Saarlandes. Hier die Pressemitteilung
Guest talk by Miriam R. L. Petruck
The next speaker in the Language Science Colloquium of the summer semester is Miriam R. L. Petruck with a talk on "FrameNet: Current Status, Recent Activity, and Future Plans" on Thursday, 18 August 2016, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).
Visiting Professor Rajakrishnan Rajkumar
Prof. Rajakrishnan Rajkumar from the University of Delhi is arriving today to join Vera Demberg's group as a visiting professor until Christmas. He will work on UID and selecting discourse connectives for natural language generation.
Guest visitor from Poland
Magdalena Oleśkowicz-Popiel is visiting the Phonetics group for two weeks from July 25 through August 5. Magda's visit is part of an ongoing collaboration between Prof. Grazyna Demenko's lab at Adam Mickiewicz University at Poznan, Poland, and the DFG project on "Phonetic convergence in human-computer interaction" directed by Prof. Bernd Möbius and Dr. Ingmar Steiner.

July 2016

Guest talk by Albert Kim
The next speaker in the Language Science Colloquium of the summer semester is Albert Kim with a talk on "The neurocognitive mechanisms of on-line language comprehension: from perception to integration and back again" on Thursday, 21 July 2016, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).
Welcome Wei Shi!
Wei Shi is joining Vera Demberg's group as a PhD student on the SFB 1102 project B2. He received his MA in Natural Language Processing from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing before joining our Department.
Guest talk by Michael Franke
The next speaker in the Language Science Colloquium of the summer semester is Michael Franke with a talk on "Probabilistic pragmatics, rational analysis and data-driven inference" on Thursday, 7 July 2016, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).

June 2016

Guest talk by Björn Köhnlein
The next guest speaker in the Phonetics Colloquium of the current summer semester is Björn Köhnlein (Ohio State Universit) with a talk on "Intonation und das Lexikon: Erkenntnisse aus der Tonakzentforschung" on Tuesday, 28 June 2016, 16:15 (building C7.2, room 5.09, 5th floor). Please note the unusual date!
Five Coli papers at Interspeech
Five papers authored by members of the Computational Linguistics and Phonetics Department have been accepted for publication and presentation at Interspeech in San Francisco in September 2016.
Guest talk by Marcin Włodarczak und Mattias Heldner
The next speakers in the Phonetics Colloquium of the current summer semester are Marcin Włodarczak und Mattias Heldner (Stockholm University) with a talk on "Respiratory belts and whistles" on Wednesday, 22 June 2016, 12:15 (building C7.2, room 5.09, 5th floor). Please note the unusual date!
SFB workshops on Mixed-Models and "Historical Corpus Linguistics: Methods and Applications"
SFB1102 organizes two workshops this month. The first one about "Advanced topics in using mixed-effects models" takes place Thursday and Friday, June 9 and 10, and a second one on "Historical Corpus Linguistics: Methods and Applications" on Thursday and Friday, June 16 and 17.
Guest talk by Anthony Kroch
The next speaker in the Language Science Colloquium of the summer semester is Anthony Kroch with a talk on "Detecting Abstract Linguistic Properties Through the Study of Corpus Data" on Thursday, 16 June 2016, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).
Guest talk by Moreno Coco
The next speaker in the Language Science Colloquium of the summer semester is Moreno Coco with a talk on "When Expectancies Collide: the Interaction between Stimulus Plausibility and Congruency during a Cross-Modal Verification Task." on Thursday, 2 June 2016, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).

May 2016

Guest talk by Mark Steedman
The next speaker in the Language Science Colloquium of the summer semester is Mark Steedman with a talk on "A Distributional Theory of Content for NLP" on Thursday, 19 May 2016, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).
Guest talk by Martha Palmer
The next speaker in the Language Science Colloquium of the summer semester is Martha Palmer with a talk on "Designing abstract meaning representations" on Tuesday, 10 May 2016, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room). Please note the unusal day!
Guest talk by Padraic Monaghan
The next speaker in the Language Science Colloquium of the summer semester is Padraic Monaghan with a talk on "Degeneracy and language learning" on Thursday, 12 May 2016, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).
New intern Avijit Shah
Avijit Shah joins Manfred Pinkal's group for a 3-month internship. He is a Bachelor student in Computer Science from the National Institute of Technology (NIT) Karnataka, Surathkal, India, and will work on POS tagging for Vedic Sanskrit.

April 2016

Girls' Day 28.04.2016
Am 28. April 2016 fand an der Universität des Saarlandes der alljährliche Girls'Day statt. Die Saarbrücker Computerlinguistik beteiligte sich daran mit einem Workshops, an dem 16 interessierte Schüerinnen (und Schüer) teilnahmen und sich u.a. mit Chatbots, Question Answering und Eye-Tracking beschäftigten.
Guest talk by Fotis Jannidis
The next speaker in the Language Science Colloquium of the summer semester is Fotis Jannidis with a talk on "Challenges of a corpus-based history of the German novel" on Thursday, 28 April 2016, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).
Welcome Iona Gessinger and Eran Raveh!
Iona Gessinger and Eran Raveh have joined our department as PhD students in the new research project "Phonetic Convergence in Human-Computer Interaction", funded by the German Research Council (DFG) and coordinated by Prof. Bernd Möbius and Dr. Ingmar Steiner. Iona received her B.A. degree in Romance Linguistics and Phonetics from Jena University and her M.A. degree in Phonetics from Marburg University, and Eran has a background in Speech and Natural Language Processing, which he acquired at the universities of Dublin (Trinity), Tübingen (B.A. degree in CL) and Stuttgart, as well as work experience in the speech technology industry in Haifa and Dublin.
Guest talk by Terttu Nevalainen
The next speaker in the Language Science Colloquium of the summer semester is Terttu Nevalainen with a talk on "Historical sociolinguistics from philology to computer science" on Thursday, 21 April 2016, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).
Guest talk by Hinrich Schütze
The next speaker in the Language Science Colloquium of the summer semester is Hinrich Schütze with a talk on "Embeddings! For which objects? For which objectives?" on Friday, 15 April 2016, 14:00 (building C7.4, conference room). Please note the unusual time and date!
Welcome György Szaszák!
György Szaszák will join the Spoken Language Systems group (LSV) at Saarland university in May 2016 as a new member of the MALORCA team. His research interests cover automatic speech recognition, acoustic and language modeling and prosody in speech recognition. György has been active in the Laboratory of Speech Acoustics at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary, since 2002. He has been involved in several research projects in the field, i.e. medical dictation, in-car speech recognition for location based services, prosody and speech assessment, audio indexing, speaker and environment adaptation, broadcast news close captioning, prosody sustained information retrieval from audio, etc. In 2009, György received his Ph.D in Informatics from the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary. He also participated in several COST actions and in a 2 years long Joined research project with the Intelligent Systems and Robotics Institute at UPMC, Paris. He has also spent 18 months as a postdoctoral researcher at Idiap Research Institute.
Tagung des DFG-Netzwerks INDUS in Saarbrücken
Am 7. und 8. April findet an der Coli die 3. Tagung des INDUS-Netzwerks ("Individualisiertes Sprachlernen: Sprachtechnologische Ansätze und ihre Schnittstellen") statt. Schwerpunktthema ist gesprochene Sprache. Organisiert wird das Treffen von Jürgen Trouvain, Andrea Horbach und Marcos Zampieri.
Guest talk by Kimmo Koskenniemi
The next speaker in the Language Science Colloquium of the summer semester is Kimmo Koskenniemi with a talk on "Relating cognate words directly" on Thursday, 14 April 2016, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).
Guest talk by Roman Yangarber
The first speaker in the Coli Colloquium of this semester is Roman Yangarber with a talk on "Between two Chairs: Doing NLP Research in a Commerical Environment" on Thursday, 7 April 2016, 16:15 (building E 1.1, conference room 407). Please note the unusual location!

March 2016

Application period for Erasmus Mundus LCT now open!
Erasmus Mundus LCT Application is now open for intake 2016 on a self-financing basis. Deadline is April 30, 2016. http://lct-master.org/contents_2014/application.php
New research project MALORCA at LSV
In March, a new LSV research project - MALORCA - will be launched. The project is concerned with long term unsupervised adaptation of assistance-based automatic speech recognition systems to support and assist air traffic controllers. The research is part of the European Horizon 2020 program and will be carried out together with a European consortium of high-profile research institutes and companies. The role of the Spoken Language Systems (LSV) group of Saarland university is to develop the general acoustic and the language models required by this type of ASR systems and then investigate and develop the unsupervised, long-term adaptation methods for these models.
Press releases on D-Box project
The UdS press department has now issued the press release on the D-Box project (Eureka project E! 7152), LSV group was involved in. The Dialog Box supports collaborative gaming in a multilingual multi-user environment.
http://www.uni-saarland.de/nc/en/news/article/nr/14286.html (en)
http://www.uni-saarland.de/nc/aktuelles/artikel/nr/14285.html (de)
http://idw-online.de/en/news646944 (en)
http://idw-online.de/de/news646933 (de)

February 2016

Abschlusstagung des Schreibgebrauch-Projekts
Im BMBF-Projekt "Analyse und Instrumentarien zur Beobachtung des Schreibgebrauchs im Deutschen" hat die Arbeitsgruppe Pinkal in einem Zeitraum von 3 Jahren computerlinguistische Werkzeuge zur kontinuierlichen Beobachtung von Schreibgewohnheiten entwickelt. Bei der Abschlusstagung am 18. Februar im Institut für Deutsche Sprache, Mannheim, werden dem Rat für deutsche Rechtschreibung die Projektresultate übergeben.
Guest talk by Charlotte Gooskens
The next speaker in the Language Science Colloquium of the winter semester is Charlotte Gooskens with a talk on "Mutual intelligibility between closely related languages in Europe" on Thursday, 25 February 2016, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).
Guest talk by Yvette Graham
The next speaker in the Language Science Colloquium of the winter semester is Yvette Graham with a talk on "Can machine translation be evaluated by the crowd alone?" on Thursday, 11 February 2016, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).
Guest talk by Shanley Allen
The next speaker in the Language Science Colloquium of the winter semester is Shanley Allen with a talk on "Complex structures and garden paths in L2 sentence processing" on Thursday, 4 February 2016, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).
SFB PhD day
The first PhD day, a colloquium organized by the PhD students of SFB 1102, takes place on February 5.
SpeaQwith.me for Refugees
Patrick Carroll, der gerade den Masterstudiengang "Language Science and Technology" bei uns abschließt, hat mit seinem Studienkollegen der Informatik, Christian Faber, die Online-Plattform "SpeaQwith.me for Refugees" realisiert. Es handelt sich dabei um eine Online-Adaption der Sprachlernmethode "Tandem", die sich insbesondere für Asylsuchende und Einwanderer eignet.
Das Besondere an dieser "reponsive Web-App" ist, dass versucht wird, den Gesprächsfluss zu unterstützen. Daneben verwendet SpeaQwith.me ein automatisches Tutorensystem, das Themen vorschlägt und eine Übersetzungshilfe anbietet.
Mehr dazu in der Pressemitteilung der Universität des Saarlandes.

January 2016

Guest talk by Caroline Sporleder
The next speaker in the Language Science Colloquium of the winter semester is Caroline Sporleder with a talk on "Computational Linguistics and Digital Humanities: Chances and Challenges" on Thursday, 28 January 2016, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).
Saarbrücken successful at Speech Prosody 2016
Four papers authored by members of the Computational Linguistics and Phonetics Department have been accepted for publication and presentation at Speech Prosody in Boston in Mai 2016.
Guest talk by Uriel Cohen Priva
The next speaker in the Language Science Colloquium of the winter semester is Uriel Cohen Priva with a talk on "Differences between information in language and artificial communication systems" on Thursday, 14 January 2016, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).

December 2015

Guest talk by Petra Schumacher
The next speaker in the Language Science Colloquium of the winter semester is Petra Schumacher with a talk on "The neurophysiology of referential processing" on Thursday, 17 December 2015, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).
Guest talk by Ted Sanders
The next speaker in the Language Science Colloquium of the winter semester is Ted Sanders with a talk on "Causality and Subjectivity in discourse and cognition; Evidence from cross-linguistic analyses, acquisition and processing " on Wednesday, 16 December 2015, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room). Please note the unusal day!

November 2015

PhD defense Fatemeh Torabi Asr
Congratulations to Fatemeh Torabi Asr, who defended her PhD dissertation at Saarland University on November 10, 2015! The title of her thesis is "An Information Theoretic Approach to Production and Comprehension of Discourse Markers".
Application to the LCT program now open!
Application to the LCT program for intake 2016 is now open, the deadline is January 10, 2016. All complete applications received by this deadline will automatically be considered for the Erasmus Mundus scholarship. The application form can be found here: http://www.lct-master.org
Welcome Noortje Venhuizen and Raphaël Rubino!
We are very happy to announce the arrival of two new SFB members! Noortje Venhuizen joins us from the University of Groningen where she has recently completed her PhD thesis in Computational Semantics. She will support Matthew Crocker's group as a postdoc on project A1 during Francesca's parental leave. Raphaël Rubino worked as a postdoctoral researcher on the Abu-MaTran project in Elche as well as the ConfidentMT project in Dublin after obtaining his PhD in Computer Science (Natural Language Processing - Machine Translation) from the University of Avignon in 2011. He joins Josef van Genabith's team as a postdoc on project B6.
Welcome aboard Noortje and Raphaël!
Workshop on "Feedback in Pronunciation Training"
A workshop on Feedback in Pronunciation Training will be held at Hofgut Imsbach (Saarland) on 5th and 6th of November 2015. This two-day workshop aims to bring together data-driven and experimental research lines and provide an exchange forum for discussions in order to gain a better understanding of the role of feedback in pronunciation training with a focus on computer-assisted pronunciation training (CAPT). The workshop will consist of invited talks, oral presentations of ongoing research and discussion papers as well as an evaluation of current commercial and non-commercial CAPT systems.
Guest talk by Mark Steedman - cancelled
The next speaker in the Language Science Colloquium of the winter semester is Mark Steedman with a talk on "A distributional theory of content for NLP" on Thursday, 12 November 2015, 16:00 (building C7.4, conference room).

October 2015

First anniversary of SFB 1102
On the occasion of its first anniversary, SFB 1102 will be hosting a science slam and Halloween dance party for Saarland University's PhD students on October 30.
Guest talk by Raphael Berthele and Jan Vanhove
The next speakers in the Language Science Colloquium of the winter semester are Raphael Berthele and Jan Vanhove with a talk on "Spotting cross-linguistic similarities: Stimulus- and participant-related factors in cognate recognition" on Thursday, 22 October 2015, 16:00 (building C7.4, conference room).
Guest talk by Jacob Eisenstein
The next speaker in the Language Science Colloquium of the winter semester is Jacob Eisenstein with a talk on "Predicting and Exploiting Discourse Relations" on Thursday, 1st October 2015, 16:00 (building C7.4, conference room).

September 2015

2 Nominations for GSCL Award!
Nikolina Koleva and Simon Ostermann made it to the final round for the GSCL award for their Master's and Bachelor's thesis respectivly and have been invited to present their work at GSCL 2015 in Essen this week. Congratulations, Nikolina and Simon!
New DFG-funded project HCI Convergence
Phonetic convergence, defined as an increase in similarity between the speech characteristics of two speakers, is a well-established phenomenon of spoken language in natural dialogs. Does it also occur in human-machine communication? And should a speech synthesizer be capable of adapting its speech output to the user's speech patterns? These questions will be investigated by the new research project "Phonetic Convergence in Human-Computer Interaction", funded by the German Research Council (DFG) and coordinated by Prof. Bernd Möbius and Dr. Ingmar Steiner.
Coli students at Google NLP summit in Zurich
5 Coli PhD students, Nikolina Koleva, Marc Schulder, Anna Schmidt, Mittul Singh and Fatemeh Torabi Asr are going to the Google NLP PhD Summit in Zurich.
DiSPoL workshop in Saarbrücken
Vera Demberg, Ekaterina Lapshinova-Koltunski, Ines Rehbein and Merel Scholman are organizing the DiSPoL workshop (Identification and Annotation of Discourse Relations in Spoken Language) on 1st and 2nd of October.
Welcome Jakob Prange!
Jakob Prange is joining Manfred Pinkal's group as part of the BMBF project "Schreibgebrauch" after finishing his Bachelor in Saarbrücken.
Welcome Simon Ostermann!
Simon Ostermann is joining Manfred Pinkal's group as a PhD student on the SFB 1102 project A3 after finishing his Master, also in Saarbrücken.
Guest talk by Leon Bergen
The first speaker in the Language Science Colloquium of the winter semester is Leon Bergen with a talk on "Pragmatic strategies for efficient communication" on Thursday, 7 September 2015, 14:15 (building C7.4, conference room). Please not the unusual time!

July 2015

Guest talk by Michael White
The last speaker in the Language Science Colloquium of the current summer semester is Michael White with a talk on "Locality Effects and Ambiguity Avoidance in Natural Language Generation" on Thursday, 23 July 2015, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).
Guest talk by Tamara Berg
The next speaker in the Language Science Colloquium of the current summer semester is Tamara Berg with a talk on "Dialogue Processing in Time and Space" on Thursday, 16 July 2015, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).
Guest talk by Francesco Vespignani
The next speaker in the Language Science Colloquium of the current summer semester is Francesco Vespignani with a talk on "Idioms and fixed expressions as linguistic tools to study prediction and integration during sentence comprehension." on Thursday, 9 July 2015, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).
Visiting researcher Ani Nenkova
Ani Nenkova will visit Coli on July 22nd and give a FEAST talk at 12:00.
Visiting researcher Mike White
Mike White is visiting as part of the erasmus mundus program, he'll be staying from July 22nd to August 4th.
Welcome Merel Scholman!
Merel Scholman is joining Vera Demberg's group as a PhD student on the SFB 1102 project B2. She received her MA in Linguistics, specializing in psycholinguistics, from Utrecht University. In her work on project B2 she will experimentally investigate how humans process discourse relations.
Tag der offenen Tür
Am Samstag, den 4.7. findet der alljährliche Tag der offenen Tür an der Universität des Saarlandes statt. Die Computerlinguistik ist mit Vorträgen, Demos, Mitmach-Experimenten und einem Infostand vertreten. (Hier geht es zum Programm).
Guest talk by François Pellegrino
The next speaker in the Language Science Colloquium of the current summer semester is François Pellegrino with a talk on "A Crosslinguistic Account on Speech Information Rate" Thursday, 02 July 2015, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).

June 2015

Guest talk by David Schlangen
The next speaker in the Language Science Colloquium of the current summer semester is David Schlangen with a talk on "Dialogue Processing in Time and Space" on Thursday, 25 June 2015, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).
Guest talk by Francis Bond
The next speaker in the Language Science Colloquium of the current summer semester is Francis Bond with a talk on "Cudgeling our brains over possessive idioms" on Tuesday, 23 June 2015, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room). Please note the unusual date!
PhD Defense Sabrina Wilske
Congratulations to Sabrina Wilske, who defended her PhD dissertation on "Form and Meaning in Dialog-Based Computer-Assisted Language Learning" at Saarland University on June 12, 2015!
Guest talk by Hongwei Ding
The next speaker in the Phonetics Colloquium of the current summer semester is Hongwei Ding (Shanghai Jiao Tong University and TU Dresden) with a talk on "Phonetic-acoustic analysis of L2 German by Chinese speakers and L2 Chinese by German speakers" on Tuesday, 23 June 2015, 16:15 (building C7.2, room 5.09, 5th floor). Please note the unusual date!
Welcome back Iliana Simova!
Iliana Simova has joined the team of the SFB1102 project B5. She received her Master's degree from the University of Saarland as part of the Language Science and Technology program. Afterwards she worked as a researcher at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in the area of machine translation. In her work as part of project B5 she will focus on cross-sentence relation extraction and investigate the different linguistic encodings of n-ary relations.
Welcome Seong-Eun Cho!
Seong-Eun Cho has joined us from the University of Bergen where he received his master's degree in computational linguistics and language technologies in 2013 and has since then worked as a lecturer at the university's department of linguistic, literary and aesthetic studies. He will join the SFB 1102 project B5 to gain insights into the factors that determine variation in encoding density.
Guest talk by Reinhold Häb-Umbach
The next speaker in the Language Science Colloquium of the current summer semester is Reinhold Häb-Umbach with a talk on "Unsupervised Language Acquisition from Raw Speech" on Thursday, 18 June 2015, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).
Guest talk by Shuly Wintner
The next speaker in the Language Science Colloquium of the current summer semester is Shuly Wintner with a talk on "Automatic Identification of Translationese: Highlighting the nature of translation" on Tuesday, 16 June 2015, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room). Please note the unusual date!
Welcome William Blacoe!
William Blacoe has joined Vera Demberg's group as a post-doc researcher within the cluster of excellence.
Visiting PhD student Marten van Schijndel
Marten van Schijndel is visiting the SFB 1102 for 3 months. Marten is a PhD student from the Ohio State University and will work in the context of project A4.
Saarbrücken succesful at Interspeech 2015.
Seven papers authored by members of the Computational Linguistics and Phonetics Department have been accepted for publication and presentation at Interspeech in Dresden in September 2015.
LCT European Masters Program meeting in Groningen
The Erasmus Mundus LCT European Masters Program will hold the annual meeting from June 8-9 at our partner The University of Groningen in the Netherlands. All current students and alumni welcome, see the event home page.
Guest talk by Ivan Titov
The next speaker in the Language Science Colloquium of the current summer semester is Ivan Titov on Thursday, 11 June 2015, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).

May 2015

Girls' Day 23.04.2015
Am 23. April 2015 fand an der Universität des Saarlandes der alljährliche Girls'Day statt. Die Saarbrücker Computerlinguistik bot zu diesem Anlass drei unterschiedliche Workshops für interessierte Mädchen an: Einen Überblick über Computerlinguistik, Spracherkennung und Phonetik, sowie eine Überblicksveranstaltung zur Psycholinguistik und einen Workshop zum Thema Eye-Tracking-Forschung. Die angebotenen Veranstaltungen waren dieses Jahr ausgesprochen gut besucht: Insgesamt nahmen 72 Schülerinnen (und einige Lehrer) an den angebotenen Workshops, Ausprobierstationen und Präsentationen teil.
Guest talk by Kara Federmeier
The next speaker in the Language Science Colloquium of the current summer semester is Kara Federmeier with a talk on "Doing a double take: Hemispheric contributions to language processing" on Thursday, 21 May 2015, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).
Visiting PhD student Te Rutherford
Te Rutherford is visiting the SFB 1102 for four months. Te is a PhD student from Brandeis University and will work in the context of project B2.
Coli bei der Kinderuni
Im Rahmen der Saarbrücker Kinderuni halten Vera Demberg und Heiner Drenhaus am 6. Mai einen Vorlesung zum Thema "Was passiert in unserem Kopf, wenn wir Sprache hören oder lesen?".

April 2015

Guest talk by Martin Hackl
The next speaker in the Language Science Colloquium of the current summer semester is Martin Hackl with a talk "On the Acquisition and Processing of Only: Question Answer Congruence, Scalar Presupposition, and the Structure of ALT(S)s" on Thursday, 30 April 2015, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).
Glushko Prize awarded to Harm Brouwer
Harm Brouwer has been awarded the 2015 Robert J. Glushko Prize for outstanding dissertations in cognitive science. Dr. Brouwer received his PhD from the University of Groningen in 2014, for his dissertation entitled "The Electrophysiology of Language Comprehension: A Neurocomputational Model", before joining Matt Crocker's group as a Marie Curie postdoctoral fellow last July. As one of only four dissertations to be honoured by the prize in 2015, Harm has been invited to present his thesis to this year's meeting of the Cognitive Science Society in Pasadena, California, where he will also receive the $10,000 award. Congratulations Harm!!
Guest talk by Richard Sproat
The first speaker in the Language Science Colloquium of the current summer semester is Richard Sproat (Google, New York) with a talk on "The Statistics of Non-Linguistic Symbol Systems" on Tuesday, 21 April 2015, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).
Welcome back, Ines Rehbein!
Ines Rehbein joined Vera Demberg's group as a postdoc researcher on project B2. Ines obtained her phd from Dublin City University, was a member of the Salsa project at Coli Saarbrücken and now rejoined us after working on the Kiezdeutsch Corpus project in Potsdam. Welcome back!
Inaugural Colloquium of the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 1102
The Inaugural Colloquium of the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 1102 "Information Density and Linguistic Encoding" will take place on 17th April 2015. The event is split into a scientific colloquium which will be held on campus of Saarland University and an evening event which takes place at Saarbrücken Castle. The scientific part is dedicated to guest talks as well as presentations of research results from the SFB projects.

March 2015

Guest talk by Dr. Aphra Kerr
We are happy to announce a talk by Dr. Aphra Kerr, Maynooth University, Ireland: "Managing Transnational Online Communities - linguistic, social and political issues." Thursday 19.03.2015, 14:00-15:30, conf. room 1.20, building A2 2., Applied Linguistics, Translation and Interpreting
Guest professor Julie Berndsen
Prof. Julie Berndsen from University College Dublin, School of Computer Science and Informatics, is visiting the Phonetics group and the Cluster of Excellence as a guest professor until the end of April 2015. Julie's research group at UCD has been developing speech recognition and synthesis systems which use fine-grained linguistic information. Come and talk to Julie in our lab in C7.2/4.08.

February 2015

Professor Mangold verstorben
Am 3. Februar ist Prof. Max Mangold, der Gründer der Phonetik an der Universität des Saarlandes, verstorben. Er wurde 92 Jahre alt.
HIB-MINT-Tag 2015 am Freitag, 6. März.
Am Freitag den 6. März stellt die FR 4.7 (Computerlinguistik und Phonetik) im Rahmen der Hochschulinformationsbesuche (HIB) an der Saar-Uni ihre Studiengänge vor (ab 15:15 Uhr). Nähere Informationen zum Programm finden Sie auf den HIB-Seiten.
Visiting PhD student Ottokar Tilk
Ottokar Tilk is visiting the SFB 1102 for four months. Ottokar is a PhD student from Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia, and will work on deep learning for language modelling in the context of project A2.
LSV co-organizes CITIA Roadmap Conference
Spoken Language Systems Group (LSV) co-organizes the CITIA Roadmap Conference, 24-25 February in Brussels, that aims to share the first version of the Roadmap for Conversational Interaction Technologies produced by the ROCKIT project and collect critical feedback on its content. The 2-days conference programme enables the exchange of ideas and networking among all stakeholders of the European Conversational Interaction Technologies ecosystem, among which SMEs and corporations, universities and research institutes, European institutions, specialized media.
During the conference the Conversational Interaction Technology Innovation Alliance (CITIA) will be launched, aiming to form a broad-based, cross-sector community around the ROCKIT roadmap as a long-term route to sustainability. Interested in Conversational Interaction Technology?
  • join our CITIA Group on LinkedIn to participate in our activities
  • follow us on Twitter @europeunlimited
  • leave your comments on the Roadmap white papers forum board HERE

January 2015

Guest talk by John Dehdari
The last speaker in the Coli Colloquium of the current winter semester is Jon Dehdari (Department for Applied Linguistics, Translation and Interpreting) with a talk on "A Neurophysiologically-Inspired Statistical Language Model" on Thursday, 29 January 2015, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).
Welcome Erika Schulz!
Erika Schulz has joined the Phonetics group and SFB 1102. Erika received a first master degree in phonetics at the Philipps-University Marburg and recently submitted her MPhil thesis in speech and language therapy at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. Erika will join the SFB 1102 project C1 to investigate the effects of information density on speech production.
Guest talk by Michael Ramscar
The next speaker in the Coli Colloquium of this semester is Michael Ramscar (Universität Tübingen) with a talk on "Nonlinear dynamics of lifelong learning: The myth of cognitive decline" on Thursday, 15 January 2015, 12:15 (building C7.4, conference room). Please note the unusual time!
Guest talk by Valerie Hazan
The next speaker in the Coli Colloquium of this semester is Valerie Hazan (Department of Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences, UCL) with a talk on "Speaker adaptations in spontaneous speech in challenging communicative conditions" on Thursday, 8 January 2015, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).

December 2014

Welcome Zofia Malisz!
Zofia Malisz has joined the Phonetics group and SFB 1102. Zofia received a master degree in linguistics at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland, and a PhD degree (with distinction) in English linguistics at the University of Bielefeld. She will join the SFB 1102 project C1 and investigate the effects of information density on speakers' choices in production and listeners' preferences in perception.
Welcome Mirjana Sekicki!
The Embodied Spoken Interaction Reserach Group has been joined by Mirjana Sekicki. Mirjana has studied Anglistics in Novi Sad, Serbia, and has completed a Master degree in Communication and Information Sciences at Tilburg university. She will work as a PhD student in the SFB 1102 investigating the influence of speaker's gaze and visual context on information density in language.
Guest talk by Klinton Bicknell
The next speaker in the Coli Colloquium of this semester is Klinton Bicknell (Department of Linguistics, Northwestern University) with a talk on "Language comprehension as rational probabilistic inference on perceptual input" on Thursday, 11 November 2014, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).
Guest talk by Annelen Brunner
Annelen Brunner from IDS Mannheim will give a talk about "Automatic recognition of speech, thought and writing representation in German narrative texts". (Wednesday, December 3rd, 12 p.m. (s.t.), C7.4, third floor "Aquarium")

November 2014

PhD Defense Antske Fokkens
Congratulations to Antske Fokkens, who defended her PhD dissertation on "Enhancing Empirical Research for Linguistically Motivated Precision Grammars" at Saarland University on November 18, 2014!
Guest talk by Emily Bender
Emily Bender (University of Washington) will give a talk titled "On Compositionality in Task-Independent Semantic Representations" at DFKI (Campus D3_2, Room Reuse) on Tuesday, Nov 18th, 11 a.m. (s.t.).
Guest talk by Frank Keller
The next speaker in the Coli Colloquium of this semester is Frank Keller (University of Edinburgh) with a talk on "How Humans (and Machines) Integrate Language and Vision: Image Description as a Test Case" on Wednesday, 26 November 2014, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).
We are growing!
Several new PhD students and postDoc researchers joined the various research groups within the last weeks. Welcome to Christine Ankener, Ross Macdonald (both in Maria Staudte's group), Mindaugas Mozuratis, Elisabeth Rabs, Lisa Teunissen (all in Matt Crocker's group), Jorrig Vogels (Vera Demberg's group) and Lilian Wanzare (Manfred Pinkal's group)!

October 2014

Huanying Hongxia Shi!
Herzlich willkommen Hongxia Shi! Seit Oktober haben wir eine neue Lektorin für Chinesisch. Hongxia Shi übernimmt diese Aufgabe von Lansun Chen, die in den wohl verdienten Ruhestand wechselt.
Wir wünschen Hongxia Shi einen guten Einstieg und Lansun Chen eine gute Zeit nach vielen Jahren des Chinesisch-Unterrichts an der Universität des Saarlandes!
Application period for LCT MSc program started
The LCT MSc program is now accepting applications for the Erasmus Mundus scholarship for intake 2015. More information here: http://www.lct-master.org/
SFB Officially Started
On October 1st, the new CRC "Information Density and Linguistic Encoding" (SFB1102) started. We welcome all new phd students and postdocs!
Manfred Pinkal Symposium
After a lifetime of research in computational linguistics, semantics, and dialogue, Manfred Pinkal retired end of September.
To celebrate Manfred's academic life and to remind him and us of the impact he has had on his research fields and on the lives of other people we had a one-day workshop on October 1.

September 2014

Guest talks by Olov Engwall
Olov Engwall from KTH Stockholm is going to give two talks during his visit in Saarbrücken (contact person is Ingmar Steiner).
  • "Uncovering the secrets of the voice using high performance computer simulations and 3D biomechanics"
    (Wednesday, October 1, 2014, 14:00, at DFKI VisCenter, D3.2 (Ground floor, new building -- facing Mensa))
  • "Lessons learned from working with a computer-animated pronunciation teacher"
    (Thursday, October 2, 2014, 10:00 at CoLi Conference Room, C7.4, 1.17)

August 2014

Märchenerzählende Rechner
Vier Studenten haben in einem Seminar bei Sprachtechnologe Thierry Declerck eine Software entwickelt, die den Computer zum Märchenerzähler macht. Das Besondere: Im Gegensatz zu üblichen Vorleseprogrammen hat der Rechner den Text verstanden. Der Computer erkennt die verschiedenen Charaktere, erzählt automatisch mit verteilten Rollen, passt seine Stimme den jeweiligen Gefühlen an und setzt Spezialeffekte wie Hall ein. Entwickelt wurde die Software anhand des Märchens „Der Froschkönig“, aber die Sprachverarbeitung ist automatisierbar: Nach Eingabe bestimmter Informationen kann der Computer auch andere Märchen erzählen.
Zur gesamten Pressemeldung.
11. UniCamp
Am 07.08.14 war es es wieder soweit und 28 Schülerinnen der 8. und 9. Klasse hatten die Möglichkeit im Rahmen des UniCamps 2014 an den Workshops der Computerlinguistik teilzunehmen.
Nach einem Einführungsvortrag, wurden die Mädchen in Gruppen eingeteilt, in denen sie die verschiedenen Stationen des CoLi-Zirkels durchliefen. So konnten die Schülerinnen die vielfältigen Einsatzbereiche des Faches in der Praxis testen, wie z.B. den sprechenden Aufzug, die ChatBots oder die Spracherkennung für Fluglotsen und hatten viel Spaß dabei (Bilder).

July 2014

Guest talk by Detmar Meurers
The next speaker in the Coli Colloquium of this semester is Detmar Meurers (Dept. of Linguistics, University of Tübingen) with a talk on "Readability analysis as an experimental sandbox for exploring linguistic complexity" on Thursday, 17 July 2014, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).
Further guest talks
There are three further guest talks outside the Coli and the phonetics colloquia:
  • "Explaining Cognitive Agents" by talk by Koen Hindriks (partner in the TRADR project) on Wednesday, July 9 2014. 14:00, in room -2.17 ("Reuse") at DFKI.
  • "Solid as a Rock the Boat: What Eye-Tracking and ERPs Reveal About Downstream Comprehension Following Lexical Ambiguity Resolution" by Mallory Stites (University of Illinois, Psychology) on Thursday, July 10th, 10:00 (s.t.) in the Conference Room in C7.4.
  • "Cognitive categories of coherence relations in discourse annotation" by Merel Scholman (University Utrecht) on Thursday, July 10th, 14:00 (s.t.), in "Aquarium", 3rd floor in C7.4.

June 2014

Guest talk by Tim Baldwin
The next speaker in the Coli Colloquium of this semester is Tim Baldwin (Dept. of Computing and Information System, University of Melbourne, Australia) with a talk on "Sense learning with topic modelling" on Thursday, 3 July 2014, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).
Tim will be in Saarbrücken until July 24, and will also be teaching several lectures on Social media processing in the Language Technology II course.
Guest talk by Neil Cohn
The next speaker in the Coli Colloquium of this semester is Neil Cohn (Visual Language Lab, Center for Research in Language, University of California, San Diego) with a talk on "The structure of events: A theoretical model for event comprehension" on Wednesday (unusual day), 18 June 2014, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).
Guest talk by Christopher Sappok
The next speaker in the Phonetics Colloquium of this semester is Christopher Sappok (University of Cologne) on Wednesday, 18 June 2014, 14:15 (building C7.2, studio). The title of his talk is "Reported dialogue in the oral reading performance of third-graders -- a perception experiment concerning the prosodic marking of (pseudo) turn-switches".
SFB bewilligt!
Die Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) hat entschieden, einen Sonderforschungsbereich (SFB) zum Thema "Information Density and Linguistic Encoding" an der Universität des Saarlandes einzurichten. Über einen Zeitraum von vier Jahren werden Projekte im Umfang von ca. 8 Millionen Euro unterstützt. Eine Vielzahl der Projekte wird von Forschern der Fachrichtung 4.7 getragen (Avgustinova, Crocker, Demberg, Klakow, Möbius, Pinkal, Staudte, Steiner, Thater, Uszkoreit). Als Sprecherin des SFB fungiert Elke Teich (FR. 4.6).
Aus der DFG-Pressemeldung: Die Forschung zur Variation im Sprachsystem hat sich als nicht hinreichend präzise für eine adäquate Modellierung sprachlicher Prozesse erwiesen, zudem werden bislang meist nur einzelne Ebenen des Sprachsystems betrachtet. Ausgehend von einer neuartigen konzeptionellen Perspektive auf die Thematik will der Sonderforschungsbereich "Informationsdichte und sprachliche Kodierung" alle Ebenen des Sprachsystems untersuchen und damit neue Erkenntnisse über den Charakter der dem Sprachsystem inhärenten Variation und ihrem Nutzen im Sprachgebrauch schaffen.
Mehr Informationen findet man in der Pressemeldung der Universität.
Welcome Arif Khan!
The Multimodal Speech Processing Group has been joined by Arif Khan, whose received his Masters degree at the Spoken Language Systems group at Saarland University. Arif will be working on acoustic models enhanced with articulatory and/or visual modalities, and will be pursuing his PhD on a related topic.
Winner of Google Scholarship
Anna Schmidt, PhD candidate in Prof. Dietrich Klakow's department, has won the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship for 2014. All European winners will participate in a retreat in July, to be held in Zurich. Congratulations Anna!

May 2014

Guest talk by Michael Jessen
The next speaker in the Coli Colloquium of this semester is Michael Jessen from Bundeskriminalamt (Forensic Science Institute, Department of Speaker Identification and Audio Analysis) with a talk on "Getting it right: Proficiency testing, collaborative exercises, and system evaluations in forensic voice comparison" on Thursday, 5 June 2014, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).
Erasmus Mundus program
The Erasmus Mundus LCT MSc program will hold its annual meeting/graduation ceremony on June 12 and 13 at the University of Trento. Congratulations to all graduates!
Guest talk by Jochen Leidner
The first speaker in the Coli Colloquium of this semester is Jochen Leidner from Thomson Reuters Corporate Research and Developement with a talk on "Between two Chairs: Doing NLP Research in a Commerical Environment" on Thursday, 22 May 2014, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).

April 2014

Spring School in Dagstuhl
The Phonetics group and the research group on "Multimodal speech processing" organise a three-day spring school on "Individual-centered approaches to speech processing" in collaboration with partners of a regional consortium (Trier, Luxembourg, Nancy, Strasbourg and Karlsruhe). The event takes place from 6-9 April 2014 at Schloss Dagstuhl and consists of plenary lectures, intensive tutorials and student presentations. It brings together (master and doctoral) students and scholars from various academic institutes from the border regions in South-West Germany, East France and Luxembourg. The students will present their projects of ongoing and also planned research work for their Master or PhD thesis as poster presentations. The Spring School will be supported by the University of the Greater Region.
After the spring school follows an International Workshop on "Multilinguality in Speech Research".
See also the press release from Saarland University.

March 2014

HIB 2014
Am 21.02.14 stellen die Computerlinguistik und die Phonetik im Rahmen der Hochschulinformationsbesuche an der Saar-Uni, ihre Studiengänge vor. Nähere Informationen zum Programm finden Sie auf den HIB-Seiten.

February 2014

Neues EU-Projekt PHEME
Ist eine Information im Internet vertrauenswürdig? Damit diese Frage künftig beantwortet werden kann, arbeitet der Saarbrücker Sprachtechnologe Thierry Declerck seit Anfang des Jahres im Rahmen des Projekts „Pheme“ mit Wissenschaftlern verschiedener Fachdisziplinen aus England, Österreich, der Schweiz, Bulgarien, Spanien und Kenia zusammen. Ziel der Forscher ist es, ein automatisches Analyseverfahren zu entwickeln, das dem Internetnutzer schnell und verlässlich mitteilt, ob er einer gefundenen Information trauen kann oder eher nicht. Die Ergebnisse werden in zwei Fallstudien getestet, Testgebiete sind Medizinische Informationssysteme und digitaler Journalismus. Das Projekt ist auf drei Jahre angelegt, hat ein Gesamtvolumen von rund 4,3 Millionen Euro und wird von der EU mit rund drei Millionen Euro gefördert.
Zur gesamten Pressemeldung.
Visiting PhD student Rachel Rudinger
Rachel Rudinger is a PhD student from the Johns Hopkins Center for Language and Speech Processing, visiting coli from February to the end of June 2014. She completed her undergraduate degree in Computer Science at Yale University, where she worked with Dana Angluin and Bob Frank. Rachel is interested in all aspects of natural language understanding, including meaning representations, semantic parsing, and computational inference. She currently has her office in C7 4, room 3.04, and is interested in meeting students, faculty and staff.
Guest talk by Juliane Schmidt
The next speaker in the Phonetics Colloquium of this semester is Juliane Schmidt from the Center for Language Studies (Radboud University Nijmegen) and the International Max Planck Research School for Language Science with a talk on "Multiple information stream integration in human" on Tuesday, 12 February 2014, 14:15 (building C7.2, room 5.09, studio).
PhD defense Eva Lasarcyk
Congratulations to Eva Lasarcyk, who defended her PhD dissertation at Saarland University on Feb 3, 2014! The title of her thesis is "Empirical evaluation of the articulatory synthesizer VocalTractLab as a discovery tool for phonetic research: Articulatory-acoustic investigations of paralinguistic speech phenomena"
Guest talk by Andrea Weber
The next speaker in the Coli Colloquium of this semester is Andrea Weber from the group "Psycholinguistics and Applied Language Studies"(Englisches Seminar, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen) with a talk on "Sink positive: the case of interdental fricatives in foreign-accented English" on Thursday, 6 February 2014, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).

January 2014

Guest talk by Rick Lewis
The next speaker in the Coli Colloquium of this semester is Rick Lewis from the Language and Cognitive Architecture Lab (Department of Psychology, University of Michigan) with a talk on "Rational Mechanisms for Language Processing" on Thursday, 30 January 2014, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).
Guest talk by Stefan Frank
The next speaker in the Coli Colloquium of this semester is Stefan Frank from the Centre for Language Studies (Radboud University Nijmegen) and the Department of Cognitive, Perceptual and Brain Sciences (University College London) with a talk on "Exploring the brain's response to word information" on Thursday, 16 January 2014, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).

December 2013

PhD defense Christian Federmann
Congratulations to Christian Federmann, who defended his PhD dissertation on "Hybrid Machine Translation using Binary Classification Models trained on Joint, Binarised Feature Vectors" at Saarland University on Dec 16, 2013!
LSV won text analysis competition
Researchers at the Lehrstuhl für Sprach- und Signalverarbeitung (LSV) won the prestigious TAC KBP Slot-Filling competition. The team lead by Dietrich Klakow and Benjamin Roth developed a software that outperformed the systems of 17 other leading research groups in the field such as Stanford University. The yearly benchmark is organized by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in order to advance the state of the art in automatic extraction of information from text.
Press release (in German).
PhD defense Michaela Regneri
Congratulations to Michaela Regneri who defended her PhD dissertation on "Event Structures in Knowledge, Pictures and Text" at Saarland University on Dec 4, 2013!
Guest talk by David Traum
The next speaker in the Coli Colloquium of this semester is David Traum from the USC Institute for Create Technologies at the University of Southern California with a talk on "Towards a model for incremental grounding in spoken dialogue systems" on Thursday, 12 December 2013, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).
New EU-funded project ROCKIT
The Spoken Language Group launched a new EU-funded project - ROCKIT.
ROCKIT is a strategic roadmapping project for research and innovation in the area of natural conversational interaction. The primary scientific focus concerns interactive agents which are proactive, multimodal, social, and autonomous. A second focus concerns systems which can extract and exploit rich context and knowledge from heterogeneous data sources.
The main goal of ROCKIT is the development of a Research and Innovation Roadmap which integrates the vision and innovation agendas of those organisations (concerned with R&D and exploitation) in the field across Europe, with a broad coverage across sectors. A key goal is to bring together public sector research organisations with commercial organisations at all scales, with a particular focus on SMEs that represent the majority of fragmented commercial activity in Europe.
Welcome Thomas Kleinbauer!
In November, Thomas Kleinbauer joined the dialog group at LSV after a two-year post-doc at Monash University, Melbourne. Previous gigs include the IUI group at DFKI, SB, and the FrameNet group at ICSI, Berkeley, CA. Thomas has begun work on the EU projects METALOGUE and ROCKIT and also contributes to the E! project D-Box. His research focuses on dialog interpretation and generation.
Guest talk by Steve Piantadosi
The next speaker in the Coli Colloquium of this semester is Steve Piantadosi from the Center for Language Sciences at the University of Rochester with a talk on "Communicative Design in Human Language" on Thursday, 5 December 2013, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).

November 2013

Guest talk by Catherine Watson
Catherine Watson from the University of Auckland will give a talk on "Sound change in Maori and New Zealand English" in the Phonetics Colloquium. Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2013, at 14:15, location: room 4.09, building C7.2. Catherine Watson is a guest of the group of Elke Teich.
Guest talk by Florian Metze
The next speaker in the Coli Colloquium of this semester is Florian Metze from the Language Technologies Institute (LTI) at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) with a talk on "Getting more words right than wrong in a week" on Friday, 8 November 2013, 15:15 (building C7.4, conference room). Please note the unusual date and time.

October 2013

New EU-funded project METALOGUE
On the 1st of November the new EU-funded project will be kicked off: METALOGUE. The goal of the project is to produce a multimodal dialogue system that is able to implement an interactive behaviour that seems natural to users and is flexible enough to exploit the full potential of multimodal interaction. It will be achieved by understanding, controlling and manipulating system's own and users' cognitive processes. The new dialogue manager will incorporate a cognitive model based on metacognitive skills that will enable planning and deployment of appropriate dialogue strategies. The system will be able to monitor both its own and users' interactive performance, reason about the dialogue progress, guess the users' knowledge and intentions, and thereby adapt and regulate the dialogue behaviour over time.
The metacognitive capabilities of the system will be based on a state-of-the-art approach incorporating multitasking and transfer of knowledge among skills. The models will be implemented in ACT-R, providing a general framework of metacognitive skills.
Research focuses on educational and coaching situations where negotiation skills play a key role in the decision-making processes. Components and algorithms will be developed, tested and integrated into a prototype platform, which will provide learners with a rich and interactive environment that will help to develop metacognitive skills, support motivation, and stimulate creativity and responsibility in the decision making and argumentation process.
The system will produce virtual agents capable of engaging in natural interaction through combinations of English, German and Greek, using gestures, mimicry and body language. It will be deployed in two use-case scenarios: in social educational contexts for training young entrepreneurs and active citizens (Youth Parliament), and in a business education context for training call centre employees to successfully handle their customers.
Consortium: DFKI, Saarland University and Charamel GmbH (Germany), Open University of the Netherlands and University of Groningen (The Netherlands), University of Peloponnese and Hellenic Parliament (Greece), Trinity College Dublin (Ireland), University of Essex and DialogCONNECTION Ltd (UK)
Guest talk by Emil Krahmer
The first speaker in the Coli Colloquium of this semester is Emil Krahmer from Tilburg University with a talk on "Producing referring expressions: How do speakers do it, and how to model this computationally?" on Thursday, 31 October 2013, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).
Guest talk Annie Louis
Annie Louis (University of Edinburgh) will give a talk titled Structured and Unstructured Cache Models for SMT Domain Adaptation on Monday, 4:15pm, at C7.4 (conference room "Aquarium"). Everybody is cordially invited! Annie Louis will be here Monday & Tuesday - if you want to meet with her, please contact Annemarie Friedrich.

September 2013

Welcome Alexander Hewer!
In mid-September, the Multimodal Speech Processing Group was joined by Alexander Hewer, whose background lies in image processing, where he received Masters degrees in Visual Computing and Computer Science from Saarland University. Alexander has begun work on automatic segmentation of vocal tract imaging data, and will be pursuing his PhD on a related topic.
Welcome Chiara Gambi!
Chiara has joined the Psycholinguistic group after completing her PhD at the University of Edinburgh. Her research focuses on the relationship between production mechanisms and anticipation in language processing.
Welcome Yoana Vergilova!
Yoana has joined the Psycholinguistic group as a PhD student, after completing her Masters in Cognitive Science at the New Bulgarian University. Her work focused on combining spatial and motor affordance effects with the Divided Visual Field paradigm.
Projekt 'Allegro' bei der 'Welt der Familie'
Das Projekt "Allegro" ist am 21.09, 22.09, 28.09. und 29.09 auf dem Interreg-Stand bei der Messe "Welt der Familie". Simon Ostermann und Jakob Prange führen für Messebesucher die Sprachlernplattform des Allegro-Projektes vor. Damit kann man alltägliche Gesprächssituationen individuell und intensiv im Dialog mit dem Computer trainieren.
UniCamp 2013 zu 'Computer und Sprache'
Auch in diesem Jahr konnte die Computerlinguistik im Rahmen des UniCamp 2013 40 Schülerinnen der 8. und 9. Klasse ein abwechslungsreiches Programm anbieten (siehe Bilder).
Das Motto des diesjährigen Programms lautete "Computer und Sprache".
Nach einem Einführungsvortrag, in dem sehr anschaulich erklärt wurde, was unter Computerlinguistik zu verstehen ist, wurden die Mädchen in kleineren Gruppen aufgeteilt und konnten an verschiedenen Stationen Teilbereiche der Computerlinguistik erkunden.
Beeindruckend und informativ fanden die Schülerinnen unter anderem den sprechenden Aufzug und die sprechende Fahrplanauskunft. Die ChatBots und die Spracherkennung in der Flugsicherung, die Phonetik sowie der "Eye-Checker" kamen ebenfalls sehr gut an.
Insgesamt hatten die 40 Mädchen großen Spaß. Sie hatten die Möglichkeit viel selbst zu testen und die eine oder andere Teilnehmerin könnte sich durchaus vorstellen, Computerlinguistik zu studieren.

August 2013

Graduation Ceremony at Saarland University - July 11th, 2013
On July 11th the first joint graduation ceremony of the local Master Program "Language Science and Technology" (LST) and the Erasmus Mundus Master Program "Language and Communication Technology" (LCT) was held at Saarland University.
The graduates were congratulated by the president of Saarland University, Prof. Dr. Volker Linneweber. Prof. Bernd Möbius spoke as head of department of Computational Linguistics, as well as Prof. Dr. Hans Uszkoreit as representative of both Master programs.
Student speakers were Julia Dembowski of the computational linguistics student union, followed by Laura Handojo and Richard Littauer for the Erasmus Mundus LCT. Prof. Dr. Hans Uszkoreit and Dr. Stefan Thater presented the graduation documents. A toast was held by LCT coordinator Dr. Ivana Kruijff-Korbayova, followed by a buffet and music.
We would like to thank all the people who took part in the ceremony, especially our sponsors Erasmus Mundus, Google, Nuance and the Studentenwerk of Saarland University. We wish the graduates all the best for their future.
Here some picture from the ceremony: Graduation Ceremony 2013

July 2013

Speech synthesis on BBC radio
There is a radio documentary on the development of speech synthesis on BBC 4 on Friday, 26 July, at 11:00 (= 12:00 Central European Summer Time). In "Klatt's Last Tapes" Lucy Hawking explores the history of synthesising speech over the last 200 years, up to current research. Starting with the famous speaking machine of Wolfgang von Kempelen she also visited the phonetics group of Saarland University (with the voices of Fabian Brackhane, Jürgen Trouvain, Bernd Möbius, Eva Lasarcyk and the replica of the "Sprachmaschine".)
Guest talk by Walter Daelemans
The next speaker in the Coli Colloquium is Walter Daelemans from the University of Antwerp (Computational Linguistics and Psycholinguistics Research Center) with a talk on " Machine Learning of Personality Assignment and Deception Detection" on Thursday, 25 July 2013, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).
Guest talk by Ann Copestake
The next speaker in the Coli Colloquium is Ann Copestake from the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory with a talk on "Distributional Semantics and Deep Grammars" on Thursday, 18 July 2013, 16:15 (building C7.4, conference room).

June 2013

Invited talk by Nils Lenke
Dr. Nils Lenke from the firm Nuance will be a guest of the Erasmus Mundus LCT program and will give a talk on July 11, 2013 at 11.00 AM in C7 4, room 1.17 on the topic "Working on the next generation user interface @ Nuance". All Coli faculty and staff are cordially invited to attend.
Guest talk by Gina Kuperberg
The next speaker in the Coli Colloquium is Gina Kuperberg (Psychology Department, Tufts University and Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital) with a talk on "A predictive architecture of language comprehension: Insight from temporal-spatial neuroimaging" on Thursday, 20 June 2013, 16:15 (Building C7.4, conference room).
Tag der offenen Tür 2013
Am Samstag, den 22.06.13, lädt die Universität des Saarlandes ein zum Tag der offenen Tür. Im Gesamtprogramm gibt es die folgenden Veranstaltungen unserer Fachrichtung im Geb. C7.2:
  • Heute schon geklickt? Schnalzlaute im !Xhosa und im Deutschen (Vortrag von Dr. Jürgen Trouvain, 10.00-10.30 Uhr im Seminarraum 1.12)
  • Sprachverarbeitung: Spannung "auf" dem Kopf (Vortrag von Dr. Heiner Drenhaus, 10.45-11.15 Uhr im Seminarraum 1.12)
  • Demos der Phonetik (Prof. Dr. Bernd Möbius und Team, 10.30-13.00 Uhr im Foyer)
  • Demo: Mithörende Assistenzsysteme für Fluglotsen (Prof. Dr. Dietrich Klakow und Team, 10.30-16.00 Uhr, vor dem Campus Center)
  • Info-Tisch der Allgemeinen Linguistik/Computerlinguistik (Fachschaft, 10.00-15.00 Uhr im Foyer)
Guest talk by Sebastian Padó
The next speaker in the Coli Colloquium is Sebastian Padó from the Institut für Computerlinguistik at the University of Heidelberg with a talk on "Cognitive and Computational Aspects of Logical Metonymy Interpretation" on Tuesday, 6 June 2013, 16:15 (Building C7.4, conference room).

May 2013

New research group led by Maria Staudte
Maria Staudte has joined the department as the leader of a new junior research group on "Embodied Spoken Interaction". Her research focuses on understanding and modeling the dynamics of language and other (non-verbal) referential cues that are typically available during face-to-face interaction. This is one of currently four independent research group in the area of computational and psycho-linguistics and phonetics within the Cluster of Excellence.
23. TaCoS
Die Tagung der Computerlinguistik-Studierenden findet vom 31. Mai bis 2. Juni in Saarbrücken statt. Sie bietet Teilnehmenden die Möglichkeit, Vorträge zu halten und zu besuchen und sich mit anderen StudentInnen der Computerlinguistik und verwandter Fächer auszutauschen.
Computational Field Workshop
The Computational Field Workshop (with Alexis Palmer as keynote speaker) will take place May 27-28, 2013, in Montreal, Canada, hosted by McGill University Linguistics. The workshop will focus on computational tools for transcribing, storing and searching linguistic data.
Welcome Christian Federmann!
Christian Federmann has joined Manfred Pinkal's group as a researcher. He studied computer science and computational linguistics at Saarland University and submitted his diploma thesis on "Very Large Language Models for Machine Translation" in July 2007. From August 2007 - April 2013, he was a researcher at the Language Technology Lab at DFKI working on projects such as MUSING, EuroMatrixPlus, or T4ME (META-NET). His research mostly focuses on machine translation and evaluation of machine-translated text, as well as building clever information extraction tools. Christian is currently finishing his PhD thesis under the supervision of Prof. Hans Uszkoreit, titled "A Machine Learning Framework for System Combination Using Joint, Binarised Feature Vectors".
Manfred Pinkal elected into Academy of Sciences and Literature
Prof. Manfred Pinkal was elected as a full member of the Academy of Sciences and Literature (Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur Mainz). The Academy of Sciences and Literature is an interdisciplinary institution that supports outstanding fundamental research. It currently has around 150 full members, which are distinguished scholars of all disciplines from all over Germany. We cordially congratulate Prof. Pinkal on receiving this prestigious honor!
Guest talk by Roger Levy
The next speaker in the Coli Colloquium is Roger Levy from the Department of Linguistics at the University of California, San Diego, with a talk on "Probability and a quantitative science of language" on Tuesday, 14 May 2013, 16:15 (Building C7.4, conference room). Please note the unusual date.
Welcome, Wandi Susanto!
Wandi has joined the Multimodal Speech Processing group in the Cluster of Excellence as a PhD student, after completing his Masters in Computer Science at the MPI for Informatics. His thesis in computer vision was supervised by Bernt Schiele and investigated combining multiple Kinects for object detection.
Girls' Day 25.04.2013
Am 25.04.2012 waren knapp 30 Mädchen im Rahmen des Girls' Day zu Gast in der Computerlinguisitk. Mehr dazu in einem Bericht mit Fotos.

April 2013

New German-French Project on CALL
In April 2013 the 3-year project Individualized Feedback in Computer-Assisted Spoken Language Learning (IFCASL) was launched. Phoneticians from Saarbrücken and their colleagues from Nancy at LORIA develop and test new ways of provding feedback for the spoken dimension in computer-assisted language learning. The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR) support the project with around 700,000 Euro. See also the press release of Saarland University.
New BMBF Project 'Schreibgebrauch'
Manfred Pinkal's group will collaborate with the Institute for German Language (IdS Mannheim), the editorial offices of Duden and Wahrig, and the Deutsche Rechtschreibrat for the next three years on a project funded by BMBF (the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research). The project will provide an infrastructure for the corpus-based investigation of ongoing changes in German spelling, to provide an empirical basis for future adaptations of official spelling rules. Saarland University will work on the development and adaptation of language technology tools, in particular for application to non-standard language, as it can be found in genres like email and Twitter.
Guest talk by Jacques Koreman
The next speaker in the Coli Colloquium is Jacques Koreman from the Department for Language and Communication Studies at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim with a talk on "Pronunciation training with a computer-assisted tutor: a universal solution to a local challenge?" on Thursday, 18 April 2013, 16:15 (Building C7.4, conference room).
Annemarie Friedrich awarded IBM PhD Fellowship
Annemarie Friedrich was awarded an IBM PhD Fellowship for the academic year 2013/2014. The IBM Ph.D. Fellowship Awards Program is an intensely competitive worldwide program, which honors exceptional Ph.D. students who have an interest in solving problems that are important to IBM and fundamental to innovation in many academic disciplines and areas of study. The fellowship includes a stipend for one academic year as well as mentoring by IBM experts.
Welcome Frank Zimmerer
Frank Zimmerer has joined the phonetics group of Bernd Möbius this month. Frank did his PhD at the Department of Phonetics at the University of Frankfurt/Main. His work focused on reduction in natural speech.
Interview mit Bernd Möbius auf DRadio
Deutschlandradio: Wenn der Computer wie ein Mensch spricht
Mindestens zehn, manchmal auch 20 Stunden lang muss ein Profisprecher im Tonstudio den eigens erstellten Text vorlesen. Alle Standardmeldungen sind damit abgedeckt, der Rest wird aus möglichst langen Bausteinen aus der Datenbank zusammengesetzt. Obwohl ursprünglich von einem Menschen gesprochen, klingt das immer noch nicht richtig menschlich. Der Phonetiker Bernd Möbius von der Universität des Saarlandes untersucht die Gründe dafür. Ein Interview zu diesem Thema wurde im Deutschlandradio veröffentlicht.

March 2013

New project in signal processing group
LSV (spoken language systems) together with DLR Braunschweig (German Aerospace Centre) launched a new project! The project, named AcListant (Active Listening Assistant), will focus on controller-pilot communication in order to perform research on methods for integrating the contextual knowledge from the environment into the speech recognizer (team picture from kick-off meeting in Braunschweig).
Welcome to Elli Tourtouri
Elli Tourtouri joined the psycholinguistic group of Matthew Crocker as a PhD student. Prior to joining our group, Elli studied Linguistics at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and at Utrecht University. Her M.Sc. thesis investigated brain's responses to affective speech.
Professorship for Pyykkönen-Klauck
Dr. Pirita Pyykkönen-Klauck is now Associate Professor at Norwegian University of Science and Techology NTNU. We heartily congratulate Pirita on her success!
Guest talk by Anja Moos
The next speaker in the Phonetics Colloquium is Anja Moos (University of Glasgow, Dept. of Psychology and School of Critical Studies) with a talk on "Do colourless green voices speak furiously? Linkages between phonetic and visual perception in synaesthesia " on Wednedsday, 6 March 2013, 14:15 (Building C7.2, room 4.09).

February 2013

TV-Interview zum Tag der Muttersprache
Anlässlich des internationalen Tags der Muttersprache am 21.02. hat der saarländische Rundfunk im Rahmen der Sendung "Kulturspiegel" Jürgen Trouvain zur Situation der Mundarten im Saarland interviewt. Im UNESCO-Atlas der bedrohten Sprachen werden Moselfränkisch und Rheinfränkisch als "vulnerable" eingestuft. Das Gespräch kann in der SR-Mediathek angeschaut werden.
HIB 2013
Am 22.02.13 stellen die Computerlinguistik und die Phonetik im Rahmen der Hochschulinformationsbesuche an der Saar-Uni, ihre Studiengänge vor. Nähere Informationen zum Programm finden Sie hier: HIB 2013.
MCCA Project Work Meeting
The Institute of Phonetics is hosting a work meeting of the Polish and German research groups involved in the Multimodal Communication: Culturological Analysis (MCCA) project. The meeting, titled "Culturological Analysis and Corpus Research in Multimodal Dimension", takes place between 11.02. and 15.02.2013. MCCA is a bilateral collaboration between the Saarland University's FR 4.7 Phonetics and FR 4.4 Slavistics and the University of Warsaw's Institute of Anthropocentric Linguistics and Cultural Studies and is funded by the Polish National Science Center.
Phd defense Denis Arnold
Congratulations to Denis Arnold who defended his Phd dissertation on "Die Erhebung perzeptueller Prominenz auf Silben- und Wortebene: Der Einfluss von Bewertungsskalen, Bewertungsebenen und Normalisierung" at Saarland University on Feb 4, 2013. Denis is currently working with Prof. Harald Baayen at the University of Tübingen.

January 2013

Radio-Feature zur Computerlinguistik
In dem halbstündigen Feature "Einerlei Volk und einerlei Sprache ..." des Radiosenders "SR2 Kultur" steht die computerlinguistische Forschung an der Universität des Saarlandes im Mittelpunkt. Interviewpartner sind unter anderem Prof. Manfred Pinkal und Prof. Hans Uszkoreit.
Guest talk by Robert Eklund
The next speaker in the Coli Colloquium is Robert Eklund (Dept. of Culture and Communication and Dept. of Computer Science, Linköping University, and Dept. of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute) with a talk on "The neural correlates of filled pauses. An fMRI study of disfluency perception" on Thursday, 10 January 2013, 16:15 (Building C7.4, conference room).

December 2012

New research group led by Ingmar Steiner
Ingmar Steiner has joined the department as the leader of a new junior research group on "Multimodal Speech Processing". His research will focus on speech synthesis and articulatory modeling. This is the fifth independent research group in the area of computational linguistics and phonetics within the Cluster of Excellence.
Visiting researcher Aline Villavicencio
Aline Villavicencio (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil and MIT, USA) will be returning to Coli as an Erasmus Mundus visiting scholar from Jan. 6 to March 7, 2013. She will be housed in C7 2, room 3.06, and welcomes contact to faculty and staff.
Successful start for SFB proposal
On the way to a new Saarbrücken SFB (Sonderforschungsbereich) on "Information Density and Linguistic Encoding", the initiators have mastered the first hurdle: The review of the pre-proposal resulted in a recommendation of the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) to submit a full proposal. The group currently consists of 14 PIs, 7 of them from our department. Co-ordinator is Elke Teich (Translation Science & Applied Linguistics). In the case of a successful second step, we expect the SFB to begin in January 2014.
Guest talk by Natalie Lewandowski
The next speaker in the Phonetics Colloquium is Natalie Lewandowski (University of Stuttgart) with a talk on "Factors in phonetic convergence in second language interaction" on Wednesday, 12 December 2012, 14:15 (Building C7.2, room 5.09).
NDR Logo: Künstliche Stimmen / Artificial Voices
Can the computer serve as a substitute for the human voice? How can we model or simulate speech production? An interview with Prof. Bernd Möbius in NDR: Logo - Das Wissenschaftsmagazin". And here a link to a press release from Saarland University.
Guest talk by Jan de Ruiter
The next speaker in the Coli Colloquium is Jan de Ruiter (University of Bielefeld) with a talk on "Predicting the interlocutor's next turn: empirical findings, theory, and computational modeling" on Thursday, 06 December 2012, 16:15 (Building C7.4, conference room).

November 2012

Graduiertenfeier der Computerlinguistik 2012
Eingeladen waren auf der diesjährigen Graduiertenfeier der Computerlinguistik am 28.09.2012 alle Absolventen und Absolventinnen, die das Studium mit einem Bachelor oder Master abgeschlossen haben. Der Fachrichtungsvorsitzende Prof. Dr. Hans Uszkoreit eröffnete die Feier mit einer Begrüßung der Gäste und seiner Festrede. Der Höhepunkt war die feierliche Verabschiedung der Absolventen, die mit ihren Familien und Freunden gekommen sind. Im Anschluss an die Feierlichkeiten bot der Sektempfang und die Eröffnung des Büffets Gelegenheit, sich mit den Professoren, Dozenten und ehemaligen KommilitonInnen auszutauschen. Musikalisch wurde der Festakt von dem Duo Johann May (Gitarre) und Daniel Manrique-Smith (Flöte) begleitet. Hier einige Bilder der Absolventenfeier 2012.
Crocker & Pyykkönen-Klauck receive EU funding
Prof. Matthew Crocker and Dr. Pirita Pyykkönen-Klauck from our Psycholinguistics Group are part of the new Marie Curie Initial Training Network LanPercept (Language and Perception) that receives 4.15M € from EU to study language-vision mapping. The network will train 11 PhD researchers and 4 postdoctoral researchers across 8 leading academic and 7 industrial and private sector partners in Europe. The project starts in January 2013 and lasts for four years. (See also a German press release of Crocker and Pyykkönen-Klauck's local projects.)
Visiting researcher Katerina Veselovska
Katerina Veselovska from the Charles University in Prague is visiting us (November 12-25 2012) in the context of the Partnership Program between our universities. Katerina is doing research on sentiment analysis mostly in Czech and languages with scarce subjective resources, she is particularly interested in automatic polarity detection on both sentence and document level, opinion lexicon generation, fine-grained subjectivity annotation and sentiment features in picture semantics.
Guest talk by Massimo Poesio
The next speaker in the Coli Colloquium is Massimo Poesio (School for Computer Science and Electronic Engineering at the University of Essex) with a talk on "BrainNet: Using Brain Data and Corpus Data to Investigate Conceptual Knowledge" on Monday, 19 November 2012, 16:15 (Building A2.3, Senatssitzungssaal). Please note the unusual date and location.

October 2012

Visiting researcher Agnieszka Wagner
Dr. Agnieszka Wagner (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland) is visiting the Coli phonetics group until Dec 15. Agnieszka is working on speech rhythm and prominence, especially in nonnative Polish speech, and on paralinguistic speaker traits. Drop by to talk to her (C7.2/4.08, phone -4244) - she is looking for participants in production and perception experiments too!
Video zum B.Sc. Computerlinguistik für Studieninteressierte
In dem Video wird kurz erklärt, welche Voraussetzungen man für das Studium der Computerlinguistik braucht und was man lernt. Reinschauen lohnt sich! Entweder auf der Uni-Seite oder auf youtube.
Welcome Jeanin Jügler
Jeanin Jügler has joined the Phonetics group this month. Jeanin received her master in Phonetics from the University of Frankfurt and will strengthen our group's research at the interface between phonetics and speech technology.
Welcome New Students!
Incoming MSc students may participate in the annual Preparatory Course for new MSc students, beginning on October 4th.

September 2012

Workshop on Laughter
Following the previous workshops on laughter held in Saarbrücken (2007) and Berlin (2009), Jürgen Trouvain (Saarbrücken), Nick Campbell (Dublin) and Khiet Truong (Twente) organise a forthcoming workshop at Trinity College Dublin from 26-27 October 2012. The goal of the Interdisciplinary Workshop on Laughter and other Non-Verbal Vocalisations in Speech is to bring together scientists from diverse research areas and to provide an exchange forum for interdisciplinary discussions in order to gain a better understanding of laughter and other non-verbal vocalisations. Topics include multimodality (visual aspects of non-verbal vocalisations, incl. smiles), entrainment and alignment (`timing together'), decoding and encoding of affective and social behaviour as well as computational models and automatic processing of non-verbal vocalisations.

August 2012

Coli-Workshops beim UniCamp 2012
Beim diesjährigen UniCamp (6.-10.8) für Schülerinnen der Klasse 8 und 9 war die Computerlinguistik wieder mit 2 Workshops vertreten. 40 Mädchen hatten bei uns einen Vormittag lang die Möglichkeit, selbst Dialogsysteme zu entwickeln oder durch Spiele und Demonstrationen verschiedene Bereiche der Computerlinguistik zu erkunden. Unter anderem entwickelten die Teilnehmerinnen ihrer eigenen Vokabeltrainer und lernten ChatBots, einen sprechenden Aufzug und ein System zur Spracherkennung in der Flugsicherung kennen.

July 2012

Exzellenzcluster wird verlängert
Die Pressestelle der Universität des Saarlandes berichtet:
Bei der Exzellenzinitiative des Bundes und der Länder hat die Universität des Saarlandes wieder einen großen Erfolg verbucht. Der Exzellenzcluster zum Thema "Multimodal Computing and Interaction" wurde in der zweiten Phase der Exzellenzinitiative um fünf Jahre verlängert. Auch die Saarbrücker Graduiertenschule für Informatik wird weiterhin von der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft gefördert. Dadurch werden voraussichtlich weitere 57 Millionen Euro Forschungsmittel ins Saarland fließen und zahlreichen hochqualifizierten Wissenschaftlern Arbeitsmöglichkeiten bieten. Am Exzellenzcluster und der Graduiertenschule sind neben der Universität des Saarlandes auch das Max-Planck-Institut für Informatik, das Max-Planck-Institut für Softwaresysteme sowie das Deutsche Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz beteiligt. Die Saarbrücker Informatiker erforschen unter anderem Computersysteme, die auf natürliche Weise mit den Menschen kommunizieren können.
(Zur gesamten Pressemitteilung.)
Computational Linguistics: Special Issue on Modality and Negation
Roser Morante and Caroline Sporleder co-edited a Computational Linguistics Special Issue on Modality and Negation, which has just been published.
PASCAL2 sponsored ACL Workshop
On 13 July, the first Workshop on "Extra-Propositional Aspects of Meaning" (ExProM) was held in conjunction with ACL 2012, on Jeju Island, Korea. The workshop was co-organised by Roser Morante and Caroline Sporleder and sponsored by the PASCAL2 Network of Excellence.
Annemarie Friedrich im 'Spiegel'
"Schlaue Rechner - Annemarie, 25, bastelt an der intelligenten Super-Suchmaschine" lautet ein Artikel im "Spiegel" über Annemarie Friedrich in der Reihe "Nachwuchsforscher über ihre Projekte".
Erasmus Mundus scholar Aline Villavicencio
Dr. Aline Villavicencio from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is visiting Coli for the month of July as an Erasmus Mundus visiting scholar. She will be teaching a compact course "Multiword Expressions and Collocations in Theory and Practice", team taught with Valia Kordoni. Dr. Villavicencio is housed in C7 2, office 3.04 and is interested in meeting with faculty and students.
Gastvortrag zu Sprachdialogsystemen
Am Dienstag, 3. Juli 2012, um 18:00 Uhr (s.t.!) im Seminarraum der Computerlinguistik, Geb. 7.2, Erdgeschoss, wird Paul Heisterkamp, Daimler AG, Group Research and Advanced Engineering Infotainment and Telematics zum Thema "Sprachdialogsysteme - Beobachtungen und Hinweise zur Praxis der Umsetzung" im Rahmen des Praxis-Seminars Computerlinguistik in Arbeitswelt & Gesellschaft sprechen.
Interessenten sind herzlich eingeladen!
Guest talk by Petra Wagner
The next speaker in the Phonetics Colloquium is Petra Wagner (Universität Bielefeld) with a talk on "Aspects of Prominence Perception: Top-Down and Bottom-Up Effects" on Wednesday, 4 July 2012, 14:15 (building C7.2, room 5.09).
Guest talk by Serge Gladkoff
Wir laden Wissenschaftler, Praktiker und ganz besonders auch Studierende der Fächer Computerlinguistik und Übersetzungswissenschaft, sowie alle anderen Interessierten zu einem Gastvortrag ein. Der Sprecher ist Eigentümer eines der größten Übersetzungsunternehmen in Russland mit weiteren Firmensitzen in den USA, Großbritannien und der Ukraine. Das Thema sind die Veränderungen in der Übersetzungsindustrie und deren Auswirkungen auf den Arbeitsmarkt für Übersetzer.

Dienstag den 3. Juli 2012 um 16:15 im Konferenzraum 1.17, Bau C7 4
Serge Gladkoff, President of Logrus International Corporation and Standards Director of the Globalization and Localization Association (GALA)
Technology trends in the translation industry and their impact on the translation labour market

Serge Gladkoff graduated with honors from a Russian ivy league nuclear physics science college and has been engaged in the localization industry for more than twenty-three years, first as a deputy director for a software distribution company, Dialogue-MEPhI, then as a localization manager of Borland International's Moscow office, and for the past seventeen years, as co-founder and co-owner of the Logrus International Corporation, actively engaged in company management and operations as President and CFO.
Serge is also the founder and administrator of the Localization Professionals group on LinkedIn. He serves on the Executive Board of GALA. He has been a speaker and presenter at many industry conferences and events and he has published various articles on his work.

June 2012

Guest talk by Tanja Schultz
The next speaker in the Coli Colloquium is Tanja Schultz (Cognitive Systems Lab at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) with a talk on "Silent speech interfaces" on Thursday, 28 June 2012, 16:15 (Building C7.4, Conference Room).
Guest talk by Francis Bond
The next speaker in the Coli Colloquium is Francis Bond (Nanyang Technological University) with a talk on "Cross-Lingual Disambiguation and the Open Multilingual Wordnet" on Thursday, 21 June 2012, 16:15 (Building C7.4, Conference Room).
Saarbrücken issue of 'The Phonetician'
Under the guest editorship of Jürgen Trouvain the most recent issue of The Phonetician brings together different research contributions which reflect as large range of the phonetic sciences: from the acoustics of individual speaker characteristics to the physiology of throat singing, from the collection of historical phonetic instruments via the acquisition of a corpus of an endangered language to an experimental study at the syntax-prosody interface.
Habilitation of Bettina Braun
Bettina Braun, currently junior professor at the University of Konstanz, successfully defended her habilitation thesis at Saarland University with the title "Processing speech prosody: from lexical access to intonational meaning". Congratulations!
Computerlinguistin hat Supercomputer Watson beim Quizlösen geholfen
Die Pressestelle der Universität des Saarlandes berichtet:
Die Saarbrücker Nachwuchswissenschaftlerin Annemarie Friedrich hat im vergangenen Jahr im Rahmen ihrer Masterarbeit bei IBM in New York am Projekt "Watson" mitgearbeitet. Der Supercomputer Watson hat im letzten Jahr für Schlagzeilen gesorgt, da es ihm gelungen ist, in der amerikanischen Quizshow "Jeopardy!" die beiden besten menschlichen Konkurrenten zu schlagen. Friedrich forscht im Exzellenzcluster "Multimodal Computing and Interaction" der Universität des Saarlandes und promoviert derzeit bei Computerlinguistik-Professor Manfred Pinkal. Jetzt erhält Friedrich vom IT-Unternehmen IBM den "IBM Ph.D. Fellowship Award".
(Zur gesamten Pressemitteilung.)
Erasmus Mundus LCT Graduation of Course Edition 2009
The EM LCT program has graduated students of the course edition 2009. The ceremony was held at Charles University, Prague, and was attended by dignitaries, program coordinators and current students of the LCT course. Congratulations and best wishes to our graduates!
Erasmus Mundus visiting scholar Carl Pollard
Prof. Carl Pollard from the Ohio State University is visiting Coli for the month of June as an Erasmus Mundus visiting scholar. He will be teaching a compact course "Advances in Logical Grammar". Prof. Pollard is housed in C7 2, office 3.10 and is interested in meeting with faculty and students.
CL und Phonetik beim Tag der offenen Tür
Am Samstag, 2. Juni 2012, findet der alljährliche Tag der offenen Tür an der Universität des Saarlandes statt. In diesem Rahmen bietet auch die Fachrichtung Computerlinguistik und Phonetik ein interessantes Programm an."

May 2012

Annemarie Friedrich awarded IBM PhD Fellowship
Annemarie Friedrich was awarded an IBM PhD Fellowship. The IBM Ph.D. Fellowship Awards Program is an intensely competitive worldwide program, which honors exceptional Ph.D. students who have an interest in solving problems that are important to IBM and fundamental to innovation in many academic disciplines and areas of study. The fellowship includes a stipend for one academic year as well as mentoring by IBM experts.
Mundus MULTI scholar Francis Bond
Prof. Dr. Francis Bond from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore is visiting CoLi as a Mundus MULTI scholar for the month of June. He is housed in building C7 2, room 3.03 and is interested in meeting with faculty members and students.
Girls' Day 26.04.2012
Schülerinnen ab der 8. Klasse haben am Girls' Day 2012 die Computerlinguistik und die Psycholinguistik näher kennengelernt. Mehr dazu in einem Bericht mit Fotos.
Caroline Sporleder offered professorship for Digital Humanities, Trier University
Junior Research Group Leader Caroline Sporleder has received an offer for a newly established professorship in Digital Humanities at the University of Trier. We heartily congratulate Caroline on this success!
EACL Workshop: LaTeCH 2012
Kalliopi Zervanou, Antal van den Bosch, Piroska Lendvai, and Caroline Sporleder organized the 6th edition of the Workshop on Language Technology for Cultural Heritage, Social Sciences, and Humanities (LaTeCH 2012), which was co-located with EACL 2012 in Avignon, France.
Proposal for ACL SIG Digital Humanities
A proposal for a new ACL Special Interest Group (SIG) in Digital Humanities was presented at the EACL business meeting in Avignon. The initiative is led by Kalliopi Zervanou, Antal van den Bosch, Piroska Lendvai, and Caroline Sporleder. The draft proposal can be downloaded here. Via the same website it is also possible to sign up in support of the SIG.
Prof. Dr. Max Mangold 90 Jahre
Am 8. Mai feiert der Professor für Phonetik und Phonologie der Universität des Saarlandes Dr. Max Mangold seinen 90. Geburtstag.

In Basel geboren, studierte der Jubilar in seiner Heimatstadt, in Genf, Paris und London und wirkte unter anderem als Dolmetscher der Vereinten Nationen an der Demarkationslinie zwischen Nord- und Südkorea. Nach der Promotion bei Walter von Wartburg und der Habilitation in Basel 1956 übernahm er 1957 einen Lehrauftrag an der Saar-Uni und vollzog die Umhabilitation nach Saarbrücken, wo er die Phonetik, Sprachwissenschaft und Dialektologie in Forschung und Lehre vertrat.

Prof. Mangold begeisterte die Studierenden durch seine Lehrveranstaltungen und seine außergewöhnliche Sprachbegabung. Er hat zahlreiche Publikationen verfasst, herausgegeben und betreut. In besonderer Weise ist mit seinem Namen auch das "Duden Aussprachewörterbuch" verbunden, dessen erste bis vierte sowie dessen sechste Auflage (2005) er erarbeitet hat. Seine bislang letzte Veröffentlichung "Deutsche Lautschriften in Wörterbüchern" ist 2010 in der Festschrift für Elmar Ternes "Form und Struktur der Sprache" erschienen.

Weitere Informationen zu dieser Pressemitteilung bei Dr. Wolfgang Müller, Archiv der Universität des Saarlandes, E-Mail: w.mueller(at)univw.uni-saarland.de
Guest talk by Marco Baroni
The next speaker in the Coli Colloquium is Marco Baroni (University of Trento) with a talk on "Distributional semantics with eyes: enriching corpus-based models of word meaning with automatically extracted visual features" on Thursday, 10 May 2012, 16:15 (Building C7.4, Conference Room).
Erasmus Mundus scholar Diana McCarthy
Dr. Diana McCarthy is visiting Coli as an Erasmus Mundus scholar until May 11. She is housed in building C7 2, room 3.10 and will be happy to meet with faculty members.

April 2012

Several Junior Research Group Leader positions available
The Cluster of Excellence "Multimodal Computing and Interaction" at Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany, seeks applications for a number of new Junior Research Group Leader positions. The Cluster provides a highly interdisciplinary research environment with a strong Computational Linguistics component. One of the Cluster's central research areas is 'Speech and Language Processing'. Group leaders will receive junior faculty status at Saarland University, including the right to supervise Bachelor, Master and PhD students. Junior research groups are equipped with a budget of 80k to 100k Euros per year to cover research personnel and other costs.
Deadline for applications is April 30th, 2012. The complete announcement can be found here.
Additional information on the excellence cluster can be found here. Please feel free to contact for further information any of the PIs (Matthew Crocker, Manfred Pinkal, Hans Uszkoreit) or JRG leaders (Vera Demberg, Caroline Sporleder, Ivan Titov) in the research area.

January 2012

Guest talks by Volker Dellwo and Mirjam Ernestus
There are two talks of guests visiting the Phonetics group this week. In the Phonetics Colloquium Volker Dellwo (University of Zürich) is giving a presentation on "Sprechererkennung mittels Sprechrhythmus" (Wednesday, 18 January, 16:30 (unusual time), R. 5.09, Building C7.2).
And the next speaker in the Coli Colloquium is Mirjam Ernestus (Radboud University Nijmegen & Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics) with a talk on "The production and comprehension of reduced pronunciation variants in spontaneous speech" on Thursday, 19 January 2011, 16:15 (Building C7.4, Conference Room).
Guest talk by Takuya Matsuzaki
The next speaker in the Coli Colloquium is Takuya Matsuzaki (University of Tokyo) with a talk on "Supertagging-based HPSG parsing" on Thursday, 12 January 2011, 16:15 (Building C7.4, Conference Room).

December 2011

Erasmus Mundus LCT Visiting Scholar
Professor Timothy Baldwin of the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering, The University of Melbourne, will be visiting Coli from the middle of December to the end of January, 2012, as an Erasmus Mundus visiting scholar of the LCT program.
Guest talk by Stephan Oepen
The next speaker in the Coli Colloquium is Stephan Oepen (University of Oslo) with a talk on "Parser Evaluation over Local and Non-Local Deep Dependencies in Large Corpora" on Thursday, 15 December 2011, 16:15 (Building C7.4, Conference Room).
Ivan Titov receives Google Research Award
Ivan Titov and Alexandre Klementiev received the Google research award for their project "Inducing Multilingual Semantic Representation". Congratulations!
Guest talk by Bonnie Webber: Towards Discourse-enhanced Statistical Machine Translation (SMT)
The next speaker in the Coli Colloquium is Bonnie Webber (University of Edinburgh) with a talk on Discourse-enhanced Statistical Machine Translation (SMT) on Thursday, 1 December 2011, 16:15 (Building C7.4, Conference Room).

November 2011

Coli-Workshop für Schülerinnen im Rahmen von UNIted
Als Teil des Programms "UNIted - Mädchen lernen die Uni kennen" besuchten Schülerinnen der 8. und 9. Klasse der Gesamtschule Ludwigspark am 17.11. die Computerlinguistik und beschäftigten sich in einem Workshop zur Dialogmodellierung mit dem DialogOS-Toolkit.
Guest talk by Anton Batliner
The next speaker in the Phonetics Colloquium is Anton Batliner (University of Erlangen) with a talk on "Prosody in computer-assisted pronunciation training (CAPT) - and what phonetics can learn from speech technology and vice versa" on Wednesday, 23 November 2011, 16:00 (Building C7.2, room 5.09).
Special Volume of 'Linguistic Issues in Language Technology'
Tim Baldwin (University of Melbourne) and Valia Kordoni are pleased to announce the publication of a Special Volume of "Linguistic Issues in Language Technology" (LiLT) on the Interaction of "Linguistics and Computational Linguistics", with contributions from a wide- range of luminaries from Linguistics and Computational Linguistics. All articles are freely available.
Guest talk by James Henderson: From subjectivity analysis to argument analysis
The next speaker in the Coli Colloquium is James Henderson (University of Geneva) with a talk on Latent Feature Models for the Structure and Meaning of Text on Thursday, 17 November 2011, 16:15 (Building C7.4, Conference Room).
Visiting researcher Khiet Truong
Khiet Truong from the group "Human Media Interaction" at the University of Twente in the Netherlands visits our department for four months. She will collaborate with Jürgen Trouvain on forms and functions of non-verbal vocalisations, especially laughter, in conversational data.
Guest talk by Eric Wehrli
There will be a guest talk by Eric Wehrli (LATL - Dept. of Linguistics, University of Geneva) on "On-line and off-line terminological aid for non-native readers". Time: Thu, 10 Nov 2011, 11.00 am. Location: Building C7.2, ground floor, seminar room.
Welcoming Mittul Singh
Mittul Singh joined LSV on October 1st to work on a Google-funded project to investigates long-range recursive language models.
Publications at IJCNLP 2011
Researchers from Saarbrücken published three papers at this year's IJCNLP, the 5th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing, held in held in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Congratulations to Grzegorz Chrupala, Stefan Thater with Hagen Fürstenau & Manfred Pinkal, Chenhua Chen with Alexis Palmer, Caroline Sporleder and Yi Zhang & Valia Kordoni!

October 2011

Welcome Annemarie Friedrich!
Annemarie Friedrich joined the group of Manfred Pinkal as a PhD student.
She studied Language Science and Technology at the University of Saarland and at the University of Edinburgh. Prior to joining our group, she wrote her M.Sc. thesis at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in New York, where she worked on Watson, the Question Answering system which competed successfully on Jeopardy!, a US quiz show. Her thesis work investigates the integration of soft matching extensions into passage scoring using syntactic-semantic graphs.
Her doctoral research will focus on the development of new representations that combine logical and statistical semantics over rich and and structured feature spaces, in order to obtain unified and deeply integrated models of language and knowledge.

July 2011

AAAI 2011 Tutorial on 'Discourse Structure: Theory and Practice'
Bonnie Webber, Markus Egg and Valia Kordoni from our department are giving an AAAI 2011 Tutorial on "Discourse Structure: Theory and Practice" in San Francisco on Sunday August 7, 2011. This course will be offered in the framework of the AAAI 2011 Conference. Here is a short description of the tutorial.
CL/Phonetik beim UniCamp für Schülerinnen
Bei dem diesjährigen UniCamp für Schülerinnen (01.-05. August 2011), das unter dem Motto "Faszination Naturwissenschaft und Technik" steht, stehen auch Fragen der Computerlinguistik, Sprachtechnologie, Psycholinguistik und Phonetik auf dem Programm.
Nach dem Einführungsvortrag "Was ist Computerlinguistik?" werden die folgenden Workshops angeboten: "Mit dem Computer sprechen" (Computerlinguistik), "Wie lernen und verarbeiten Menschen Sprache?" (Psycholinguistik), "Wie sieht eigentlich meine Stimme aus?" (Phonetik) und "Evaluation von Maschineller Übersetzung" (DFKI).
Benjamin Roth awarded Google doctoral fellowship in Natural Language Processing
Benjamin Roth was awarded a Google doctoral fellowship in Natural Language Processing. The Google European Doctoral Fellowship is a highly competitive programme created to support outstanding doctoral students doing exceptional research in Computer Science or closely related areas.
Guest talk by Lori Lamel: Speech Processing Activities in Quaero
The last contribution in the Coli Colloquium during summer semester 2011 will be given by Lori Lamel (LIMSI Paris ) with a talk on Speech Processing Activities in Quaero on Thursday, 7 July 2011, 16:15 (Building C7.4, Conference Room).

June 2011

Guest talk by Frank Zimmerer: Phonetic variation and the perception of massive reductions in speech
The next speaker in the Coli Colloquium is Frank Zimmerer (Phonetik, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt ) with a talk on Phonetic variation and the perception of massive reductions in speech on Friday, 1 July 2011, 14:15 (Building C7.2, Seminar Room). (Please note the unusual time and day.)
Guest talk by Manfred Stede: From subjectivity analysis to argument analysis
The next speaker in the Coli Colloquium is Manfred Stede (Universität Potsdam) with a talk on From subjectivity analysis to argument analysis on Thursday, 30 June 2011, 16:15 (Building C7.2, Seminar Room). (Please note the unusual time.)
Erasmus Mundus scholar Carl Pollard
Professor Carl Pollard of The Ohio State University will be visiting Coli in July as an Erasmus Mundus scholar of the LCT program. He will be holding a compact course from 04.07 - 15.07.2011. More details can be found in the course description as well as in the announcement here.
Stephan Walter won Förderpreis Rechtsinformatik
Stephan Walter won this year's "Dieter Meurer Förderpreis Rechtsinformatik" (Dieter Meurer award in legal informatics) for his dissertation. The prize honors outstanding work in the area of legal informatics and is awarded by juris GmbH and Deutsche EDV-Gerichtstag (German Association for Computing in the Judiciary). Congratulations!
Visiting researcher Snezhina Dimitrova
Snezhina Dimitrova is a prosody researcher from the English Department of Sofia Unversity. During her short-term visit she works together with Bistra Andreeva on rhythm and prominence with a particular interest in non-native speech.
Stephan Busemann Honorary Professor for Computational Linguistics
Stephan Busemann (DFKI) became Honorary Professor for Computational Linguistics as of Feb 17, 2011. Stephan joined DFKI in 1990 and is principal researcher and DFKI research fellow. He is the associate head of the DFKI Language Technology department headed by Prof. Hans Uszkoreit. He has taught for many years topics in language technology, and predominantly on language generation and summarization. Stephan is involved in organizing the LT1 course (winter semester) and in this summer the Computational Linguistics course.
Guest talk by Ph. Blache: Modelling linguistic complexity
The next speaker in the Coli Colloquium is Philippe Blache (Laboratoire Parole et Langage, CNRS & Universite de Provence) with a talk on Modelling linguistic complexity on Thursday, 16 June 2011, 16:15 (Building C7.2, Conference Room).
PhD defense of Bart Cramer
On 8th June, Bart Cramer successfully defended his PhD thesis with the title "Improving the feasibility of precision-oriented HPSG parsing data". Congratulations!
CL und Phonetik beim Tag der offenen Tür
Am Samstag, 18. Juni 2011, findet der alljährliche Tag der offenen Tür an der Universität des Saarlandes statt. In diesem Rahmen bietet auch die Fachrichtung Computerlinguistik und Phonetik ein interessantes Programm an.
Welcoming Anne Tielke
Anne Tielke has joined the Phonetics group this month. Anne received her magister diploma from the University of Bonn and will strengthen our group's research at the interface between phonetics and speech technology. Specifically, her research interests are in spoken language analysis and feedback in the context of language learning and speech therapy.

May 2011

Graduation Ceremony of the European Masters Program in Language and Communication Technologies
The Erasmus Mundus European Masters Program in Language and Communication Technologies (LCT), coordinated by the department of Computational Linguistics, Saarland University, held its second annual graduation ceremony on May 26th at the partner university The University of Nancy 2. 18 students of the course edition 2008 finished the program and received the LCT diploma supplement attesting to the completion of the double degree masters program. Congratulations!
Language Science and Technology bei der StudienStiftungSaar vorgestellt
Am 04.05.11 fand die erste Fördinand-Verleihung der StudienStiftungSaar statt. Andrea Horbach , Diana Steffen und Lucia Hornung waren vor Ort und haben den Masterstudiengang "Language Science and Technology" vorgestellt.

April 2011

Vera Demberg wins Glushko Prize
Junior Research Group Leader Vera Demberg has been awarded the prestigious Glushko Prize by the Cognitive Science Society and the Glushko-Samuelson Foundation. The USD 10 000 prize recognizes the outstanding contribution of Vera's PhD Dissertation "A broad coverage model of prediction in human sentence Processing" (University of Edinburgh) to the Cognitive Sciences.
Welcoming Francesca Delogu
Francesca Delogu joined the Psycholinguistics group this month, and will strengthen the neurophysiological research in the group's EEG/ERP Lab. Francesca's research examines the neural mechanisms that under language processing at the syntax-semantics interface.
Bernd Möbius appointed as Chair of Phonetics and Phonology
In April 2011 Bernd Möbius has been appointed as Chair of Phonetics and Phonology at Saarland University. Our congratulations! Bernd succeeds Bill Barry who has retired two and a half years ago. Apart from a wide interest in phonetics and phonology Bernd's special interests lie in the field of speech technology. His former positions were at the University of Bonn, University of Stuttgart and Bell Labs and he was a guest professor in the Saarbrücken Cluster of Excellence "Multimodal Computing and Interaction". (See also press clip of the University).
Girl's Day am 14.04.2011
Jedes Jahr im April findet unter dem Motto "Naturwissenschaft und Technik zum Anfassen" bundesweit der Girls' Day statt. Das Projekt soll als Mädchen-Zukunftstag Schülerinnen ab Klassenstufe 8 die Faszination von Naturwissenschaft und Technik näher bringen.
Am 14. April 2011 haben die Computerlinguistik und die Psycholinguistik den Schülerinnen ein vielseitiges Programm angeboten.
In den Workshops der Computerlinguistik, organisiert von Andrea Horbach und Diana Steffen, erhielten insgesamt 18 Teilnehmerinnen des Saarbrücker Rotenbühlgymnasiums und der Erweiterten Realschule Illingen einen Einblick in ein Dialogsystem im virtuellen Auto. Die Schülerinnen lernten nicht nur wie ein Dialogsystem funktioniert und wie man Experimente in einem Usability Labor durchführt, sondern konnten das System auch selbst in der Rolle der Versuchsperson ausprobieren."
Im Workshop Psycholinguistik haben die Schülerinnen von Judith Köhne einen Überblick darüber erhalten, womit sich Psycholinguisten beschäftigen und warum dies interessant ist. Den Schwerpunkt des Workshops stellten mehrere kleine psycholinguistische Tests dar, die die Teilnehmerinnen selber ausprobieren konnten. Sie haben dabei erfahren wie man statistisch Wörter lernen kann, dass menschliche Sprachverarbeitung automatisch ist, dass Versprecher Aufschluss darüber geben können, wie das mentale Lexikon im Gehirn strukturiert ist und, dass das Verarbeiten von Sprache die Wahrnehmung von Bildern beeinflusst.
Visiting student Xujian Zhao
Xujian Zhao is a PhD candidate majoring in computer application technology at the Knowledge and Data Engineering Lab, University of Science and Technology of China (USTC). His work focused on Topic Trend Detection and Evolution Pattern Mining, Spatio-Temporal Information Extraction (STIE) and Web Search. He is now a guest researcher at the Spoken Language Systems group, and will work on Cross-lingual Slot Filling task at TAC 2011.

March 2011

Deepu Vijayasenan has joined the SCALE project
Deepu Vijayasenan has joined the SCALE project coordinated by the Spoken Language Systems group. Deepu did his PhD at the Idiap Research Institute associated with Ecole Polytechnique Federel de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland. His work focused on an information theoretic approach to speaker diarization (the task of "who spoke when"). He developed robust algorithms for meeting data that perform in realtime. In SCALE he will work on far field speech recognition for meeting data and co-operate with the other SCALE partners.

February 2011

Alexander Koller accepts Chair of Theoretical Computational Linguistics at the University of Potsdam
After heading the Junior Research Group "Efficient Algorithms in Computational Linguistics" at the Cluster of Excellence "Multimodal Computing and Interaction" for two and a half years, Alexander Koller has accepted an offer of a full professorship from the University of Potsdam. Starting in April, he will be holding the Chair of Theoretical Computational Linguistics in the Department of Linguistics. The department belongs to the Center of Excellence "Cognitive Sciences", a large interdisciplinary initiative with research in Computational Linguistics as one of its main focuses. We warmly congratulate Alexander and wish him all the best in his new position!

November 2010

Berliner Zeitung about our institute
On 27th November, the Berliner Zeitung published an article about Computational Linguistics, featuring our institute. You can read the article online.
Saarland University joins Pascal Network
Saarland University has joined the Pascal Network, a EU-funded Network of Excellence on Pattern Analysis, Statistical Modeling and Computational Learning. The membership opens up new possibilities for collaboration with external institutions and other members of the Pascal Network, and will facilitate the organization of workshops and shared tasks. Research contact at Saarland University is Ivan Titov.

October 2010

New Academic Year started
The new academic year started on 1st October. With the beginning of the winter semester, we welcome 29 new bachelor students and 24 new master students to our department. We wish our new students a good start in Saarbrücken, and a successful new academic year to everybody!
New junior research group led by Vera Demberg
Vera Demberg has joined the department as the leader of a new junior research group on "Cognitive Models of Human Language Processing and their Application to Dialogue Systems". This is the forth junior research group in the area of computational linguistics within the Cluster of Excellence.

September 2010

New PhD student Youssef Oualil
Youssef Oualil has joined the SCALE project. He received his engineer degree in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics at ENSEEIHT Toulouse, France. He was an ERASMUS student in TU-Darmstadt in 2009/2010 and during this period he did an internship within the Innovation and Integration Systems department at T-Systems Darmstadt. His master's thesis work there involved the conception of an application for mobiles able to recognize the make and the model of a car given a rear picture.
KONVENS 2010 Conference
From 6th to 8th September, the 10th Conference on Natural Language Processing KONVENS 2010 took place at our institute. It was organized by Prof. Manfred Pinkal, Ines Rehbein and Magdalena Wolska, and featured 10 long papers, 14 short papers as well as invited talks by Prof. Eduard Hovy, Prof. Anette Frank, and Prof. Gerhard Weikum.

August 2010

New PhD student Rahil Mahdian Toroghi
Rahil Mahdian Toroghi has joined the SCALE project. He completed his Master of Science degree at the Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, working on Blind separation of Speech sources in underdetermined case using SCA. For his PhD research is going to focus on Combination of Blind Source Separation and Beamforming to help ASR systems. He is going to work under the supervision of Prof. Dietrich Klakow, and will collaborate with Friedrich Faubel.
Course on Computational Modeling of Human Language Acquisition
From 16th to 20th August, Afra Alishahi co-offered a course on Computational Modeling of Human Language Acquisition at the European Summer School in Logic, Language and Information (ESSLLI 2010) in Copenhagen.
UniCamp Workshop about Dialogue Management
On 4th August, Diana Steffen and Andrea Horbach offered a workshop about dialogue management for the participants of UniCamp 2010. UniCamp aims at promoting technical and scientific abilities of female high-school students.

July 2010

SemEval 2010 Shared Task #10
Josef Ruppenhofer and Caroline Sporleder co-organized the SemEval 2010 Shared Task on Filling the Gaps in Semantic Role Labelling - Towards Linking Events and their Participants in Discourse. The SemEval workshop was collocated with this year's ACL and took place on 15th and 16th July.

Tutorial on Discourse Structure at ACL 2010
Valia Kordoni co-organized a Tutorial on Discourse Structure: Theory, Practice and Use, together with Bonnie Webber and Markus Egg on 11th July at ACL 2010. Attendees to this tutorial could gain insight into discourse structure, its relevance for language technology, and methods and resources that support its use.

June 2010

Welcoming Dr. Heiner Drenhaus
The psycholinguistics group is pleased to welcome Dr. Heiner Drenhaus to Coli. His research is concerned with the neurophysiological investigation of human syntactic and semantic processing, specifically using EEG/ERP methods.
Completion of the GIVE-2 Challenge
The Second Challenge on Generating Instructions in Virtual Environments (GIVE-2), co-organized by Alexander Koller, was completed last month. Attracting participation of seven systems and more than 1800 users from 39 countries, GIVE-2 was the largest ever evaluation initiative in natural language generation, in terms of the number of experimental subjects. The results of the challenge will be presented at the INLG conference in July.
Tutorial at HPSG 2010
On 7th July the tutorial: "The LinGO Grammar Matrix: Rapid Grammar Development for Hypothesis Testing" was offered at HPSG 2010 in Paris. This tutorial, presented by Emily Bender (UW) and Antske Fokkens (UdS), provided an introduction to using the Grammar Matrix Customization System for hypothesis testing in syntactic research. The customization system allows researchers to create a starting grammar, so that they can rapidly work on phenomena of interest.
NAACL 2010 Workshop
On 5th June, SPMRL 2010 (involving Ines Rehbein), the First Workshop on Statistical Parsing of Morphologically Rich Languages, like German, took place in Los Angeles, CA.

May 2010

First Graduation Ceremony of the Erasmus Mundus LCT Program
The first graduation ceremony of the Erasmus Mundus European Masters in Language and Communication Technologies (LCT) was held on 21st May in Malta. 15 students completed the double-degree, European Union supported program, coming from countries such as Bangladesh, India, Iran, Argentina, Italy and Germany. The LCT Masters program is coordinated by Prof. Hans Uszkoreit and PD Dr. Valia Kordoni and has partners in Italy, France, Netherlands, The Czech Republic, Malta, China and Australia.
PhD defense of Ingmar Steiner
On 19th May, Ingmar Steiner successfully defended his PhD thesis with the title "Observations on the dynamic control of an articulatory synthesizer using speech production data". Congratulations!
Visitor Alexandra Balahur
Alexandra Balahur, a PhD student from the University of Alicante, is currently at the Spoken Language Systems for a 3 month research visit. Her research interests include Question Answering and Opinion Mining.
Grammar Matrix Tutorial at LREC 2010
On 17th May, Coli PhD Student Antske Fokkens and Emily M. Bender and Safiyyah Saleem from the University of Washington offered a tutorial at LREC in Valletta, Malta. The tutorial gave an overview and introduction to creating deep grammars using the LinGO Grammar Matrix Customization System.

April 2010

Saarbrücken successful at ACL 2010
Researchers from Saarbrücken are very well represented at this year's ACL, the most important conference in computational linguistics. Altogether, nine long papers, three short papers, and one student research workshop paper from Saarbrücken have been accepted. This puts Saarbrücken firmly in the top group of international institutions at ACL.
New projects in phonetics
Three new projects have started in the phonetics department: "Function of Speech Rhythm in Information Processing", "Functional interpretation of healthy speech production", and "eTon: The music of speech". You can read more about them on the page about ongoing projects.
Newspaper article about Computational Linguistics
The German newspaper "Die Rheinpfalz" has published an article about studying Computational Linguistics and its job prospects. Among others, Prof. Uszkoreit and Antonia Scheidel, student at our institute, were interviewed. You can read a copy of the article (in German) here.
Research Grant for the PRO-EYES Project
UdS Anschubfinanzierung has been granted for an interdisciplinary research project PRO-EYES: Product- and Process-based Translation Research: Eye-Tracking Studies. The PIs of the project are PD Dr. Stella Neumann (English Language and Translation) and Dr. Pirita Pyykkönen from the Psycholinguistics group. The researchers in the project will be developing experimental eye-tracking paradigms that can be employed to study the cognitive load faced in the translation process. The project also combines two research traditions, product-based corpus research and process-based eye-tracking and keystroke logging research.
New researcher Andrea Horbach
Andrea Horbach (née Heyl), a UdS Computational Linguistics graduate, is a new researcher on the ALLEGRO project. After completing her Diplom in Computational Linguistics, Andrea studied teaching German as a second language at the Department for German Studies of Saarland University. Andrea started part-time on 1st April and will pursue her PhD on a topic related to intelligent computer-assisted language learning within the project.

March 2010

ALLEGRO project kick-off
The ALLEGRO project was officially commenced with a kick-off meeting on 22nd March. The participants of the meeting were representatives of the project partners as well as the funding bodies: the Interreg officials and representatives of the Saarland Ministry of Economic Affairs.

February 2010

Evaluation period of the Second GIVE Challenge
The evaluation period of the Second Challenge on Generating Instructions in Virtual Environments (GIVE) started this month. By playing a 3D online game, internet users can evaluate natural language generation systems and help research teams improve their software. Anyone is invited to participate. The GIVE Challenge, which is co-organized by Alexander Koller, will be presented at CeBIT during 2nd-6th March 2010.

January 2010

Start of Project ALLEGRO
Project ALLEGRO started in January 2010. ALLEGRO is a collaboration between Saarland University, DFKI (Dr. Josef Burgard), LORIA in Nancy (Dr. Claire Gardent and Dr. Yves Laprie) and Supelec in Metz (Dr. Olivier Pietquin). It is an applied natural language processing project whose goal is to investigate the use of NLP in building interactive dialogue-based foreign language learning exercises as well as tools which will allow content developers to create linguistic resources required for the exercises, at ease. ALLEGRO is funded within the EU INTERREG IV programme and receives ca. 2 million euros for a three year funding period. Prof. Manfred Pinkal is the coordinator of the entire project. Locally, the Saarbrücken part of the project will be led by Magdalena Wolska.

November 2009

Inaugural Lecture by Sabine Schulte im Walde
On 8th June Sabine Schule im Walde habilitated in Computational Linguistics. She gave her inaugural lecture on the topic "Computational Approaches to Semantic Relatedness" on 30th November.
GIVE-2 Corpus of Giving Instructions in Virtual Environments now online
The GIVE-2 corpus is a novel corpus of human instruction giving in virtual environments, which is designed to support the development of natural language generation systems for the Challenge on Generating Instructions in Virtual Environments (GIVE). The German language version of the corpus has been released for online view and can be played back here; an American English language version is currently underway.

October 2009

Dr.-Eduard-Martin prize for Verena Rieser
On 22nd October Verena Rieser has received the Dr.-Eduard-Martin prize for her dissertation. Each year the prize is awarded by Saarland University to graduates of all faculties for the 10 most outstanding PhD projects. Verena used to be a member of the IRTG until she completed her PhD in June 2008.
Visitor Cécile Grivaz
Cécile Grivaz from the University of Geneva is visiting Coli to work with Caroline Sporleder for 6 months. She is a PhD student with supervisors Jacques Moeschler and Martin Rajman Cécile works on automatic extraction of causal relations, focusing on French texts. Her interests are information extraction, question answering, machine learning, semantics and pragmatics.
New junior research group led by Ivan Titov
Ivan Titov has joined the department as the leader of a new junior research group on "Machine Learning for Natural Language Processing". This is the third junior research group in the area of computational linguistics within the Cluster of Excellence. Ivan obtained his doctoral degree in computer science at the University of Geneva, working with Dr. James Henderson, with a thesis on latent variable models for syntactic parsing. He spent the last two years as a postdoctoral researcher in the group of Prof. Dan Roth at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign focusing on multitask learning and learning with weak supervision. His other interests are in semantic parsing, summarization, information extraction, sentiment analysis and Bayesian models for NLP.

September 2009

Oliver Herrmann leaving Systems Group, new Mac Hiwi Frederic Raber
Oliver Herrmann who was responsible for Mac support in Systems Group is leaving CoLi to continue his studies at the Berufsakademie. He joined us not even a year ago and has become a trustworthy and valuable member of SG. Oliver, thanks for an excellent job and all the best wishes for the BA! At the same time, we are happy to introduce Frederic Raber who will fill in the gap which Oliver left. Welcome Frederic!

August 2009

Launch of the Second GIVE Challenge
The Second Challenge on Generating Instructions in Virtual Environments (GIVE-2) has been launched. GIVE-2 is the successor of previous year's GIVE-1 -- the largest ever natural language generation evaluation in terms of the number of experimental subjects. GIVE-2 aims at making the generation task even more challenging. In GIVE, a system must generate real-time natural-language instructions to guide a user in performing a "treasure hunt" task in a virtual 3D environment. The challenge is co-organized by Alexander Koller.
New staff member Arnab Ghoshal
Arnab Ghoshal has joined the SCALE project coordinated by the Spoken Language Systems group. Arnab did his PhD at the Center for Language and Speech Processing at Johns Hopkins University, working with Sanjeev Khudanpur and Fred Jelinek. His work focused on using algorithms from speech technology to image retrieval. This idea turned out to be very successful and Arnab's method is one of the best performing single algorithm systems on TRECVID. In SCALE he will work on robust, multi-modal far field speech recognition and co-operate with the other SCALE partners.
Visitor Denica Dimitrova
Denica Dimitrova from the "Lehrstuhl für Germanistik und Skandinavistik" at Sofia University is visiting the Institute of Phonetics as part of the cooperation agreement between Sofia and Saarland University. Denica is working on her PhD thesis about second/foreign language acquistion and is trying to finish up soon. She is interested in L2-phonology acquisition and perception theories.
ACL tutorial on Computational Modeling of Human Language Acquisition
On 2nd August 2009, Afra Alishahi offered a tutorial on Computational Modeling of Human Language Acquisition at ACL 2009, Singapore.

June 2009

Coli @ "Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften"
Students from Coli and History who participated in a project seminar on Text Mining for Historical Documents in WS 08/09 presented their work during the Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften on 20th June. The presentations dealt with different ways in which NLP techniques can be employed to preprocess and enrich historical data and thereby make it more accessible for both experts and laypersons.
IRTG summer school 2009
PhD students doing research in computational linguistics and psycholinguistics participated in this year's IRTG summer school, which took place from 10th to 19th June at Kloster Irsee, Germany. It included keynote talks, presentations by PhD students and tutorials. For more information, please visit its web site.
Visitor Matt Lease
Matt Lease from Brown University is visiting as part of the PIRE program, a cooperation of Brown University, Johns Hopkins University (both USA), Charles University Prague, and Saarland University. Matt is interested in finding information more accurately and easily using natural language as part of his PhD thesis being supervised by Eugene Charniak. In the CoLI department he will be working with the Spoken Language Systems group.

May 2009

Phonetics excursion to LORIA
There was a phonetics excursion on 28th May including a visit to Équipe parole at LORIA (Laboratoire Lorrain de Recherche en Informatique et ses Applications) in Nancy.
New staff member Alexis Palmer
Alexis Palmer has joined the Research Group 'Computational Modelling of Discourse and Semantics' as a postdoc under Caroline Sporleder. In the fall Alexis will defend her PhD - titled 'Semi-Automated Annotation for Language Documentation' - at the University of Texas at Austin, supervised by Katrin Erk and Jason Baldridge. Her dissertation research involves active learning in support of the documentation of endangered languages, focusing on cost analysis in non-simulated active learning. At Saarbrücken she looks forward to continuing her other line of research, automated identification and classification of situation entities in text.

April 2009

Expanded Eye-Tracking Labs
Expanded Eye-Tracking Labs: As a result of recent investments in infrastructure supported the Excellence Cluster "Multimodal Computing and Interaction", the psycholinguistics laboratories have been greatly expanded. Facilities now include several high-resolution eye-tracking systems from SR-Research, as well as a Tobii remote eye-tracker, and an array of FaceLab 5.0 systems from Seeing Machines for up to 270° gaze-tracking in real and virtual environments. Read more information.

March 2009

On 30th March 2009 there was the EACL Workshop on The Interaction between Linguistics and Computational Linguistics: Virtuous, Vicious or Vacuous?, which was co-organised by Valia Kordoni and Timothy Baldwin (University of Melbourne).
On 30th March 2009 there was the EACL Workshop on Language Technology and Resources for Cultural Heritage, Social Sciences, Humanities, and Education (LaTeCH - SHELT&R 2009), which was co-organized by Caroline Sporleder.
On 31st March 2009 there was the EACL Workshop on Cognitive Aspects of Computational Language Acquisition. The workshop was co-organized by Afra Alishahi.

February 2009

A workshop on Laughter and other Interactional Vocalisations in Speech was held in Berlin on 27th and 28th February. This was a follow-up to the successful international workshop on "Phonetics of Laughter" that was held in Saarbrücken in 2007.
On 16th February a "Wissenschaftssoirée" on the topic Mundart im Saarland (und angrenzenden Regionen) took place in the city hall of Saarbrücken.
The First NLG Challenge on Generating Instructions in Virtual Environments (GIVE-1) was completed in February. This challenge, in which a computer must generate natural-language instructions that help a user in performing some task in a virtual 3D world, was co-organized by Alexander Koller. Overall, it collected data from over 1100 users over the Internet, and used it to evaluate five generation systems. The results of the challenge will be presented at the ENLG workshop in Athens and are also available online.

January 2009

On 1st January the SCALE project was launched. It has three core research objectives: to bridge the gap between speech recognition and speech synthesis, to study the relation of automatic and human speech recognition and finally to investigate new methods in machine learning and signal processing and their use in speech recognition. To achieve those goals the Universities of Edinburgh, Sheffield, Nijmegen, Aachen, Saarland and the IDIAP Research Institute are closely cooperating.
Pirita Pyykkönen has joined the Psycholinguistics group as a Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin. Pirita received a masters degree in Finnish Linguistics from University of Joensuu, and is now finishing her PhD in Psychology at the University of Turku. She has studied adult and child language comprehension, with a focus on inferences at the sentence and discourse levels. Her current research interests include situated language comprehension, specifically the coordination of visual attention and spoken language in comprehension processes. For more information about Pirita, please visit her web-page.

November 2008

From 11th November to 14th November there was a Kick-Off Workshop of the Cluster of Excellence. An associated social event took place on 13th November.
Marco Pennacchiotti won the 2nd prize of the Swiss Computer Science Challange Award with the proposal "Towards a reliable knowledge-aware machine translation", co-authored with Davide Picca.

September 2008

On 26th September 2006 the first graduate celebration of our department took place. It was combined with a get-together of alumni and current students and staff. There the idea to create and maintain an alumni database was born (and is about to be realized). From now on such a celebration shall be organized every year.
A second Junior Research Group has been established. It is on "Computational Modelling of Discourse and Semantics" and being led by Caroline Sporleder.

August 2008

A Junior Research Group on "Efficient algorithms in computational linguistics", headed by Alexander Koller and associated with our institute, has been established.

November 2007

On 15th November a "Wissenschatssoirée" on the topic "Unser Umgang mit Sprache: vor 10 Jahren und in 10 Jahren" took place in the city hall of Saarbrücken. It was jointly organized by our institute, the city of Saarbrücken and the "Landesverband der historisch-kulturellen Vereine des Saarlandes". The complete program is available as PDF (German)

October 2007

Both proposals submitted by Saarland University within the competitive Excellence Initiative of the German federal and state governments have been successful. The excellence cluster "Multimodal Computing and Interaction" as well as an international graduate school "Computer Science" will be funded for five years. The department's professors Manfred Pinkal, Hans Uszkoreit, Matthew Crocker (principal investigators) and Dietrich Klakow are members of the execellence cluster.

August 2007

The 16th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences took place as ICPhS 2007 Germany in Saarbrücken from 6th to 10th August. The proceedings are also available online.